Manager's Report - 22 Jun 2012

Page updated on Feb 21, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Top News

Update: Reducing Residential Energy Use, Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The City’s efforts to reduce residential energy use and greenhouse gas emissions continue through support provided to Rebuilding Together Alexandria (RTA) for energy efficiency upgrades at the Arlandria Chirilagua Housing Corporation (ACHC). The City provided $100,000 in federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) funds to RTA to work with residents of ACHC to reduce energy use and monthly utility costs. Improvements have included the installation of high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, programmable thermostats, low-flow toilets, and the overall weatherization of homes within the community. More than $35,000 in private funding has been leveraged to date by the City’s investment in this community. Preliminary estimates indicate that energy use among participating households has been reduced by more than 20%.

Hunting Towers Update

At its May 22 legislative meeting, City Council adopted a resolution affirming the City’s current zoning for the Hunting Towers apartments (1202 and 1204 S. Washington St.) and its past, present and future significance as a market affordable and workplace housing asset. The purpose of the resolution was to inform the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT, which acquired the property as part of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project), and any perspective buyers of Hunting Towers, of the properties’ current zoning status, which has the practical effect of likely limiting redevelopment potential of the site. VDOT, which is now selling the property, is required to offer the property back to the original owner at fair market value. As part of the sale process, VDOT solicited requests for non-binding “Expressions of Interest” by perspective developers. The City has learned that VDOT has received 11 responses, is evaluating them, and that after the evaluation VDOT will be making the required offer to the prior owner. As is customary in real estate negotiations, the Expressions of Interest VDOT received are considered proprietary and are not public information.

Witter Recreational Fields Soil Remediation Information: Update

As part of the Witter Recreational Facility construction, the City received a closure letter from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) regarding the soil remediation required for the project. The closure letter indicates that remediation was done in accordance with VDEQ requirements and that the agency will not require any further remedial actions.
The Witter Fields property, site of a former railcar manufacturing and maintenance facility, required management of an estimated 24,000 cubic yards of impacted soil during construction. The final certification of remediation will be issued by VDEQ later this year. The Witter Recreational Facility is being built with mitigation funds from the Woodrow Wilson Bridge project. The facility includes two rectangular multi-purpose fields and a softball field. The multi-purpose fields will be scheduled for use beginning in August 2012, and the softball field will be scheduled for use in the fall. Final construction of the facility will be complete in November 2012.

City Successfully Obligates Special Mortgage Financing Fund Allocation

The City’s Office of Housing has successfully obligated its allocation of special mortgage financing funds received through the Virginia Housing Development Authority’s (VHDA) Community Homeownership and Revitalization Program (CHRP). VHDA awarded $900,000 in CHRP funds to the City in August 2011 to assist first-time homebuyers purchasing homes within the City’s designated Neighborhood Stabilization Program target areas. These mortgage financing funds were offered to lower-income first-time homebuyers at rates as low as 2.75% for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. VHDA, the housing finance agency for the Commonwealth of Virginia, has provided more than $41 million in special financing for City homebuyers since 2002.

Alexandria Library Receives 1796 Map for Special Collections Branch

A 1796 map—the earliest of its kind to be owned by the City—and a 200-plus page ledger was received by the Alexandria Library this week. The acquisition of the extraordinary documents, which belonged to Charles Alexander and were used in a case that was heard by the Supreme Court, was celebrated by members of the historic Alexandria community on June 19. The Library is housing the map and related ledger of land records at the Special Collections Branch at 717 Queen St., the City’s leading establishment that focuses on local history and genealogy.

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