WINCHESTER — It looks like much of Winchester will be a work zone in fiscal year 2022.
Perry Eisenach, the city’s public services director, updated the Winchester Planning Commission on Tuesday about citywide improvement projects that are expected to occur during the fiscal year that begins on July 1.
According to Eisenach, City Manager Dan Hoffman’s proposed $93,020,000 operating budget for FY22 includes a total of $23,102,000 in new funding for 10 infrastructure projects. Some of the work is already underway, while other projects are expected to begin sometime during the upcoming months:
Drainage improvements on North Cameron Street — $2,800,000
Sidewalk improvements — $3,000,000
Street repaving — $2,000,000
Green Circle Trail — $2,400,000
Millwood Avenue traffic improvements — $400,000
Replacements of water and sewer mains — $5,000,000
Construction of a new maintenance facility at City Yards — $4,000,000
Sewer pump station replacements — $1,500,000
Improvements to the Percy D. Miller Water Treatment Plant — $1,800,000
Construction of a new fence at City Yards — $202,000
One of the most highly anticipated projects on the list is the effort to remedy the chronic stormwater flooding that routinely occurs along North Cameron Street. In recent years, heavy rains have repeatedly caused sewer lines in the 100, 200, 300, 400 and 500 blocks of North Cameron Street to overflow and flood the facilities of several nonprofit agencies, including Our Health, the United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley and The Laurel Center.
Eisenach said the first phase of the North Cameron project, which covered the three blocks from Piccadilly Street to Clark Street, was completed a year-and-a-half ago.
“This will be the second phase, so we’ll pick up there at Clark Street, go north on Cameron Street to Wyck Street, and then we’ll turn west on Wyck until we get to Fairmont Street,” where a large storm-drainage pipe will be installed, Eisenach told the Planning Commission.
Also, a new stormwater management pond to collect excess runoff will be built on a vacant parcel of land at the intersection of Fairmont and Wyck that the city recently purchased from Winchester and Western Railroad, Eisenach said.
Construction of Phase 2 of the North Cameron Street project is expected to begin in spring 2022.
“There will be a third phase to this project,” Eisenach added. “We’re still working to try to purchase the large vacant parcels [in the 600 block of North Cameron Street] from CSX [Railroad] and construct stormwater management ponds on those as well.”
Since the project hinges on CSX agreeing to sell the parcels, Eisenach could give no specific timeline as to when the additional stormwater ponds would be built.
“That will be coming hopefully in a few years,” he said.
Another prominent capital improvement project slated to receive funding in FY22 is the Green Circle Trail. According to Eisenach, the $2.4 million in Hoffman’s proposed budget could finally bring completion to the recreational initiative that was conceived in 2001 and has been under construction since 2005.
The fourth and final phase of the work would connect an area near Jubal Early Apartments to the intersection of Jubal Early Drive, Millwood Avenue and Apple Blossom Drive.
“There’s a couple of routes that we can take, so we’re looking at those concepts right now,” Eisenach told the commission. “This summer, we’re planning on having an open house where those options will be presented to the public for input.”
City Council will select the route for the final portion of the Green Circle Trail later this year.
“This is really the last major section of the main trail, and it’s the most challenging and will be the most expensive,” Eisenach said, “but we’re excited to finally be able to move forward.”
City Council will get its first look at Hoffman’s proposed FY22 operating budget when it meets on Tuesday. A public hearing and final vote on the spending plan will take place during council’s business meeting on May 25.