Manager's Report - January 13, 2012
Mayor Euille & Members of City Council,
Welcome to the first edition of the "Manager's Report," which is a summary of recent City news and information for City Council and the public. The goal is to focus and strengthen communications with City Council by collecting and distributing information from the City Manager's Office, City Departments, and other City agencies, in one easy to read format. The Manager's Report will include news briefs, attachments and links to corresponding and relevant information. The Manager's Report will be sent each Friday, and each edition will be posted online at alexandriava.gov/ManagersReport.
We would appreciate your input on this exciting new communications tool, and look forward to providing you with Manager's Report each week.
Waterfront Plan Work Session – Follow Up for Public Hearing
The City Council and Planning Commission held a Joint Work Session on Tuesday, January 10, 2012, to discuss the Waterfront Plan Work Group’s Report, dated December 20, 2011. The Waterfront Plan Work Group is a mayor-appointed body that met between June and December of 2011, with the charge of reviewing the draft Waterfront Small Area Plan to identify areas of community consensus and to narrow remaining issues. The Report agrees with much of the draft Plan, but also contains recommendations for a series of minor to substantive changes which staff believes will strengthen the draft Plan. The next step will be a City Council Public Hearing on the draft Plan scheduled for January 21, 2012.
Water Supply Plan Public Hearing
Alexandria and other local municipalities partnered with the Northern Virginia Regional Commission in developing a comprehensive water supply plan. The plan includes information about water sources, data on water use, water resource conditions, water management actions, analysis of alternatives and drought/contingency plans in the event of water deficits. The plan also includes water demand projections through the year 2040 and an assessment of water supply to meet these demands. A public hearing for Council to receive comments on the plan is scheduled on Saturday, January 21.
"Leash Law" Update
On November 12, 2011, City Council updated Alexandria’s “leash law” to state that electronic collars would no longer count as a physical restraint for dogs in public areas. On December 17, 2011, City Council rescinded this action and sent it back to staff for reconsideration for possible amendments. This will allow time for City staff, the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, and interested residents to meet to discuss changes to the ordinance. It is expected that the ordinance will come back to Council in March 2012. For more information, email Rose.Boyd@alexandriava.gov or call 703.746.4300.
Proposed Reed Avenue Affordable Housing Project
At its legislative meeting on December 13, 2011, City Council decided to defer declaring 3600 Jefferson Davis Highway as surplus property, which would have been the first step in considering selling that property to AHC, Inc., for the purposes of constructing a 54-unit affordable housing rental project. Council requested that City staff review the issues and make a recommendation to Council for a future course of action. Staff and AHC have subsequently reviewed the situation and agreed that given the outstanding issues, and the March 16, 2012 deadline set by the Virginia Housing Development Authority for low income housing tax credit applications, that the planning and consideration schedule for this project be extended one year with an aim of a March, 2013 tax credit application. The added time will enable the City, AHC and the community more time to carefully review and consider the outstanding issues.
Progress Update on Parks and Athletic Fields
In response to an inquiry from City Councilman Frank Fannon, City staff have prepared a progress update on construction-related activities for Jones Point Park, Witter Athletic Complex, and Potomac Yard Park and Potomac Yard/Simpson Athletic Fields.
Update on Implementation of Capital Bikeshare in Alexandria
In October 2011, City council authorized Alexandria to join the regional Capital BikeShare network using federal grant funds, beginning with the implementation of six bikeshare stations with 54 bikes as a pilot program. City staff have prepared a report of the progress of the implementation of the program.
Bed Bug Task Force Report & Recommendations
A task force comprising representatives from Alexandria City Public Schools; Alexandria Redevelopment Housing Authority; and the Departments of Code Administration; Community and Human Services; Finance; General Services; Health; Housing; Human Resources; Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities; the Office of Communications/Public Information; and the Sheriff Office was charged with researching the magnitude of the bed bug resurgence in the City and recommending policies and protocols that would mitigate risk to City employees and control future infestation in City facilities and workplaces. The Bed Bug Report and Recommendations prepared by the task force was recently presented to the City Managers’ Senior Staff.
High Capacity Transit Group to Discuss Corridor B
The High Capacity Transit Group will meet on January 19 to discuss concepts for Corridor B, which represents Duke Street, one of the primary east/west routes through the City of Alexandria.
Environmental Assessment Released for BRAC-133/Mark Center HOV Ramp
Federal Highway Administration officials have released the environmental assessment for the I-395 HOV Ramp at the BRAC-133/Mark Center facility. The Virginia Department of Transportation will host a public hearing to explain the assessment and receive comments from residents on January 25.
Alexandria Fire Department to Deploy New Mini-Ambulance
The Alexandria Fire Department recently received a mini-ambulance designed to provide emergency medical assistance in limited access areas where traditional ambulances cannot operate. The vehicle was purchased through a Rescue Fund Assistance Grant awarded by the Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services. The mini-ambulance is located at the Prince Street fire station and its primary mission is to provide medical support for incidents that occur on the pedestrian walkway of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. The mini-ambulance will also be available at numerous outdoor City special events. The vehicle will go into service February 1 after staff are trained.
City Announces Top Ten Environmental Accomplishments of 2011
This past year, GenOn announced its plant was closing, and the City reported a record recycling rate, bought new hybrid buses and greened its vehicle fleet, and continued to lead the way in green building. Read the entire list of Alexandria's top ten environmental accomplishments in 2011.
Enterprise Resource Planning Project
The City has secured a partnership with Tyler Technologies to implement Munis, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software package. The Munis ERP integrated software suite will improve the automation and support of a range of administrative and management applications used in the City, including general ledger, accounts payable, purchasing, contract management, budget, capital assets, human resources and payroll. The project, which will begin this month, will be conducted over an 18-24-month period.
Older Alexandrians Give City High Marks in Benchmark Survey
Alexandrians ages 50 and older reported a good quality of life and an optimistic outlook for the future in a recent Age Ready Indicators Benchmark Survey conducted by the Older Dominion Partnership, a nonprofit organization working to better prepare Virginia for the aging population boom. Overall, Alexandrians rated their quality of life, health, and preparation for retirement slightly higher than their counterparts in the statewide survey. Safe neighborhoods, walkable spaces, easy access to multiple forms of transportation and close proximity to cultural attractions were some of the features of life in the City that got high marks. The survey of 5,000 Virginians was developed and administered to gauge the perspectives and expectations of older Virginians as the state and its localities prepare for the “age wave,” a doubling of the senior population.