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Issue 165

Friday, May 19, 2023

Prince William County

Dear Neighbors,

As we are in the midst of Business Appreciation Month I want to take a moment to thank all the businesses, large and small, who chose to locate, start, or expand in Prince William County. As I often say, in my role as Chief Cheerleader, "Thanks for doing business in Prince William County!" Please know, I believe that bringing a positive narrative and leadership to all we do in the County is the secret to our recent success.

At yesterday's Make Your Mark event (see below), Director of Economic Development, Christina Winn, outlined the many successes we have had in recent years in bringing commercial investment into the County. This led to our recent achievement of keeping the average residential tax bill with a $0 increase, for the first time in 14 years, and we are on the cusp of even greater accomplishments. Please know I will always use my energies fighting for great happenings for Prince William County, rather than against.

Our future looks bright!

In Service,

Chair Ann Wheeler

Chair's Calendar

Supporting Those Helping Women

Friday, May 12, Chair Wheeler was a featured speaker at the Women's Help and Care Annual Fundraising Gala. She shared resources and programs PWC has in place for women suffering from issues like domestic violence, lack of education, housing insecurity, and single parenting, so the Woodbridge based non-profit can guide their clients accordingly.

From firsthand experience as a young widow and single mom of two, Executive Director and Founder Aliona Artic (top left photo right of Chair Wheeler) established Woman's Help and Care in 2020 to

provide comprehensive financial, emotional and moral support to women in need to assist them in achieving self-sufficiency and self-reliance.

Services include:

  • Food and shelter for victims of domestic violence.
  • Information on domestic violence laws and procedures, as well as guidance navigating next steps.
  • Educational materials and other training services to help women achieve economic independence and mental health tranquility.
  • Transportation (bus/Lyft/Uber fare or gas money) to the hospital, counseling appointments, and other immediate places of need.

If you would like to support Women's Help and Care, you can learn about the many volunteer opportunities here.

Improving a Vital Area Resource

Monday, May 15, Chair Wheeler participated in the Groundbreaking Ceremony for Capital Area Food Bank Lorton Facility Reconstruction. The new 45,000 square foot Lorton facility will replace the 12,000 square foot, 41 year-old facility to better service Arlington, Fairfax, and Prince William Counties, as well as Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, and Manassas Park Cities. 

The Capital Area Food Bank, with the help of farmers, wholesalers, restaurants, community members, and others, source food for more than 50 million meals each year. Thanks to hundreds of partners in the community, it is able to get that food to the individuals and families who need it most. Learn the many ways you can support its efforts here.

Focus on Safety

Wednesday, May 17, Chair Wheeler spoke at the PWC National Building Safety Month Celebration hosted by the Department of Development Services. The Chair emphasized building codes are the foundation of safety, the important services provided by the project management programs, and the issue resolution model that allows for county staff to pull together all appropriate agencies to identify a path forward for the customer. Also during the event, PWC Department of Development Services Deputy Director Mandi Spina (top right photo) acknowledged and thanked County employees from vital safety departments with 20 or more years of service.

Celebrating Local Business

Thursday, May 18, Chair Wheeler spoke at the PWC Department of Economic Development Make Your Mark event. The sold out gathering celebrated the County's business community, as well as government agencies. At the event, Chair Wheeler connected with Capra Biosciences co-founder Dr. Elizabeth Onderko (top left photo). PWC Industrial Development Authority (County Kudos issue 145) Chair Lorna P. Wallen (bottom photo) also spoke.

Capra Biosciences is revolutionizing chemical production with its patented bioreactor technology that creates chemicals using natural processes that consume and transform waste into materials of value to humanity. Founded in 2020, it was originally located on a shared bench at the Prince William Science Accelerator (County Kudos issue 80) and expanded into two lab spaces in 2022. Capra’s first product is retinol, a highly lucrative cosmetic ingredient used in anti-aging products. Capra’s novel approach to retinol production uses biology rather than fossil fuels for production, unlike other products currently on the market.

Exciting Future Plans

Thursday, May 18, Chair Wheeler attended an event hosted by the Americans in Wartime Experience. Attendees were provided an overview on the history of the organization's historic site in Dale City and an update its facility being built there. Learn more about the new site in the video below.

The Americans in Wartime Experience Dale City location will be nearly 70 acres. The main elements will immerse visitors in a realistic experience: the Landscapes of War; Visitor Center; Restoration facilities and Aircraft Hangar; Obstacle Course; and a Reenactment Area.

The Americans in Wartime Experience host the annual Tank Farm Open House (County Happenings issue 131) in Bristow. The event, Saturday, August 26, and Sunday August 27, this year, features over 50 military armored vehicles and tanks on display and demonstrated, in addition to over a hundred living historians, K9 demonstrations, children’s activities, food vendors, flame thrower demonstrations, and more.

Regional Meetings

Wednesday, May 17, Chair Wheeler participated in a Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Transportation Planning Board meeting.

Next Meeting

Tuesday, May 23

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, May 22. In-person speakers can sign up at the meeting.

View the Agenda
Register to Speak Remotely

County News

New I-95 Traffic Lane Open

The new I-95 southbound auxiliary lane linking the Occoquan exit, Route 123, and the Prince William Parkway exit is officially open! This project was part of the I-95 Corridor Improvement Plan (County News issue 57) and converted about a mile and a half of the existing shoulder to a travel lane. This area averages 92,000 vehicles a day.

Support an Annual Event

Wednesday, June 7, the PWC Police Department is participating in the Law Enforcement Torch Run and need your help to reach its $10,000 fundraising goal for the Special Olympics Virginia athletes competing in the 2023 USA Games. The 1,900-mile, 8-day run of the Flame of Hope  involves more than 2,000 law enforcement officers and personnel representing more than 200 law enforcement agencies across Virginia. Three of the athletes representing the Commonwealth live in PWC, Tiffany Robinson, Robert Harris, and Jerry Holy. Learn how you can get involved with Special Olympics, including being an athlete, coach, or volunteer, here.

Dealing With A Summer Pest

PWC Mosquito and Forest Pest Management’s field staff have begun trapping for mosquitoes. While they try to keep our traps discreet, if you come across them please do not touch them. Visit here for more information.

There are about 3,500 species of mosquitoes and about 30 have been identified in our County. Here are tips to protect you:

  • All mosquitoes must have water to reproduce, so tip and toss standing water around your property at least once a week. This includes drain pipes, flower pot rims, tarps, tires, children's toys, gutters, and objects that hold even the smallest amounts of water.
  • Cover the end of plastic tubes used to carry water away from the downspouts. A piece of screen secured with a rubber band will work well.
  • The Asian tiger mosquito is our number one nuisance mosquito and a potential carrier of Zika virus. It only needs about a tablespoon of water to complete its life cycle, so be sure to look for plastic bottle caps that may be holding water.
  • Wear protective clothing when you are outside.

Easing Traffic Issues

In order to reduce or eliminate the traffic backup along Route 234 at the County Landfill in Manassas, some traffic routing improvements will begin Saturday, May 20. Once Landfill customers pass the initial stop sign to go to the traffic control booth, there will be two lanes of inbound traffic when needed, instead of one. Staff will also help with checking customer IDs. There will only be one exit point on the southeast end of the Convenience Center near the landfill office building.

Customers can facilitate this process by apply for a Solid Waste Disposal Decal for their vehicle (County News issue 139).  

Libraries Looking for Teen Volunteers

PWC Public Libraries is offering teens, between 13 and 18, volunteer opportunities to support the 2023 "All Together Now!" Summer Reading Program at local branches from Tuesday, June 20, through Sunday, August 20. Volunteers will be scheduled a one-three hour shift, once a week at a designated library branch and must be able to use a computer. Additional hours may be available. Limited volunteer positions are available. Complete an application online here.

Your Feedback Requested

To help improve and understand your technology needs, PWC Public Libraries are asking residents to complete a Technology Services Patron Satisfaction Survey. The anonymous survey should take no more than five minutes to complete.

County Kudos

Double Congratulations

Congratulations to Fitzgerald Elementary School fourth grader RiAnne Smith on becoming a published author! Her book, “Ellie's First Day,” is about a child named Ellie who was apprehensive about starting a new tap dance class. The idea came from RiAnne's own nervousness about a new tap class.

RiAnne knew she had to do the same things as Ellie if she wanted her book to be a success, and she did just that. RiAnne didn't have the ability to write the story at that time, so she dictated the entire book, edited the text, and improved the dialogue. She then worked with a professional illustrator, approving character designs, providing reference photos, and fine tuning the illustrations to match her vision.


“Ellie’s First Day” was awarded a Story Monster’s Approved seal. The program recognizes and honors authors in the field of children’s literature whose books inspire, inform, teach, or entertain. What makes this book program unique is that every book submitted is judged on its own merit. Each book competes only with itself. Kids assist industry experts in judging submissions, so when a book earns the Story Monsters Seal of approval, it means children are recommending the book for other children to read.

County Happenings

Community Pop-up

Saturday, May 20, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, the PWC Human Rights Commission is hosting a Community Pop-up Outreach event at the Dumfries Library. The one-day, one-stop free event will have information and resources from a host of PWC government agencies. Additionally, canned food and non-perishable items will be collected as part of a food drive.

 The event will include:

  • Clerk of the Circuit Court Seals on Wheels (County News issue 163)
  • Arts Council initiatives and Historic Preservation projects
  • Parks and recreation program information
  • Crime prevention tips
  • Community Services program, and Human Rights and Social Services resources
  • Housing First-Time Homebuyer, Neighborhood Housing Rehabilitation, and Emergency Housing Assistance programs
  • Prince William County Public Schools recruitment

It's That Time of Year

Saturday, May 20, 7:00 am to 1:00 pm, the PWC Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism is hosting a Community Yard Sale at the Pat White Center at Ben Lomond, 10501 Copeland Drive in Manassas. Future Saturday yard sales will be June 3 and 17, July 1 and 15, and August 5 and 19.

Clean out your closet and reserve a spot at upcoming PWC Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism yard sales. Used household items only. No commercial sales, live flowers, food, or drink sales. Space size of 10' x 20' is $60. Must reserve space in advance. 

Senior Wellness Event

Wednesday, May 31, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, the PWC Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism, in partnership with Kaiser Permanente, is hosting a Senior Health and Fitness Day at Chinn Aquatics & Fitness Center in Lake Ridge. Free for ages 60 and older. Share the results of this quick and easy screening with your doctor. Limited parking will be available, so please reserve your time here.

Participants will receive a free fitness testing with a Chinn personal trainer and an optional biometric wellness screening (blood pressure, body mass index, blood draw: A1C, cholesterol, and glucose check) and health education through Kaiser Permanente.

Free Regional Summit

Tuesday, June 6, through Wednesday, June 7, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is hosting a Non-profit Summit at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. This no cost event is tailored for the public sector community. Attendees will engage in interactive learning, network among public sector industry leaders and AWS experts, engage with partners driving innovation, and much more. View the Attendee Guide here, and learn more and register here.

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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