The City’s Percy D. Miller Water Treatment Plant received the 2020 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. The plant first achieved the Gold Award in 2018, and received the Silver Award in 2019 and 2012-2017.
On Saturday, May 15, 2021, the Winchester Fire and Rescue Department (WFRD) will partner with the Virginia Fire Chiefs Association and the International Association of Fire Chiefs to produce a statewide volunteer recruitment and retention video through an Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG).
Virginia’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will again release emergency allotments of benefits to eligible households this month. Benefits will be automatically loaded to recipients’ Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards on Sunday, May 16, 2021.
The emergency allotments raise each household’s monthly allotment to the maximum allowable based on household size as follows:
City Manager Dan Hoffman has appointed Winchester Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief (AC) Jon Henschel as the City’s new Chief. AC Henschel was selected following an extensive nation-wide search resulting in 57 applications from candidates across the country. AC Henschel has 30 years of experience with volunteer and career agencies, spending the previous 23 years with the Winchester Fire and Rescue Department.
City of Winchester government offices and the Rec Center will not be closed on Friday, April 30, 2021. This closure was previously included in the City’s annual holiday schedule and informational calendar, but is no longer needed since the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival parade and other large events usually held in downtown and Jim Barnett Park are not being offered this year.
Beginning this weekend, the Winchester Parking Authority (WPA) will be installing new automated gate and payment equipment at the four downtown parking garages which will cause some lane closures and access restrictions (see schedule below). Replacing the current antiquated system has been planned for approximately two years, but placed on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The City of Winchester has launched a community survey to gather input about the priorities and sentiments of residents for a 2021 update to the City’s Strategic Plan. Deadline to take the survey is April 30.
Survey questions will focus on the following topics:
- Economic Growth
- Quality of Life
- Public Safety
- Public Health
- City Government
- Living in Winchester
Survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/D5PCC5Q
Beginning Monday, March 29, 2021 and continuing through October (weather permitting), the City’s Utilities Division will be testing and flushing all of Winchester’s 1,300 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.
This year, the City of Winchester, in partnership with RKG Associates, will complete a both city-wide Housing Study and Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy for the North End area. The target completion date is by December 31, 2021.
The housing study, requested by City Council in 2020, will include a review and/or analysis of the following:
The City of Winchester’s AAA general obligation bond rating has been affirmed for the fifth time by Standard & Poor's Rating Services (S&P). The AAA rating was first assigned on October 7, 2013 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 from S&P.