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File #: 18-7933    Name: Virginia Stormwater Local Assistance Fund grants
Type: Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 8/3/2018 In control: City Council Legislative Meeting
On agenda: 9/25/2018 Final action:
Title: Consideration of grant applications to the Virginia Stormwater Local Assistance Fund for up to $800,000 for Strawberry Run Stream Restoration and $2,255,000 for Taylor Run Stream Restoration
Attachments: 1. 18-7933_Attachment 1 - Strawberry Location Map, 2. 18-7933_Attachment 2 - Taylor Location Map

City of Alexandria, Virginia

________________

 

MEMORANDUM

 

 

DATE:                                          September 20, 2018

 

TO:                                          THE HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF CITY COUNCIL

 

FROM:                     MARK B. JINKS, CITY MANAGER   /s/

 

DOCKET TITLE:

TITLE

Consideration of grant applications to the Virginia Stormwater Local Assistance Fund for up to $800,000 for Strawberry Run Stream Restoration and $2,255,000 for Taylor Run Stream Restoration

BODY

 

 

ISSUE:  Consideration of two matching grant applications to the Virginia Stormwater Local Assistance Fund (SLAF).

RECOMMENDATION:  That City Council:

 

1.                     Approve submission of a $800,000 matching grant application to restore a portion of Strawberry Run and a $2,255,000 matching grant application to restore a portion of Taylor Run.  The projects will generate pollution reduction credits towards meeting the City’s Chesapeake Bay water quality compliance mandates.

 

2.                     Authorize the City Manager to execute the necessary documents that may be required for these two grants.

 

BACKGROUND:  To reduce nonpoint source pollution from stormwater runoff and help localities meet Chesapeake Bay cleanup mandates, the Virginia General Assembly in 2014 created the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund (SLAF).  This fund administered by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) consists of bond proceeds authorized by the General Assembly to serve as 50-50 matching grants available to local governments for the planning, design, and implementation of stormwater infrastructure known as best management practices (BMPs) to address Bay cleanup mandates.  These grants are competitive and proposed BMPs must be cost efficient and directly address commitments related to reducing water quality pollutant loads to address the Bay cleanup. Grant applications are due October 12, 2018.

DISCUSSION:  The Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) assigns nutrient and sediment loading reductions to each locality that are enforced through the City's Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) general permit. Staff continues to actively pursue SLAF and other grant opportunities to help finance costly stormwater infrastructure to meet these pollutant reductions. Previously, the City has been awarded over $3.9 million in SLAF grant funding for the Lake Cook Retrofit, the Ben Brenman Park Pond Retrofit, and the Lucky Run Stream Restoration project. The Lake Cook Retrofit project is expected to be completed this fall.

For this year’s SLAF program, staff proposes two projects. The first project under consideration would be an $800,000 stream restoration for a portion of Strawberry Run located north of Duke Street and west of Fort Williams Parkway. As this is a matching grant, the total project cost is estimated at $1.6 million. A location map is included as part of Attachment 1. The second project under consideration is a $2.23 million stream restoration on Taylor Run, which is located west of King Street near the Chinquapin Recreation Center. The total project cost for this project is $4.51 million. A location map is included as part of Attachment 2.

These streams were initially identified for restoration by T&ES staff in collaboration with RPCA as part of the Phase III Stream Assessment:  Stream Restoration and Outfall Rehabilitation Feasibility Study.  This Phase III study builds on the City’s Phase I work of categorizing streams and the Phase II work that included physical assessment and evaluation of the City’s streams. The Phase III study was designed to develop a prioritized list of stream restoration projects and outfall stabilization projects.  The Phase III study identified five potential stream restoration projects that were evaluated, assessed, and ranked using a matrix approach that considered bed and bank stability, stream health, feasibility, cost/benefit, and other co-benefits to prioritize the five projects.  The Strawberry Run and Taylor Run projects ranked first and second in this scoring.  If completed, these restoration projects will provide water quality benefits along approximately 2,700 total linear feet of stream, thereby enhancing the riparian habitats to increase aquatic health for fish and other organisms, protecting infrastructure along the stream, and enhancing the aesthetic enjoyment of these streams.

This request is consistent with City Council's Strategic Plan Goal #2, "Maintain and improve the quality and sustainability of Alexandria's Environment" through initiatives to "enhance the ecological integrity of waterways by maintaining and improving stormwater and sanitary infrastructure and stream system health to minimize environmental impacts."  It complies with the City’s Bay TMDL Action Plan, which calls for the use of urban stream restoration as a strategy to address Bay cleanup mandates.   This request is also consistent with the water goals in the Eco-City Charter and Eco-City Action Plan.

 

Prior to initiating field work staff sent letters to owners of property immediately adjacent to the potential stream restoration projects. Staff met on-site with these owners to further explain the projects and identify potential concerns. Extensive outreach will be completed as the projects move through the remainder of the grant application process. Initial stakeholder outreach is currently being performed, with extensive stakeholder input expected to begin this fall.  If the City receives negative stakeholder feedback, the City may rescind the application.  If stakeholders are supportive of the projects allowing them to move forward, continued outreach will occur throughout the life of the project.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:  Staff proposes to request $800,000 or 50% of the estimated $1,600,000 required to plan, design, and construct the Strawberry Run project, and $2,255,000 or 50% of the estimated $4,510,000 for the Taylor Run project. For the required match, $3,055,000 exists in the approved CIP.  This includes $500,000 in FY2019 unallocated funds and $2,245,000 in FY2020 in the MS4-TMDL Compliance Water Quality Improvement CIP. The remainder of the required 50% match ($310,000) is available in prior year unallocated funds from the Stream and Channel Maintenance and Environmental Restoration projects. This project funding is intended for matching opportunities of this nature.

 

ATTACHMENTS:

1.                     Strawberry Run Stream Restoration SLAF Map

2.                     Taylor Run Stream Restoration SLAF Map

STAFF:

Emily A. Baker, P.E., Deputy City Manager

Yon Lambert, AICP, Director, T&ES

Morgan Routt, Director, T&ES

Mitch Bernstein, Director, DPI

William Skrabak, Deputy Director, T&ES

Jesse Maines, Division Chief, Stormwater Management

Megan Cummings, Division Chief, Strategic Management Services