Manager's Report - January 20, 2012
Beauregard Small Area Plan
The working Draft of the Beauregard Small Area Plan will be released at the next Beauregard Community Meeting on January 23. Staff will present an overview of the draft Plan, discuss Plan recommendations, and provide a schedule of upcoming meetings where community input will be received.
Fire Department Upgrades to Four-Person Trucks
Twelve December graduates from the Alexandria Fire Academy, serving as probationary firefighters, have been assigned as the fourth person on four of the City’s eight engine companies, a position that will become permanent once their probation period is over. The move to four-person staffing on engine trucks is the first step in aligning the Fire Department staffing with national and regional standards endorsed by the National Fire Protection Association. Fire departments with four person minimum staffing levels are able to deploy more personnel and equipment faster at an incident scene with less fire apparatus than three-person units. The positions are funded by FEMA Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program grants. Prior to obtaining support for the new positions, the City maintained three-person minimum staffing for both engine companies and ladder truck companies.
BRAC-133 Advisory Group Update
At their January 18 meeting, members of the BRAC-133 Advisory Group received a report from VDOT staff and consultants on the draft Environmental Assessment (EA) prepared for the HOV/Transit ramp at I-395 and Seminary Road. VDOT will hold a public information meeting and design public hearing for the EA on January 25, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the Francis C. Hammond Middle School Cafeteria. The Advisory Group also voted to recommend that City Council not reauthorize the group for another year. Members noted they have completed their assigned mission of informing and advising City Council on BRAC-related matters.
New Waste Disposal Agreement: Covanta Energy-from-Waste Facility
A new waste disposal agreement has been finalized between Arlington County, the City of Alexandria, and Covanta Arlington/Alexandria, Inc. The proposed agreement would begin on January 1, 2013 and end on June 30, 2019 unless renewed by mutual consent through September 30, 2025. (The two jurisdictions previously leased the facility site in 1985 to Covanta for 40 years until 2025.) There is also an option for the jurisdictions to extend the agreement unilaterally at a later time through 2038 if they agree to extend the site lease to Covanta for an additional 13 years to 2038. In return, the jurisdictions would be able to dispose of waste at the facility at no cost for those 13 years. The agreement is included on the January 24 Council docket for review and approval.
James Bland Replacement Unit Purchase Update
The Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority (ARHA) has now purchased the final 16 replacement units needed in connection with the James Bland redevelopment. The purchase of the units was within the Council-authorized amount of $4.8 million, which is $1.6 million below the original amount budgeted. This remaining $1.6 million, which is derived from bond monies paid for by the dedicated real estate tax rate for affordable housing (to be 0.6 cents in FY 12) is now freed for other affordable housing purposes.
Ribbon Cutting for Multi-Sensory Mobile
On Saturday, January 21, at 8:30 a.m., Alexandria City Council will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony at City Hall for the new Multi-Sensory Mobile. Donated by Kelley Cares Foundation, the Multi-Sensory Mobile is designed to serve people with sensory integration dysfunction and cognitive, developmental and physical disabilities. The Mobile is equipped with ball pool, bubble mirror, therapy chair, aromatherapy, interactive hurricane tubes, textile wall, and a variety of sensory kits.
Citizens' Police Academy
Applications are being accepted through February 14 for the 10-week Alexandria Citizens' Police Academy. The Academy provides an opportunity for residents to learn about various aspects of the Police Department, such as administrative philosophy, internal policies and the guiding principles of law and ethical conduct governing the delivery of police services.
Puppet-Based “Al’s Pals” Program Reaches 2,880 Young Alexandrians
The Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) reports that the Al’s Pals: Kids Making Healthy Choices Program has reached more than 2,880 Alexandria children ages 3-5 over the last eight years. The science-based program, which is implemented in 40 classrooms Citywide, uses puppets to help children decrease problem behaviors and develop social and emotional skills. The program is made possible by grants from the Virginia Tobacco Settlement Foundation, a division of the Foundation for Healthy Youth.
In addition to the Al’s Pals program, the DCHS Preschool Prevention Team has conducted 216 preschool staff workshops and 504 parent workshops and support groups; made 2,233 child and classroom observations; provided 7,381 parent and staff consultations; conducted 2,161 child and family therapy sessions; and 4) facilitated 1,123 interactive caregiver/child playgroups.