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Issue 155

Friday, March 10, 2023

Prince William County

Dear Neighbors,

As we proceed in the budget process, this past week the Board heard a detailed report about another facet of the proposed budget, expected revenues. I would like to spotlight two items from the presentation.

The first is the graph (slide 19 of the presentation) showing we have been able to successfully lower the real estate tax rate over the last three years (orange line) to offset increases in home values. In many of the years immediately prior, while home values increased, this tax rate remained flat. As I noted in the last issue, the proposed rate is $.977 for FY24, which is 6 cents less than our current $1.03 rate.

The second item involves the impact of data center revenues on the County. In the current year's budget, the revenue from data center is $101 million (slide 32 of the presentation). I asked staff to quantify the impact of not having this revenue on the tax rate. I was advised that without the data center revenue, at our current expenditure levels, the tax rate would need to be 13 cents higher to make up for the loss. Staff further advised, if the tax rate was raised to cover this amount, the average tax bill would increase by over $600. 

My vision for Prince William County has always been to bring in more of a commercial tax base to offset the reliance on residential tax bills. We are just seeing that come to fruition with the ability to lower the tax rate over the last three years. Additionally, this year's proposed 6 cent tax rate decrease equates to an average tax bill increase of $49 ($78 with the fire levy), which is much less than the proposed increase of our surrounding jurisdictions (slide 20 of the presentation). 

I hope you will take a moment to look through the budget revenue presentation we had on Tuesday for yourself. There is a wealth of knowledge there.

In Service,

Chair Ann Wheeler

Chair's Calendar


Sunday, March 5, Chair Wheeler attended Ebenezer Baptist Church's 140 Anniversary Celebration (BOCS issue 154).

Regional Board Meeting

Wednesday, March 7, Chair Wheeler participated in the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Board of Directors Meeting.


The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Regional Fair Housing Plan (County News issue 152) comment window is open through Friday, March 31. The video below will provide a high-level understanding of the plan's purpose. You can read the plan in its entirety and submit your feedback here.

U.S. Government Office Briefing

Thursday, March 9, Chair Wheeler spoke at the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) meeting which was about Northern Virginia as a possible location for the new FBI Headquarters (Chair's Calendar issue 152). 

About the GSA

The GSA was founded in 1949 by President Truman to streamline the administrative work of the Federal Government. Today, its mission has evolved to provide stewardship of the way the government uses and provides real estate, acquisition services, and technology.

Student Presentations

Thursday, March 9, Chair Wheeler visited the Porter Traditional Middle School by invitation to participate in the 8th Grade Social Studies' Civics and Economics class presentations. The Chair listened to eight student presentations on topics ranging from decreasing pedestrian fatalities to addressing community substance abuse and provided feedback.

A "School of Choice"

Students attend Porter Traditional School by choice, rather than by geographic assignment. This allows educators and parents to shape the programs in the best interests of the students. This is different from general public education, where the programs must consider the entire public population of the school system.

School Namesake

Mary G. Porter began her career as a first grade teacher at Cabin Branch, a three-room elementary school in Dumfries. In 1966, Ms. Porter was one of the "Courageous Four" (County News issue 132) selected to pilot the desegregation program at Dumfries Elementary School. Ms. Porter wrote and directed school plays and musical productions to help boost children's confidence and self-esteem through drama. She crafted learning blocks, cards, and other visual aids to reach the students who learn in different ways. In retirement she was an active tutor for her church and local organizations, and financially supported students' desire for higher education. Both Ms. Porter's daughters became PWC teachers and her grandson currently teaches for the school division.

Transportation Meeting

Thursday, March 9, Chair Wheeler participated in the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority's Governance and Personnel Committee meeting, which was followed by the monthly General meeting.

Next Meeting

Tuesday, March 14

2:00 pm

Work Session

For Public Comment Time options visit SpeakUp! Prince WilliamRemote speakers must sign up by 5:00 pm on Monday, March 13. In-person speakers can sign up at the meeting.

View the Agenda
Register to Speak Remotely

The BOCS Tuesday, March 7, Meeting Actions

Proclaimed March Procurement Month and recognized procurement and materials management professionals and the role they play in fostering efficient government. In addition to procuring goods and services, the Finance Department Division of Procurement staff engage in, or have direct responsibility for, executing, implementing, and administering contracts, developing forecasts and procurement strategies, and

developing working relationships with suppliers.

Proclaimed March Social Work Appreciation Month and commended all

Social Workers and Human Services Caseworkers for their important work in breaking barriers faced by residents and transforming lives. The 150 staff members of the PWC Department of Social Services and Prince William Area Agency on Aging provide, or support programs that provide services to local individuals and families. Their work strengthen families, creates permanency for children, and protects aged and disabled adults and children.

Proclaimed March 12 through 18 Flood Awareness Week. Flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster nationwide, but only 3% of Virginians have flood insurance. The PWC Office of Emergency Management, in

collaboration with it’s whole-community partners, is facilitating a variety of outreach activities throughout the month to encourage all residents and business owners to know their flood risk, purchase flood insurance, and “Turn Around, Don't Drown®" when roads are flooded.

Steps to Take During Flood Conditions

  • Heed flood warnings.
  • Do not walk through flowing water. It can knock you off your feet.
  • Do not drive through a flooded area. If your vehicle stalls in high water, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground.
  • If possible, cut off electricity, water, and gas supply. Stay away from power lines and gas leaks.
  • Be wary of animals, especially snakes. Small animals that have been flooded out of their homes may seek shelter in yours.

You can learn more on PWC's Flood Safety website, the County's interactive Floodplain map, and FEMA's Proposed Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) for PWC.

County News

Feedback Still Being Accepted

Recently, PWC Schools hosted four safety and security community engagement events on its comprehensive approach to “deter, detect, and defend,” including the use of new preventative advanced security screening technology, Evolv Express® (County News issue 152). Should you have comments or questions about Evolv, you can still submit them via an online form here.

Transportation Meeting

Tuesday, March 14, from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm, the PWC Department of Transportation is hosting a Transportation Tuesday virtual information session on the Route 28 Bypass Project. The session will provide the latest preliminary traffic progress and general design project updates. A recording will also be posted to the project website. Questions will be captured to shape future communications and engagement. Information on registering to attend, as well as how to submit comments or questions can be found here.

Free Educational Webinar

Wednesday, March 15, at 6:00 pm the PWC Clerk of Circuit Court, Human Rights Commission, Office of Elections, and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will be hosting a free webinar, Re-entry the Prince William County Way. Topics of discussion will be the Expungement of Records, Voting Rights Reinstatement, and Employment Discrimination. Register to attend the virtual event here.

A Piece of PWC Goes to Hollywood

The Oscars are happening this Sunday and Bored Rebel®, a woman-owned Haymarket based apparel company specializing in graphic undershirts, was selected to be included in this year’s “Everyone Wins” Nominee Gift Bags. Arguably the world’s most famous swag bag, this gift bag is valued in the six figures. 

About Bored Rebel

Founder Stacy Flax wondered why her husband’s boxer shorts always had fun designs on them and his undershirts, in stark comparison, were always plain and boring. Bored Rebel, patent pending Graphic Undershirts™ feature a vertical printed design centered under the thicker buttoned fabric of a dress shirt, hiding the message underneath. At least 10% of profits are contributed to charitable causes, including donating “You’ve Got This” Graphic Undershirts to workforce development charities that help people dress for job interviews and careers. 

Spring Forward

Sunday, March 12, at 2:00 am, Daylight Saving Time (DST) begins and clocks move forward one hour. Note, if you have family or friends in Arizona or Hawaii, those states don't move to DST. To make the help your body make the adjustment, the Farmer's Almanac suggests the tips below to help your body adjust.

Farmer's Almanac Tips for Adjusting to a Time Change

  • While it’s tempting to stay up later or change your habits, it’s best to keep your bed times consistent. Strive to get at least seven hours of sleep on the day(s) before and after the transition. 
  • In the days after the time change, quit caffeinated beverages 4 to 6 hours before bedtime, avoid alcohol in the evening, and If you are exercising, avoid workouts within 4 hours of bedtime.
  • On the days around the time change, eat at the same time or even eat a little early. To ease the transition, shift your mealtime forward 15 minutes for a few days in a row.
  • Go outside and get exposure to morning sunlight on the Sunday after the time change to help regulate your internal clock. Continue to take time to in the morning to walk outside when the sun is out. 
  • If you’re starting to stack up sleepless hours, it’s safer and healthier for your body to give in to a short nap (no more than 20 minutes) than to continue without sleep.

County Happenings

It's Not too Late to Help Out

Saturday, March 11, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, join Leopold's Preserve (County Happenings issue 109) annual cleanup. Volunteers just need to bring your own pair of protective gloves and some water to drink, the Preserve will provide trash bags and grabbers. If you can only make it part of the time, your help would still be greatly appreciated. Register to participate here.

Have Fun While Helping Others

Saturday, March 18, from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm, the Haymarket Regional Food Pantry (Chair's Calendar issue 130) is hosting Soup-er Bingo at the Piney Branch Elementary School in Bristow. It promises to be an afternoon filled with fun and cash prizes! Bingo cards start at $1 or 1 soup-er non-perishable food item. Tickets may be purchased online here (credit card), or at the event (cash only). 

Celebrating traditional Irish Music

Sunday, March 19, 4:30 pm, take a musical journey along Ireland’s rugged and wild coastline at the Hylton Performing Arts Center with traditional Irish music icons, Dervish. For more than 30 years, the Emerald Isle sextet has reigned as one of the leading names in traditional Irish music. You can get a taste of the band in the 3-minute video below and purchased tickets here.

Honoring Those Who Serve

Wednesday, March 29, 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm, the Prince William Chamber of Commerce is hosting the 2023 Valor Awards at the Hylton Performing Arts Center. The annual event recognizes police, fire, and rescue workers for their courageous and often life-saving actions. Recipients are nominated by their chiefs and selected by a committee of their peers and members of the business community. The free event is open to the community. Register to attend here.

She Persisted

Through Friday, March 31, the PWC Public Libraries is hosting a free children's She Persisted Scavenger Hunt at the Bull Run branch in celebration Women's History Month. Participants, kindergarten through sixth grade, are provided a form and search for the influential women and girls hidden around the branch's youth services department. Then submit your completed form for a chance to win a free book!

Read the section below to learn about Women's History Month!

Speaking of the PWC Public Libraries,the Spring 2023 Explore online magazine is available. In it you can "explore" all the programs happening throughout the Library system through May. Events are organized by age group as well as location in "quick flip" sections. . You'll also find general library information and helpful tips.

County Kudos

Celebrating Influential Women

Every year Prince William Living celebrates Women's History Month with its Influential Women Awards. Below are just a few of the accomplishments by this year's five honorees. You can read more about these amazing ladies in the March 2023 issue of Prince William Living Magazine.

Influential Women 2023 Award Winners from left to right:

Kristina Keech Spitler, Lisa Shea, Evelyn BruMar, Dr. Vanessa Gattis, and Donna Flory (Photo Credit Prince William Living)

Kristina Keech Spitler

Kristina helped create Leadership Prince William, Inc. (Congratulations issue 34) and the Prince William Chapter for the Society of Human Resource Management. She heads Employment Law at Vanderpool, Frostick and Nishanian, P.C.

Lisa Shea

Lisa founded Immigrants First PLLC, was President of the Prince William Chapter Virginia Women's Attorney Association, and served on the Board of ACTS Domestic Violence Services. She heads Immigration Law at Vanderpool, Frostick and Nishanian, P.C.

Evelyn BruMar

Evelyn founded and serves as the Executive Director of the Casa BruMar Foundation (County Kudos issue 78), Vice Chair of the Prince William Human Rights Commission, and an appointed member of the Virginia LGBTQ+ Advisory Board of the Governor of Virginia.

Dr. Vanessa Gattis

Dr. Gattis, a retired U.S. Army Colonel, founded the Prince William County Community Foundation (Chair's Calendar issue129), which portfolio of services includes Combating Hunger on Wheels (C.H.O.W) Wagon, scholarships, micro-grants, and health initiatives.

Donna Flory

Donna is the Community Services Leader and Leadership Council member of the PWC American Red Cross, acting alum of Leadership Prince William, Inc., as well as guest trumpeter in PWC and regionally, including at "Hanging of the Wreaths" in Arlington National Cemetery.

The origins of Women’s History Month date back to the 1970s, a time when women’s history was virtually an unknown topic in the K-12 curriculum. President Ronald Reagan's Proclamation 5619 declared March 1987 as "Women's History Month." Learn more about its journey from idea to proclamation in the Special Acknowledgement section of issue 55 and Chair's Calendar section of issue 110.

The Women's History Month website provides the many ways U.S. Government Departments are commemorating and encouraging the study, observance, and celebration of the vital role of women in American history. This includes All American: The Power of Sports, a new exhibit, open until January 7, 2024, at the National Archives Museum includes stories and artifacts related to women trailblazers in sports, such as Wilma Rudolph, Billie Jean King, and Althea Gibson.

Helpful Links


How to Get Vaccinated (including boosters):

How to get tested:


Ann B. Wheeler was elected Chair At-Large of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors during the 2019 General Election and assumed office on January 1, 2020. Prince William County is located 25 miles south of Washington, D.C., and is the Commonwealth of Virginia’s second-most populous county with approximately 482,000 residents. 
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