Vienna begins home rule discussion

VIENNA – The City of Vienna’s home rule application to the state was discussed during Thursday evening’s city council meeting.

Several more public readings and votes are necessary before the application can be given to the state, said Vienna Mayor Randy Rapp. The application includes issues the city is requesting the ability to rule on.

Those issues are dealing with eyesores and dilapidated structures, building and zoning administration enforcement, disposition of city property, expedition of historical significance determination, regulation of vehicle wreckers operating within city limits, reduction of certain taxes and an imposition of a 1 percent sales tax, and to permit purchases through public entity cooperatives, Rapp said.

Council voted unanimously to enter an executive session at 7:37 p.m. to discuss real estate. The executive session ended at 8:02 p.m. and it was announced that no decision had been made during the session.

Rapp and city attorney Russell Skogstad declined to comment on the property being discussed.

Council voted to make a revision of the general fund, bringing in $51,529 from the contingency fund to cover shortfalls in salaries from snow removal, spring planting and tree trimming, said Steve Black, city finance director.

An internal budget revision was also unanimously approved during the meeting. This revision allowed city departments, including fire and police, to transfer money within their departments to cover shortfalls elsewhere in line items, Black said.

Council unanimously approved the bid recommendation to finance three utility trucks through the low bidder BB&T bank, for three years at 1.22 percent interest with zero fees.

Council approved the lone bid for the purchase of the gazebo kit by Amish Country Gazebos for $20,750. This leaves about $2,000 remaining from the Civitan group’s donation of funds for the gazebo in late 2013, Rapp said.

This bid does not include the foundation work or the landscaping around the gazebo, Rapp said. Bids on those two sections of the project are due to be opened within the week.

Council voted to purchase a playground kit from Davis Athletics, with a low bid of $27,000, Rapp said. The bid includes installation of the playground kit, which will take place at Spencer Park.

Vienna recognized WTAP-TV’s Todd Baucher by presenting him with the key to the city in a ceremony. Baucher recently won the lifetime achievement award by the Virginias Associated Press Broadcasters, celebrating his 34-year career with the station, Rapp said.

Rapp proclaimed April to be Civitan Awareness Month, and presented a certificate copy of the proclamation to Jessica and Bob Adair, former presidents of the local Civitan Club.

Councilman Bruce Rogers was presented with a certificate of appreciation for the volunteering he and his wife, Lynda Rogers, have done at the Vienna Senior Center.

The city will lay the levy on April 15 at 8:30 a.m. at the Vienna Council Chambers, Rapp said.

Arbor Day will be celebrated at 11 a.m. today at McDonough Wildlife Refuge with the planting of a sugar maple tree, followed by cake and lunch at the Vienna Senior Center, said Councilman Jim Miracle.