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City Manager’s Update 01/05/17

By Fredericksburg City Manager Tim Baroody. Photo copyright Fredericksburg.Today.

Editor’s Note: Mr. Baroody prepares a City Manager’s report for each City Council meeting.

Highlights of major activities and other notable developments:

Hanson Avenue Speed Tables
Five speed tables were recently installed on Hanson Avenue between the south end of the Falmouth Bridge and Fall Hill Avenue – three in the south bound lanes and two in the north bound lanes. Signs and pavement markings were also installed to warn motorists that they are approaching these traffic calming devices. This installation represents the first time this traffic calming approach has been used on public streets in the City.

The very early reviews of the speed tables, intended to reduce the speed of traffic and perhaps to a lesser extent the volume of traffic on the street, are favorable.

Public Works staff will be monitoring the effect of the speed tables over the coming weeks and months. If they prove over that period to have the desired traffic calming impact, staff will consider
installing additional speed tables at other locations in the City where they have the potential to be effective.

Board of Equalization
The Board of Equalization has completed hearing appeals from the 2016 General Property Re-assessment. The assessor’s valuations on a total of 35 parcels were challenged, and of those, 19 were adjusted. The overall land book was decreased as a result of the adjustments by a total of $5,932,400. The land book value as of the close of the calendar year for taxable real estate value totaled $3,951,530,700. The FY 2016 Land Book (before the re-assessment) totaled $3,651,843,200. The tax rate was lowered in the FY 2017 Budget process from $0.82 / $100 valuation to $0.77 / $100 valuation.

City’s Regional Hazardous Materials Response Team Called to Action
A seven-member hazardous materials team from the Fredericksburg Fire Department responded to a call for assistance December 18 for a fuel leak from an above ground tank at the Culpeper Country Club. Since the tank was filled in October, fuel evidently had been leaking into a nearby creek, contaminating the waterway. FFD staff collected fuel and protected downstream water supply and after hours on the scene, turned the site over for monitoring to the Department of Environmental Quality and restoration by a private contractor.

Through a contract with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, the City fields the regional HAZMAT team which responds to calls in the City, Stafford, Spotsylvania, Caroline, King George, Orange, Culpeper, Madison and Fauquier. If necessary, the team can be called anywhere in the state. The City receives an annual stipend for the team as well as reimbursement for personnel and materials expended in service.

Fredericksburg Police Spend Time with Area Youth & Senior Citizens this Holiday Season
On December 10, the Police Department participated in the 25th Annual Shop With A Cop event put on by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #15. Seven officers and non-sworn personnel joined
members of other regional law enforcement agencies and took approximately 200 children Christmas shopping at the Target in Central Park. Each child was given $100 to spend during their shopping trip.

On December 15, the Police Department and other regional law enforcement agencies took local senior citizens Christmas shopping at the Walmart in Ferry Farm. This event was coordinated through
the Spotsylvania, Stafford, Fredericksburg TRIAD, a local non-profit organization with a mission to reduce crime against senior citizens.

Gun Give-Back Event
Thirty-one firearms were turned in at 2016 Gun Give-Back event held on December 10. For every firearm turned in, philanthropist Doris Buffet made a $100 donation to be equally distributed between local charities Shop with A Cop, the Thurman Brisben Center, Micah Ecumenical Ministries, and Empower House. Each charity received $775.

Visitors Center Forum
The Department of Economic Development and Tourism held a public forum on the Fredericksburg Visitor Center the morning of Wednesday, January 4. About 60 people attended the meeting, which was held on the third floor of the Executive Plaza. Attendees gave feedback about the current Visitor Center and the possibility of relocating the center and/or the Department of Economic Development and Tourism. Additional discussion is planned on this matter.

Building Statistics Reports
The November Building Construction Activity and Property Maintenance Reports are attached for your review.

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