1. Calling the Roll.
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Euille, and the Deputy City Clerk called the roll; all the members of the Council were present.
2. Moment of Silence and Pledge of Allegiance.
City Council observed a moment of silence and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
3. Reading and Acting Upon the Minutes of the Following Meeting of City Council:
(a) The Regular Meeting Minutes of February 15, 2007.
City Council approved the regular meeting minutes of February 15, 2007.
RECOGNITION OF YOUTH BY MEMBERS OF CITY COUNCIL
New Business Item No. 1: Councilwoman Pepper recognized Boy Scout Troop 301 from St. Mary's, who were attending tonight's meeting to earn Citizenship and Community badges. Councilwoman Pepper noted that she visited with the troop before the meeting and discussed the functions of City Council.
4. Presentation of a Proclamation Declaring March 3, 2007, as St. Patrick's Day Parade Day and the Month of March as Irish-American Heritage Month.
City Council endorsed the proclamation.
5. Presentation of a Proclamation Endorsing the Continued Participation of Rebuilding Together Alexandria.
City Council endorsed the proclamation.
6. Presentation of a Proclamation Declaring March as American Red Cross Month.
City Council endorsed the proclamation.
REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE CITY MANAGER
CONSENT CALENDAR (7-13)
(Resignations and Uncontested Appointments)
7. Receipt of the Following Resignations From Members of Boards, Commissions and Committees:
(a) Alexandria Citizen Corps Council
(b) Alexandria Commission on Aging
(c) Alexandria Sister Cities Committee
8. Uncontested Appointments to Boards, Commissions and Committees:
(a) Alexandria-Caen Exchange Committee
1 Citizen Member
(b) Alexandria Archaeological Commission
(c) Alexandria Commission on Aging
1 Citizen Member
(d) Alexandria George Washington Birthday Celebration Committee
1 Member Nominated by the American Legion
(e) Alexandria Landlord-Tenant Relations Board
1 Tenant Member
(f) Alexandria Park and Recreation Commission
1 Member From Planning District I
1 Member From Planning District II
(Reports and Recommendations of the City Manager)
9. Consideration of the Annual Report From the Alexandria Volunteer Fire Department for 2004-2005.
10. Consideration of the FY 2006 Annual Report from the Alexandria Park and Recreation Commission.
11. Consideration of the Monthly Financial Report For the Period Ending January 31, 2007.
12. Consideration of Authorization of Recommended Capital Project Allocations and Planned Expenditures.
13. Consideration of Funding Allocation for Rebuilding Together Alexandria.
END OF CONSENT CALENDAR
City Council approved the Consent Calendar. The City Manager's recommendations were as follows:
7. City Council accepted the following resignations with regret: (a) Christina Richardson, Alexandria Citizen Corps Council; (b) Helen McMaster, Alexandria Commission on Aging; and (c) Sueko Kumagai, Alexandria Sister Cities Committee.
8. City Council made the following appointments: (a) reappointed Patricia Chapla as the citizen member to the Alexandria-Caen Exchange Committee; (b) appointed Lillie Finklea and reappointed Edward Pulliam as the two members-at-large to the Alexandria Archaeological Commission; (c) appointed Mary Clark as the citizen member to the Alexandria Commission on Aging; (d) reappointed William Aramony as the member nominated by the American Legion to the Alexandria George Washington Birthday Celebration Committee; (e) reappointed Richard Sforza as the tenant member to the Alexandria Landlord-Tenant Relations Board; and (f) reappointed William Conkey as the member from Planning District I and reappointed Ripley Forbes as the member from Planning District II to the Alexandria Park and Recreation Commission.
9. City Council received the report from the Alexandria Volunteer Fire Department and thanked the volunteers for their contributions to the City and Fire and EMS Department.
10. City Council received the Annual Report from the Alexandria Park and Recreation Commission and thanked the Commission for its efforts on behalf of the City.
11. City Council received the Monthly Financial Report for the period ending January 31, 2007.
12. City Council authorized the capital project allocations and planned expenditures for the capital projects as detailed in the Capital Improvement Expenditure Summary.
13. City Council approved an allocation of $35,000 in Housing Trust Fund (HTF) monies as a grant to Rebuilding Together Alexandria (RTA) to support the organization's annual National Rebuilding Day program.
14. Recommendations and Status Report on Legislation Introduced at the 2007 General Assembly Session.
City Council received the report.
15. Alexandria Board of Zoning Appeals
1 Citizen Member
City Council appointed Geoffrey Goodale as the citizen member to the Alexandria Board of Zoning Appeals.
16. Juvenile Detention Commission for Northern Virginia
1 Citizen Member
City Council appointed Lillian Brooks as the citizen member to the Juvenile Detention Commission for Northern Virginia.
17. Public Hearing and Consideration of Report From the City's Naming Committee on the Proposed Naming of a City Field on Braddock Road in Honor of the Swanson Family.
City Council: (1) received the report from the Naming Committee; (2) held the public hearing and accepted the proposal to name the new soccer field behind George Washington Middle School in honor of the Swanson family; and (3) postponed action on the request by the Ballyshaners to name Waterfront Park in honor of Colonel John Fitzgerald until after the Waterfront Plan has been completed.
REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE CITY MANAGER FOR DISCUSSION
18. Consideration of the Gypsy Moth Suppression Program for Spring 2007.
City Council approved the 2007 gypsy moth suppression program with the amended recommendations as follows: (1) Two aerial applications of "Gypchek" (subject to availability) over one spray block of approximately 75 acres that include 319 properties located in the Beverley Hills community bounded by South Overlook Drive on the north, Old Dominion Boulevard on the east, Allison Street on the south and Wellington Road on the West in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). The first application will be made on or about the 1st of May. The second application will be made three to five days later; (2) In the event that the United States Forest Service is unable to provide "Gypchek" to the State for Alexandria's spray program, one aerial application of Bacillus thuringiensis (BT) will be made over the proposed 75 acre spray block; (3) Declaration that the aerial and ground spray programs are to be voluntary, that a 200-feet buffer zone will be maintained around the property of any resident or property owner objecting to the aerial application over their residence or property; (4) Notification of all residents and property owners within the proposed spray block and buffer area, and holding an open house to provide the public an opportunity to gather information and ask staff questions about the program; (5) Voluntary ground spray application of Bt for susceptible tree species located on properties within the 200-feet buffer zone created by an objecting property; (6) Authorization for the City Manager to enter into an agreement with a private contractor for the ground spray application of Bt and execute all required paperwork related to the gypsy moth suppression program; and (7) Implementation of other gypsy moth suppression measures to include the distribution of burlap for banding trees and educational materials in cooperation with VDACS.
19. Consideration of a Memorandum of Understanding for the Potomac Yard Fire Station/Housing Project.
City Council authorized the City Manager to execute the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) once the parties have agreed on the final version of the MOU, and no later than the March 9 deadline for submission of an application for Low Income Housing Tax Credits.
20. Consideration of Proposed Planning Funding Agreement Between Nextel and the City For the Configuration of Public Safety Communications Equipment.
City Council approved the Planning Funding Agreement and authorized the City Manager to execute all necessary documents.
21. Consideration of Referring to the Planning Commission a Text Amendment to Provide for Smoke-free Restaurants.
City Council made this referral to the Planning Commission and initiated the process of amending the Zoning Ordinance to require smoke-free restaurants in Alexandria.
REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FROM BOARDS, COMMISSIONS AND COMMITTEES
The following items were heard together.
ORAL REPORTS BY MEMBERS OF CITY COUNCIL
ORAL PRESENTATIONS BY MEMBERS OF CITY COUNCIL
(a) Councilwoman Pepper reported that she received a notice from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) that Mirant was exceeding its sulfur dioxide allowance by 11% from one of the monitors along the plant's perimeter. Councilwoman Pepper stated that City staff will be meeting with Mirant to discuss this problem. Councilwoman Pepper also reported that the work group had received notice that the Mirant Plant would be running full speed because PEPCO would be conducting maintenance procedures.
Councilwoman Pepper also noted that Mirant submitted a letter to the work group stating their objection to the City's memorandum about the report from the Federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
(b) Councilwoman Pepper inquired about the amount of money remaining for snow removal in the City.
Director Baier stated that about half funds, about $250,000 to $275,000, remain for snow removal.
(c) Councilman Smedberg also reported on the Mirant notice from VDEQ. Councilman Smedberg noted that the exceeded allowances were captured by monitors in a few locations around the property. Councilman Smedberg stated that if modeling could be used, a more realistic and accurate view of the situation at the plant could be obtained.
(d) Councilman Smedberg stated that he was unhappy about the tone of the letter received from Mirant and felt that it was an inappropriate response. Councilman Smedberg submitted the letter to the City Attorney for examination and possible response.
(e) Councilman Smedberg requested the status of the mural that was supposed to be put on the fencing surrounding the plant.
In response to Councilman Smedberg, City Attorney Pessoa stated that the Park Service has not issued a permit and probably would not be issuing a permit.
Mayor Euille stated that the attorney for Mirant stated that the matter of the mural has been pulled and Mirant would not move forward with the issue.
(f) Councilman Smedberg stated that he and Director Baier attended a community meeting in Prince George's County to discuss the possibility of light rail across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.
(g) Councilman Smedberg noted that it is not necessary to receive color handouts of powerpoint presentations in an effort to reduce the amount of paper used.
(h) Councilmember Lovain stated that he is working on ways to have better incident response to the highways in the region and he reported that he and Mayor Euille recently met with Pierce Homer, Secretary of Transportation for the Commonwealth of Virginia, to discuss some of the best practices for incident responses. Councilmember Lovain also stated that he shared the meeting's results with other lawmakers in the area, as well as with fellow members of the Transportation Planning Board and staff.
(i) Councilmember Lovain reported that the Transportation Planning Board has approved the MATOCP, Metropolitan Area Transportation Operation Coordination Program, which is a mechanism to share information and consulting about incidents that have a regional impact.
(j) Vice Mayor Macdonald reported that he met with Paul Ferguson and other staff in Arlington to discuss their greenhouse program and offered several suggestions to Council and the City Manager: (1) the City should take credit for all the initiatives that are already in place to reduce carbon dioxide; (2) the City should investigate hiring an Energy Manager to focus on energy conservation; (3) a request that the City Attorney review the utility tax rate to pay for programs; (4) possible consideration of a special rate for hybrid cars and clean fuel cars; and (5) to join an organization that will help the City prioritize the data, coordinate efforts with current programs and development a comprehensive environmental program.
(k) Councilman Krupicka stated the City would be participating with Arlington in the Community Bike Ride this year and recognized Yon Lambert, Pedestrian/Bicycle Coordinator, for all his efforts to create this cooperative venture.
(l) Mayor Euille announced that there will be a Town Hall Meeting, March 1, 7:00 p.m., at the George Washington Masonic Temple. Mayor Euille noted there would be a status update from the Mayor's Economic Sustainability Work Group, Council will be participating in a question and answer session with the public, and there will booths set up promoting volunteer opportunities in City. Mayor Euille also noted there will be a social reception at the conclusion of the program.
(m) Mayor Euille reminded businesses and citizens of the responsibility of cleaning and removing snow and ice on private sidewalks.
(n) Councilman Smedberg suggested that information be disseminated to the public about snow removal.
ORAL REPORT FROM THE CITY MANAGER
City Manager Hartmann thanked City staff for the hard work performed during the past few snowstorms. City Manager Hartmann stated the City is working on improving snow removal methods to ease pedestrian movement and traffic movement throughout the City.
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
22. Consideration of Resolution to Designate Potomac Yard as a Revitalization Area. [ROLL-CALL VOTE]
City Council approved the resolution designating Potomac Yard a revitalization area to allow Alexandria Housing Development Corporation (AHDC) and the City to pursue below market financing through Virginia Housing and Development Authority (VHDA) to support the construction of the mixed use, mixed income affordable and workforce housing component, and possibly, the retail and fire station portions, of the Potomac Yard Fire Station project. A designation confirming Potomac Yard's status as a revitalization area will also facilitate the housing project's consideration for receiving additional points on its March 2007 tax credit application to VHDA. (Res. No. 2219)
23. Consideration of City Council Schedule.
City Council adopted the City Council schedule for the months of February 2007 through June 2007, with the following additions and changes: City Council rescheduled the joint budget work session with the School Board from Wednesday, April 11 to Wednesday, March 28 at 7:00 p.m., at a location to be determined.
At 9:35 p.m., City Council convened in executive session, pursuant to Section 2.2-3711(a)(3) for the purpose of discussing the acquisition of real property for a public purpose. Mayor Euille did not participate in the executive session.
At 10:00 p.m., City Council reconvened the meeting.
City Council adopted the resolution pertaining to the Executive Session. (Res. No. 2220)