Taskforce moving to bimonthly meetings per City Council

October 10, 2013

City Council has decided that Task Force meetings across the city will move to either quarterly or a every-other-month schedule.  The Wards Corner Task Force will move to every-other-month with the next meeting to be held on December 12, 2013.  Other notes from today’s Task Force meeting are below.  Thanks as always to Karen Mayne for providing the notes. 

 

Greater Wards Corner Task Force Meeting – October 10, 2013

The meeting was led by Council member Andy Protogyrou.  Council members Terry Whibley and Barclay Winn were also present.

 Talbot Hall Update

 The non-profit Talbot Hall Foundation conducted a survey and determined that it is unlikely the Foundation can raise $4.25 million dollars to purchase the Talbot Hall property from the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia.  The Foundation is working with the Diocese and Harvey Lindsay Commercial Real Estate to achieve residential development on part of the property while still preserving the historical and environmental values of the manor house and property.

 Police Report

 The Police Department has given out tickets for parking on the grass along the 100 to 600 blocks of West Little Creek Road.  The police have also asked the City’s codes compliance office to look into whether property owners have permits for the driveways.

 Department of Development Updates

 BP Gas Station Update – Nothing new to report.  The property is currently under contract and the developer is seeking an end user (not a gas station) for a 4000 square foot retail center.

 Wards Corner Shopping Center – The parking lot lights are manually turned off around 9 p.m.  Dollar Tree remains open until 10 p.m.  The lack of lighting is creating a safety concern for customers and employees.  Property owners will place the lights at the Wards Corner Shopping Center on an automatic timer.  Canopy lights were replaced.

 It was requested that the City prune the crepe myrtle trees along the section of Virginian Avenue between Louisiana and Little Creek.  Now that the new sidewalks in this area are complete, limbing up the overgrown trees will allow safe passage of pedestrians and the disabled.

 Denby Park Demolition

 The City acquired 308, 317, 319, 321 and 325 East Little Creek Road; 328, 334 and 338 Fort Worth in support of the Greater Wards Corner Comprehensive Plan.  Demolition is scheduled to begin on October 21st with a timeline of 30-60 days.

 Public Art Update – The Request for Proposals for the $150,000 public art for Wards Corner is out.  Proposals are due byOctober 31.

 Schools

 Norfolk Christian – City Council has approved the closure of the portion of Seekel Street surrounded by Norfolk Christian Upper School.

 Norfolk Collegiate – The issue of parking on both sides of Suburban Parkway in the vicinity of the school was discussed.  Officer Odell Davis said he is recommending the removal of about five parking spaces at the western end of Suburban Parkway on both sides of the street in order to improve turn radiuses for buses and improve safety of pedestrians and vehicles.

 Other

 The issue of replacing the hanging traffic lights at East Little Creek Road in front of the Taco Bell with mast arm poles was discussed.  There are only two hanging traffic lights along Little Creek Road between Hampton Boulevard and Shore Drive, this light being one of them.  The Task Force has discussed this for at least six years as part of the beautification of the Wards Corner area.  A request was made that this be considered for future capital improvement funds.  No resolution on the matter since funding would be expensive and take away from the funds being used to acquire the blighted properties in Denby Park.  It was pointed out that a mast arm was not installed at this light due to long-term plans for redevelopment of the surrounding area.

 Another concern is the utility poles that have been on the ground in the area of Tucker House at Armfield and W. Little Creek. 

 New Business

 City Council has decided that the various community task force meetings around the City should happen either bi-monthly or quarterly in order to alleviate workload on City staff.  Interim communications between the face to face meetings would continue among the representatives on these task forces via e-mail.  The representatives of the Greater Wards Corner Task Force indicated they would like to meet bi-monthly.  The next meeting will be December 12, 2013.

 


Councilman Protogyrou’s Budget Requests

April 7, 2012
Councilman Andy Protogyrou

Councilman Andy Protogyrou

Ward 1 Councilman, Andrew Protogyrou, wrote a memo to City Manager, Marcus Jones, requesting specific funding and budget requests for the upcoming budget.  The original memo was dated April 5, 2012 and an addendum was done on April 6, 2012.  The content is printed below:

Marcus,

You had asked me for any budget issues regarding Ward One in the City of Norfolk. Though I have informally discussed some or all of these items with you in the past, I believe it appropriate to present my requests in writing for your benefit. I have the following requests:

1.  Co-occurring Drug and Mental Health Court: I have discussed with Chief Judge Junius Fulton of the Norfolk Circuit Court issues of the Mental Health Court and Drug Court. The Drug Court is run by Judge Fulton and the Mental Health Court is run by Judge Charles Poston. When an individual  has a mental health problem it is handled in the one court; if the person has a drug problem, it is handled in the other. However, many people are coming before the courts with two problems (especially veterans). An example would be a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who commits a crime. Individuals with PTSD abuse narcotics and/or alcohol as an unauthorized self medication therapy. When an individual has both diagnoses, he does not qualify for either court and falls within “a donut hole.”

Judge Fulton has recommended a combination of the two courts. He would handle twenty-five therapeutic places. Currently, it appears the fifty slots of the drug court and the twenty-five of the mental health court are full but there is a need to fill the hole. In this manner, a separate co-occurring track for veterans and others who may suffer from PTSD, depression, drug and alcohol addictions and have committed crimes are therapeutically placed.

Two positions are needed for this co-occurring track. First would involve a CSB clinician.  The clinician, appears to be a new position (their staffing I am sure will be examined in the near future). Second is a probation officer for felony cases that would result in the twenty-five individuals being supervised in the co-occurring track. It appears that a probation officer costs approximately $75,000 and currently one functions through an MOU between the City and Drug Court.

Space is needed. There is space currently available at $12.50 per sq. ft. on a five year lease of 2,850 sq. ft. This space is owned by the Decker family and next to Probation and Parole. It allows for a group meeting area, a lobby and offices.

Further, the Mental Health Court has asked for $15,000 in funds to afford it the opportunity to do a five-year evaluation to validate the program as vehicle for Federal grants. This has been authorized under the previous manager and at this point is now due to be able to keep the court receiving funds.

2.   Mason Creek: Specifically with regard to Ward One, there has been discussion of dredging Mason Creek. I know this has come up in the past but I believe dredging could fall within flood abatement issues and may be brought to the Government’s attention when it comes to bidding of the pumping station to rectify Mason Creek flooding. I believed past budgets have included dredging as a line item.

3.  4th View Interchange: This interchange at W. Ocean View Avenue continues to be a problem for the residents. I would like a review of how the interchange has become such a problem in its present state and what solutions to the current condition exist.

4.  Underground utility work at Wards Corner: Considering the future development and improvement in the area, please budget underground utility work at the Little Creek/Granby intersection.

5.  Denby Park Acquisition: Please continue apartment purchases in this area. Though not Ward 1, the eradication of blight effects the entire city. It was only after our collective political will and your acceptance, that acquisition is the solution to the problem, the initial purchases occurred. It was not happenstance that development in Wards Corner followed because of our purchases. It actually spurred it.

Lastly, not involving issues of budget, I would again ask that I receive a report on the Glennwood Park Civic League building on Woodview Avenue and whether the architect has had an opportunity to meet with the families in that area.
Again, I would like a courthouse meeting to discuss the current situation and setup of the bar library, bar association offices and restaurant that is on the first floor.

ADDENDA TO BUDGET REQUESTS OF APRIL 5, 2012

1.  Police/Fire Memorial:  The city must allocate funds for a joint police/fire memorial to be placed on the civic plaza near City Hall and the new courthouse. A new memorial should incorporate the current bell. I have met with the Public Arts Commission and Ann O’Dell of your office and it is believed that such a memorial should come from private donations and the city. Those funds should be considered separate from the Public Arts Commission; however, we can seek their assistance in bringing a work of art to fruition.

2.  Workforce Development Center Property: Please place the acquisition of this property in the appropriate CIP budget. Price may be derived from the lease that is set to expire in 2015.

3.  No-kill Policy: The city must budget for a 90% or better save rate for animals at the Norfolk Animal Care Center. To meet this budgetary requirement ordinances involving TNR Program (Trap, Neuter, Return) must be implemented. In 2010 Norfolk ACC had a save rate of dogs and cats of 54.46%. This was 20% less than the city of Portsmouth and 40% less than the city of Charlottesville’s SPCA. Portsmouth currently has a no-kill policy. The city must adjust its budget to meet same. Anything less is unacceptable.

The original PDF documents:

COUNCIL.REQUEST.4.5.12

COUNCIL.REQUEST.4.6.12


Wards Corner Now holds inaugural meeting

March 21, 2010

The inaugural meeting of Wards Corner was held on Saturday, March 20th, 2010. The initial meeting of Wards Corner Now drew twenty-five folks from a variety of neighborhoods across the Greater Wards Corner (GWC) area , Norfolk City Council members Barclay Winn and Theresa Whibley and candidate for the Ward One Council Seat, attorney,  Andrew Protogyrou.  The hour-long discussion touched on the following topics:

  • AJ Gators – Move to the old Wherehouse Music store location will bring significant upgrades to the property.  Plans are for AJ Gators’ old location to remain open for breakfast, lunch and dinner but closing early.
  • Walgreens’ ABC license application – By consensus restrictions should parallel those for neighboring competitor – no single container sales.
  • Wards Corner Comprehensive Plan – Continue to place emphasis on addressing the issues in Denby Park while maintaining an eye on the additional plan areas of Titustown and the Wards Corner Business District.
  • Additional issues from individuals and civic leagues – safety concerns, illegal signage, school redistricting
  • Norfolk Address Information Resource – The link is on the Wards Corner Now site.  Norfolk AIR provides information on individual properties throughout the city.

Wards Corner Now will be focused positively on making a difference in GWC and meetings will continue to elicit concerns from civic leagues, businesses, churches, schools and individuals and providing support for moving forward with the Wards Corner Comprehensive Plan.  The topics for the next 2 meetings are:

April 17 – Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center and planned development

May 15 – Light rail


%d bloggers like this: