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Grasscrete Coming to Vienna

Pavers blend concrete with soil and grass fill.

At its April 4 meeting, the Vienna Town Council approved the use of Grasscrete pavers at Wheat’s Lawn and Custom Landscape. The business, located on Dominion Road, N.E., wants to expand its vehicle parking lot, and wants to use Grasscrete to do it.

The pavers take the place of traditional asphalt parking areas. They are made of a grid of concrete, with soil and grass filling the empty spaces. This allows rainwater to filter through the area, instead of increasing the amount of water runoff during storms. "These make a big difference," said Mike Wheat, owner of Wheat’s.

The product is being used increasingly to lower the impact of developments. "I’ve seen it work," said Dennis King, director of the town's Department of Public Works.

The council formally adopted an increase from $190,000 to $240,000 in the amount a person who is elderly or handicapped can make and still be eligible for relief from real estate taxes. The new limit is the maximum permitted. "I would like to see it a little higher," said Councilmember George Lovelace. The change will cost the town about $43,000.

Although it was not on the agenda, Bob Bingham brought up the issue of the brick sidewalk along Church Street and Maple Avenue. Many bricks were missing and the sidewalks are otherwise in disrepair. Bingham said he found 130 problems while taking a walk one afternoon. "The sidewalks, basically, are in bad shape," he said.

Mayor M. Jane Seeman said that the town had recently hired a bricklayer in the Department of Public Works, who would be out correcting the problems and training others to do so, as well.

King noted that had the town needed to hire an outside contractor to do the work it would have become too expensive. But now that it can be done "in-house" things are progressing. "We are in the process of purchasing the bricks," King said.

The council also renewed a contract for concrete with Virginia Concrete Co., Inc., accepted the resignation of Alice Putnam from the Transportation Safety Commission and appointed Stephen Kenney to fill the vacancy. Laurie DiRocco was appointed to the town’s Planning Commission.