Colonial Place/Riverview Civic League

May 2003

             Vote, Vote, Vote at this Month's Meeting

CIVIC LEAGUE MEETING, Monday, May 12, 2003, 7:00 pm, Stuart Center, 411 Virginia Avenue. Use cafeteria entrance at school parking lot.

NEXT BOARD MEETING will be May 19, 2003, at 7:00 pm.

DEADLINE for the June issue is Tuesday, May 27, 2003.

THIS MONTH'S MEETING AGENDA:   Monthly police report - Vote on Treasurer's position - Vote on ABC License - Vote on BOB Committee proposal

President’s Notes ‘n’ Stuff
Craig Reilly

I sure hope everyone survived cleaning out all those attics and garages last weekend. Shoot, I stopped at the dumpster on Mayflower Road to throw an apple core away and wasn’t sure if it was going to fit. Guess the best way to explain our Neighborhood Cleanup was as an overflowing success! If nothing else, we are going to have to request all large dumpsters the next time this event takes place. Let’s all THANK Audrey Webb and everybody else that helped for their efforts in making this endeavor so successful.

Mark your calendar for our May 12th meeting. We have three items to vote on! The first item we need to vote on is the special vote to fill the vacant Treasurer position. We met David Nye at our last meeting and he is willing to serve out the remaining term of our last Treasurer. The next item on the agenda will be a short presentation from the owners of the new restaurant, Conundrum, on Granby Street. After this we must vote on whether our Civic League will support the owners’ application to obtain an ABC license for this new establishment. Finally we will have a vote (tabled at our last meeting) on taking care of the plantings at our Historic Designation signs. Please see the associated article by our Beautify our Borders committee.

See you May 12th!

Beautifying Our Borders
Margaret Bright

At our next General Meeting, May 12th, the General Membership will again consider the Tanner’s Creek Gardening Center contract to maintain the plantings at the Historic signs in our 2 neighborhoods. There is concern about the cost ($1161.00 for 1 year plus $21.00 per hour on site watering), and some alternatives have been suggested. Tanner’s Creek can alter their contract to:
            1. Exclude the Riverview site
            2. Reduce maintenance to 1 time each month
            3. Reduce to 8 months.

Tanner’s Creek has a 200-gallon water truck. Our inquiries reveal that most gardening maintenance services use homeowners’ water. Two of our sites have no water source.

Another alternative is that one Riverview member has offered to maintain that site, and one Colonial Place member has offered to maintain the remaining 2 sites (with no water source). It is up to you, the members of our neighborhoods, to decide how to spend the money in our Treasury and to decide how you wish the entrances to our neighborhoods to be maintained. See you on May 12th.

Steel Magnolias
Steve Earnhart

The Play's the Thing! Don't miss the Maury Theater Company's production of Robert Harling's "Steel Magnolias". Set in Truvy's Beauty Spot, a tight-knit group of women help each other through the rough times, and laugh through the happy times. Watch Maury High School students at their best under the skillful direction of Colonial Place resident Clyde Berry. Showtimes: May 22 (7:00 p.m.); May 23 (7:00 p.m.); May 24 (2:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.); & May 25 (2:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.). Tickets available at the door. Group rates are available. Call 628-3344 for details.

Annual Elections Are Coming Soon
David Block

The League named this year's Nominating Committee at its April meeting. David Block, Jeff Stark and Michael Shaw are serving on this year's committee.

We are currently seeking all willing and interested parties to run for office. Have a hand in directing the continued quality of life improvements taking place in our neighborhoods! This is a wonderful way to meet your neighbors and to participate in fun and rewarding activities. We would love to include YOU. If you are interested in either serving your community, or would like to recommend someone else, contact any of the Committee members at the numbers listed below, but please hurry as time is growing short. The Committee shall nominate a slate of officers of one or more names for each elective office at the May 12th meeting of the League. Additional nominations will be accepted from the floor at the May meeting. All nominations made at the May meeting shall be published in the June newsletter.

Election procedures at the June meeting will be as follows:

1. All votes will be taken by secret ballot. Ballots will be color-coded by office.
2. Ballots will be handed out at the door upon verification of membership. The Membership Committee will have a list of all current members. Any resident becoming a paid member on the evening of the election will be eligible to vote.
3. Unless nominations for offices have been closed prior to election day, nominations for each office will be closed and that person elected before proceeding to the next office.
4. Each nominee, but not his/her nominator, will be afforded the opportunity to speak to the membership for two minutes.
Please contact me, if you have any procedural questions, or any committee member to have your name added to the slate of candidates.

David Block 624-1749 - Jeff Stark 640-8938 - Michael Shaw 628-8228

Proposed Rate Increases to Fund City Systems Upgrades
Kathy Stark

As you've probably read in the paper recently, Norfolk is proposing rate increases to pay for sewer and water system upgrades. Over 60% of the city’s wastewater systems are in need of immediate replacement. Sanitary sewer overflows occur when raw sewage spills out of sewer pipes into homes, yards, and streets. Such overflows (SSOs) are prohibited under the Clean Water Act of 1972. The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asked the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to conduct an investigation into the number of SSOs Norfolk had. As a result of that investigation, Norfolk entered into a consent order from the DEQ in December 2001, requiring the city to: (1) replace $13.5 million worth of old infrastructure during fiscal years (FY) 2002 to 2004, (2) implement a collection system plan that addresses operation and maintenance activities, (3) complete a Sanitary Sewer Evaluation Study by July 2003, that prioritizes where system improvements would be most effective in eliminating overflows, and (4) ensure that adequate funds are available to fulfill the obligations of the order.

In FY 2002, the wastewater fund had a shortfall of approximately $1 million. The wastewater and water funds are enterprise funds, meaning that they are structured and treated as businesses. Historically, a percentage of revenue has been transferred into the general fund, and used for additional police, library expenses, and other miscellaneous items. Additionally, repairing the aging systems has become more expensive as calls for service continue to rise. The emergency repair work is accomplished by private companies. Note how severe the problem has become: Between June 1999 and March 2001, the City responded to 649 calls for service in Colonial Place and Riverview alone as a result of problems with our sewer systems. The clay pipes in both communities are approximately 80 years old, with a life expectancy of 50-70 years.

Norfolk collects and pumps wastewater to the Hampton Roads Sanitation District for treatment. Wastewater comes from sinks, toilets, showers, washing machines, and dishwashers. Currently, residents pay $1.67 per 100 cubic feet (CCF) for processing. The average household generates each month 700 cubic feet of wastewater. The proposal recommended by city administrators is to raise the wastewater fee to $2.35 per CCF, a 41% increase. The typical household would see their monthly wastewater charge increase from $11.69 to $16.45.

According to the Utilities Director, Kristen Lentz, the proposed increase would allow the City to initiate a $170 million capital program over a ten-year period to upgrade and improve sanitary sewer systems throughout Norfolk. Currently, the wastewater capital program is funded by general obligation (GO) bonds. these well secured bonds carry the full faith and credit of the City. The City currently has $51 million in outstanding wastewater GO bonds.

The Water Fund is in better financial shape than the wastewater fund. The City at present has outstanding water bonds of $318 million. $273.6 million are revenue bonds. Revenue bonds are a limited liability obligation. Bondholders have the assurance that they will be paid from revenues generated by the system. Water GO bonds account for $44.1 million in outstanding bonds. City administrators are proposing $.25 rate increases for both 2004 and 2005. The average residential monthly water charge would increase from $2.51 per CCF in FY2003 to $2.76 in FY2004 and to $3.01 in FY2005. The typical household monthly charge would increase from $23.60 to $24.22 in FY2004.

If approved by city council, the combined proposed water and wastewater fee increase for the typical Norfolk household would rise from $33.65 to $40.67 per month beginning July 1, 2004. Compare that to Virginia Beach’s proposed rate increase to $39.33 for next year.

What may happen if the consent order is not met? Recent cases of noncompliance with the EPA’s Clean Water Act in other localities has resulted in fines such as: Baltimore, Maryland - $600,000 fine and $900 million in capital improvements over 14 years, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - $274 million in fines and a $3 billion capital program over 12 years.

When this article went to press, there were no public hearings scheduled to discuss these proposed increases. However, the council will hold a public hearing on the proposed budget at 6 p.m. on May 12 at Lafayette Winona Middle School, 1701 Alsace Ave. Council members are expected to vote on the City’s spending plan for 2004 on May 20.

If you want to sign up to speak at the budget hearing, you need to call the City Clerk’s office at 664-4268. You can reach our city council representatives at the following numbers: Mr. Barclay Winn: 494-1400, and Mayor Paul Fraim: 664-4679.

Park your car at least 20 feet from an intersection
It’s the law.......

Jeanne Ullian

Safety on our streets was one of many topics addressed at the recent CPRV Charette. With more and more cars in the neighborhood one way you can help to make our intersections safer is to obey the following Norfolk City Code Ordinance.

Code of Ordinances, Norfolk, Virginia (Source: Sec. 25-280. General parking prohibitions.

No person shall park a vehicle or permit it to stand, whether attended or unattended, on any improved or unimproved area between the paved vehicular portion of any public right-of-way and the private property line, or upon a highway in front of a private driveway, or within fifteen (15) feet in either direction of a fire hydrant or the entrance to a fire station, or within twenty (20) feet from the intersection of curb lines, or, if none, then within fifteen (15) feet of the intersection of property lines at an intersection of highways, or between a safety zone and the adjacent curb or within twenty (20) feet of a point on a curb immediately opposite the end of a safety zone, or within the limits of any pedestrian crosswalk, or within the space opposite that portion of any street or roadway occupied by building or other materials, or within twenty (20) feet of a point opposite the same.

(Code 1958, § 29-605; Ord. No. 34,175, § 1, 10-14-86; Ord. No. 39,123, § 1, 4-28-98; Ord. No. 40,096, § 1, 8-29-00)

State law references: Parking in front of driveways, near fire hydrants, etc., Code of Virginia, § 46.1-255

From Your Editor!!
I am still interested in hearing from you concerning the “Getting to know your Neighbors” articles we started a few months ago. Isn’t there someone that you would like to share with your neighbors. Call or e-mail me. Thanks

COMMUNITY NEWS is produced by:

              The Colonial Place/Riverview Civic League
              P.O. Box 6130
              Norfolk, VA 23508

              E-MAIL: (checked weekly)

              WEB PAGE:

Community News Editor:   Kelly Sorensen, Phone 622-0437
Community News Distribution:   Margaret Bright, Phone 627-2815
Advertising:   Kelly Sorensen, Phone 622-0437

Please deliver typewritten newsletter items to:

              Kelly Sorensen
              Phone: 622-0437

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