FYI Alexandria - October 7, 2016

Page archived as of October 21, 2016

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Welcome to FYI Alexandria!

Welcome to the first issue of our new community newsletter, FYI Alexandria, which will be delivered to your inbox twice a month. Our goal is to keep you informed of what’s happening in City government and keep you up-to-date with City-related meetings, events and other happenings in your community.  We’ll also include links to news releases issued by the City and its departments, and recaps of major actions by Alexandria City Council.  Today’s issue will include news from September.

FYI Alexandria will be distributed via Alexandria eNews, Facebook, and Twitter, and will be available in print at City libraries and recreation centers.  We’d love to hear what you think of it; let us know by emailing us at

Top News

Absentee Voting

Do you have a long commute?  Are you caring for someone with a disability?  Are you a first responder? These are a few of the 16 ways you might be eligible to vote absentee now in the November 8 General Election.  To learn more about eligibility for absentee voting, the ways you may cast your absentee ballot, and key deadlines for absentee voters, visit the Office of Voter Registration’s Absentee Voting page, or call 703.746.4050. 

City of Alexandria Finds Substantial Gender Equity in Employee Compensation

An analysis of pay by gender found that the City of Alexandria’s male and female employees are compensated with far greater equity than the national average.  Studies by the U.S. Department of Labor show women nationwide earn approximately 79 percent what men do, for a national pay gap of 21 percent.  By contrast, female City employees earn an average of 94 percent compared to their male colleagues, for a pay gap of 6 percent. For job titles held by more than one employee (which is the case for three quarters of the City’s workforce), women earn approximately one percent more on average than men.  The City undertook this analysis at its own initiative in light of national concern about the pay gap between men and women. 

City of Alexandria Considers Fee to Fund Mandated Stormwater Costs

City staff have drafted a framework for a potential fee to more equitably fund the City’s stormwater management program and Chesapeake Bay cleanup mandates.  The City is launching a public engagement effort to explain the potential fee and solicit feedback, and City Council, which directed that such a framework be developed, will consider whether to move forward with a new fee in the course of the Fiscal Year 2018 budget process.

As part of the Eco-City Alexandria Clean Waterways initiative, stormwater management helps protect and improve the quality of Alexandria’s waterways and reduce flooding.  Costly new and unfunded state and federal mandates require additional efforts to prevent pollution from stormwater runoff.  If adopted by City Council, the fee would provide a dedicated funding source for the Stormwater Management Program to meet pollution reduction mandates; operate and maintain storm drain infrastructure; and maintain and enhance Alexandria’s streams, channels and community flood management program.  The City has been briefing stakeholder groups throughout September and October, and will host a public meeting later this fall.  For more information, including the draft framework, visit

October is National Bullying Prevention Month!

In recognition of National Bullying Prevention Month, Alexandria is hosting a series of activities through the Mayor’s Campaign to End Bullying.  The campaign works to raise awareness about how to identify, respond to, and prevent bullying.  During October, wear green and declare your support for a Bully-Free Alexandria. Additional activities will include sports days, family nights, school and recreation center activities, a youth poster contest, a citywide Unity Day; and more. Participants at each activity will have the opportunity to pledge their support and receive information and resources on how they can help reduce bullying.

Metro Seeks Public Input on Bus Loop Improvements at King Street-Old Town Metrorail Station

Metro and the City of Alexandria have been working for several years to design changes to the bus loop at King St-Old Town Station to create better connections for all modes of transportation and improve access to the station. Under the plan, the bus bay area would be reconfigured and short-term metered parking would be eliminated in order to provide additional bus bays, and to create a dedicated area for private shuttles, Kiss & Ride and taxi stands. This project has previously been approved by the Traffic and Parking Board, the Transportation and Planning Commissions, and City Council. Metro is inviting customers to provide feedback on the permanent removal of short-term metered parking at the station as part of this project. The comment period is open until 9 a.m., on October 17. To learn more, visit the King Street-Old Town Metro Access Improvements Project page.

Annual AFD Memorial Service and Wreath Laying at Ivy Hill Cemetery

The Alexandria Fire Department will observe National Fire Prevention Week on Friday, October 14, with a memorial service and wreath laying at 11 a.m. The solemn ceremony is held each year at Ivy Hill Cemetery, 2823 King St., to honor those who have died in the line of duty and members of the Fire Department who have passed away during the preceding 12 months.

For the memorial service, the cemetery’s entrance will be framed with a display of fire apparatus. The media and the public are invited to attend the ceremony. Uniformed members of the Alexandria Fire Department, Alexandria Volunteer Fire Department, and Fire Department retirees will be present to honor their fallen brothers and sisters. 

In case of inclement weather, the event will be held at the First Baptist Church of Alexandria located at 2932 King St, Alexandria, VA 22302.

For more information, contact Rick Muse, Jr., Community Outreach/PIO, at 703.746.5217 or

Alexandria Fire Department Receives FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant

On Friday, September 2, the Alexandria Fire Department was been awarded a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant. The Fire Department will receive $337,656 in funding and will be used to support our Firefighter/Paramedic program, which cross-trains EMS personnel to become firefighters.  A cross-trained staff increases response capabilities to better serve the community.

Visit Alexandria Launches New Ad Campaign; Announces Record Results at Annual Meeting

Visit Alexandria launched the next evolution of its Extraordinary Alexandria brand at its annual meeting on September 19 with its new advertising campaign, “Alex and Andria.” The campaign, which is a play on the City’s name, highlights the contrasts that make Alexandria unique with a tagline of “let’s get together.” The campaign includes online video and banner ads as well as print and radio ads to highlight all Alexandria has to offer.

Reflecting on Fiscal Year 2016, Visit Alexandria reported record tourism revenues, City tax receipts, hotel occupancy, media coverage and web traffic for Alexandria. According to just-released figures from Virginia Tourism Corporation, $771 million in visitor spending produced $25.5 million in tax revenues for City programs and services.  Travel supported 6,340 jobs and saved each household more than $350 in taxes versus a real estate tax rate that would have yielded the same revenue. To learn more, visit

City Council Meeting Highlights

September 13: Legislative Meeting --Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) National Airport Community Aircraft Noise Working Group

The City’s representative to the MWAA National Airport Community Aircraft Noise Working Group and other City staff provided a status report on progress towards reducing aircraft noise affecting Alexandria residents.  The Working Group forwarded a recommendation to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to review the feasibility of modifying aircraft departure flight paths heading south of the airport from the current path along the west bank of the Potomac River to a new path along the center of the river.  Over the next year, the FAA will conduct an expedited technical review of the modified flight path.  If shown to be feasible, the FAA will schedule public hearings.  The Working Group has successfully pushed American Airlines to discontinue and Delta Airlines to limit use of the older and noisier MD80 aircraft at National by the end of 2016.  Monthly meetings of the Working Group continue, to monitor other airport activities that could impact noise to local communities.

  • To view the City Council meeting discussion and docket information, click here and use the “Jump To” menu to go to item #22.
  • For more information on noise control, visit

September 17: Public Hearing -- Report of the Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Confederate Memorials and Street Names

At its regular meeting on September 17, City Council received the report of the Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Confederate Memorials and Street Names and held a public hearing on its recommendations.  City Council established the group in September 2015 to consider the City’s flag policies, the Appomattox statute at Prince and Washington Streets, and streets named after Confederate figures.

City Council voted unanimously to direct the City Manager to begin the process of renaming Jefferson Davis Highway in Alexandria, by creating a robust community engagement process, which may include Arlington County.  Details about the process will be available at once they are determined.  Council decided not to take action on any other street names, agreeing with the Advisory Group that individual requests for new names should be considered if brought by residents under existing processes.

City Council also directed staff to initiate a discussion with the United Daughters of the Confederacy, which owns Appomattox, regarding the possibility of moving the statue from the middle of the street to the edge, on the lawn of The Lyceum.   City Council will need to obtain permission from the General Assembly to move the statue, and will monitor the results of the Governor’s working group on monuments and memorials.

  • To view the City Council meeting discussion and docket information, click here and use the “Jump To” menu to go to Docket Item #13.
  • For more information about the final report of the Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Confederate Memorials and Street Names, visit

September 27 – Legislative Meeting: City Council Directs Next Steps to Expand Consumer Broadband Choice

City Council unanimously directed the City Manager to identify companies interested in negotiating cable television or broadband Internet franchises that could leverage a City-owned fiber-optic network.  The goal of the initiative is to increase consumer choice in cable, voice, and data services, which may help lower consumer costs and increase available speeds.

The City has received consistent feedback from residential and business consumers regarding the lack of local competition in cable television and broadband Internet services.  Although no provider has an exclusive franchise with the City, there is only one cable television franchisee and one landline telephone franchisee in Alexandria, and there are no broadband Internet franchises.  The City has actively pursued other potential providers, but companies are typically reluctant to make multimillion-dollar capital investments in new fiber networks.  The City will seek new franchisees who could lease excess capacity on the City’s new network and provide service to residents and businesses.  This would allow all providers to compete on a level playing field, and would prevent the City from competing with private providers for consumer service.

In The Community

Alexandria Celebrates Citizenship Day 2016

Citizenship Day

The City of Alexandria held its annual Citizenship Day celebration on Friday, September 16.  The ceremony was be led by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, with United States District Court U.S. District Court Judge T. S. Ellis, and United States Magistrate Judge Theresa C. Buchanan presiding.  This year, more than 101 candidates for citizenship took the Oath of Allegiance to become U.S. citizens.

Affordable Condominiums Now Offered through City Homeownership Program

The City is continuing to market the three-bedroom, townhouse-style condominiums in Cambria Square, a Pulte Homes community now under construction on South Pickett Street. These units are available to income eligible first-time homebuyers who live or work in Alexandria and are being offered through the City's Affordable Set-aside Homeownership Program. Larger households (three or more persons) will receive priority status in the home buyer selection lottery. To be included in the next lottery, potential homebuyers should submit all required documentation by 5 p.m. on October 14.

Cambria Square is located near shopping, transit, parks, and neighborhood amenities and will feature the City's first new construction Affordable Set-aside Homeownership units since 2007.

In all, four set-aside homes will be sold at a developer-discounted price of $275,000. Down payment and closing cost assistance will be available to the purchasers of these units.

New Housing Resource Guide Available in Multiple Languages

The Office of Housing has released a resource guide on the homebuyer, homeowner, renter, and homelessness prevention services and programs offered by the Office of Housing and its sister agencies and partners. Available in English, Spanish, Arabic and Amharic, the guide includes contact and eligibility information, as well as links to the Department of Community and Human Services, the Alexandria Redevelopment Housing Authority, the Office of Human Rights, the Virginia Department of Social Services, Rebuilding Together Alexandria, and area shelters.

Fire Department Participates in Arlington National Cemetery Wreath Laying

Wreat Laying at Arlington National Cemetery

On Monday, September 19, the United States Army Military District of Washington hosted a full honor wreath ceremony, recognizing the Alexandria Fire Department at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. Fire Chief Robert C. Dubé, Alexandria Fire Department, laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in honor of the interagency partnership between the Alexandria Fire Department, Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region and the U.S. Army Military District of Washington.

City Scene

See how our furry friends helped celebrate the end of the City’s outdoor pool season.

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FYI Alexandria is produced by the City of Alexandria’s Office of Communications and Public Information. 
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