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Issue 157

Friday, March 24, 2023

Prince William County

Dear Neighbors,

While we may not be an Oscar-winning movie, Prince William County sure is a hopping place. This issue's Chair's Calendar, News, and Happenings sections are jammed packed, and the Kudos section is just one more in a long list of accomplishments by our residents.

It is all part of what makes our County a great place to live, work, learn, and play. It is also why I love serving as your Chair and am never at a loss for The Wheeler Report articles. I hope you enjoy reading about them as much as I do sharing them. It always makes me grateful to live here.

In Service,

Chair Ann Wheeler

Breaking News

Important Step in Securing Mental Health Care

PWC government was the winning bidder this week in a live auction process for the lease property and land slated to house the future Crisis Receiving Center (CRC) (Chair's Calendar issue 126) in Woodbridge. The Board was able to react quickly and make the decision to participate in the auction with the support of an excellent team on the County Facilities staff.

Acquisition of the former Gander Mountain 155,309 square-foot building and 12.51 acres of land ensures the CRC will remain at the site beyond the current 11-year lease and protects the investment of $18 million in build-out expenses. The facility is on schedule to open in 2024.

See a more about the CRC in the Chair's Calendar below!

Chair's Calendar


Saturday, March 18, Chair Wheeler attended the Bel Air Women's Club's Stepping Out Luncheon. The event was not only a wonderful celebration of 50 years of community service, but included a fantastic fashion show and raffle. Kathleen Seefeldt (to the left of Chair Wheeler in top photo), PWC's first BOCS first Chair At-Large (and also first "Chairwoman") was among the many attendees.

Celebrating its 50th year, the Bel Air Women's Club was chartered in 1973 and meets on the fourth Monday of each month with the exception of July and December at the First United Presbyterian Church of Dale City. A member of the General Federation of Women's Clubs (International), it strives to pursue goals that nurture and support community projects and the wellbeing of its citizens.

Food Pantry Fundraiser

Saturday, March 18, Chair Wheeler attended the Haymarket Regional Food Pantry Soup-er Bingo fundraiser. The event had its biggest turnout of supporters and raised 458 pounds of food for the pantry. Executive Director and Governing Board Member Eileen F. Smith, M.Ed. (top right in photo) started volunteering at the pantry in 2007 assisting with food distribution, collection, marketing, and became Executive Director in 2015. The Haymarket Regional Food Pantry 2022 Annual Impact Report highlights the needs in our community that have increased post-pandemic.

Ribbon-cutting Ceremony

Sunday, March 19, Chair Wheeler attended morning services at LifeConnect Community Church in Woodbridge and ribbon-cutting ceremony. Chair Wheeler was invited by Pastors Stephen Brown (right photo) and his wife Nikki Brown (center in bottom left photo with Stephen to her right) to provide comments at the ceremony. Also at the event were Occoquan Magisterial District Supervisor Kenny Boddye and Town of Dumfries Town Council Member Shaun Peet (far left in bottom left photo).

Mental Health

Monday, March 20, Chair Wheeler joined U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (center in top left photo and top right photo) in a tour of the new Crisis Receiving Center in Woodbridge, the first of its kind in Virginia. The event was hosted by Potomac District Supervisor Andrea Bailey. Afterwards, the Chair attended the Round Table with mental healthcare providers and advocates, along with law enforcement members of the Crisis Intervention Team. Attendees showing support for the center included Associate Chief External Affairs Officer at UVA Health, Ross Snare (left in center photo), and Senior Servant at First Baptist Church of Manassas, Reverend Dr. Keith Savage (right in center photo).

The Environment

Tuesday, March 21, Chair Wheeler was a guest speaker at the PWC Green Business Council (County News issue 137) 2023 Spring Conference. Rico Fleshman (left photo), Chair of the PWCGBC, and Giulia Manno, PWC Environmental and Energy Sustainability Officer, were also guest speakers. Chair Wheeler outlined the many County efforts that have begun in recent years to support our Sustainability and Environmental goals.


Wednesday, March 22, Chair Wheeler attended the 8th Annual Northern Virginia Transportation Roundtable. Presented by the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority and the Intelligent Transportation Society of Virginia, the event focused on this year's theme, “Building Momentum,” and addressed topics related to NVTA’s Core Values of Equity, Sustainability and Safety, as well as innovative transportation solutions.

Focusing on Our Aging Residents

Thursday, March 23, Chair Wheeler attended the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia's 2023 Shape of the Region Conference - The State of Aging in Northern Virginia. Sarah Henry (second from right in bottom photo), Director of Prince William Area Agency on Aging (Department Tours and Talks issue 106), served as a panelist. While there, Chair Wheeler connected with Virginia Delegate Holly Seibold (left in top photo) and Chair At-Large Loudoun Board of County Supervisors Phyllis Randall (center in top photo).

Founded in 1978, the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia advances equity across the region through philanthropy and community leadership. Comprised of donor advised funds, permanent funds, giving circles, and other charitable endowments, it connects donors to our diverse community and promotes a more equitable and inclusive prosperity. In 2022, it awarded $7 million in grants and scholarships and now reports $80 million in managed philanthropic assets.

Only 6.5% of older Northern Virginians move in a given year and only 2.6% leave the state. An overwhelming majority “age-in-place,” and constitute an ever-growing percent of the local demographic. 

Community Celebration

Thursday, March 23, Chair Wheeler was the keynote speaker at the American Turkish Friendship Association's (ATFA) Iftar dinner in Manassas. The festive event was well-attended by a diverse crowd and the first Iftar dinner hosted by the ATFA in PWC. Sufi Music was provided by the 'Sufi Melody' Group (bottom left photo). While there, Chair Wheeler connected with AFTA Executive Director Hakan Ataserver (far left in top right photo) and Virginia State Senator Jeremy McPike (center in top right photo). AFTA's many Iftars held throughout the region are aimed at friendship and building bridges between communities!

A Holy Month

The annual observance of Ramadan began the evening of March 22 and is expected to last for 29 to 30 days, a time of fasting from sunrise to sunset, communal prayer and reflection. After the sunset prayer, Muslims gather in their homes or mosques to break their fast with a meal called iftar that is often shared with friends and extended family. The meal usually begins with dates, as was the custom of Muhammad, or apricots and water or sweetened milk. You can learn more about Ramadan in issue 61 (A Significant Time).

Housing Summit

Friday, March 24, Chair Wheeler was a guest speaker and one of four panelists who spoke at the Realtor Association of Prince William 2023 Economic Summit. She covered many topics including the budget, economic development and housing plans as well as discussing the bright future Prince William County has as a regional leader.

Next Meeting

Tuesday, April 4

2:00 pm - Regular Meeting

7:30 pm - School Board Budget Presentation

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

The School Board approved the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 Budget at its Wednesday, March 15 meeting. Investments to the budget include

  • 5% average employee pay increase. 
  • Support for the Unified Sports Program.
  • Special education teacher stipends.
  • Transportation safety and security.
  • Student engagement and non-traditional sports.
  • A review of coach supplements for athletic and academic competitions.

You can learn more about the PWC Schools FY 2024 Budget here.

County News

Annual Water Program Starting

The PWC Service Authority (PWCSA) annual water distribution system flushing program begins Monday, April 3, and will continue through mid-June. During this time, PWCSA personnel and equipment may be seen working in your district, opening fire hydrants for brief intervals in an effort to draw water through the pipes and dislodge sediments and minerals that may have collected during the previous year.

In areas where the hydrants are being flushed, you may notice brief periods of cloudiness in your tap water. If this occurs, the PWCSA recommends running cold tap water for approximately two minutes until the cloudiness dissipates. Once the flushing program begins, the PWCSA's Facebook and Twitter pages will be updated regularly with the latest hydrant flushing locations and times. You can also learn more about the system flushing program here.


Also, at this time of year, our drinking water providers temporarily switch to a free chlorine disinfectant, which is a stronger disinfectant than the chloramines used during the remainder of the year. This water treatment process is important because it keeps bacteria from forming a resistance to the usual disinfection process. You may notice a slight chlorine taste and smell in your tap water through early summer. Using water filters or refrigerator water for a short period of time are both effective ways to reduce chlorine taste and odor.

They're Hiring

The PWCSA has seasonal and temporary positions. Gain valuable skills and experience, including in STEM-related fields, while working outside and getting a jump on your future career. If you value the environment, the community, and a diverse inclusive workforce, see the openings here.

Speaking of the Water

This week is the Environmental Protection Agency's Fix a Leak Week! The average household's leaks can waste an average of 10,000 gallons of water per year, so take some time to chase down those pesky, water-wasting leaks. Visit here for more information and resources.

Historical Documents Now Online

The historic documents of PWC, City of Manassas, and City of Manassas Park are now available online through the Office of the Circuit Court Clerk's Historic Online Portal (HOP). While in its early stages, it already contains recorded documents including wills and lists of heirs dating back to the 1700s and will be expanding the topics available. The project was made possible through the efforts of Clerk’s Office employees and volunteers over the past eight years and funded by technology trust grants. Learn more and access the HOP here.

Scholarship Application Window is Open

Casa BruMar Foundation RiseUp Scholarship is a new opportunity to assist LGBTQIA+ youth and advocates obtain their educational goals. Funding may be used for tuition, room and board, or books and supplies. Applicants can submit an essay (1000 word maximum) or video (no more than 3 minutes in length) explaining their role in the LGBTQIA+ community and how this scholarship would benefit their education and expand their impact for the larger LGBTQIA+ community post-graduation. Applications are accepted through Monday, May 15, 11:59 pm. Learn more and how to apply here.

Eligible applicants are:

  • 25 years of age or under at time of the application.
  • Reside in PWC, City of Manassas or City of Manassas Park.
  • Attend, or plan to attend, a four-year college or university. 

Learn More About the Foundation

Saturday, April 8, 12:30 pm to 4:00 pm, Casa Brumar Foundation is hosting its first in-person Meet and Greet at CenterFuse in Manassas. Enjoy light refreshments, meet the Foundation Board, hear what it has accomplished, the programs offered, and what is to come.

Regional Effort to Provide Aid

The Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NRVC) is asking for help in providing aid to those impacted by the earthquake and aftershocks that hit southern Turkey and Syria earlier in February. More than 45,000 people have perished and millions have been displaced. The NVRC is working with Embrace Relief to help purchase food, which is the number one priority in the earthquake zone. You can make you tax deductible donation here to help the NRVC reach its $25,000 goal.

County Kudos

On to the National Competition

Congratulations to 9-year old Siya Sampath on winning the Prince William Regional Spelling Bee. Siya, student at J.W. Alvey Elementary in Haymarket, will now advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center starting Tuesday, May 30. More than just spelling, Bee Week includes special events, educational workshops, excursions into Washington, D.C., and more. You can read about the Prince William Regional Spelling Bee Competition and Siya in InsideNoVa and get a feel for the Regional Spelling Bee and see Siya in action in PWC Schools' video below.

County Happenings

Registration is Open

Registration is open for the Prince William 2023 Tunnels to Tower 5K Run & Walk happening Sunday, April 30, at 7:30 am, at Pfitzner Stadium. The foundation was created to honor the heroic life and death of Stephen Siller, a New York City firefighter who lost his life on September 11, 2001 after strapping on his gear and running through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the Twin Towers. Learn more about the event, how to register, as well as donation and volunteer opportunities here.

Now Playing

Rooftop Productions' comedic play, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark by Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Lynn Nottage, is running at the Virginia ARTfactory in Manassas through Sunday, April 2. The story follows the life of 1930s African American Vera Stark, a talented actress, determined to make it in the entertainment industry despite racism and sexism. Through flashbacks, the play follows Vera's her early days as a Hollywood film extra to her later years as a successful actress. Learn more and get tickets here.

Coming to a Location Near You

The PWC Department of Public Works Neighborhood Services and Solid Waste Divisions have scheduled the 2023 Dumpster Days beginning on Saturday, April 1, and running through Saturday, October 21. These large dumpsters, placed in neighborhoods, offer a chance to clean up homes, yards and communities of unwanted clutter and debris. Learn more about Dumpster Days, find out what is and isn't accepted, and see the schedule here.

Info Session

Leadership Prince William (Congratulations issue 34) is hosting a Signature Program Information Session Thursday, April 6, 8:15 am to 9:30 am at the Manassas Hampton Inn. Attendees will hear from the Executive Director and LPW alumni about the upcoming Class of 2024. Applications to the program require a $50 non-refundable fee and can be found here.

About the Program

The next 10-month Leadership Prince William Signature Program begins Friday, September 29, with an overnight retreat at Skyland Resort, then continues with monthly sessions from October through June. The sessions are held at locations throughout the Prince William area; each is designed to help you explore our community, increase awareness of critical issues and connect with other community leaders. 

Now Hiring

PWC Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism is hosting a job fair Thursday, March 30, 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the McCoart Building in Woodbridge. Hiring Managers will be onsite conducting interviews. Contingency offers may be extended for some vacancies. Applications are required with limited opportunity to complete them onsite. Apply in advance at and

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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