About 40 residents turned out Monday night at the second of three public hearings on Falls Church's proposed 1986 budget to urge City Council members to support projects ranging from sewer drain systems to the proposed school budget of $6.6 million.
Eugene Harrison, a retired federal worker, was the first of 14 speakers. A resident of Spring Court off West Broad Street, he was one of three who urged the council to take steps to fix what he described as an "open sewer" situation in his neighborhood.
Harrison, who has lived in the same house for 30 years, said that the tiny Tripps Run tributary that ran through his back yard in 1955 over the years has grown to a six-foot-deep, 15-foot-wide stream that floods several times a year into the yards, garages and streets in the area.
"It's now like a swampland," he said. "If it were put underground, I think it would alleviate the flooding and prevent it from being an open sewer."
Harrison said the matter was first brought to the council's attention in 1962 during consideration of a bond issue for storm drainage. Harrison said the matter was brought up in subsequent years but "was delayed each year."
Once again, the Tripps Run storm drainage project for the Spring Street area is before the council, this time as part of the 1986-1990 proposed capital improvement program.
Griffin has suggested spending $16,500 for a study of the problem in fiscal 1986 and $110,000 for construction of a drain system during fiscal 1990.
"Certainly the council will talk about it," said Vice Mayor and council member Robert Hubbell. But he added that "he wouldn't have any prediction" as to when or if the council would take up the project as a priority.
Several people spoke on the $6.6 million school operating budget, urging the council to support it. The Falls Church School Board is asking for $5.1 million from the city, which represents about a 10.9 percent increase from what the city paid toward the budget last year, according to school officials.
Kathy Pofs, president of the Falls Church Elementary PTA, urged the council to fund the budget fuly. "We live in a city that has a school system which is known for its small classes and high quality of education," she said.
In other action, the council voted to postpone a decision on the fate of a 19th century house at 215 E. Jefferson St. until May 28. The May meeting will include a public hearing.
The owner of the house, L.F. Jennings, wanted to raze the building and replace it with a contemporary house last fall. But an 11-month-old law requiring city approval for demolition of structures built before 1910 forced Jennings to bring the matter before the newly created Architectural Review Board.
When that commission turned down his request, Jennings appealed it to the City Council.
It is the first time under the historic preservation law that such a decision has been appealed to the council.