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Issue 136

Friday, October 14, 2022

Prince William County

Dear Neighbors,

With 350 square miles and almost half a million residents, it's not surprising how much is happening in Prince William County in any given week. I would like to take a moment to reflect on the many different facets connected to our County government which have been covered in this and other recent Wheeler Reports.

We have had internal happenings, like recruit graduations and grand openings. I have been honored to attend and participate in our County's many community events. Celebrations, like groundbreakings and ribbon-cuttings, connect us to the business community and all we have to offer here in Prince William County. Last, but not least, at our Board meetings we hear from the public and staff agencies, make budget and policy decisions, and evaluate land use. 

The last item, land use, is one that often brings varied opinions from residents. An upcoming Wheeler Report will touch upon a few upcoming large land use cases to provide you with timely and factual information. 

There is always something going on, in the County government and the community. I am grateful for all I am able to work on and be involved with on a daily basis. The excitement for the future of our County is palpable, and it’s great to be on this journey forward together.

In Service,

Chair Ann Wheeler

Chair's Calendar


Saturday, October 8, Chair Wheeler attended the Prince William County Community Foundation (PWCCF) (issue 129) second annual Health and Wellness Expo in Woodbridge. The well-attended event had a wide variety of vendors and included blood pressure and dental screenings, wellness and financial tips, safety information from fire and police, free giveaways, and more! Pictured below with Chair Wheeler (bottom center) is Dr. Vanessa M. Gattis, PWCCF President and CEO.

Annual Fundraiser

Saturday, October 8, Chair Wheeler attended the Youth for Tomorrow (issue 43) 37th Annual County Fair and Auction. Every dollar raised from this event helps support its mission to continue helping children in crisis who need a safe place to live and heal. It does this by placing children in loving foster families, as well as providing mental health counseling to help children and adults across Northern Virginia cope with life’s challenges, overcome substance use or rebuild relationships. Pictured below with Chair Wheeler (far left picture on right) is Dr. Gary L. Jones, Ph. D, Youth for Tomorrow Chief Executive Officer.

Anniversary Celebration

Sunday, October 9, Chair Wheeler attended the First Baptist Church Manassas 150th Church Anniversary. First Baptist was founded in 1872 in what was known then as Manassas Junction, where the first major land battle of the American Civil War occurred. July, in 1872, represents the month when the founding meeting took place near what is now the Old Town Manassas train station and the Harris Pavilion. 

Route 1 Corridor Groundbreaking

Wednesday, October 12, Chair Wheeler participated in the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the 95 East Distribution Center. The 113,490 square foot distribution and fulfillment facility in North Woodbridge is the first development project in the County’s new E-Commerce Overlay and represents a $22.95 million redevelopment investment as well as an estimated 100 new jobs in supply chain logistics. In addition to being part of the overlay, the 95 East Distribution Center is the first new industrial project east of 1-95 in Woodbridge in over a decade and coincides with culminating road work to widen and revitalize the Route 1 corridor.

Secretary Meeting

Wednesday, October 13, Chair Wheeler, participated in a meeting with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Xavier Becerra held at the GPW Health Center in Woodbridge. 

GPW Health Center is a private, non-profit community health center serving PWC and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park, as well as other surrounding areas of Northern Virginia. A community health center, it serves as an important safety-net healthcare delivery role for the most vulnerable patients, reducing health gaps caused by differences in race and ethnicity, location, social status, income, and other factors that can affect health. As a designated Federally Qualified Health Center, it uses an integrative care model, providing the convenience of Medical, Pediatric, OB/GYN, Dental and Behavioral Health services for the whole family in each of their three locations. 

Talk and Tour

Thursday, October 13, Chair Wheeler toured Project Mend-a-House in Manassas and met with staff members and Interim Executive Director, M. A. Sargo. Project Mend-A-House serves individuals that live with disabilities, are elderly, or are veterans that are low-income, by repairing or modifying their homes to ensure that they are able to continue living safely and healthily in their own homes. The work can include HVAC, plumbing, drywall, wheelchair ramps, bathroom modifications, and more. All home repairs, including materials, are provided at no charge. 

Project Mend-A-House was founded nearly 40 years ago by Lily Blackwell. Ms. Blackwell was appalled by the large number of seniors living in shockingly unacceptable housing conditions, conditions they themselves could not afford to repair. Having obtained funding from the PW Area Agency on Aging as well as other local organizations, Project Mend-A-House, the vision, became a reality and began its journey to assist PWC residents - seniors, veterans, and persons with disabilities - to be able to live independently in a home. Ms. Blackwell was far ahead of the curve in helping senior citizens Age-in-Place

Next Meeting

Tuesday, October 18

2:00 pm and 7:30 pm

For Public Comment Time options visit SpeakUp! Prince WilliamRemote speakers must sign-up by 5:00 pm on Monday, October 17. In-person speakers can sign up at the meeting.

View the Agenda
Register to Speak Remotely

Commendations, Recognition and Proclamation from the Tuesday, September 6, BOCS meeting 

Commended Omicron Zeta Sigma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. for thirteen years of service to Prince William County. The Omicron Zeta Sigma Chapter's has provided over $75,000 in scholarships and tutoring services to local students through its Education program. Its Bigger and Better Business program has partnered with and supported the growth and sustainment of minority owned business. Through its Social Action program, members have performed over 13,000 community service hours supporting homeless and lower-income families, advocating community / law enforcement relations, and promoting better health and wellness.  

Brothers of the Omicron Zeta Sigma Chapter accepted the commendation, including Curtis Porter (center), Chair of the PWC Human Rights Commission.

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity was founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C., January 9, 1914, by three young African-American male students. The Founders, Honorable A. Langston Taylor, Honorable Leonard F. Morse, and Honorable Charles I. Brown, wanted to organize a Greek letter fraternity that would truly exemplify the ideals of brotherhood, scholarship, and service.

Commended the Poet Laureate Circle for highlighting poetry, encouraging

community participation in this ancient art form, and cultivating local writers who bring us creative verse. Poetry as an art form through storytelling and song predates the written word. Today it spans a vast portfolio of genres which encompass, chronicle, and challenge the human story throughout the ages. In poetry, the rhythm, imagery, symbolism, and resonance of words speak to the universality of culture and embody the heart and soul of community. Honoring practicing poets with the title “Poet Laureate,” is a way to promote writing and artistic expression within society.

PWC Arts Council Secretary, Alice Mergler (holding commendation), and PWC Poet Laureate Emerita, Kim B Miller (second from right), were among those who accepted the commendation.

In 2014, PWC became the first and only County in Virginia to have a Poet Laureate. Saturday, October 8, the Prince William County Arts Council crowned and Michelle Garcia PWC Poet Laureate for 2022-2024. Michelle is a poet, memoirist, and multimedia artist from Lake Ridge. She attended Woodbridge High School and graduated from Virginia Tech May 2021 with dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in English Literature and Language, Creative Writing, and Communication Science and Social Inquiry. She is the author of Cul-de-sac Angels. Stay connected with Michelle via Twitter, Instagram, and her website.

Recognized Monday, October 10, as Indigenous Peoples’ Day and that the County is built upon the lands that were once the home of thousands of indigenous peoples. Eastern Prince William was the home of the Doeg People who spoke an Algonquian language and gave us the names of our rivers such as the Chopawamsic, Quantico, Neabsco, Marumsco, and the Occoquan. Western Prince William County was once the home of the Manhoac people, who spoke a Siouan language. We show respect for their legacy through committing ourselves to higher stewardship and embracing differences between one another. We thank them for allowing us to live, work, learn, and celebrate in their traditional homeland;

Grandma Sheila Hanson (holding recognition), Elder and Second Vice-President of the American Indian Society, founder of the United Tribes of the Shenandoah, and Shawnee Native American, was among those who accepted the recognition. 

Proclaimed October National Crime Prevention Month and the PWC Police Department is sponsoring a crime and drug prevention recognition program for the month. The “39th Annual Crime Prevention Month” provides a unique opportunity for Prince William County to join forces with other state and local law enforcement agencies and citizen communities across the country in promoting cooperative crime fighting efforts. It is essential that all citizens be aware of the importance of crime prevention programs and impact that their participation can have on reducing crime, drugs, and violence in Prince William County. Police-community partnerships, neighborhood safety, awareness, and cooperation are important themes of “Crime Prevention Month.”

Master Police Officer Juan Trujillo (center) and Police Chief Peter Newsham (right) accepted the proclamation.

County News

Days of Operation Change

PWC Department of Public Works will be closing the County’s Solid Waste facilities on Sundays beginning November 6. Despite the department’s efforts to recruit and reassign employees, they do not have sufficient staff to safely operate the Landfill and Balls Ford Road Compost Facility for the current 78 hours per week. Sunday was chosen commercial refuse haulers, which bring in most of the disposal tonnage, do not collect residential routes. Additionally, closing to the public on Sundays will give facility employees the opportunity to address deferred work and perform required maintenance and regulatory requirements. 

These facilities will continue to operate Mondays through Fridays from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm and Saturdays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Those interested in career opportunities with the Department of Public Works, or other County departments, can view current openings and apply online at

Survey Sent

The PWC Department of Information Technology will soon begin negotiations with its cable and broadband providers for franchise agreement renewals. As part of the process, the County recently mailed out a written survey to a random sample of households. Residents who receive the survey, even if they don’t currently subscribe to services, are asked to please complete it and return it no later than Friday, October 28, in the prepaid return envelope.  Comcast/Xfinity, RCN/Astound, and Verizon Fios currently provide these services. All information gathered will only be reported as a group and all individual responses will remain anonymous.

PWC Ghost Story

 PWC has a diverse and dramatic history since its creation in 1731. In those nearly 300 years, many unusual events have happened that have inspired the creation of ghost stories. Paige Gibbons-Backus from the PWC Office of Historic Preservation shares the intriguing history behind one of these ghost stories in the video below. The Office of Historic Preservation is a division of PWC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism.

The Office of Historic Preservation serves as stewards of County-owned historic structures, cultural and natural resources, historic landscapes, and artifacts. It builds community identity alongside our local partners by telling the story of the people of Prince William County. The office's goal is to show the connections between our history, our present, our future, and our growth as a community.

County Happenings

Wednesday, October 26, from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm, or while candy supplies last, the PWC Police Department will host a community Trunk or Treat in the Macy’s parking lot at the Manassas Mall, 8300 Sudley Road in Manassas. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, please call the Crime Prevention Unit at 703-792-7270.

Saturday, October 29, and Sunday, October 30, 10:00 am to 5:30 pm, the PWC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism is hosting family friendly Haunted Mini Golf at Locust Shade Park in Triangle. Children under 3 with a paying adult are free, youth ages 3 to 16 are $5.25, adults ages 17 to 59 are $6.00, seniors ages 60 and up are $5.25, and groups of 10 or more are $4.50 per person.

According to the Virginia Department of Forestry fall foliage colors generally peak sometime between October 10 and October 31. To help you appreciate Mother Nature's seasonal display, PWC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism has put together a list of Beautiful Fall Hikes in PWC. The list not only includes locations, it also provides location specific details to help you make the most of your outing.


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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