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Issue 134

Friday, September 30, 2022

Prince William County

Dear Neighbors,

This week, across the country, our collective focus has been on Hurricane Ian as it moved across Florida and is now headed to South Carolina. As we have watched the various media outlets, the catastrophic damage and tragic loss of life in Florida are overwhelming. We've also seen and heard about the heroic actions of first responders, family members, neighbors, and good Samaritans.

It made me think about the Community Fair last Saturday. It was wonderful to see so many of Prince William County's first responders present and being shown appreciation from our citizens. Our Police, Fire and Rescue, and Public Safety Communications personnel are our heroes.

There were also two young people in our community who were honored at the event. In the face of emergencies, they stayed calm, thought quickly, and took action. In the midst of a crisis, this can be difficult even for an adult, making what they did, at such a young age, all the more impressive. I encourage you to read about them in the County Kudos section. 

While I often talk about all things that Prince William County offers, I know it's the people, more than anything else, that truly make it great.

In Service,

Chair Ann Wheeler

Chair's Calendar

Community Fair

Saturday, September 25, Chair Wheeler attended the second annual PWC Police Department Community Fair.

Read County Kudos below to learn about the two PWC residents who received very special, well-deserved, recognitions at the event. 

Road Project Gets Underway

Tuesday, September 27, Chair Wheeler participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for the Prince William Parkway/University Boulevard intersection improvements project, which will reduce traffic congestion and increase vehicle and pedestrian safety. The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA, issue 12 Transportation Section) is providing over $24 million, almost 82%, of the funding. At the event, Chair Wheeler, spoke with NVTA Chief Financial Officer Michael Longhi (top right corner), PWC Transportation Director Ricardo Canizales, NVTA Chief Executive Officer Monica Bachmon, and PWC Neasbco Magisterial District Supervisor Victor Angry (bottom right corner left to right)

In the project area, Prince William Parkway averages 44,000 vehicles per day and University Boulevard 12,000 vehicles per day. This project will add one lane in each direction on the Parkway and create a new roadway connecting it to University Boulevard. It will eliminate left turns at the Parkway and Boulevard intersection, reducing the number of signal phases and improving traffic flow. Additionally, it will add a 10-foot shared use path on one side of the new roadway and a 5-foot sidewalk on the other side, both of which will tie into existing sidewalks and/or trails. Learn more in the NVTA video below.

“By being strategic in where we are investing in transportation, we are able to use transportation projects to support additional county goals. Innovation Park, where we stand, is a Small Area Plan, home to targeted industries, higher education, entertainment, and recreational destinations, and located adjacent to high-capacity transit at the Broad Run VRE Station...This project is going to significantly improve access to this area to encourage transit-oriented development, economic growth, and greater transit use to further reduce congestion and environmental footprint.” 

Ann Wheeler

Chair At-Large Board of County Supervisors

Medical Center Talk and Tour

Wednesday, September 28, Chair Wheeler toured the UVA Health's (issue 73 County News) Prince William Medical Center located at 8700 Sudley Road in Manassas. Afterwards, she had the opportunity to meet with UVA Community Health Interim CEO, Erik Shannon, to discuss its plans for the Prince William Medical Center, the Haymarket Medical Center, and the region.

The UVA Health Prince William Medical Center is a 130-bed acute care hospital with a 24/7 emergency room, a wide range of specialists, and many comprehensive health and wellness programs. It has:

  • Received a Quality Gold Plus Achievement Award by the American Heart Association for its success in using Get with The Guidelines® to improve care.
  • Been recognized for Quality Cancer Care by American College of Surgeons.
  • Been recognized as a leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

The UVA Health Haymarket Medical Center is a 60-bed acute care hospital with a 24/7 emergency room, physicians’ offices and an outpatient surgery center. It has 

  • Been recognized as a leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.
  • Received a Gold Plus Achievement Award by the American Heart Association for its success in using Get with the Guidelines® for Heart Failure.
  • Received Women’s Choice Awards in Bariatrics, OB/GYN, and Emergency Services.

Water Summit and Tour

Thursday, September 29, Chair Wheeler, along with other jurisdiction's elected officials, attended Fairfax Water's Drinking Water Summit. The event included a tour of the Frederick P. Griffith Jr. Water Treatment Plant in Fairfax. Opening remarks for the summit were provided by Jeff McKay, Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors (top right), and Phil Allin, Chairman of the Fairfax Water Board (bottom right). 

Most of the drinking water the PWC Service Authority provides to customers throughout PWC is treated at facilities owned and operated by Fairfax Water. The PWC Service Authority was chartered by county and state government in 1983 to run as an independent agency. 

Fairfax Water owns and operates the two largest water treatment facilities in Virginia with an average daily water production of 167 million gallons and a combined maximum capacity of 376 million gallons per day. The Frederick P. Griffith Jr. Treatment Plant is on the southern border of Fairfax County.

Fairfax Water draws raw water from two primary sources, the Potomac River and the Occoquan Reservoir, which is fed by the Occoquan River. It also purchases water from the McMillan and Dalecarlia treatment plants in Washington DC, which is owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Next Meeting

Tuesday, October 11

2:00 pm and 7:30 pm

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

County News

Department Earns Designation and Two Awards

The PWC Department of Economic Development (DED) has announced the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) it is one of 70 economic development organizations designated as an Accredited Economic Development Organization (AEDO). 

PWC DED was also recognized at the IEDC annual Conference in Oklahoma  with two 2022 Excellence Awards. For the population size between 200,000 and 500,000, it won a bronze Program award for its IGNITE in the Entrepreneurial category and bronze Internet and Digital Media award for its website design in the General Purpose Website category. 

PWC DED Executive Director, Christina Winn, center right, accepted the AEDO recognition plaque. 

About the Program

The AEDO program is a comprehensive peer review process that measures economic development organizations against commonly held standards in the profession. The program consists of two phases: a documentation review and an onsite visit. Each phase is designed to evaluate information about the structure, organization, funding, programs, and staff of the candidate economic development organization. 

It's That Time of Year

The Virginia Department of Health and CDC recommend yearly influenza vaccination as the first and most important step in protecting yourself and your loved ones from influenza illness. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu illness can spread through the community. The 2022-2023 influenza vaccine will protect against four different influenza viruses. You can learn more about the flu  at the VDH webpage and CDC webpage.

The find flu vaccines tool will identify the locations near you providing the vaccine. 

When and Who

The VDH and CDC, advise the best time to get vaccinated is before the end of October. Protection from the vaccine occurs within two weeks of vaccination. If you don’t get it before the end of October, you can still get vaccinated through the fall, winter, or spring since seasonal flu activity can last through May. 

Children aged 6 months through 8 years of age (who have never received influenza vaccine or who have not previously received a lifetime total of ≥2 doses) need two doses of vaccine spaced at least 4 weeks apart. For individuals 9 years of age and older, only one dose of vaccine is needed each flu season, regardless of vaccine timing.

Helping You Claim Your Funds

Monday, October 3, and Tuesday, October 4, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, the Virginia Department of the Treasury’s Unclaimed Property Program will be at the PWC Department of Tax Administration’s office at 1 County Complex Court in Woodbridge. Treasury staff will offer PWC residents personalized, one-on-one service to search for money that may be owed to them and start the claim process

About Unclaimed Property

Virginia’s consumer protection law requires businesses to turn unclaimed property over to the state, that then holds the property as the custodian until the rightful owner, or heir, files a claim. More than $1 billion has been paid out to Virginians since this program started in 1961. Unclaimed property consists of “abandoned assets or accounts” which are considered dormant due to inactivity and can include utility deposits, customer refunds, unpaid wages, money from insurance policies, securities, bank accounts, and safe deposit box contents.

New Location to Serve Others

Catholic Charities Diocese of Arlington Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) has opened a new location in Woodbridge. MRS helps newcomers become self-sufficient and productive members of American society by meeting refugees where they live and providing comprehensive services through the 9 distinct programs. Assistance includes a combination of legal immigration consultation and representationEnglish-language instruction, workforce training, and resettlement services.


During the open house for this new location earlier this week, Catholic Charities President and CEO Stephen Carattini presented the Bishop a small piece of art, “Angels Unawares,” (pictured below) which is a replica of the 20-foot bronze sculpture which features migrants, angels and the Holy Family that rests in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. The Sculpture is modeled after Hebrews 13:2: “Be welcoming to strangers, many have entertained angels unawares.”

More About MRS

Since its inception in 1975, MRS has helped more than 30,000 refugees, who are defined by the United Nations as individuals fleeing their country of origin because of a “well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.” The video below provides wonderful insight into the work and impact of MRS. If you would like to support these efforts, you can view the many MRS volunteer opportunities here

October Happenings

Countywide Weekend Event

Friday, October 7, through Monday, October 10, the first annual Virginia SportsFest 2022 will take place throughout PWC. Thousands of amateur athletes will compete in nine different sporting competitions hosted at the county’s premiere sports venues. Tournament play is open to the public and sport demonstrations will be held at most locations. Find out more, see the schedule of events, and register to participate here.   

Opening Night

SportsFest will kick-off Friday, October 7, at 5:00 pm with an Octoberfest Fridays at 5. This last concert of the series will feature two bands, Prost! Polka Partei Band at 5:00 pm and LAZ Collective at 7:00 pm. Admission is free and in addition to live entertainment there will be face painting, food trucks, and beer garden. 

Celebrate the Season

Saturday, October 8, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, the Annual Fall Jubilee will be held in Historic Downtown Manassas (rescheduled from October 1 due to weather). This year’s Jubilee will include an assortment of fun for both kids and adults with over 100 craft and community booths, live music and entertainment, and more! Come visit Latino Row on Battle Street for Latin American Artisans, food and music. The event is free.

Wellness Expo

Saturday, October 8, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, the Prince William County Community Foundation (PWCCF, issue 129) is hosting its second annual Health and Wellness Expo at the Boys and Girls Club in Woodbridge. The free event will have C.H.O.W. Wagon food distribution, health screenings, financial literacy resources, community vendors, door prizes, raffles, and more.

Calling All History Buffs

Saturday, October 15, from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm, the PWC Parks, Recreation & Tourism is hosting tours at the Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park of 1,000 luminary candles for every soldier who died there during the Civil War. Living history vignettes will be located across the battlefield and tours will lead visitors to meet the men and women who made history here. Guided tours depart at the top and bottom of each hour. This program is free with a $5 suggested donation. Tours are limited to 25, so register early. 

Balloon Festival

Saturday, October 15, and Sunday, 16Hot Air Balloon Management is hosting the Prince William Balloon Festival at the PWC Fair Grounds in Manassas. Gates open at 5:00 pm and tethered hot air balloon rides will be available for purchase for $25 per person. After 8:00 pm, the grand finale Hot Air Balloon Glow & Laser show is visually stunning and incorporates music. A Kids Zone, with games and rides including trains, bounce houses, rock walls, and zip line! In addition to food vendors, you can enjoy DJ and live music, as well as shop craft vendor booths. Tickets are $20 for adults and $8 for kids over 5 per day, or $32.00 for adults and $12.00 for kids over 5 for both days.

County Kudos

Make the Right Call Awards

Congratulations to Alondra Pozo and Samee Raza for their Make the Right Call recognitions by the PWC Department of Fire and Rescue at the Second Annual Community Fair on Saturday, September 24.

On September 24, 2021, emergency personnel responded to a Stoppage of Breathing call in Triangle. When no one answered at the front door, they knocked on the basement door and a three-year-old child run to the door andunlocked the deadbolt. The conscious but unresponsive adult female was stabilized and transported to the hospital.

Finalizing this call, units then realized that it was the patient's daughter, three-year-old Alondra, who called 911. She knew her own address, provided her mom's age, and knew how to unlock a deadbolt lock to let crews in. This call was extremely time sensitive in nature. If Alondra did not call 911 when she did, providing language line with pertinent information about her location and her mother’s condition, her mother would not have survived. 

Today, Alondra is five years old and a Kindergartener at Triangle Elementary School. She is proficient in both Spanish and English language. Alondra’s mother, Elsa, is extremely grateful for her daughter’s act of heroism.

On October 1, 2021, responded to a sickness call in Gainesville. Samee, who was 9 at the time, had placed a call into the 911 department, stating there was a medical emergency at his home. Samee’s brave efforts helped first responders respond quickly to the residence.

Samee provided pertinent information to the 911 dispatcher including his address and the nature of the emergency. He also assisted the Fire Department by opening the door when they arrived. Samee’s quick response to help a family member who was unable to speak or communicate in any capacity, displayed a true act of heroism.

This year, ten-year old Samee is a 4th grader at Haymarket Elementary School. Samee’s mom Humaira is extremely proud of her son and appreciates the recognition from the community.


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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