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Vienna officials talk parks plan, infrastructure overview

Jim Christie, principal at Civil & Environmental Consultants, presents the master plan for the parks in Vienna at the Vienna City Council meeting. (Photo by James Dobbs)

VIENNA — Civil & Environmental Consultants presented a master plan for parks, and Burgess & Niple presented an infrastructure overview at the Vienna City Council meeting Thursday.

Jim Christie, principal at Civil & Environmental Consultants, presented a digital project flipbook that explained the changes Vienna citizens have suggested or asked for overtime to be implemented in the city parks. Christie said the flipbook would be sent to council to publish on the city’s website, when the plan is finalized.

“We made multiple trips here, we have a lot of interaction with the public,” he said. “We look at it with this new vision, but we’re listening to everything that we’re changing.”

He said the company concentrated on McDonough Wildlife Refuge, Jackson Memorial Park, Spencer Park, Spencer’s Landing, and the 12th Street Property. Christie said Spencer’s Landing has some incredible opportunities. He talked reorganization of the parking lot, a drop-off area, a soft launch boat area, an outdoor eating area, concessions, a splash pad, a playground, the movement of the Gold Star Families Memorial, a fishing pier, and an auditorium, among other things.

Christie also discussed three pool designs for Jackson Pool that included cabanas, slides, aquatic climbing walls, floating soft launch play elements, baby pools, and splash pads. The third design looked at moving the pool below its current location to the flat area near Pond Run, and turning the community center into a parking lot. Christie said this would allow the existing pool to stay open for summer while the new one was being built. Christie said the next step was to talk to council and the board of directors about their project priorities.

Councilmember Tom Azinger asks questions during the infrastructure overview at the Vienna City Council meeting. (Photo by James Dobbs)

Craig Richards, director of engineering services at Burgess & Niple, gave a presentation about the five-year plan for Vienna, and the water, sewer and pond projects being considered.

Richards said the main sewer projects are rehabilitation and replacement of lines, 11th Avenue sewer replacement, Woodland Heights sewer replacement, 12th Street sewer replacement, and the force main to Parkersburg for a total estimated construction cost of $7.93 million. He said the main water projects are wells 9 and 10, small diameter replacements, main reinforcements, and the 20th Street booster station for a total estimated construction cost of $3.15 million. He said the main pond projects were Pond Run, Glenbrook Pond, and Greenmont Ponds for a total estimated construction cost of $960,000.

Craig Metz, public works director, said they have been working on this study for approximately 15 years.

“Once we borrow the money, you got to raise the rates,” he said.

Councilmember Tom Azinger asked what the ballpark estimate would be to complete all of the projects listed. Metz said everything on the “drawing board,” and the five-year plan would cost $15 million or more.

Richards said the next step is for the utility board to decide what to do with the projects, whether that be bundle them together and do them all at once, or divide them into phases.

Metz said all of the projects are important, but the force main to Parkersburg and the 12th Street sewer replacement are the more important sewer projects and would help alleviate some of the overflow issues.

Mayor Randall Rapp said the city is exploring grants, bonds, and rate increases to see what the best option is to receive or borrow funds for the projects. Rapp also said council needs to keep an eye on Senate Bill 132, which aims to eliminate municipalities’ business and occupational tax. Rapp said Vienna is very high in retail businesses and gathers $2.8 million from its B&O taxes yearly, and losing this would hurt the city’s budget.

“It will be devastating to every city that participates in that program,” said Rapp.

Council approved the resolution to set the process for selecting a temporary councilmember, council decided that the candidates would all be interviewed during the same meeting, with one being sworn in that night. The meeting to temporarily fill the vacant seat on council will be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 1. Council made one amendment to state that all applications must be received at the city building by Jan. 28 to be eligible for candidacy.

In other business:

* Council approved the Parks Department bids from Matheny Motors for a 2022 GMC Sierra 2500 4WD for $36,142 and a 2022 GMC Sierra 3500 4WD with dump body and plow for $78,496.

* Council approved the general fund internal budget revision to cover the cost of the alarm system for the fire department.

* Council approved the resolution to authorize the Vienna Utility Board to approve and authorize the preparation of the Task Order for the engineering design for 45th Place.

* Council approved the resolution that declared a vacant position on council.

James Dobbs can be reached at jdobbs@newsandsentinel.com

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