FYI Alexandria - June 9, 2017

Page archived as of June 30, 2017

Welcome to FYI Alexandria!

In this issue, get the latest info about Alexandria's water quality projects; learn about a new archaeological discovery; and find out how to get ready for hurricane season. To learn more about FYI Alexandria, visit www.alexandriava.gov/FYI, or email fyi@alexandriava.gov.


Top News

Combined Sewer System Project Updates

Combined Sewer System Project Video

The City of Alexandria has dramatically accelerated existing projects to remediate its four combined sewer outfalls to comply with a new state law requiring completion by 2025. These combined sewer outfalls already operate under state permits and comply with all federal and state laws, regulations, and permit requirements, including the federal Clean Water Act.  Recent updates include the following:

  • On May 4, the Alexandria City Council adopted operating and capital budgets providing $370.2 million in planned project funding over the next nine years. Revenue for these projects will come from a 30% increase in the sanitary sewer system capital investment and maintenance fee in FY 2018 (from $1.40 to $1.82 per thousand gallons), with further significant increases in sewer-related fees over the next decade. The budgets also include the assumption of $45 million in state aid, like the assistance previously provided to Lynchburg and Richmond to address combined sewer outfalls in those cities.
  • City Manager Mark Jinks has appointed Deputy City Manager Emily Baker to oversee the combined sewer remediation projects and coordinate the activities of the several City departments involved.  Baker, who joined City government in 2000 and has been a resident of Alexandria for 25 years, has previously served as City Engineer, Deputy Director of Transportation and Environmental Services, and Director of Project Implementation.  She holds bachelor's and master's degrees in civil engineering and is a Licensed Professional Engineer in Virginia and Maryland.
  • The City is partnering with Alexandria Renew Enterprises (the independent public entity that collects and treats wastewater from Alexandria and parts of Fairfax County) to explore how to distribute the remediation work to best leverage project resources. This will enable more work to take place concurrently and provide for more flexible financial options.

The City has produced new materials to provide an overview of these projects, including a video, frequently asked questions, and an updated website.  These materials are available at www.alexandriava.gov/CleanWaterways.




City Joins Mayors National Climate Action Agenda

Ellen Pickering Environmental Excellence Award The City has joined the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda, pledging to uphold goals embodied in the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.  The Agreement has been signed by virtually every country in the world.

The Mayors Agenda calls for binding federal emissions reductions, identifying sources of greenhouse gas emissions in each community, promoting emissions reduction targets, developing community climate action plans, finding appropriate offset projects, and furthering climate equity and environmental justice. These goals are already well-aligned with Alexandria's Eco-City Charter and Environmental Action Plan. At its regular meeting on June 13, City Council will consider adopting a resolution reaffirming its full commitment to combating climate change.




City Council to Consider Proposal on Old Town Business Improvement District

Old Town AlexandriaThe Alexandria City Council will consider a proposal to create an Old Town Business Improvement District (BID).

A BID is an area of a locality where a nonprofit economic development organization delivers additional services to supplement those provided by local government.  BIDs usually focus on promoting commercial neighborhoods through branding, signage, and marketing; activating public spaces and holding events; enhancing streetscapes and transportation amenities; and making other improvements. Most revenue for BID services comes from an add-on real estate tax paid by commercial property owners in the district, in addition to sources such as grants and events.

The Old Town BID Exploratory Committee has developed a proposal to establish a district along King Street from the Metro station to the Waterfront, generally bounded by Cameron Street on the north and Duke Street on the south.  The proposed district would only include commercial properties; residential and tax-exempt property owners (such as churches) would not pay an add-on tax.

On June 6, City Council held a public work session to hear presentations from proponents and opponents of the BID proposal and to hold a discussion. The proposed BID ordinance is scheduled to have its first reading during the City Council meeting that begins at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 13.  City Council would then hold a public hearing and could take action as part of the meeting that begins at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 24.  The meetings on June 13 and June 24 will take place in the Council Chamber in City Hall (301 King St.).




New Retail Wayfinding Signs in Old Town

Way Finding SignThe City has begun installing new retail wayfinding signage in Old Town along the King Street corridor, to help pedestrians find businesses on nearby streets. The durable, permanent new signage will replace aging A-frame signs at intersections along King Street. The new signage program was developed by the Ad Hoc Signage Committee to standardize signage policies and provide consistent wayfinding along King Street.


City Awarded First Place in 2017 Best Habitat Creation in a BMP in the Chesapeake Bay

Four Mile RunThe Four Mile Run Restoration project, completed in the spring of 2016, received first place in the 2017 Best Habitat Creation in a BMP (Best Management Practice) award by the Chesapeake Stormwater Network. This category is for stormwater practices that provide a unique blend of aquatic, wetland or upland wildlife habitat while still providing effective stormwater function.

The restoration project restored the historic wetlands prior to the 1970s construction of the flood control channel; reintroduced native wetland plant species; and installed an upland pedestrian trail to serve as a buffer between the emergent tidal wetland and the existing forested wetland. Plans are being finalized for the installation of a connector bridge between the ballfield and wetlands to complete the final phase of the project.




Four Mile Run Park Featured as a City Parks Alliance Frontline Park

The City Parks Alliance has awarded Four Mile Run Park as a Frontline Park. The article, submitted by the Four Mile Run Park Conservatory Foundation, recognizes the volunteer and partnership efforts over the past 10 years that have helped transform the park into an urban oasis with a farmers market, restored wetlands, athletic facilities and a busy trail. 




    Hurricane and Tropical Storm Season is Coming: Be Prepared!

    Emergency PreparednessHurricane Season began on June 1...  Are you ready? On average, six of the 12 tropical storms that form over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, or Gulf of Mexico will become hurricanes during the season, which runs until November 30.

    The best way to protect yourself, loved ones, your property and community, is to prepare now. Make a family emergency plan and an emergency communications plan, and put together a basic emergency kit. In addition, residents and businesses should learn if they are in an evacuation area; assess their risks; and determine their property's vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind.

    For specific guidelines on storm preparations, and on what to do when a hurricane is approaching, visit www.alexandriava.gov/Hurricane.

    During any severe weather event, stay informed by monitoring local media for official news and information. The City will also post updates about City services and programs on www.alexandriava.gov and will send them to the media for broadcast. Information will also be posted to the City's Facebook and Twitter channels. To receive emergency notifications by text or email, subscribe to the City's free Alexandria eNews service at www.alexandriava.gov/eNews.




    Alexandria Fire Department Celebrates EMS Week

    EMS Week began in 1974 to celebrate Emergency Medical Services practitioners and the important work they do in our communities. In recognition of EMS Week, May 21-27, the Alexandria Fire Department published a series of videos highlighting the roles of our EMS providers, and the special skills they possess that help make Alexandria's EMS system one of the best in the region.




    City Awards Contract for Windmill Hill Park Shoreline Rehabilitation Project

    Windmill Hill ParkThe City of Alexandria awarded a contract to begin construction of the Windmill Hill Park Shoreline Rehabilitation project this spring. The project consists of replacing the failed bulkhead and eroding shoreline along the river with a "living shoreline," as approved by City Council in 2015. Improvements will also be made to Union Street adjacent to the park, consistent with the Union Street Corridor Study. The park portion east of Union Street, including the dog park, is expected to be closed during construction, which is anticipated to be substantially complete in June 2018.
    City Council Meeting Highlights

    Special Meeting, May 4, 2017

    Alexandria City Council Adopts Fiscal Year 2018 Budget

    On May 4, the Alexandria City Council adopted a $728.1 million General Fund Operating Budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, which represents an increase over the current year of 5.8%. The budget includes $242.6 million in operating funds and debt service for public schools (a 3.6% or $8.4 million increase over FY 2017 funding, and 99% of the funding requested by the Alexandria City Public Schools). Spending on City operations and debt service increased by just 2.5% after $4.1 million of spending reductions.  FY 2018 begins on July 1, 2017.

    The budget also invests $2.1 billion over 10 years in Alexandria's Capital Improvement Program, including substantially increased funding of $144.7 million to improve Metro safety and reliability and $370.2 million for accelerated sewer outfall projects.

    The adopted budget provides for a real estate tax rate 3.0 cents higher than that proposed by the City Manager.  From this additional revenue, $4.3 million will support a major affordable housing project, and the remaining $130.1 million expected to be received over the next 10 years will be placed in a contingent capital reserve to be allocated after recommendations from a blue-ribbon task force on City and school construction needs.




    Public Hearing, May 13, 2017

    City Council Adopts Exemption Provision for 72-Hour Parking Rule

    City Council approved a change to the City Code to provide residents with the option to apply for certain exemptions to the law prohibiting parking a vehicle on a City street for more than 72 hours. An approved exemption allows a resident to park a vehicle on-street for up to two weeks, and can be approved for a maximum of four non-consecutive times per vehicle, per year. Residents wishing to apply for temporary exemptions may complete an  online application form. Individuals who need assistance with the application can call the Division of Transportation Planning at 703.746.4086. The exemption provision expires November 1, 2019. At that time, City staff will assess data gathered during the two years of the program to determine if the program is meeting residents' needs, and may propose the continuation, amendment, or termination of the program. To learn more, visit the 72-Hour Ordinance Review page.



    In The Community

    The 2017 Point in Time Count: A Snapshot of Homelessness in Alexandria

    The 2017 Annual Point-in-Time Count revealed 211 persons experiencing homelessness (i.e., unsheltered and in temporary shelter made available by homeless services providers) in Alexandria:  

    • 30 Families with Adults and Children (35 Adults and 56 Children)
    • 120 Singles (83 Men, 36 Women, and 1 Transgender), including:
      • 18 Unsheltered Singles
      • 43 Chronically Homeless Single

    The total number of persons identified as experiencing homelessness during the 2017 Count decreased by 6% from 2016, comprising a 7% decrease in single adults and a 7% increase in families. While there was an increase in the number of families experiencing homelessness, there was a 13% decrease in the number of children in those families.  

    Results from the Count help convey the scope of homelessness, identify and assess unmet needs and gaps in services, inform funding and other planning decisions, and evaluate progress made in preventing and ending homelessness.  




    Youth Development Workers Recognized

    Youth Development Workers RecognizedYouth Development Counselors Theodore "Teddy" Jones and James "Chucky" Moore received the Ally in Prevention Award at the 15th Annual Allies in Prevention Awards luncheon on April 6. Jones and Moore have worked for the City for more than 35 years, founding and supporting several youth programs, such as the Peer Advisor program where youth are trained in leadership, communication, and how to teach their peers and children anger management, violence prevention and peer pressure refusal skills. They also founded the Untouchables, a male mentoring program that focuses on building the physical, education and spiritual capacities of young men.

    Left to right: DCHS Director Kate Garvey; Youth Development Counselor Teddy Jones; Dr. Zella Jones; Center for Children and Families Deputy Department Director Deborah Warren; Youth Development Team Leader Noraine Buttar; and Youth Development Counselor Chucky Moore.




    Alexandria Fire Department Launches Integrated Health/Community Paramedic Program

    The Alexandria Fire Department announced the launch of a Mobile Integrated Health/Community Paramedic (MIH/CP) program. MIH/CP is a unique and evolving model of community-based health care, focusing on improving the lives of patients, lowering healthcare costs and using EMS providers as resources to solve healthcare problems within the community.




    Summer Fun in Alexandria

    Summer Fun in AlexandriaNothing says summer fun like family-friendly music and food festivals, movies under the stars and fireworks along the Potomac. Highlights include unique events at George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and authentic American history experiences in George Washington's hometown, from family tours led by junior docents at Gadsby's Tavern Museum to a Civil War reenactment at Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site. Foodies can enjoy the summer weather at more than 30 restaurants that offer al fresco dining along King Street and at numerous festivals like the WellRay Festival and the Vine on the Waterfront Food & Wine Festival. Waterfront activities abound and boat cruises cater to everyone from baseball fans to our four-legged friends to those wanting to visit the scenic National Mall. Find summer events and more at www.VisitAlexandriaVA.com/summer.


    City Scene

    Sgt. Chuck Seckler

    Get to know Sgt. Chuck Seckler, who has worked for the Alexandria Police Department for 23 years. Growing up riding motorcycles, his role with the Motor Unit is one he loves. He was a sniper for 10 years prior to joining the Motor Unit. In his spare time, Sgt. Seckler helps coach his son's baseball team and enjoys golfing.

    National Mentoring Month


    News Releases

    6/8 - Fairfax County Resident Convicted of Aggravated Malicious Wounding in Shooting of Taxi Driver

    6/8 - Alexandria City Manager Appoints Ad Hoc Joint City-Schools Facility Investment Task Force

    6/8 - June 13 Election Day Checklist for Alexandria Voters

    6/5 - City of Alexandria Hosts "DMV CommUNITY: We Are One" Soccer Tournament

    6/2 - City of Alexandria Joins Mayors National Climate Action Agenda in Support of Paris Agreement

    6/2 - Alexandria 2017 First Half Real Estate Tax Bills Due

    6/2 - Absentee Voting Deadlines for June 13 Democratic and Republican Primaries

    6/1 - Alexandria Police Department Announces Community Advisory Team and Traffic Citation Analysis

    5/31 - Alexandria Police to Conduct Underage Alcohol Compliance Checks

    5/25 - Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia Friday Evening Chamber Concert

    5/25 - June 4 "Bagels and Bach" Concert –"Eclectic Strings"

    5/25 - First Friday: "Family Art Night," June 2

    5/25 - 2017 Outdoor Pool Season Opens Saturday, May 27

    5/25 - 'Superhero Soiree' Set to Celebrate Local Heroes, Benefit Kids

    5/23 - City of Alexandria Holds Annual Memorial Day Ceremony to Honor 67 Alexandrians KIA/MIA in the Vietnam War

    5/23 - Public Invited to Attend Open House to Discuss Proposed Public Art Piece at Lake Cook

    5/23 - Alexandria Fire Department Celebrates Annual National EMS Week

    5/23 - Alexandria Fire Department Launches Integrated Health/Community Paramedic Program

    5/23 - City of Alexandria Announces Schedule of Services for 2017 Memorial Day Holiday

    5/22 - Alexandria 2017 First Half Real Estate Tax Bills Mailed

    5/19 - Advisory Group to Seek New Names for Jefferson Davis Highway in Alexandria

    5/19 - City Announces Updates and Public Meeting on Combined Sewer System Projects

    5/19 - Alexandria City Council to Consider Proposal on Old Town Business Improvement District

    5/19 - City of Alexandria Announces Archaeological Discovery of Early Burial Remains

    5/19 - Alexandria Police Announce the Closure of Pierre Clark Homicide Case

    5/18 - City of Alexandria to Host 40th Annual Memorial Day Jazz Festival

    5/18 - City Installs New Retail Wayfinding Signs in Old Town

    5/18 - City to Resurface Portions of Southbound U.S. Route 1 Beginning May 21

    5/17 - Alexandria Beautification Commission Seeks Nominations for the 2017 Alexandria Beautification Awards

    5/16 - Deadline to Register or Update Virginia Voter Registration is May 22

    5/16 - UPDATE: Community Crime Map Now Current

    5/15 - UPDATE: City of Alexandria Welcomes Back Tall Ship "El Galeón," May 25-30

    5/15 - UPDATE: Alexandria Shooting Victim Dies

    5/15 - City of Alexandria Seeks Community Input on Vision Zero Action Plan

    5/13 - City Announces Call for Artists for Public Art Project at Duke Street Tunnel

    5/13 - Police Investigate Shooting at Hotel on Bluestone Road

    5/13 - City of Alexandria Seeks Public Comment on Proposal to Rename Cora Kelly Recreation Center to Honor Leonard "Chick" Armstrong

    5/10 - Six Alexandrians to Be Recognized for Service, Community Impact

    5/8 - Be Ready! City of Alexandria Observes Hurricane Preparedness Week

    5/7 - Armed Forces Day Concert Saturday, May 20

    5/7 - Music Through The Ages: Gospel and Barbershop

    5/7 - Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia Evening Chamber Concert Friday, May 12

    5/7 - "Honoring Our Mothers with Poetry" Friday, May 12

    5/5 - City of Alexandria Calls for Nominations to the Ad Hoc Joint City-Schools Facility Investment Task Force

    5/5 - Jerome Buddie Ford Nature Center Closed for Repairs

    5/4 - Alexandria City Council Adopts Fiscal Year 2018 Budget

    5/4 Public Invited to Attend Open House to Learn About Public Art at Lake Cook and Meet the Artist

    5/2 - City of Alexandria Seeks Public Comment on Proposal to Honor Betty King

    5/1 - City of Alexandria Kicks Off Building Safety Month 2017 with May 5 Event


    Upcoming Events

    For more events, visit alexandriava.gov/Calendar .

    FYI Alexandria is produced by the City of Alexandria's Office of Communications and Public Information. 
    For questions or feedback, please email fyi@alexandriava.gov.

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