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Town Green Is Bubbling Up

Rotary plans to donate a fountain to town green.

Although the town green won't be constructed for a few years, Vienna's Rotary club would like to donate a war memorial for it.

Members of the Rotary Club came to a Vienna Town Council work session Feb. 14 to present their idea for the memorial, which they would like to donate to the town.

The green is planned to go on Maple Street, between Mill Street and the Washington & Old Dominion Trail. The estimated cost of building the green is $1.7 million.

The preliminary design for the memorial, which is planned to be placed at the intersection of Maple and Mill streets, is for a circular fountain 24 feet in diameter.

The memorial would have a fountain with a water bubbler and several flagpoles. It would feature the emblems of the different branches of the armed forces. "I think, in the end, we want to keep it generic and key in on the five services," said Tom Kyllo, an architect, who is also a member of Rotary.

The Rotary seal will also be present on the memorial.

Councilmembers expressed their thanks for the gift, which Kyllo estimated would cost between $25,000 and $35,000. The town would be responsible for maintenance after the memorial has been installed. The Council also wanted to ensure that it would be compatible with the overall park design.

One concern brought up at the work session was that the water feature is currently designed to be built at ground level. "It's a little more inviting to hop in," said Cathy Salgado, director of Parks and Recreation for the Town. "I'm just concerned about the safety issue."

Kyllo said that while he thinks that it might not be bad to let people hop in, his design was in the preliminary stages and could still be adjusted.

He also had not realized that the fountain would be in such a prominent location in the park grounds and may adjust his design to reflect the high visibility.

The fountain will have the Rotary club logo — a wheel — but that is the only presence that the club expects to have on it. Councilmembers also introduced the idea of having private donors "buy" different aspects of the park to help to reduce the cost and allow the town's residents to have a stronger sense of ownership of the park.

VIENNA'S RESIDENTS may someday be able to watch the Town Council from their living rooms. "We've had a lot of citizens ask why we're not on TV at night," said Mayor M. Jane Seeman.

Kathryn Falk of Cox Communications came to explain options and the cost of telecasting the meetings. The lowest cost option would be to provide the Council as a live video stream over the Internet. "You would just be viewing it over the Internet instead of a regular channel," Falk said.

The Internet version would cost about $4,000 for the necessary computers and software, plus the cost of the cameras, Falk said.

Other options involved hiring a company to provide video production service and building a studio that could, depending on the different options involved, range as high a $1 million.

The cable service would be available only to Cox subscribers, so residents who have satellite or antenna service would not be eligible.

Falk did not know how many town residents have Cox cable but estimated it to be 80 percent of the town's approximately 5,500 households.

She said that Cox does not know how many people watch existing government channels, such as those sponsored by Fairfax County, the Town of Herndon or the City of Fairfax.

THE COUNCIL also heard about plans to use part of the Nutley Street Property Yard, at the corner of Nutley and Knoll Streets, for a park.

About a half-acre of the property yard would be transformed into a park, along with building a new privacy fence around the section of the property yard that remains. The total cost of the park and fence is estimated to be $210,000.

The Council also heard a proposal from a group called the Vienna Dog Park Association to expand and provide lighting for the park located on Courthouse Road. "We have the best dog park around," Salgado said. The park may actually have become too popular. "There's too many dogs over there at any given time."

The plan met with skepticism from the Council. "My concern is if you expand the park, if you expand the usage of it, then we might not have as harmonious a relationship [with the neighboring residents]," said Councilmember Laurie Cole.

Councilmember Maud Robinson also questioned who is using the park. "We all know, in this area, if you drop a coin, somebody forms an organization to pick up that coin," she said.

The Dog Park Association, Salgado said, has 150 members, but only at most 20 percent are residents of the town.

"I think when you expend town tax money, it should be for town citizens," Robinson said.

The Council decided that expanding the park may happen, but first the issue of parking must be addressed. Another suggestion would be that if it were expanded, an area might be set aside for small dogs.