The Alexandria City Council, at its meeting this week, tried to make a connection with other Northern Virginia jurisdictions interested in beginning the 911 emergency telephone system.
The council, which scuttled 911 plans in April by refusing to join the system, set a public hearing on the subject for Nov. 15.
Despite its move to reconsider participation in the regional proposal, the council noted it still had reservations about the plan.
The Basic 911 system is operated manually by telephone operators. The more sophisticated Electronic 911 uses computer switching equipment to take the calls. Alexandria's initial objection to the regional proposal was that the system would be the Basic 911.
"We want the Electronic 911 system," Mayor Charles E. Beatley Jr. said at the council meeting this week. "We might be able to join the other jurisdictions on the Basic system if we were assured that the Electronic system was coming."
Council members previously have expressed concern that once the city joined the Basic system, it would not be able to upgrade to the Electronic system.
"We would have more enthusiasm, if the Basic system were a steppingstone to the larger (Electronic) system," Beatley said this week.
The council also requested that city staff and the C&P Telephone Co. report at the public hearing on the exact cost of the Basic and Electronic systems. City officials indicated the city could add an additional 10 cents to residents' monthly phone bills.
In other business, the council unanimously signed a letter addressed to U.S. Transportation Secretary Neil Goldschmidt, opposing what council members called "piecemeal" implementation of changes at National Airport.
Under those plans, the Transportation Department will permit longer-range flights for larger aircraft beginning on Jan. 1, and on April 1 will reduce the number of flights and institute a 9:30 p.m. take-off curfew.
"We strongly urge you to postpone implementation . . . until it can be carried out in its entirety," the letter stated. The letter also urged Goldschmidt to "explore other methods of reducing the severe and constant noise and air pollution" created by air traffic at National.