The City’s Percy D. Miller Water Treatment Plant received the 2018 Virginia Optimization Program Gold Award for its high-quality drinking water treatment from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Office of Drinking Water. This is the highest possible ranking in operations excellence for water utilities and is based on a 12-month analysis of data. This is the first time the plant has achieved the gold award (2012-2017: Silver Award).
The City’s 2019 Arbor Day celebration on Saturday, April 27 will honor the City’s 37 years as a Tree City USA with a tree planting at 11 am and the fourth annual Spring Greening stream cleanup at 1 pm. Local residents are encouraged to take part in both events.
The Arbor Day Celebration will be held at Frederick Douglass Park on Smithfield Avenue. A free lunch will be provided by Weed Control Inc. and kids can enjoy free face painting provided by Winchester Parks and Recreation.
The Old Town Winchester Farmers Market at the Taylor Pavilion off the Loudoun Street Mall will open for its fifth season on Saturday, May 11 offering local produce and products each Saturday from 9 am–1 pm through September 28.
On April 22, 2019 at approximately 4:20 p.m., the Winchester Fire & Rescue Department (WFRD) was dispatched to a structure fire at 325 East Piccadilly Street. The first units arrived on scene at approximately 4:22 p.m. and observed fire and smoke coming from a second-story window facing the street.
Crews entered the home and extinguished the fire, which was located in a bedroom on the second floor. The fire was mostly contained to the room. Smoke alarms were present and working.
As of today, Winchester Parks and Recreation’s Dog Park in Jim Barnett Park is open and free to the public. To use the dog park in the past, owners were required to maintain an annual membership which provided a key for access. Now, the locks have been removed, and anyone can use the two dog park areas seven days a week, dawn to dusk. NOTE: The Dog Park is closed for routine maintenance every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 2-3 pm.
The two areas in the Dog Park consist of the following:
City Manager Eden Freeman has appointed Winchester Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief Scott Kensinger as the City’s new full-time Emergency Management (EM) Coordinator. Assistant Chief Kensinger is currently transitioning into this new role.
All dogs four months and older that are located in the city are required to wear a dog tag. Tags for each year go on sale April 1st and must be displayed on the dog by May 1st. The Treasurer’s Office has mailed dog license renewal applications to dog owners that are currently in the system (over 2,400 dogs). New residents must license their pets within 30 days of moving to the City of Winchester.
On Wednesday, March 27, 2019, the City’s sidewalk repair program, approved by City Council on January 8, 2019 (R-2018-17), will begin in the City’s North End. The contractor will be grinding down uneven sidewalks to reduce trip hazards and the City’s staff will follow to apply colored asphalt to smooth broken or uneven sections. The city will be divided into sections, similar to the leaf collection process (map), with repairs beginning in Area 7.
Beginning Monday, April 1, and continuing through October (weather permitting), the City’s Utilities Division will be testing and flushing all of Winchester’s 1,200 fire hydrants as part of an annual maintenance program. The process of periodically “flushing” fire hydrants is an important preventive maintenance activity and is necessary to maintain a high quality and reliable water system. It is also helps make sure the fire hydrants are fully operational in the event of a fire.
The City has received several inquires about a rumor circulating that someone has contracted intestinal parasites from drinking the City’s water and that there have been 120 cases at the hospital. This claim is completely unfounded. The City’s drinking water is safe and the Winchester Medical Center has stated that they are unaware of any recent diagnosed cases of intestinal parasites. The City has a rigorous testing and treatment process with 24/7 monitoring that provides consistently safe drinking water.