City of Alexandria, VA
Manager's Report - Septemer 14, 2012
Del Ray/Arlandria Trolley Service Update
Alexandria City Council approved the Del Ray/Arlandria Trolley route, name, and brand at the June 6 Council meeting. The trolley service was piloted on September 6 for “First Thursday,” and DASH ran a spare trolley along the Council-approved route. The City is currently in the procurement phase of the trolley contract acquisition. Next steps include the selection of contractor, the coordination of the style, branding, and marketing. Given a contract advertisement over the next several weeks, the trolley service will be rolled out this winter.
Civic Engagement Initiative Update
The City will soon launch What's Next, Alexandria? to begin a conversation about how Alexandrians can best engage in shaping the city’s future. Together, members of the community will embark on a process to develop citywide principles of engagement to guide future City initiatives. The project will begin with a poll, hosted by Action Alexandria, to gather community opinions about past engagement efforts and solicit suggestions for improvement. The poll will be launched in mid-September and will be open for one month. The community will discuss feedback from the poll, as well as best practices in civic engagement, at a kickoff meeting planned for November. Staff have briefed the Transportation and Planning Commissions to obtain their initial reactions and encourage their participation in the effort. Similar briefings will be provided to other groups later this month.
Beauregard Area Plan Update: Resident Survey Completed
The results of a recent survey of tenants in the Beauregard Area properties planned for eventual redevelopment will be presented to the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee (AHAC) on Thursday, September 13 at 7 p.m. in City Hall, Room 2000. The intent of the developer- and City-sponsored survey, conducted by the Lincoln Park Strategies firm, was to obtain a statistically valid sample of demographic, income, and other household data from residents in the Beauregard Plan area. A staff analysis is being prepared by the Office of Housing. The results will be presented to the public (with an opportunity for public comment), at an AHAC-sponsored meeting on Thursday, September 20, 7 p.m., at the William Ramsay Recreation Center. The survey results will be posted at alexandriava.gov/BeauregardPlan and used to revise and refine the affordable housing element of the plan, which will likely be presented to Council for consideration in the spring.
Alexandria Again Named One of 100 Best Communities For Young People
The City of Alexandria has again been named one of the nation's "100 Best Communities for Young People" by America's Promise Alliance. Alexandria, a five-time "100 Best" winner, was recognized for its outstanding and innovative work in addressing the high school dropout crisis and for programs and services that make the City a great place for youth to live, learn and grow. In recognition of this achievement, Alexandria will receive a $2,500 grant, signage identifying the community as one of the nation’s 100 Best Communities for Young People, and access to America’s Promise Alliance’s community development resources. For more information, contact Ron Frazier, Director of Youth Services, Department of Human and Community Services, at 703.746.5967 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alexandria King Street Art Festival Attendance Update
In response to Council’s September 11 Legislative meeting request for a crowd count estimate for the 2012 King Street Art Festival, staff contacted promoter Howard Allan. He estimates the total visitors to the two-day event at 60,000, which he believes is about the same attendance as 2011. Since the City does not have a crowd count for this event, Mr. Allan’s estimate is a reasonable ballpark figure. Mr. Allan also stated that the artist sales were higher than last year, with more sales to out-of-the area visitors than in prior years. This is likely an indication that the additional funding that Council has allocated to the Alexandria Convention and Visitor’s Association for marketing over the last few years is having an impact.
City Housing Initiatives Noted in Region III HUDLine News
Two recent City of Alexandria housing initiatives are featured in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) latest Region III newsletter. The City’s August 14 Housing Roundtable, “Helping Responsible Homeowners,” included presentations by HUD Regional Administrator Jane Vincent and Field Office Director Marvin Turner with welcoming remarks by Mayor William D. Euille. The City’s federally funded support for Community Lodgings’ renovations of 612 Notabene Dr. is also highlighted in the newsletter. The City provided a loan of $300,000 in federal HOME funds to support the renovation and modernization of this apartment building which offers transitional housing for formerly homeless families. HUD’s Region III includes Virginia, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
Patch Launches West End Online Publication
Patch.com, the Web-based community-focused news publication, is launching a West End online news service in the next few weeks. Patch already operates online news services for Old Town and Del Ray, and maintains a presence on Facebook and Twitter.
Jones Point Park Dedication
The National Park Service will officially dedicate Jones Point Park, 1 Jones Point Dr., on Saturday, September 22, at 10 a.m. The reconstructed Jones Point Park opened in July and features several amenities, including walking trails, basketball courts, playgrounds, a fishing pier and canoe launch, historical interpretive signs, a refurbished lighthouse, parking, and the Mount Vernon Trail. For additional information, contact the George Washington Memorial Parkway Headquarters at 703.289.2500.