Issue 7
Monday, April 6, 2020
Prince William County
Dear Neighbors,

Time seems to be moving very differently these days. Last week seems more like 4 weeks ago. Information changes rapidly and so much around us is out of our control. "Breaking News" alerts are happening all the time and it's hard to keep up with it all.

That's why in this issue I am giving you updates on several areas relating to COVID-19. I've included critical actions taken by the Board of County Supervisors, the status of the County's current response to COVID-19, the new Community Feeding Task Force, the financial impact of all this to the County, my upcoming virtual town hall and a new recommendation from the CDC.

Thank you for all you are doing in these difficult times.

In Service,
Chair Ann Wheeler
Critical Actions Taken
On Tuesday, March 31, 2020 the BOCS took several important steps directly related to the COVID-19 public health crisis/disaster:
  • Confirmed and adopted the County Declaration of Local Emergency declared March 16 and amended it to include disaster funding
  • Invoked the Emergency Continuity of Government Ordinance and all its provisions to ensure continuity of government for 60-days
  • Adopted a policy to allow some remote participation by Board members
  • Waived Rules of Procedure in order to remove in-person public comment time at Board meetings until Wednesday June 10
  • Rescheduled the School Board's fiscal year 2021 budget presentation
We Still Want To Hear From You

In-person Public Comment Time has been a vital component of our Board meetings. Please know during this temporary waiver you can still communicate with us through multiple avenues, including SpeakUp! Prince William , email, telephone, and letter. The BOCS page provides links to each member's contact information.
In addition, Public Hearings for the budget will still allow in-person testimony, but we are working on a way for the public to participate remotely in real-time for those who to comment but don't want to appear in-person.
County COVID-19 Response
We are actively cooperating with surrounding jurisdictions, businesses, hospitals, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, the Virginia Department of Health and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to directly confront COVID-19. Below are some of the actions taken.
  • Emergency Operation Center activated March 9
  • Created a COVID-19 website
  • Canceled many meetings and closed additional facilities, visit County Services for an updated full list
  • Worked on establishing contingency plans for extra hospital, beds if needed
  • Created the Community Feeding Task Force (spotlight below)
Several other key pages of the County COVID-19 Website
Community Feeding Task Force
Born out of the desire to help those in need, Prince William County partnered with Action in the Community Through Service (ACTS), the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park and the Prince William County Community Foundation to establish the Community Feeding Task Force. By creating a hub-and-spoke distribution system, we can match the food supply to the need in the community. 

Last month the Prince William Board of County Supervisors donated $30,000 last month to local food banks who have seen a decline in donations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Financial Impact to the County

Our County Operations, like all others, are being greatly impacted by COVID-19. In a matter of weeks, our projected budget for the rest of the 2020 fiscal year (ends June 30th) went from a surplus of $5.7 million to a $2.4 million shortfall.
To bring o ur budget back into balance and end the fiscal year with a small net surplus, steps are being taken to include:
  • Hiring freeze
  • Focused spending on core services
  • Suspended capital projects not currently under contract
  • Maintain reserves at the end of the fiscal year with no anticipated end-of-year draw down 
  • Department directors to discontinue any discretionary spending

Important Upcoming Dates for the County Budget Process
These will be held at the Board of County Supervisors 7:30 pm meetings.
  • April 14: Required Public Hearing
  • April 16: Second public hearing
  • April 21: Budget markup
  • April 28: Budget adoption Public Hearing
Please use the methods outlined above to contact your District Supervisor or me on comments regarding the budget.
Virtual Town Hall
Monday, April 6 from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm
I will be joining Delegate Guzman and Delegate Carroll Foy for a virtual town hall to address recent actions taken by Prince William County and the Commonwealth to slow the spread of COVID-19
CDC Update
Based on recent studies
the CDC has issued a recommendation regarding the use of cloth face coverings.
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 469,000 residents.