Vienna may lose its "minipark" in the center of town if the owner of the property sells it to a private developer.
That prospect became more likely this week after the Town Council Monday night rejected a proposal that the town and the Fairfax County Park Authority purchase the property, at Maple Avenue and Center Street, from owner Kenneth Trunnell.
The proposal, defeated 6 to 1, would have required Vienna to put up $210,000 to buy the 32,000-square-foot site, with the remainig $150,000 of the purchase price coming from the park authority, according to Fairfax County Supervisor Martha Pennino, whose district includes Vienna.
Without an offer from the town, Trunnell is expected to sell the property to a private developer who wants to construct three office buildings, Pennino said.
The minipark--which has a gazebo, benches and gardens--has been used as a park since 1968, although the town never has owned it, according to Marie Kisner, Vienna public information officer. In 1977, the council offered Trunnell $200,000 for the property, but then he wanted $227,000, Kisner said.
She said council members who voted against acquiring the property Monday said they believed the town could not afford it.
"Most people in the town of Vienna think the town owns that park," Pennino said. "I fear there will be a stampede on Town Hall when the first bulldozers appear on that tract."
Pennino urged the council to save the park, saying it would be "absolutely disastrous" to lose the open space. "Once that is gone, it's gone forever," she said.
At Monday's meeting, Pennino also told the council that the county's jitney bus service through Vienna will end March 6.
Kisner said the 17-seat buses, which run between Tysons Corner and Oakton, have been underused. County transportation officials had hoped for a minimum of 10 passengers a trip but the average was six, she said. The county also pays a subsidy of $3.50 for every passenger instead of $2, as originally planned, she added.
The jitney service was started in August 1980 as a one-year experiment. When ridership did not improve by last summer, county transportation officials wanted to cancel the service but agreed to a six-month extension through this month, Kisner said.
A Renaissance Fair, produced recently at Terraset Elementary School in Reston, featured demonstrations of skills learned from a study project on the period. The fair was run by 50 fourth, fifth and sixth graders at Terraset who participate in the school system's Gifted and Talented Program. The children designed many of their own costumes and planned exhibitions of pottery, puppetry, printmaking, stonecutting, brass-rubbing and fresco. About 900 students attended the fair, where roving student musicians entertained with flutes and lutes.
The Terraset fair was one of five held recently under the direction of Odessa Thomas, an itinerant gifted/talented teacher who instructs 145 students at Terraset, Forest Edge, Fox Mill, Pimmit Hills, Westgate and Kent Gardens elementary schools.