City Engineer Says Coe Project Will Be ‘Win-Win’
In response to Cindy Chojnacky’s commentary last week, the Coe Branch Stream Restoration project is a win-win for residents, park visitors, and the environment. In short, the stream has suffered from erosion due to residential development over the past 50 years and is threatening the foundations of the Rees Place homes. As a result of the erosion, Coe Branch has disconnected from its original floodplain and has been destructive to the habitat necessary for diverse aquatic life. Additionally, residents adjacent to the park on Sherrow Avenue frequently experience flooding.
Over the past several months the Department of Public Works has worked with community stakeholders to develop the current plan through a series of public meetings. The proposed alignment allows us to move the stream away from Rees Place, navigate around a specimen tree, and avoid expensive utility relocations while maintaining 100-year floodplain elevations. As we discussed at the meetings, the project does call for the removal of nearly 400 trees of varying sizes and invasive plant species; however, the project will bring approximately 1,350 native trees and shrubs back to the area, which will result in restoring and stabilizing the habitat. This project will also assist the City in meeting Chesapeake Bay TMDL regulations. The Planning Commission, Environmental Service Council, City Arborist, Tree Commission, and the Recreation and Parks Advisory Board have all approved the stream restoration project.
At completion of the project, the park will not be a “paved paradise,” as indicated by Ms. Chojnacky, but rather a beautiful, thriving ecosystem that does not pose a threat to homes and can be enjoyed by visitors. I encourage the community to visit the project website, http://www.fallschurchva.gov/StreamRestoration to see photos of current conditions of Coe Branch and examples of other stream restoration projects. We are excited to see this project bring even more life to our already vibrant Little City.
Civil Engineer, City of Falls Church Department of Public Works
‘Fear of High Water’ Trumps ‘Beauty of Nature’
As a low-lying resident on Sherrow Ave., I have but two short responses to Cindy Chojnacky’s Guest Commentary of January 9:
1) Nobody today wants to cut down trees.
2) If Ms. Chojnacky’s residence was located “down bottom” like many of us “down” this way, I think she’d be whistling a different tune. Every time it threatens a decent rain, we “downstream” residents live in fear.
I don’t want to live in fear of high water just so a few can enjoy this beauty of nature out their back windows.
F.C. Resident Questions Jump In Water Bill
Looks like there’s a new Watergate scandal, and it’s right here in the Little City.
That’s my reaction after receiving my final water and sewer bill from the now-closed Falls Church Utilities Customer Service Division. The Dec. 27 bill showed my water usage in the fourth quarter of 2013 had almost doubled, from 8,000 gallons the previous quarter to 15,000 gallons, and my bill had increased from $119.01 to $191.60.
Turns out I wasn’t the only one whose final bill from Falls Church Water before the city sold its water system to Fairfax Water showed a huge increase in water usage compared to the normal amount. Residents all over the city reported similar findings in their water bill, according to Falls Church CommonPlace, an online forum.
When I went to City Hall to ask about the spike in my water usage, a sign informed me that the Utilities Customer Service Division was closed and I should call Fairfax Water, which I did. After the usual long wait, I was told my inquiry would be relayed to Falls Church officials and I would be hearing from them in 48 hours.
Meanwhile, I learned that Falls Church officials suggested the sharp increases and higher readings might be due to leaky faucets and toilets. But the plumber who came to my house in November assured me that was not a problem. And he charged me only $235 for his visit.
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