Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Stormwater Credits

Non-residential

The city of Richmond offers non-residential customers the opportunity to apply for up to 50 percent off their stormwater utility bill. Examples of low impact development building techniques that non-residential customers can implement to receive credits include pervious pavers, bioretention drains, and rain gardens.

Residential

The city now offers residential stormwater utility customers the opportunity to receive credits for implementing techniques on their property that reduce the quantity and /or improve the quality of polluted stormwater runoff.

Residential properties may apply for partial credits up to 50 percent starting in December 2010. Credits will be applied retroactively. Some examples of low impact development techniques that residential customers can implement include rain barrels and rain gardens.

For more information about stormwater utility credits, visit our website, email the stormwater utility, or call 644-3000.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Greening Virginia's Capitol

The Department of General Services will be working with the Department of Conservation and Recreation to create a “green corridor” in downtown Richmond and around the State Capitol building. This project will be using $798,988 of a federal grant funding four projects in the Commonwealth that focus on implementing innovative “green” techniques and technologies.

The project will help reduce the amount of polluted storm water runoff that enters the Chesapeake Bay Watershed by about 65 percent.
The project will, in partnership with numerous local, state, federal and non-profit organizations, install a combination of practices that will create a “green” corridor along 9th and 10th Street from Bank to Cary, and at two alleys within blocks of the Square.

In Capitol Square, the terraced brick steps will be replaced with permeable pavers, a rain garden will be installed to collect and filter rain water and prevent erosion, and rain water collected in the storm trap will be reused to irrigate the grounds.

Legislators, state and city government employees, downtown business employees, citizens, and tourists visit Capitol Square on a daily basis. This highly visible project site will provide an educational opportunity for citizens and other visitors to learn about reducing storm water runoff utilizing innovative low impact development techniques such as green streets, permeable pavers, and rain gardens.

For more information and to see maps and a video of the project, visit www.greenvacapitol.org.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Robert Steidel Appointed Interim Director

Department of Public Utilities Deputy Director Robert Steidel has been named interim director while a national search for a permanent director is underway.

Director Chris Beschler, who has been serving as a deputy chief administrative officer of Operations for the city of Richmond, will continue in that position, overseeing the departments of Public Utilities, Public Works, the Richmond Animal Care and Control agency, and the 3-1-1 Call Center.

Steidel has been with the Department of Public Utilities since 2003, overseeing the water, stormwater, and wastewater utilities, directing a staff of 187 and managing a $30 million annual operating budget and $100 million biennial capital budget. Prior to coming to Richmond, he was the environmental manager and assistant director for the City of Hopewell's Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility. He's also worked for the Rock River Water Reclamation District in Rockford, Ill., the Winnebago County Department of Public Health in Rockford, and Winona State University in Minnesota.

He is the current president of the Virginia Association of Municipal Wastewater Agencies and chairs the National Association of Clean Water Agencies Security and Emergency Preparedness Committee. He is a board member of the James River Basin Association and the Wet Weather Partnership, and treasurer of the Virginia Water Environment Association.

He has a master of public administration from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a bachelor's in biology and chemistry from Winona State University.

Cooking with Gas

Charles demonstrates to his daughter, Isabelle, how to make a grilled cheese sandwich on their gas stove. "We really enjoy cooking with gas," says mom Andrea. (last name withheld by request)