Week in Herndon

Week in Herndon

Water Bill Increases

Town residents will likely see an increase by 10 percent in their water and sewer bills each quarter starting next year. This equals approximately a $10 increase.

Because the Town Council has not increased its quarterly bills in the last nine years, the town will begin to lose money by 2009, according to Diane Kemp, consultant for CDM, Inc. Kemp proposed this increase to council members during a Feb. 7 work session.

In her presentation, Kemp highlighted areas of interest from a utility rate study that was conducted by CDM. The study was previously requested by the Town Council. Overall, the water bills will need to be increased by roughly 24 percent, Kemp said. Because such a large increase at one time would have a significant impact on residents, council opted to increase by a smaller percentage.

"If we'd been doing a 2 percent increase for the last 10- years," said Mayor Michael O'Reilly, "we wouldn't be in the position that we are in now."

Council members and town staff do not know why the water and sewer bills have not increased since 1997.

Downtown Redevelopment

Town Council members deferred a decision for two weeks on the downtown redevelopment proposals during a Feb. 14 public hearing. This deferral gives council time to determine which company, Clark Ventures LLC or Herndon Station LLC, should move forward into the next stage of the development process. Both companies have submitted drastically different proposals to redevelop the core downtown area. The council can either choose to move forward with both companies, one company over the other, defer the decision for another six months, or decide it does not want to move forward with either company.

Council deferred the item during a number of public hearings in 2005 because negotiations were ongoing for the purchase of land along Vine and Center streets as well as the Ashwell properties along Elden Street. While the town has acquired the land along Vine and Center streets, a land acquisition agreement could not be reached between Bob Ashwell and the town, according to Mayor Michael O'Reilly. Council has conducted a number of closed sessions with Ashwell and his attorneys over the last few months to discuss the purchase of his property. Because an agreement could not be reached for the property — which is essential to both companies' design plans — council will need to decide if the current plans should be altered. Council is set to discuss the item during its Feb. 21 work session.

Public Hearings

The Town of Herndon has scheduled a public briefing for development professionals on Friday, Feb. 24, from 9-11 a.m. to review the new zoning ordinance. The briefing will provide information principally to persons involved in land development in town. The briefing will cover proposed changes to the zoning ordinance and zoning map. The meeting will be in the Council Chambers, 765 Lynn St. in Herndon.

Butterflies in Winter

Residents interested in making their gardens more butterfly friendly are encouraged to sign up for the Butterflies in Winter on Saturday, Feb. 25 from 3:30-5 p.m. Led by The Butterfly Lady, Mona Miller, attendees will learn how to help butterfly populations and encourage them to over-winter in their gardens. Registration is $3 per person, or $7 per family, limit three family members, each additional member is $1. The class meets at the Herndon Community Center, 814 Ferndale Ave. Contact Susan Lilly, e-mail susan.lilly@herndon-va.gov, or 703-435-6800, ext. 2113 to register.

Chamber Events

The Herndon Dulles Chamber of Commerce is having a workshop for sales professionals Wednesday, Feb. 22 from 7:30-11 a.m. Presented by Taiesha Thaxton, director of sales, Lansdowne Resort and Conference Center, the workshop, "Closing the Deal" is an art form that separates the top sales people from the herd. The workshop will take place at Holiday Inn Executive Conference and Training Center, 22685 Holiday Park Drive, suite 60 in Dulles. Registration is $60 and covers the workshop and continental breakfast. Register in advance on-line at www.HerndonDullesChamber.org, by e-mailing info@herndondulleschamber.org, or by calling 571-323-5300.

* A networking breakfast and program is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 23, from 7:45-9:30 a.m., at the Holiday Inn Select - Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly. Themed Communications/Listening Skills the event highlights the necessity of good communication in the workplace and effective listening. C. Michael Ferraro, president/CEO of TRAINING SOLUTIONS, Inc., will discuss how to become a more effective listener. Rates: $20 members who prepay by Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 5 p.m.; otherwise $25 at the door. $30 for non-members. All welcome. Register on-line at www.HerndonDullesChamber.org or by calling 571-323-5300, or e-mailing info@herndondulleschamber.org.

Gypsy Moth Sprayings

The Fairfax County Forest Pest Program has identified an area within the Town of Herndon’s northeast quadrant to receive aerial treatment of environmentally sound insecticides to combat gypsy moth infestation. The impacted area, bordered by Monroe Street to the west, Dranesville Road to the east and Third Street to the south, includes the Barker Hill neighborhood and Chestnut Grove Cemetery. Spraying will occur sometime between mid-April and late May. Participation in the program is voluntary. Residents who do not want to participate must notify, in writing, the Fairfax County Forest Pest program coordinator at 12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 518, Fairfax VA 22035. Letters must be postmarked no later than March 15. All residents living in or near the impacted area are invited to attend an informational meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. in the Herndon Fortnightly Library, 768 Center St. In the event of inclement weather, the meeting will be Friday, March 3. at 7 p.m., at the library. For more information, contact the county’s Forest Pest Program at 703-324-1720.

Town Calendar

Monday, Feb. 20

President's Day

Town offices closed

Community Center open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Golf Course open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Refuse collected Feb. 21

Tuesday, Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m.

Town Council work session

Wednesday, Feb. 22, 7 p.m.

Architectural Review Board/Heritage Preservation Review Board work session

Thursday, Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m.

Board of Zoning Appeals