Good Fences Make Safe Neighbors

Good Fences Make Safe Neighbors

Town will allow itself to build security fences.

Vienna took a first step toward protecting some parts of the town's infrastructure at its Nov. 22 Town Council meeting. Councilmembers unanimously approved an amendment to the zoning ordinance that would allow the construction of security fences.

"We really have nothing in place, and we want to be able to protect our water supply," said Mayor Jane Seeman in an interview after the meeting. Seeman also cited the fuel station as an example of facilities the town may decide to protect, but she ruled out more far-reaching possibilities. "We're not thinking about putting them around Town Hall," Seeman said.

The ordinance allows the town to construct fences that may exceed height restrictions and could be topped with barbed, razor or concertina wire. Any such fence would have to be approved by a resolution of the Town Council based upon the recommendation of the director of public works and the chief of police.

The ordinance is in response to directives from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which compels local jurisdictions to increase security around potential targets, Seeman said. The town would still need to follow the standard zoning procedures and allow for public input prior to construction of a security fence.

The only exception would be in case of an emergency, Seeman said. "In case of emergency, the town manager has the authority to erect them," she said.

IN OTHER business, the council unanimously approved:

* A contract with Carpet Partners to replace carpeting in the Vienna Community Center for $10,086.47;

* A contract with Jani-King of Washington, D.C., to provide three-days-per-week cleaning service to the town-owned Wright Building, at 144 Maple Ave., E., at a cost of $5,460 per year;

* Riding a contract with Loudoun County to contract for temporary workers with Colossal Contractors Inc. of Silver Spring, Md. The town will pay $9.85 per hour per worker, if the workers are needed. The estimated annual cost for these workers is $20,000.