Restoration of Hunters Branch

The town of Vienna in 2016 engaged in an eight-month-long project to restore the stream bed along a 2,000-foot stretch of Hunters Branch. (Photo by Lynne DeWilde/Town of Vienna)

Slowly but surely, the Vienna and Fairfax County governments are shoring up and improving streams within the town.

The Board of Supervisors on March 24 unanimously approved an amended agreement with the town that will provide additional funding to design and construct stream restorations along Piney Branch in Vienna’s Northside Park.

The project will restore about 1,400 linear feet of Piney Branch, which will improve water quality and reduce nutrients in the Difficult Run watershed.

The initiative is being financed in equal parts by Fairfax County and  a Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Stormwater Local Assistance grant.

Supervisors on Nov. 21, 2017, authorized the county executive to sign an agreement with the town that would provide $660,000 for partial financing of the project. Vienna officials as of Dec. 19 last year had received six bids for the project, but the initiative’s cost had risen by $333,006, owing to higher-than-expected construction bids.

Because the project’s new cost had risen to $1,653,006, supervisors on March 24 agreed to contribute $168,006 more for the initiative. DEQ also has bumped up its contribution to $825,000. County officials have the option of covering additional cost overruns, provided the amount does not exceed 10 percent of the project’s overall cost.

Vienna officials will oversee the project’s design and construction and will reimburse the county for any funds not expended on the initiative.

Fairfax County has an agreement with the towns of Herndon and Vienna to finance stormwater-related projects in those jurisdictions using the county’s stormwater-service-district revenues, to which residents in those towns contribute. Under the partnerships with Vienna and Herndon, the county saves time and administrative costs, officials said.

The county and Vienna already have partnered on stream-restoration projects along Hunters Branch and Wolftrap Creek.

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