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Council Approves Repairs to Historic Speiden Carper House

City also Oks $2 million for sewer upgrade

The Manassas City Council approved $35,000 for roof repairs at the historic Speiden Carper House, considered a signature example of turn-of-the-century architecture used after a 1905 fire destroyed most of Old Town Manassas.

The Battle Street house, designed by Albert Speiden, is part of the Manassas Museum System. The city acquired the house, which incorporates several architectural elements popular in the early-20th-century Aesthetic Movement, in 2005 as part of the will of Speiden’s daughter, Virginia Speiden Carper, city officials said Monday at the Manassas City Council meeting.

Speiden is considered one of the most productive architects in the city, creating buildings throughout the Washington DC and Northern Virginia.

In Manassas, he designed the town hall and the Hopkins Candy Factory. The home was included on the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places in 1998.

The city’s other historic sites include the 1825 Liberia Plantation, Civil War-era Cannon Branch and Mayfield Earthwork Forts, the Manassas Industrial School/ Jennie Dean Memorial, the Hopkins Candy Factory/Center for the Arts and the historic Manassas Railroad Depot.

Sewer System Upgrade

On Monday, council also approved $2 million for a sewer system upgrade to keep surface water from rushing into the sanitary sewer system during periods of heavy rain. The Upper Occoquan Sewage Authority (UOSA), which treats Manassas’ sewage, is enforcing new U.S. Enviromental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations that require the elimination of all stormwater, also called inflow, from sanitary sewer systems.

“Work will begin in the next 30 days and the locations are city-wide in various locations in the sanitary sewer system,” Patty Prince, city communications coordinator said.

The inflow reduction project will not only reduce sewage overflow occurrences, but will recapture valuable sewer capacity needed by the city, according to a city report. And, it will eventually save money by decreasing the volume sent to UOSA, reducing treatment costs.

In other business, the council also:

  • Allocated $5,000 to match a grant from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management to purchase four flat-screen television monitors to be installed on the walls of the "Alternate" Emergency Operations Center located in the Manassas Public Works and Utilities conference room.
  • Spent $6,187.50 to match a grant from the justice department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance Bulletproof Vest Partnership. The money will be used to replace worn-out vests for the city’s police officers, who are required to wear the vests while on patrol.
  • Received $78,950 from the state Criminal Alien Assistance Program that partially reimburses the city for the costs to incarcerate criminal aliens.
  • Allocated about $14,000 for the purchase of two replacement coagulant pumps at the Manassas Water Treatment Plant. Parts for the current pumps are no longer available. 

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