The Winchester Emergency Communications Center has implemented a new text to 911 service for emergency calls made within city limits, however, residents and visitors are urged to call when they can, text when they can’t. Text to 911 helps those who are deaf, hard of hearing or have limited speech capabilities as well as anyone unable to talk due to an emergency such as a home invasion or a domestic abuse situation. However, there are some limitations that users need to be aware of and Text to 911 should only be used for emergencies.
The annual Old Town Winchester Oktoberfest, presented by Compass West Realty, returns on October 11th and 12th. Attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy German-inspired beer and food while experiencing sights, sounds, and traditions of Oktoberfest including a stein holding contest, costume contest, live music, accordionists, dancing and more. This event happens throughout Old Town Winchester, on the Loudoun Street Mall, inside the Historic Taylor Pavilion and on the Historic 1840 Courthouse lawn.
The City of Winchester’s AAA general obligation bond rating has been affirmed for the third time by Standard & Poor's Rating Services (S&P). The AAA rating was first assigned on October 7, 2013 (reaffirmed in October 2014 and June 2017) and is the highest credit rating that a locality can receive. Winchester is one of only eleven cities in Virginia to maintain a AAA rating.
Winchester Parks and Recreation (WPRD) will honor the 35th anniversary of Wilkins Lake with a celebration on Thursday, September 19 at 6:00 pm. The community is invited to attend and celebrate this milestone for Jim Barnett Park’s beautiful community lake. The celebration will be held at the lake pier.
Tourism was again a critical contributor to the local economy in 2018. According to the Virginia Tourism Corporation, tourism revenue for Winchester and Frederick County reached a combined $273.6 million, a 5.6 percent increase over 2017. Local tourism-supported jobs totaled 2,496 while local tourism-related taxes were $8.5 million.
Regular Meeting Highlights
O-2019-31 - Bond Issuance
Council approved an ordinance authorizing the issuance and sale of General Obligation public improvement bonds for upcoming capital projects including Valley Avenue Drainage and Sidewalk Improvement Project, Hope Drive Extension, Creamery Building Renovations, Douglas Community Learning Center Renovations, and Shihadeh Innovation Center totaling $16.9 million.
Data released by the United States Travel Association (USTA) reveals that all regions in Virginia posted an increase in tourism revenue last year.
The City of Winchester began its annual street repaving program on Monday, September 9. The Fiscal Year 2020 program includes repaving on 15 different streets with an overall distance of approximately 9.00 lane miles (see list and map below). The selection process is based on an annual review of all streets in the city and criteria that includes the classification of the street, traffic volumes and the current physical condition.
Crews began work on Shenandoah, Shenandoah Place and Shawnee Avenue.
The City of Winchester will begin repaving several streets on Monday September 9 (weather permitting). The first three streets are listed below beginning with Shenandoah Avenue. No road closures are expected and one lane will remain open to thru traffic. Please drive safely in the work zones.
As part of the South Kent Street Improvement Project completed last month, the City created a new community pocket park on the corner of E. Cecil and S. Kent at the location of the former Ruth’s Tea Room. A historic marker will be installed to honor Ruth Jackson and her restaurant that was a staple in Winchester for 80 years (see attached draft marker).