After almost a year in office, the new members of the Clifton Town Council are busy preparing their first budget, planning the town's first wine festival and making repairs to town parks damaged by a flood last summer.
During a meeting Tuesday, April 3, the council voted to set a special open meeting for Tuesday, April 12, at 7:30 p.m., at the home of Mayor Tom Peterson to discuss the upcoming budget for fiscal year 2008. Members of the council will take the opportunity to go through budget requests from the various committees that have been established over the past year and make changes based on the financial needs and obligations of the town.
ADDITIONALLY, the council was updated on the status of repairs to Buckley Bridge, which was severely damaged during a heavy rainstorm last June.
Dwayne Nitz, who has been working with Council member Lane Johnston, said they were in the process of writing an invitation to bid document to determine the cost of replacing the bridge.
"We have to meet with a civil engineer and get a soil report to get an idea of how much work we need to have done before the bridge can be installed," Nitz said.
It may take up to six weeks for the invitation to bid to be ready to be sent out to contractors, he said, but work could begin as soon as June 1 if a contract is secured right away.
Council member Pat Layden suggested Nitz bring the letter to the council before sending it out to contractors and the rest of the council agreed.
"If we mobilize this quickly, it should take a month or less" to build the bridge once work starts, Nitz said. "The real deadline for the town is the Haunted Trail," a yearly Halloween event that was canceled last year because of the poor condition of the bridge.
ALSO DURING the meeting:
* The council approved the hiring of Kathleen Barton, a sophomore at Robinson Secondary School, as the new town clerk. Due to school obligations, she will have "office hours" of 3-8 p.m. during the week, and 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on weekends.
* Also approved was a $1,200 expenditure for an aerial photograph of the town, which may be used later for beautification purposes. The photos, which will be taken soon, will provide detailed information about the topography of the town down to the square foot.
* A contract for Green Valley Landscaping was approved, provided the costs do not exceed a 20 percent increase over last year's fees of $10 per lot mowed. The lots they will maintain include Ayre Square, the town Triangle at the intersection of Clifton Road and Main Street, Buckley Park and the town playground.
* The first Clifton Wine Festival was approved and scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 11. An independent party planner will contract with local wineries to bring in samples for the event, which could raise up to $40,000 for the town.
* Council member Chuck Rusnak said the recent concert at Clifton Presbyterian Church raised $803, which will be shared between the town and the church. The council approved a $25 membership fee to join the Fairfax County Council for the Arts.