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May 2018 BSCL Meeting

  • Barcroft School & Civic League 800 South Buchanan Street Arlington, VA, 22204 United States (map)

BSCL met on May 3 for its monthly meeting.


President Chris Siple called the meeting to order at 7:30pm. The minutes of the April meeting were approved as drafted. 


Our program was a presentation by Scott Reamy of Dominion Energy on our recent power outages and the quality of responses during the outages. Nick Landis who is their reliability engineer and Rick Nelson supported him. 

If power goes out you must call Dominion or contact them online, since they do not know whether or not your power is on. They have a phone app. You can ask for a callback to confirm when power is restored. Their system assigns each outage with a priority number. The mobile app can show the status of your problem. 

Our neighborhood is fed from Columbia Pike. Dominion has a longstanding program to underground more lines that have been unreliable. In Barcroft, power is reliable compared to the rest of the system, and there are no plans to underground any lines in Barcroft.

On March 2 Dominion had the fifth largest storm in its history, complicated by continuing winds. As a number of Barcrofters discovered during that storm, after initially calling in your power outage, you have to continue calling it in, or Dominion crews may cancel the ticket thinking the power has been restored. So ask for a callback and make sure your neighbors are also calling in until power is actually restored. (Dominion will someday transition to a new system that notifies them when your power is out.) For our meeting, Dominion looked into the ticket cancellation problem in Barcroft during the March storm but did not reach any conclusions on what went wrong. It happens every time with a large event. Dominion has tried to improve their performance, but concluded that the real answer will be the new smart system.

Dominion will send an arborist out if you think you have a tree that may cause a storm outage.

Annual Election of Officers was postponed until September due to lack of prior notice of a slate. Some officers will repeat, but we need a Recording Secretary.

Barcroft's next Neighborhood Conservation Project is the abandoned Dominion substation and adjacent parkland will be resubmitted to the County with several changes:

We had wanted the County to purchase the land, but that proposal has never been successful due to PCB contamination at the site that Dominion has not cleaned up to meet residential/playground standards. The cost of PCB remediation would be much too high for a Neighborhood Conservation project.

Our new proposal will focus on improvements to the surrounding parkland, from Pershing Drive to the W&OD trail, along Grandma's Creek. It will include the need to improve access from Pershing Drive and improve (but not pave) the footpath along Grandma's Creek, possibly improving the logs used as bridges. It will include removing invasives, including bamboo along 7th St S., and restoring native vegetation. Erosion control is needed. The project may encompass improved access to the park at the 5th and 6th Street entrances. Bill Brougham has volunteered to be the project coordinator. A motion was adopted unanimously designating this project as our first priority for Neighborhood Conservation funding.

Tee Shirt Project

Carol Harvey updated us on the tee shirt project. The design is in the May edition of the Barcroft News. There will be a choice of red or blue, and a woman's cut option. Price will be $15 each, or $10 for kids, paid by cash or checks. The committee hopes to begin selling them before the 4th of July, and will notify the chat list when they are ready. 

Notes and Announcements

Barcroft Community House maintenance:  The heating and air conditioning system will be replaced with new units on May 24 and 25. The irrigation system has been given a spring checkup but only used once so far. 

The meeting adjourned at 9pm.

Respectfully submitted
Randy Swart
Still awaiting a volunteer to be Recording Secretary