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Council Appoints Mirant Monitoring Group

Council Roundup

City Council has appointed a community monitoring group to ensure Mirant’s compliance with the consent decree to receive reports and track the progress on the many issues involving the company. This will include ongoing permit and other regulatory issues, Mirant’s compliance with the consent decree and consent order, the upcoming down wash study and the Potomac River Plant’s performance audits that should begin by the end of the year. The group is expected to provide feedback to City Council and city staff and to insist in the dissemination of information to the community.

“This could mean holding public meetings or information sessions,” said city manager Philip Sunderland.

There will be six citizen members and two members of City Council. The citizen members will represent the communities that are directly adjacent to the Potomac River plant. A representative from the League of Women Voters had been included but council decided to eliminate that position.

“This really is a scientifically based group,” said Councilman Paul Smedberg. “I hope that we can keep it that way and not make it political. Not that the League is political but I really don’t see that having them represented on this particular committee is necessary.”

MIRANT HAS AGREED to reduce nitrous oxide emissions at several facilities and conduct a down wash study at the Potomac River plant to determine the level of particulate matter pollution in the adjacent areas, among other mitigation measures.

THE CITY, THE PUBLIC SCHOOL system and George Mason University have signed an agreement to involve the university in more aspects of school and city operations.

“The university will work with us to study the way city government works and to make suggestions on working more efficiently and may become involved in other aspects of city operations,” said Mayor William D. Euille.

School Board vice chair Mollie Danforth spoke on behalf of the school system. “There are many examples of school systems partnering with universities on a variety of areas and we are looking forward to having George Mason more involved with our students and teachers,” she said.

THE CITY HAS REDESIGNED its web site to make it more user friendly and to allow residents to conduct more business on line.

“Our citizens can pay taxes on line and can check to see whether they have paid or not,” Euille said.

There are also a number of individualized services available through E News. Information can be provided to subscribers that is specific to their own neighborhood.

The Web site also has a new address. People can now contact the city at www.alexandriava.gov.

City manager Philip Sunderland announced that six loans have been approved under the new employee home ownership incentive program. This includes one city employee, three school employees, one juvenile court employee and one Commonwealth Attorney’s employee. Five of the six also received loans under the city’s Moderate Income Home Ownership Program. Sales prices range from $175,000 to $300,000 and four of the six have already gone to settlement.