The Alexandria City Council last week approved development of the Virginia Concrete site at Prince Street and the waterfront as a public parks.
Mayor Frank E. Mann refused to let the council discuss two other recommendations by the city planning commission that public access to the waterfront be extended north from Prince to King Street and that the foot of King Street be opened to the public.
Both proposals would require the city to enter into negotiations with the Old Dominion Boat Club, which owns land on both side of King Street and has fenced off the foot of the street for its members private use.
Mann, a member of the boat club argued that the planning commission's recommendations went beyond the mandate given the commission by the city council with regard to the park proposal.
As approved by the city council, the 13 acre park will include a 15-foot wide wooden walkway that will follow the shoreline with posts for boat docking. Trees will be planted along the perimeter of the park and rest rooms as well as limited metered parking will be provided. Total cost to the city is estimated at just over $55,000.
There have been discussions between the city and C. D. Four Associates about a proposal to establish a farmers' market in the park. The planning commission at its early September meeting deferred action on this issue pending a more specific proposal by the developer.
The city council, which had to meet twice last week in order to complete action on a long docket, rejected City Manager Douglas Harman's recommendation that the city appoint the architectural firm of Davis, Smith and Carter, Inc. to design renovations of the city jail.
By a 5 to 2 vote, the council ordered the city to readvertise for bids after Councilman Donald C. Casey questioned the procedures the city used in choosing an architect. Specifically, Casey asked that Alexandria firms be given preference in the new bidding.
Harman defended the city's choice of the firm and argued that it had considerable experience in jail design and construction. Only council members Nicolas A. Colasant and Beverly Beidler voted to support Harman.
Among the scheduled improvements at the jail is expansion of the recreation center into a year-round facility, installation of lighting in the cells, additional visiting areas for families and attorneys, and improved ventilation to the cell blocks.