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Issue 162

Friday, April 28, 2023

Prince William County

Dear Neighbors,

On Tuesday evening the Board adopted the FY 2024 Budget, which will go into effect July 1, 2023. Importantly, this budget builds upon the mid-cycle FY 2023 action taken by the Board addressing police compensation by making our County compensation more regionally competitive in additional areas of Public Safety.

The budget also advances the County’s strategic priorities by increased investing in our public school system and workforce development, health and wellbeing initiatives for the most vulnerable, support of local businesses, environmental and sustainability initiatives, and transportation and mobility. 

These important funding decisions were possible in part due to the increase in the business tangible computer and peripheral tax rate. I am particularly pleased that, for the first time in 14 years, there will not be an increase in the average resident's real estate taxes.

The FY 2024 Budget Snapshot section below provides details about the newly adopted budget's impact to specific areas. You can also learn more in the County's Budget Press Release and the Office of Management and Budget website.

In Service,

Chair Ann Wheeler

FY 2024 Budget Snapshot



  • Decrease the real estate tax by 6.4 cents to $0.966 per $100 of assessed value, which equates to an average residential flat tax bill for residents.
  • Decrease the fire levy rate from $.075 to $.072 per $100 of assessed value. 
  • Increase per household annually the Stormwater Management Fee by approximately $3.42 or less and, for the first time since it was adopted in 1998, the Solid Waste User Fee by approximately $5 or less.


  • Increase the business tangible computer and peripheral tax rate from $1.65 to $2.15 per $100 of assessed value. 


County Staff Compensation

  • 15% adjustment for sworn/uniformed personnel in Fire and Rescue, Adult Detention Center, Sheriff’s Office, and Public Safety Communications telecommunicators.
  • 6% market adjustment for all general government, or civilian, positions.
  • Increased salary supplement for Public Defender staff from the current rate of 15% to 25%. 
  • 3% step/merit increase for all PWC employees.

Quality Education and Workforce Development

  • 12.7% increase, $90.8 million, in the school transfer to Prince William County Public Schools.
  • Funding for the class size reduction grant is maintained, as well as current funding for community safety officers at elementary schools.
  • An additional $1.1 million will be provided to Northern Virginia Community College for early college and workforce development programs. 

Health, Wellbeing & Human Services

Safe & Secure Community

Resilient Economy

  • Continued assistance to small businesses as they recover from the pandemic.
  • Funding for the Mason Enterprise Center, a one-stop information for small businesses seeking assistance.
  • Additional positions, funded by development fees, to improve plan review times and maintain increasing inspection services.
  • Membership to the NOVA Economic Development Alliance to support regional brand awareness, marketing, and a coordinated regional approach to business development and lead generation
  • Funding to market and promote the 2025 LPGA Solheim Cup, which will be hosted in Prince William County in the fall of 2024. 

Environmental Conservation

  • Funding for the Energy Program Manager to support and implement the Climate Mitigation and Resiliency Goals in the Community Energy and Sustainability Master Plan, which is expected to be approved by the Board later this year.
  • Increased Public Works landscaping funding by $500,000 to provide each magisterial district an additional site and $302,000 for a reforestation program.
  • Increased investment in watershed projects to improve water quality and stormwater infrastructure.
  • Additional funding for landscaping and litter control throughout the county, as well as funding for a reforestation program.  

Transportation & Mobility

Chair's Calendar

Opening Day

Saturday, April 22, Chair Wheeler attended the Prince William Girls Fastpitch Softball League Opening Day Ceremony.


Sunday, April 23, Chair Wheeler joined elected officials from the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, and students from local Jewish Day Schools in the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington's virtual Holocaust Commemoration. An important part of the commemoration, Unto Every Person There is a Name, was reading the names of many of the six million who perished in the Holocaust. Chair Wheeler shared the names of seven victims. The event began with moving music, photos, and opening remarks (starting at the 2:40 time mark in the video below).

New Headquarters

Tuesday, April 25, Chair Wheeler participated in the ribbon-cutting for the new Didlake (Chair's Calendar issue 138) Headquarters.

Annual Luncheon

Wednesday, April 26, Chair Wheeler participated as a celebrity waiter at the 24th annual Lake Ridge Rotary Celebrity Luncheon. The club has been hosting the 'FUNdraiser' for over 23 years. The proceeds provide needed funds for many local charities in our community. 

New Interchange

Thursday, April 27, Chair Wheeler participated in the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Balls Ford Road Interchange. The over $100 million project was financed using State funds from the Transform I‐66 Outside the Beltway Concessionaire Fund. The innovative changes help alleviate a major traffic choke in the County, provides improved access to the new park and ride facility and the I-66 General Purpose and Express Lanes, and includes a bridge crossing the existing Norfolk Southern Railroad.

PWC Department of Transportation Director Ricardo Canizales (bottom right photo right) and Regional Manager Paulo Belita (top right photo) were at the event, as well as Gainesville Magisterial District Supervisor Robert Weir and Brentsville Magisterial District Supervisor Jeanine Lawson (both in bottom right photo). The Balls Ford Road Interchange will open to the public around Monday May 1st.

"This project is a step in the right direction of easing congestion and improving mobility in the Balls Ford Road area. In addition, the completion of this project further promotes mobility along the Route 234 Corridor."

Ann Wheeler

Chair at-Large Board of County Supervisors


Thursday, April 27, Chair Wheeler attended the Retirement Reception for PWC Fire and Rescue System Acting Chief Jim Forgo.

Next Meeting

Tuesday, May 9

2:00 pm

Links to the agenda and to register to participate in Public Comment Time remotely will be shared in the issue prior to the meeting.

County News

Transportation Feedback Opportunity

Monday, May 1, 5 pm, the Virginia Department of Transportation's Commonwealth Transportation Board is hosting a public meeting to collect feedback on Fiscal Year 2024-2029 Six-Year Improvement Program, as well as other transportation initiatives. The meeting will be held at its NOVA District Office located at 4975 Alliance Drive in Fairfax.

Some Details

  • The meeting will serve as the required joint public meeting with the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, and the Virginia Railway Express.
  • The meeting will be streamed online here.

In addition to attending the public meeting, you can submit comments by Wednesday, May 24, via an online form, as well as email or mail:

  • For roads and highways: or Infrastructure Investment Director, Virginia Department of Transportation, 1401 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23219.
  • For transit and rail: or Public Information Office, Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, 600 East Main Street, Suite 2102, Richmond, VA 23219.

Upcoming School Board Vote

Last week, PWC School System Chief Operating Officer Vernon Bock provided the School Board an update and recommendation on the use of Evolv (County News issue 152) advanced security screening technology. Based on the feedback from the school safety community engagement sessions and the effectiveness of the system, School Superintendent Dr. LaTanya D. McDade has requested the School Board vote at its Wednesday, May 3, 7:00 pm meeting to authorize entering into a subscription agreement to implement the Evolv Express® systems in all middle and high schools by the end of September 2023.

Input Requested on Settlement Funds

The Northern Virginia Opioid Response Network and DBHDS Region 2 Community Service Boards are seeking input on potential uses of opioid settlement funds. These funds are the result of national settlements with prescription opioid manufacturers, distributors and other entities. The survey questions seek feedback on that concept as well as other potential regional projects. The survey is open through Friday, May 12., and available in multiple languages. You will not be asked to provide any personal information in this survey.

Additional Details

The settlement funds can be used in numerous ways to address the impact of the opioid epidemic. In Northern Virginia, one project under consideration would expand regional substance use treatment service capacity for youth. You can learn more about the Opioid Response Network and the work it has done nationwide in the video below.

Art Contest Voting Open

Through Wednesday, May 3, 5:00 pm, you can select the pieces of student artwork that inspires you the most in the Clerk of the Circuit Court, Jacqueline Smith, Esq., 3rd Annual Law Day Artwork Contest (County News issue 154). The contest encouraged students to embark on illustrating the theme, “The Cornerstones of Democracy: Civics, Civility, and Collaboration.”

The Clerk will announce the winners at the Law Day Award Ceremony and Exhibit on Wednesday, May 3, 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. The artwork will be exhibited at the Prince William Art Society’s Open Space Arts Gallery in Woodbridge during the summer.

Honoring Those Who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice

Monday, May 8, 7:00 pm, the Candlelight Memorial and Tribute Service for fallen law enforcement officers will be held in the Grace Life Community Church, 9560 Linton Hall Road in Bristow. The annual free event is open to the public and sponsored by the PWC Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association. It honors the lives and service of 20 individuals who lived, or served and died in the line of duty.

County Kudos

Financial Reporting Recognized

Once again, PWC is the recipient of the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program awards. GFOA advances excellence in government finance by providing best practices, professional development, resources, and practical research for more than 21,000 members and the communities they serve.

For the 41st consecutive year, PWC Government received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its FY 2021 annual comprehensive financial report.

For the 19th consecutive year, PWC Public Schools was awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its FY 2021 annual comprehensive financial report.

For the 16th consecutive year, PWC Government received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its FY 2021 Popular Annual Financial Report.

PWC Votes

The 2023 Primary Early Voting

Early voting for the Tuesday, June 20, primary election for several PWC and Virginia seats will start Friday, May 5. When voting in the primary, you will need to request a Democratic or Republican ballot. Early voting does require that a voter shows an acceptable form of ID. Curbside voting is available for seniors and voters with disabilities at all in-person voting locations in designated parking spaces. Learn more at PWC Votes and find out your Virginia Senate and Delegate Districts here.

Democratic Primary Candidates

PWC Chairman - Board of Supervisors 

  • Ann B. Wheeler
  • Deshundra L. Jefferson 


PWC Member Board of Supervisors - Neabsco District

  • Victor S. Angry
  • Nate J. “Coach” Murphy


PWC Member Board of Supervisors - Potomac District

  • Andrea O. Bailey
  • Kimberlee J. “Kim” Short

State Senate of Virginia - 29th District

  • Elizabeth R. Guzman
  • Jeremy S. McPike

State Senate of Virginia - 33rd District

  • Jennifer D. Carroll Foy
  • Hala Sophia Ayala

State House Of Delegates - 19th District

  • Rozia A. "J.R." Henson, Jr. 
  • Makya R. little 
  • Natalie Louise Shorter

Republican Primary Candidates

PWC Chairman - Board of Supervisors 

  • Kenneth A. Knarr
  • Jeanine M. Lawson


State House Of Delegates - 21st District

  • John T. Stirrup
  • Josh J. Quill

State Senate of Virginia - 29th District

  • Nikki N. Rattray Baldwin
  • Maria E. Martin

State Senate of Virginia - 30th District

  • Robert P. Ruffolo
  • Bill C. Woolf III

Early In-person Voting

Days and Hours: 

  • Starts - Friday, May 5
  • Weekdays - 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
  • Weekends - Sunday, June 4, and Saturday June 10 and 17, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm


  • Main Office of Elections, 9250 Lee Ave Suite 1, Manassas, VA 20110
  • Ferlazzo Building, 15941 Donald Curtis Dr, Woodbridge, VA 22191
  • Haymarket Gainesville Library, 14870 Lightner Rd, Haymarket, VA 20169

Vote by Mail

  • Last day to request a ballot to be mailed to you - Friday, June 9
  • Return your ballot in person during early voting to any early voting location
  • Return your ballot in person on Election Day, Tuesday, June 20, to any polling place or the Office of Elections by 7:00 pm
  • Return your ballot by mail postmarked by Tuesday, June 20, and received by the Office of Elections by 12:00 pm on Friday, June 23

County Happenings

Rapid Hiring Event

The PWC Police Department is hosting a Rapid Hiring Event on Saturday, April 29, starting at 8:30 am, at the Public Safety Training Academy located at 13101 Public Safety Drive in Nokesville. Participants can meet with a police recruiter, complete an application, and test for a police officer position all on the same day. Starting salary is $62,000 with a hiring bonus of $10,000. Learn more about joining the PWCPD here.

Celebrating the Business Community

PWC Department of Economic Development is hosting an inaugural celebration, Make Your Mark, Thursday, May 18, 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm, for the PWC business community to connect and network with each other and agencies across the county government. The event will be held at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Innovation Park, Manassas. Attendance is free, but pre-registration here is required

More Details

The event will feature appetizers, ticketed bar, and group photography. Several PWC Government agencies, including Tourism, Taxpayer Services, Development Services, and more will be available to discuss resources and tools for growth.

Focusing on Mental Health

Saturday, May 13, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, PWC is hosting the 3rd annual 5K Walk for Mental Health Awareness. Participants will be walking along grassy, gravel and paved terrain at Locust Shade Park and can choose one of two paths: a rigorous or easy path and there are plenty of exits along the way. There will be a host of community programs on site sharing resources that are available to inform and assist those in need. Music, food trucks and other fun activities will also be part of this event. Register for the free event here.

Special Guest

Soccer's Superstar Ali Krieger, a native of PWC, and graduate of Forest Park, will be a featured guest at the event. She is one of the top women's soccer players in the world. She's an Olympian, a two-time World Cup Champion, and an advocate for Mental Health Awareness.

Plan Your Spring and Summer

Find something new and exciting to do for the season in the PWC Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism May-August 2023 Leisure online magazine. Discover the great outdoors, find information on our fitness facilities, join a group exercise class, take a dip or swim some laps, dance, take a hike, or learn the history of our County. Ready to register for a favorite program? Look for the easy 'Registration Link' in the top corner of each page.

Regional Shoutout

Go Native

Owners Julie and Chris Borneman opened Watermark Woods in 2014 and now sell over 40,000 pesticide-free plants native to Northern Virginia. The 2022 Best of Loudoun Plant Nursery/Garden Store winner has sunny, shade, aquatic, and tree and shrub sections. The on-site gift shop offerings include bee hotels, books, locally made pottery, children's items, and more. There is also a Little Free Plant Library. They have special pricing for plants intended for school sites and approved scout projects.

Learn More About Native Plants

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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