Nominations open for the 2023 Winchester Mayor Awards

amanda behan

The City of Winchester’s Mayor Smith is now accepting nominees for the 2023 Mayor’s Awards for Excellence in Community Service.

The Awards will be given to individuals, businesses, groups, or organizations whose efforts in the community have showcased Winchester as a great place to be, helped others in the community without hesitation or motive, made contributions and shown commitment to the betterment of the community, and brought outside the box solutions to societal needs.

Winners of the 2022 awards included Access Independence, the Chabad Jewish Center, and Erica Truban.

Make sure to nominate your favorite business, organization, or individual before the October 31st deadline.

A link to the nomination form is available here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

The City of Winchester receives grant to plant 800 new trees

amanda behan

The City of Winchester reports receiving a grant to plant over 800 new trees.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded $550,000 to the city for the project.

The funds are to be used to plant and maintain trees in specified areas of the city.

The project is part of the USDA’s $1 billion Urban and Community Forestry Grant Initiative.

The project looks to combat extreme heat and climate change and provide equitable access to nature and urban neighborhoods.

The grant is a part of Mayor Smith’s October 7 proclamation designating Winchester as a Tree City USA community for the 42nd consecutive year.

The funds will help in the planting of approximately 800 new trees primarily in the northeast part of the city over the next 3 to 5 years.

The building of a tree canopy will depend largely on community input with information on how to get involved forthcoming.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Applications now open for heating assistance in Winchester

amanda behan

The City of Winchester is now accepting applications for Fuel Assistance through November 13th.

Fuel Assistance is designed to help households overcome energy emergencies including heating equipment repair, purchase of heating equipment, deposit for a gas tank, emergency shelter and other similar expenses.

To meet eligibility requirements, applicants must be a resident of the City of Winchester, have heating or cooling expense responsibilities, and meet income requirements.

Residents can apply through a link available here, by phone at 855-635-4370, or by visiting the Winchester Department of Social Services at 24 Baker Street.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Drought declaration lifted in Winchester

The City of Winchester has lifted the emergency drought declaration, meaning mandatory water use restrictions have also been lifted!

However, the City is still under a Drought Warning.

The water volume in the river increased somewhat this week, but it is still at historic lows, so it is important to continue to conserve water voluntarily.

The City will continue to monitor the water supply, but if the river’s flow decreases again, a future Drought declaration may be needed.

For more information visit for conservation tips.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Mandatory water conservation for Winchester City

amanda behan

The City of Winchester has issued a mandatory water conservation alert.

Due to the record low levels of water as of Friday, September 8, 2023.

The following water activities are not allowed in the city limits:

• Watering the lawn
• Gardening irrigation with hose or containers more than three (3) gallons, between 10:00 a.m. and the 9 p. m.
• Irrigation of the sports fields between 9 p.m. and 10 a.m. with only an inch of water every 10 days.
• Wash or spray paved surfaces
• Car wash with hose or containers larger than three (3) gallons (except for commercial car washes*)
*Commercial car washes do not use recycled water or reduce water use by 10 percent.
• Use of ornamental fountains or flatterers
• Use of fire hydrants for non-emergency purposes.
• Serve water in restaurants unless requested by the customer.
Winchester citizens who have questions about the drought emergency or mandatory water use restrictions can call 540-662-4131 or email
For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Youngkin announces $2.9 million in small business and historic revitalization grants

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced $2.9 million in grants for 45 projects across the Commonwealth.

The funded projects will revitalize historic commercial districts, expand small businesses and grow local economies.

Some local communities are recipients of the grants including Downtown Front Royal which will receive $15,000 towards Organizational Structure.

The City of Winchester will receive $20,000 for nonprofit restructuring.

Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance was one of the largest beneficiaries receiving $100,000 for their Bricks and Clicks program.

In total, the projects will support nearly 650 business, create or expand another 53 businesses, train 140 entrepreneurs, provide 112 improvement projects, and leverage close to a million dollars in private investment.

To view the Governor’s announcement including additional information on the projects, click here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Free dial-a-ride for vets

The City of Winchester is committed to honoring veterans.

Beginning on Monday, August 21st, the city’s transportation system, WinTran, will offer dial-a-ride to city vets.

This new service will allow Winchester Veterans to be picked up from their desired point in the city and be taken to the Winchester Veterans Clinic on Dawson Drive in Winchester.

Proof of Veteran status is needed.

Vets may call the WinTran dispatch office for more information.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Winchester approves budget for 2024

The City of Winchester recently approved the budget for the 2024 fiscal year and announced some of the highlights included.

Winchester Public Schools received full funding for their proposed budget including a 7% salary increase for teachers.

The Public Safety department will see an additional police officer, three firefighters, and 8 vehicles.

Winchester Parks and Rec will see upgrades including a new skate park, two new soccer fields, and numerous upgrades.

Public Services will receive 2 new trash trucks and replace or repave miles of sidewalks and roadways including widening of the Green Circle Trail.

To view an infographic of the budget highlights, click here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Winchester Emergency Communications Personnel deemed First Responders

The City of Winchester’s Mayor John Smith made a proclamation naming Emergency Communications Personnel of the Winchester Police Department as first responders.

In the proclamation, Mayor Smith acknowledged the importance of the role of Emergency Communications Personnel including their crucial dissemination of information to firefighters and police officers.

He also reminded residents that this personnel is the first point of contact for community members who may be experiencing a stressful emergency and of their substantial contributions in apprehending criminals, suppressing fires, and treating patients.

The Winchester Police Department hopes that this proclamation will continue to other agencies around Virginia to acknowledge the significant contributions of Emergency Communications Personnel.

To view the proclamation, click here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

News Maker Amy Simmons on a Citizens’ Academy

The City of Winchester is offering the Insight Citizens’ Academy in early January.

We spoke with the Director of Communications for Winchester Amy Simmons about the academy in our latest news maker.

News makers are brought to you by Warren County Together We are Community.

Amy gives us a little history behind the academy that offers citizens an inside look at city government.

She also tells us what is involved with the several sessions that the academy offers.

Amy also reminds us that space is limited and registration should be made soon here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here

News Makers
News Makers
News Maker Amy Simmons on a Citizens' Academy