The Vienna Town Council approved increasing a contract yesterday (Monday) for construction on the police department’s new station.
The council agreed to allow up to $67,680 more in response to a “pre-construction design phase that took longer than expected and several unknown condition incidents that arose during construction,” according to a board item.
In January 2019, the town council approved a nearly $304,000 contract with construction management firm Downey & Scott with a 5% contingency of just over $15,000.
The firm reported that it had $64,456.24 in additional expenses. It broke down the costs in terms of staff pay, which ranges from $98.73 per hour for a construction inspector to $135 an hour for project executive Bill Downey.
It wasn’t immediately clear why the town council awarded over $3,000 more than what the company documented. A message seeking clarification from the Town of Vienna wasn’t immediately returned. A town official later wrote that the additional amount is a 5% contingency, allowing the town to address “additional unforeseen circumstances that arise in the construction process without having to go back to Council for approval.”
Police Chief Jim Morris said the increases were due to a soil issue, a gas line, and challenges on Center Street that he described them as unforeseen issues.
“All of those took Downey & Scott expertise and time to rectify,” Morris said. “Whether it be meeting with utilities, meeting with town council, meeting with town manager, they were heavily involved in rectifying those situations for us, on the town’s behalf.”
Downey said many of the changes were related to unforeseen soil conditions as well as relocating unmarked utilities.
A letter from the company said that over $30,000 of the increased expenses came from staff costs for Downey and project manager Kevin Fallin after requested changes from Vienna officials and COVID-19 disruptions added eight months to the project’s pre-construction phase.
The firm also reported $34,000 in staffing costs, plus $627 in mileage reimbursement, that were related to the re-alignment of a storm sewer at Center Street, design management, and other costs for a gas line relocation and soil issues.
Morris said the additional expenses could be paid with unused money in a 2018 capital improvement plan.
Prior to the funding approval, the project had $708,000 left in the town’s $1.1 million contingency fund, Fallin told the town council.
“Vertical construction is well underway, so a lot of the unknown conditions that we might typically encouter, we have surpassed that in terms of construction,” Fallin said regarding his confidence that the budget will stay within the contingency. “We feel good about where we are currently.”
Morris noted that contractors are currently calculating cost estimates for a proposed solar canopy and electric vehicle charging infrastructure, which could both be implemented as part of the project or as subsequent tasks.
Construction on the new police station at 215 Center Street South began in early 2021.
At least one mystery fiend has been terrorizing vehicles across the Town of Vienna, with the pumpkin as its seasonally appropriate weapon of choice.
The Vienna Police Department first reported the spate of squash-tossing vandalism in its incident round-up for the week of Oct 8-14, which included three separate reports from residents who said someone threw a pumpkin at their parked vehicles.
Those incidents all occurred sometime between 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 12 and 6:45 a.m. on Oct. 13, resulting in shattered windows in two cases and a damaged trunk in the third.
However, what appeared to be a one-night anomaly has turned into a full-fledged crime spree, according to the department’s latest report.
Covering the week of Oct. 15-21, the report lists seven different cases of vehicles being hit and damaged by thrown pumpkins, including one that has now been targeted twice.
As of Friday (Oct. 22), police hadn’t identified a culprit or motive behind the attacks, but VPD has stepped up its presence throughout the town in response.
“It is unknown at this time if they are caused by the same person or if specific vehicles are targeted,” VPD spokesperson Juan Vazquez said. “We continue to increase our patrol presence in all areas of the town to deal with the issue. Residents are also encouraged to contact the police department with any information that may help us.”
The new incidents span midnight on Oct. 14 to 1 a.m. on Oct. 20, according to the police report:
1100 Cottage Street, SW
October 14 between 12:00 a.m. and 1:30 a.m.
A resident reported that his parked vehicle was damaged when someone threw a pumpkin at it.
1100 Block Cottage Street, SW
Between October 14 at 9:00 p.m. and October 15 at 7:00 a.m.
A resident reported that someone threw a pumpkin at their parked vehicle, smashing the windshield and damaging the hood.
1400 Block Cottage Street, SW
Between October 14 at 11:00 p.m. and October 15 at 8:00 a.m.
A resident reported that someone threw a pumpkin at their parked vehicle, shattering the rear window.
1200 Block Ross Drive, SW
October 15 between 12:00 a.m. and 12:30 a.m.
A resident reported that someone threw a pumpkin at his parked vehicle, causing damage to the windshield and driver’s side door above the window. This was the second time the vehicle was vandalized in this manner within a few days. (Reference October 15 Highlights — Incident #21-006081).
400 Block Echols Street, SE
Between October 15 at 9:00 a.m. and October 15 at 10:00 a.m.
A resident reported that someone threw a pumpkin at his parked vehicle, smashing the windshield.
500 Block Valley Drive, SE
Between October 19 at 11:00 p.m. and October 20 at 1:00 a.m.
A resident reported that someone threw a pumpkin at his parked vehicle, shattering the rear window.
200 Block Talahi Road, SE
October 20 12:53 a.m.
A resident reported that her parked vehicle was damaged when someone threw a pumpkin at it.
The Ross Drive resident previously reported that someone threw a pumpkin at his parked vehicle, shattering the rear window, between 10 p.m. on Oct. 12 at 10:00 p.m. and 6:45 a.m. on Oct. 13.
This week’s crime round-up also includes a report of someone throwing eggs at a resident’s parked vehicle in the 100 block of Tapawingo Road between Oct. 16 at 9 p.m. and Oct. 17 at 7 a.m.
Photo via Julia Raasch/Unsplash
Man Arrested in Vienna Shooting — A 25-year-old Manassas man has been charged with malicious wounding and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon after a shooting in the Navy Federal Credit Union parking lot at 801 Follin Lane SE. Police found a male victim who had been shot in the upper torso around 12:36 a.m. yesterday (Thursday) in what investigators believe was a personal dispute with no greater threat to the community. [Vienna Police Department]
Fairfax County Pushes to Vaccinate Unhoused Residents — “Hutson is one of roughly 1,200 unhoused residents in Fairfax County, according to the county’s January 2021 point-in-time count…Getting COVID-19 vaccines to this transient — and highly vulnerable — population is a major challenge for public health staff like Vukadinovich.” [DCist]
County Seeks Kid-Sized Mask Donations — The Fairfax County Health Department hopes to collect 10,000 new, unused face masks that can fit children who are too young to get vaccinated, particularly toddlers and school-aged kids. Masks can be dropped off at all local police stations and will help the county fill requests from nonprofit partners. [FCHD]
Falls Church Cuts Ribbon on New High School Campus — “It was the major ceremony that officials here have been working toward for more than a decade. At Homecoming Week at Meridian High School, the brand-spanking new $120 million high school facility was formally dedicated with a ribbon cutting last Saturday morning.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Latter-Day Saints Opens New Wolf Trap Church — “A new meetinghouse for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been completed in the Wolf Trap area and will offer public tours during an open house. The new meetinghouse at 1632 Crowell Road, Vienna will serve residents of Vienna, McLean, Reston, and other nearby communities. The estimated membership is 600 Latter-day Saints.” [Patch]
Capital One Delays Office Reopening Again — “The McLean-based financial giant has opted not to reopen its offices in a hybrid format Nov. 2. It first announced in June it would reopen in September, then in August delayed that until November. Hybrid remains the plan, but the company will no longer attempt to forecast a date as to when that might be implemented.” [Washington Business Journal]
Car Taxes Due Today — Personal property taxes are due today (Tuesday) for Fairfax County residents, who can pay online or in person at the Fairfax County Government Center until 6 p.m. About 12% of owners saw an increase in their car tax bill this year due pandemic-related supply chain issues. [Fairfax County Government]
Lane Closures Prompted by Pipe Work for New Vienna Police Station — Construction workers started installing stormwater pipes for the new Vienna Police Station yesterday (Monday), necessitating lane closures on Center and Locust streets. The pipe work is expected to be completed by Thursday (Oct. 7). [Town of Vienna/Twitter]
Virginia DMVs Resume Walk-in Service — “After nearly a year and a half of appointment-only service, walk-ins will again be welcome at the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles…When it expands options on Tuesday, customers can choose to either schedule an appointment for services, or opt for walk-in service on alternating days. The changes will be in effect at all 75 of the DMV customer service centers.” [WTOP]
Winning Lottery Ticket Bought in Vienna — “A Powerball ticket purchased in Vienna is one of three that won a $50,000 prize. The three Virginia tickets won prizes in the Sept. 29 drawing. These tickets were bought at the Vienna Shell at 252 Maple Avenue in Vienna, Harris Teeter at 19350 Winmeade Drive in Leesburg, and Kenbridge Market Express at 216 South Broad Street in Kenbridge.” [Patch]
Plea Deal in Sexual Assault Case Rejected — A Fairfax County Circuit Court judge rejected a plea deal that would’ve sentenced a man accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting a girl to three years in prison, stating that it did not “remotely reflect the magnitude of the defendant’s misconduct.” Prosecutors said they offered the deal because they feared a trial might end in acquittal due to issues with the Herndon police investigation. [The Washington Post]
Bias Incident Reported Near Mosaic District — “8300 block of Lee Highway, 9/19/21, 1:55 a.m. After a traffic altercation, the victim was approached by an unknown male who spat in his face and made derogatory statements regarding his race.” [FCPD]
Tractor Stolen from Vienna Softball League Shed — According to the Vienna Police Department’s most recent weekly report, a Town of Vienna Parks and Recreation employee reported that, around 1:41 p.m. on Wednesday (Sept. 22), someone broke into a shed that the Vienna Girls Softball League owns in Southside Park (1317 Ross Drive SW). A league representative responded to the report and said that a tractor had been stolen from the shed. [Vienna Police]
Scotts Run Fire Station Is Important Step for Tysons — Fire Station 44 “will be an important piece of the public-safety puzzle as the county continues its long-term transformation of Tysons from a suburban office center to an ‘urban lifestyle’ community,” Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said at the grand opening ceremony on Sept. 18. The station, which is in Tysons East, will eventually be complemented by Station 29 on the western side of Tysons. [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]
Vienna Oktoberfest Still Looking for Volunteers — The Vienna Business Association and the Town of Vienna are still seeking volunteers to assist with the 13th Vienna Oktoberfest on Saturday (Oct. 2). The festival is in need of people 21 and older to serve as ID checkers and beer garden ticket sellers. Interested volunteers can sign up online for two-hour shifts, though anyone who volunteers for five hours or longer will get a meal voucher. [VBA]
Two unusual hit-and-run crashes were among the most notable incidents of the past week for police officers in the Town of Vienna.
In its list of highlights for the week of Aug. 27 to Sept. 2, the Vienna Police Department says its officers responded to two separate hit-and-run incidents last Thursday (Aug. 26), though injuries have not been reported in either one.
The earlier crash occurred around 7:25 a.m. when a drive struck a bicyclist at the intersection of Tapawingo Road and Nutley Street:
A driver reported she was traveling eastbound on Tapawingo Road, turning right onto Nutley Street with a green traffic signal. As she entered the intersection, she struck a bicyclist. The driver exited her vehicle and offered to call the police and make a report. The bicyclist refused to exchange information or call the police. Instead, the bicyclist demanded money from the resident as compensation for the accident. The bicyclist left the scene before police arrived.
Then, around 5:40 p.m. that day, a scrape that caused “minor damage” to two vehicles in the 800 block of Glyndon Street SE concluded with one driver facing an assault charge:
Vehicle-1 was traveling southbound on Glyndon Street. Vehicle-2 was traveling northbound. The two vehicles sideswiped each other as they passed causing minor damage. Driver-1 refused to exchange information and an argument ensued. Driver-1 left the scene and returned a short time later with a hammer and threatened Driver-2. Driver-1 fled the scene again before officers arrived.
Driver-1 was issued two summonses charging Hit & Run and Assault.
Police also arrested a woman from Maryland at 6:46 p.m. on Saturday (Aug. 28) after she sped through a red light at the Maple Avenue and Park Street intersection and collided with another vehicle.
The woman went to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries, but the responding officer arrested her when she was discharged after detecting signs of impairment and the odor of marijuana. While it’s now legal to possess small amounts of the drug in Virginia, driving while stoned remains illegal.
The woman was charged with driving under the influence of drugs and failure to obey a traffic signal.
In non-traffic-related incidents, Vienna police received a report of disorderly conduct at Chick-fil-A (538 Maple Avenue W) around 9:06 a.m. on Tuesday (Aug. 31):
Officers responded to the report of a disorderly man who was damaging property and chasing employees. They located the man in the parking garage where he was acting erratically and was not responding to the officers’ attempts to speak with him. The man was foaming at the mouth, appeared under the influence of an unknown narcotic, and showed signs of mental instability. The officers were able to subdue the man safely. Rescue personnel responded to the scene and transported the man to an area hospital for evaluation.
The police report says the case remains under investigation.
Photo via Vienna Police Department/Facebook
Falls Church City Sees Population Boom — The City of Falls Church’s population rose 19.4% from 12,332 people to 14,658 people over the past decade, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released last Thursday (Aug. 12). That growth rate is higher than both Fairfax and Arlington counties, though Loudoun saw the most growth (32.4%) in Northern Virginia. [Falls Church News-Press]
Falls Church Festivals Will Be Vaccine Sites — “The City of Falls Church Community Center (223 Little Falls St.) will host two free COVID-19 vaccination clinics during the Tinner Hill Music Festival (Saturday, August 21 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and Falls Church Festival (Saturday, September 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). The clinics, managed by the Fairfax Health Department, are open to every age 12 years and older.” [City of Falls Church]
Vienna Gets New Police Officers — Officers Emily Lichtenberg, David Reed, and Patrick Crandall will be the newest additions to the Town of Vienna Police Department after they graduated from the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy on Aug. 12. They will spend the next 12 weeks with a field training instructor who will “observe and guide” their performance during investigations, traffic enforcement, citizen interactions, report writing, and other duties. [Vienna Police Department]
Last Chance to Join Food Truck Fridays — “This Friday, August 20th, will be the final Food Truck Friday of the season at the Providence Community Center from 11am to 2pm. In addition to community favorites Hangry Panda and Empanadas de Mendoza, we have invited Tobago Bay Calypso Band to offer a performance from 11:30am to 1:30pm. We have also planned several family-friendly activities, lawn games, and free ice pops, lemonade, and cookies.” [Palchik Post]
The Town of Vienna had a bit of a rough week, according to the Vienna Police Department’s most recent crime report.
The weekly round-up of investigated incidents and arrests featured a few cases of police breaking up fights, assaults, and destruction of property.
At Bear Branch Tavern (133 Maple Avenue) on Aug. 6, around 2:30 a.m., police responded to a report of a fight in the bar.
“A citizen advised them that a man was intoxicated inside the restaurant and attempted to punch a woman,” the report said. “The citizen broke up the altercation and assisted the man out of the establishment. Upon the officers’ interaction with the man, they detected signs of impairment.”
A 29-year-old local man was arrested and transported to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center, where he was charged with Drunk in Public.
Two days later, police broke up a fight at a local party in an apartment:
Officers observed a driver in a pickup truck trying to back out of a parking space while he was being assaulted by a man. The man had smashed the window of the truck with a piece of lumber and began to assault the driver. Another man was in the parking lot holding a gun. Officers were able to quickly take control of the incident. They determined the gun the man was holding was a BB gun, and he was the owner of the vehicle.
The driver was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Two others at the party, an infant who was sick and a woman in need of medical assistance, were also evacuated. A 37-year-old Annandale resident was arrested and charged with assault and destruction of property.
Last Thursday (Aug. 12), there was an alleged assault inside the restaurant Zoe’s Kitchen (418 Maple Avenue East) when someone who had allegedly caused issues there in the past returned and started to scream at an employee.
“An employee reported that a man, who has caused issues in the restaurant in the past, entered the restaurant and began screaming at one of the employees,” the report said. “The man then attempted to assault the employee. Another employee came to assist his co-worker and forced the man out of the restaurant…Officers advised the man that he would be arrested if he returned to the property.”
The last curious incident was a charge of vandalism for a man trying to break into his parents’ house.
According to the report:
A resident reported that she observed her adult son running outside of her apartment toward the rear of the home. A short time later she heard a window being smashed in her son’s bedroom and immediately called a relative and police for assistance.
While officers were investigating the damaged property, additional officers were requested to assist rescue personnel near the park at Branch Road and Locust Street with a man suffering from a laceration to the chest. It was determined that the man was the resident’s son. The man was transported by rescue personnel to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The man was ultimately charged with destruction of property.
Photo via Marissa Daeger/Unsplash
The Independence Day fireworks that lit up the evening sky over Yeonas Park weren’t the only source of smoke in Vienna this past Saturday (July 4).
Early that morning, burglars snatched some vaping cartridges, cigarettes, and cash boxes from Tobacco & Vape King in Jades Shopping Center at 332 Maple Avenue West, according to the Vienna Police Department’s crime recap for the week of July 2-8.
The incident occurred at 4:04 a.m., and when officers responded to the report of a burglary at the business, they found that the front glass door had been smashed.
“The persons involved had already fled the scene,” the police report says.
The missing items were reported by a store employee.
Evidently, the suspects had first attempted to break into House of Vape at 141 Church Street NW, based on security footage from just two minutes earlier:
Due to a burglary that had just occurred at a similar business in town, officers responded to check the House of Vape. They found someone smashed one of the double-paned windows to the business, but were unable to gain entry to the store. Security video shows the incident occurred just a few minutes before the burglary at Tobacco & Vape King.
Other highlights from the past week include a dispute between neighbors in the 200 block of Church Street over two trees that one resident planted along their shared property line. The resident reported on July 1 that his neighbor had cut down one of the trees.
Vienna police officers also took down a report on Thursday (July 8) from a resident who said that, while walking around Ware Street and Kingsley Road SW the previous night, she and her husband saw an older man in a parked vehicle with another person and “thought their behavior was suspicious.”
As part of its weekly report, the Vienna Police Department is also asking community members to lock up their houses and vehicles amid a regional investigation into a rash of vehicle tampering and theft incidents.
Fairfax County Police Department Capt. Dalton Becker, the station commander for the McLean District, which has seen the majority of Fairfax County incidents, said at a “State of the McLean District Station” virtual meeting last night that the car theft ring appears to have filtered into the county from Arlington and Maryland.
Vienna police are advising residents to lock their car doors, remove any valuable items and keys, and report “suspicious activity.”
“The Town of Vienna Police Department is dedicated to the safety and protection of all persons and property in the Town of Vienna,” the VPD said in a media release. “However, much of our success comes from the assistance of its concerned and observant residents.”
Photo via Vienna Police Department/Facebook