Wednesday, July 24, 2024

City Council talks lights, photo voltaic, information facilities  


The Fredericksburg City Council resumed its common session Tuesday night time, the final earlier than it reconvenes on the finish of August. But do not speak to the elephant within the area first.

After approving a short consent agenda, Mayor Kerry Devine shifted the dialog to information facilities, suggesting Virginia Southern Celebration as a attainable location for one such facility. in Fredericksburg.

“Data facilities are throughout us at this level and many people have checked out some within the area, to attempt to get a greater understanding of what is wanted for Fredericksburg to have a knowledge middle. this,” mentioned Devine. “About 20 million sq. ft are deliberate in Stafford, Spotsylvania, Caroline, King George – round us. And truly billions of {dollars} are going to be invested in information facilities and meaning … there are tens of millions of {dollars} that flows by communities.

Devine acknowledged that information facilities can scale back tax charges and enhance financial growth for localities. Citing Stafford County’s new settlement with Amazon of a water reuse program for its information middle, Devine mentioned a few of the issues about information facilities have been addressed.

“What I want to request is that we direct workers to discover Celebration in Virginia South as a possible information middle growth,” he mentioned.

And many of the council agreed it was time to contemplate choices.

“I feel all of us want to seek out methods to diversify our income streams and be much less depending on property taxes. That’s why I’m in favor of your request and help it,” mentioned Ward 3 Councilor Tim Duffy.

Ward 2 Councilman Jon Gerlach mentioned he’s encouraging metropolis officers to seek out different sources of income to ease the burden on taxpayers. Gerlach mentioned that as the town grows, the demand for providers will enhance.

“If there’s a option to carry a knowledge middle to the Celebration of the South in an environmentally accountable approach, I’m all in favor of it,” Gerlach mentioned.

Vice Mayor Chuck Frye Jr. mentioned the information facilities could be a constructive step for the town. Councilor Will Mackintosh famous the influence of the work that comes with the enhancements.

“I do know they are not plenty of job creators nevertheless it takes a good quantity of educated and well-paid folks to run considered one of this stuff,” Mackintosh mentioned.

Mackintosh mentioned he hopes metropolis faculties and Germanna Community College will take the initiative to develop coaching applications so native college students can be a part of the workforce within the area.

“I’m enthusiastic about this growth in our area as a supply of employment for our younger folks and to make sure that we construct coaching pipelines for that,” he mentioned.

Proclamations and resolutions

In different enterprise, retired police officer Lt. Scott Worley and Fredericksburg Arts Commission Chair Kenneth Lecky had been acknowledged with proclamations thanking them for his or her years of service to the neighborhood.

Mackintosh was chosen by the elementary college naming committee on the request of the varsity board. The movement handed 6-0. Councilor Jason Graham was absent because of a household emergency, Devine defined.

David Brown, assistant metropolis supervisor, gave the council an replace on the town’s sustainability initiatives. The conversion of lights in some public buildings to LED fixtures is full. Energy-efficient lights had been put in within the police division, the Bass-Ellison constructing, the library, Dixon Park, the Dorothy Hart Community Center, and the city retailer. The mission value about $200,000.

Brown additionally famous that the identical contractor is creating value estimates for putting in the town’s photo voltaic panels. A contractor evaluates vitality use inside metropolis buildings to find potential modifications to scale back general use.

Brown mentioned the town’s fleet conversion to hybrids has hit a snag as a result of producers are slicing again on the variety of hybrids they make. Brown famous that the town is purchasing for extra fuel-efficient automobiles, equivalent to those who use EcoBoost programs.

“We keep a hybrid fleet,” he mentioned. “But we are going to nonetheless proceed to search for alternatives the place we are able to get electrical or hybrid automobiles.”

The request for proposals for a photo voltaic vitality mission on the closed landfills in partnership with Stafford County closes on July 31, Brown mentioned, earlier than highlighting some new initiatives within the works.

A pilot program with Dominion Energy will consider road lights within the Mayfield space, to improve 91 high-pressure sodium vapor lights and 4 mercury vapor lights to all-LED. The lights fluctuate in wattage from 70 to 250 watts, Brown mentioned. A ultimate plan can be introduced in August.

Frye requested Brown concerning the top of the road lights, noting that many had been blocked by the tree cover.

“The neighborhood is stuffed with bushes and I ponder should you’re wanting on the precise top of the lights, the poles,” Frye mentioned.

Brown famous that the poles are owned by Dominion and this mission is targeted solely on bulbs, however selective pruning could also be beneficial in areas the place lights are blocked by branches.

Brown closed by saying that the environmental sustainability coordinator place has been re-advertised, and workers is reviewing purposes.

Mackintosh requested Brown about future websites for electrical car charging stations.

“We try to work and see with some outdoors companies for the creation of supplemental stations for that objective,” mentioned Brown. “One entity we represented, there have been some language points with the contracts. That was with our earlier metropolis lawyer and so they by no means received again to us.”

Brown acknowledged that workers can also be wanting into creating everlasting strategies for owners to cost automobiles on the facet of the highway. But because the leads cross a public sidewalk, you will need to create a non-public car parking zone on a public road.

Resolutions to hold capital funds associated to asphalt rehabilitation had been handed 6-0 as was a decision to amend the price range to replicate three grants awarded to the Fredericksburg Police Department. The Council made appointments to the circuit courtroom’s board of equalization and handed a decision on administrative refunds from evaluation modifications.

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