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City Briefs

<hdr>City Briefs

<b>Fire Association Breakfast Kicks Off Presidents Day </b>

Retired Army Lt. General Robert F. Foley will be the guest speaker at the 2007 Annual Meeting of the Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association to be held Monday, Feb. 19, at the Holiday Inn and Suites, 625 First St., Alexandria, commencing at 9 a.m.

An Alexandria resident, General Foley is currently the director of the Army Emergency Relief Organization. Serving on active duty for 37 years, he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for actions during his tour of duty in Vietnam as a Captain.

A highlight of the annual breakfast meeting is the presentation of the Reverend Ben Lynt Distinguished Service Award to an outstanding citizen. An added attraction this year will be the introduction of the Alexandria Gazette Packet's new program entitled "Living Legends" honoring 12 Alexandrians throughout 2007 who have made special contributions to the City.

While no longer an active fire fighting organization, Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association continues as one of the oldest fire companies in the nation. It promotes fire and life safety education programs, awards scholarships, and maintains colonial firefighting artifacts ion its fire house museum at 107 S. Alfred St.

As the kick off event for the City's celebration of Presidents Day, the breakfast also features the day's first appearance of George Washington prior to parade. The public is invited to attend at a cost is $25 per person, with all funds going to benefit the Association's programs.

For reservations and additional information visit the web site at www.washingtonbirthday.net.

<b>Post Office Replacements Down to Two</b>

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has narrowed its search for a new Old Town Post Office to replace 126 S. Washington St. to two sites, according to a notice sent to Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille.

They are 277 S. Washington St. and 200 N. Washington St., according to the notice from USPS's Eastern Facilities Service Office. The former would be located in the Atrium Building on the northwest corner of Washington and Duke streets intersection. The latter formerly housed an Office Depot store. It is located at the intersection of Washington and Cameron streets.

Comments from the public on the proposed locations are welcomed by USPS until February 22. They should be addressed to: Vice President, Facilities, Attn: Dennis J. Perry, United States Postal Service, Eastern Facilities Service Office, P.O.Box 27497, Greensboro, NC 27498-1103.

The current post office at 126 S. Washington St. will remain open until the new location becomes active, according to USPS. Photos of the two proposed locations can be viewed on the City's website at www.alexandriava.gov.

<b>New Parking Fines Effective Feb. 1</b>

With a tighter budget this year due to a reduction in the assessed value of real estate, Alexandria has decided to increase vehicle parking fines as a way of increasing its revenue stream.

The new rates go into effect Feb. 1.

Under a revised parking ordinance enacted by Alexandria City Council January 20, most fines for meter parking and tag violations will increase by $5. Meter violation will go from $20 to $25 while fines for other parking and tag violations will jump from $35 to $40.

Also increased by $23 was the prepaid processing charge for unauthorized parking in spaces reserved for persons with disabilities. Previously set at $28 it is now $51, the maximum allowed. Along with the $150 fine for the offense, total prepaid charges for illegally parking in a disability-reserved space will now be $201.

According to the City's fine increase announcement, "The City Council acted to increase fines in order to facilitate business activity for City merchants by promoting greater turn-over of on-street parking spaces. While fines are meant to discourage motorists from parking illegally, City staff reported that some motorists have been willing to pay the fines because of their relatively low cost."

The City's parking fines generally have not been increased since 1992 and are currently lower than fines charged by neighboring jurisdictions, according to Director of Communications office. During Fiscal Year 2006 the City issued 82,000 parking citations and collected $2.6 million, according to the announcement. XXX