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Issue 148

Friday, January 20, 2023

Prince William County

Dear Neighbors,

When I look at my weekly issues of The Wheeler Report, I am often amazed at how much there is happening in Prince William County. This issue is certainly no exception!

Among the many articles, you'll find inspirational ones about members of our community and students. You'll find also find ones about funding from outside the County that will provide significant benefits. There is even a little nugget about a Ukrainian business.

I genuinely enjoy sharing with you the wide variety of things that are a part of Making Prince William County wonderful. I sincerely hope you also enjoy reading about them.

In Service,

Chair Ann Wheeler

Chair's Calendar

Annual Celebration and Awards

Saturday, January 14, Chair Wheeler provided welcome comments and attended the PWC Human Rights Commission's Universal Human Rights Day (County News issue 146). The winners are selected from nominations submitted by the community (County News issue 141) and are individuals or organizations that have fought for and encouraged equality in significant and substantial ways. Curtis Porter (left photo), Chair of the PWC Human Rights Commission, served as Master of Ceremonies, for the well attended event.

See the winners in the County Kudos below

“The people…we honor today are some of our community’s best advocates and defenders. They’re working tirelessly to make every day and every interaction one that works for dignity, freedom and justice for all. In that spirit today, we choose to recognize and remind ourselves of every human’s inherent dignity and worth."

Ann Wheeler

Chair At-Large Board of County Supervisors

A Moving and Inspirational Program

Monday, January 16, Chair Wheeler attended the virtual 33rd annual Youth Oratorical Competition and Program, A View of the Promised Land, hosted by PWC Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. For 38 years the chapter has hosted a program celebrating the life of Dr. King. You can watch the complete program, which included the MLK Community Choir, made up of PWC students in grades K-12, in the video below.

See the winners in the County Kudos section below.

Grant Request Supported

Wednesday, January 18, Chair Wheeler participated in the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Transportation Planning Board (TPB) meeting. During the meeting, the TPB Steering Committee approved a letter of support for Prince William County’s FY2023 RAISE Grant application for the Minnieville Road-Prince William Parkway Interchange. In addition to improving vehicle operations, the project will construct a sidewalk and shared use path facility for pedestrians and bicycle transportation and improve transit travel time reliability for OmniRide local bus service. The project is currently in design and has approximately $13.5 million in Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) funding (30%). The NVTA has also issued a letter of endorsement for the RAISE Grant application.

RAISE Grants

In December, 2022, the U.S. Department of Transportation published a Notice of Funding Opportunity for $1.5 billion in grant funding through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grant program for 2023. The program helps communities around the country carry out projects with significant local or regional impact. In 2022, the program funded 166 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

Legislative Reception

Wednesday, January 18, Chair Wheeler attended the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce Legislative Reception, Viva Virginia. The annual event for lawmakers and business leaders is held the evening before Local Governance Day. Among the special guests was Gary Pan, Commissioner, Virginia Department of Labor and Industry.

Local Governance Day

Thursday, January 19, Chair Wheeler participated in the annual Local Governance Day hosted by the Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) at the Virginia General Assembly. Guest speaker Tony McDowell, Executive Director of the Commonwealth of Virginia Opioid Abatement Authority, talked about opioid settlement funding opportunities. The and Virginia Municipal League provided legislative reports on the major issues facing localities in the 2023 General Assembly Session.

Chair Wheeler met with various Senators and Delegates representing PWC to talk about our needs, proposed legislation, and its impact. Meetings including Senator Scott Surovell (top left photo right of Chair Wheeler), Senator George Barker (top left photo, center), Delegate Luke Torian (bottom left photo, right of Chair Wheeler), and Delegate Briana Sewell (right photo, left of Chair Wheeler). Occoquan Magisterial District Supervisor Kenny Boddye and Potomac Magisterial District Supervisor Andrea Bailey also attended the event and meetings.

Discussion Panel

Thursday, January 19, Chair Wheeler was invited to attend a discussion panel and reception hosted by the Ambassador of France to the United States, Philippe Etienne (top left photo), at the French Embassy. The topic was "Workforce Development: Investing in our Communities and Delivering Reliable Public Transportation Solutions." 

The panelists included Andy Byford (center top photo), recently retired Commision, Transport of London, and Kate Gallego (top right photo), Mayor of Phoenix, Arizona. Others who attended included, Mario Peloquin (bottom left photo), MBA, Executive Vice President, Major Projects, Keolis North America, Brandon M. Scott (bottom center photo), Mayor of Baltimore, Maryland, and John Bauters (bottom right photo), Mayor of Emeryville, California.

Keolis North America provides public transit services throughout the U.S. and Canada for millions of passengers each year and is the largest light rail operator globally. Locally, it has contracts to operate buses with the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission, which operates as OmniRide, and rail system with Virginia Rail Express.

The stunning bow tie worn by Mayor Bauters is hand made using wild olive wood and black epoxy resin in Ukraine. It is available on Etsy here and similar items available at the artist's Resin Wood Gift store.

Next Meeting

Tuesday, January 24

2:00 pm - Work Session

For Public Comment Time options visit SpeakUp! Prince WilliamRemote speakers must sign-up by 5:00 pm on Monday, January 23. In-person speakers can sign up at the meeting.

Work Session Details



VoteCast electronic voting system is designed to track a Supervisor’s voting record, increase transparency, and allow members of the public to more easily determine how a Supervisor voted on a specific case or agenda item. Since its implemented on June 28, 2022, all voting information has been captured and is now available in a searchable format. Staff will provide a brief demonstration on how to search the system using keywords, a particular date range, or other criteria.

View the Agenda
Register to Speak Remotely

Additional Meeting

Wednesday, January 25, at 6:00 pm

Joint Meeting with the PWCS School Board

Kelly Leadership Center, 14715 Bristow Road, Manassas

The agenda includes the following school focused presentations:

Board Actions During the January 17 Meeting

Proclaimed February 8 School Crossing Guard Appreciation Day. PWC has professional School Crossing Guards, all highly qualified men and women fully prepared to meet the challenges of protecting our school children and training them in pedestrian safety. Crossing Guards are Police Department employees and undergo comprehensive training.

Crossing Guard Details in PWC

  • There are currently 63 Crossing Guards who work 87 crossings every day. 
  • In 58-years history of the Crossing Guards, there have been no deaths or serious injuries of any child at any school crossing.
  • In the past school year, Crossing Guards conducted 28,056 safe crossings and safely crossed over one million children.

Commended the Freedom High School Eagles football team in Woodbridge on their 15-0 undefeated record as well as their district, regional, and Class 6 state championships (County Kudos issue 146).

The Freedom Eagles

  • Excel in the classroom, with a majority of the seniors being offered scholarships in this early part of the year.
  • Two seniors graduated early and are enrolling as college students this January.
  • Are well known in the community, providing Thanksgiving dinners and Holiday Baskets to community members in need.
  • Coaching staff dedication and commitment to the student athletes is unmatched and provides assistance, support, love, and care way beyond the field, living up to their "Only the Family" motto.

County News

Significant Funding Secured for PWC

As the United States Congress concluded its business for the 117th session, PWC received more than $10 million for six projects in the Omnibus budget package for critical infrastructure and community support initiatives for the County. In early 2022, the County received more $10 million in Congressional Directed Spending (County News issue 107)

Senators Kaine and Warner, and Congressman Connolly

  • $4 million towards further development and construction of the North Woodbridge Pedestrian Bridge, an active transit connection to rail and bus transit at the Woodbridge VRE Station.
  • $2 million for the Homeless Navigation Center - East project, which will provide overnight, temporary, emergency sheltering and wrap-around services for adults experiencing homelessness.
  • $2 million for the Crisis Receiving and Stabilization Center (Chair's Calendar issue 126), that will provide 23-hour observation recliners and crisis stabilization beds for adults and youths experiencing a behavioral crisis.

Senators Warner and Kaine

Almost $1.9 million for the Lake Jackson Dam Rehabilitation project.

Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton

  • $580,000 for the Roundabout at Rollins Ford Road and Estate Manor Drive. 
  • $160,000 for the Town of Haymarket to assess the current stormwater systems and develop a preliminary plan and cost estimate for needed improvements. 

"Given that these projects have received significant local and state support, having the federal government now come to the table with millions in additional funding clearly demonstrates how government can work in partnership at all levels to advance such worthy community projects. On behalf of Prince William County, we extend our sincere appreciation for the work of U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine and members of the U.S. House of Representatives Gerry Connolly and Jennifer Wexton.”

Ann Wheeler

Chair At-Large Board of County Supervisors

Tax Prepartaion Assistance

Starting in February and running through Saturday, April 15, the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program will be available at two PWC Public Libraries. The program provides free tax assistance to anyone, with a focus on taxpayers 50 years and older with low to moderate incomes. Preparers are trained and IRS-certified every year

Below is an overview of each location's program below. If you are interested in utilizing the service, please read important details here.

Bull Run Regional Library

Starts Wednesday, February 1

Mondays, 10:00 am – 4:30 pm

Wednesdays, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Saturdays, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Walk-in service only, on a first come, first served basis

Chinn Park Regional Library

Starts Tuesday, February 7

February 7 – April 13

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

February 25, March 11, and March 25

Saturdays, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Appointment required

Rental Assistance Funding

PWC has provided the Human Services Alliance of Greater Prince William (Alliance GPW) $2.7 million of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to allocate for area housing rental assistance. Funding will be distributed through previously qualified ARPA partners, Edu-Futuro, New Creatures in Christ Ministries, and St. Thomas United Methodist Church. Applications must be submitted by individuals, not businesses. Learn more, including qualifications and how to apply, here.

 In January 2022, the Alliance GPW, a nonprofit association of human services providers that aid residents, partnered with the County to administer $10 million in ARPA funds by 2024 (County News issue 102). This past year, funding was provided for COVID-19 recovery efforts, including navigation for rent, mortgage, and public benefits assistance; utility assistance; childcare costs; and administration for hunger relief programs, among others. The County and community partners have identified a need to shift the focus of the remaining ARPA funds to support those individuals who need housing rental assistance. 

Spring 2023 Season Registration

Registration for the 2023 Miracle League Spring Season (County Kudos issue 141) is still open. Games are held Saturdays, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, on the Miracle Field at the George Hellwig Memorial Park in Manassas from April 15 through May 20. The season will be followed by the "Another Day of Miracles Game" on Saturday, June 3 at 5 pm at Pfitzner Stadium with the Miracle League of Alexandria. Registration fee is $25, ages of 5-99 are welcome, regardless of their ability to play baseball.

The PWC Miracle League program works to eliminate the main barriers for youth and adults with mental and physical disabilities that arise from playing on natural grass fields used in conventional leagues. The Dr. Richard Tami 'Miracle' Field is entirely ADA accessible including dugouts, comfort facilities and paving.

Vows and Renewals

Last year 32 couples participated!

Tuesday, February 14, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Jacqueline Smith, the PWC Circuit Court Clerk will host the 5th Annual Valentine’s Day Wedding Bash at Three Monkeys Pub & Chophouse, in downtown Manassas. The Clerk and staff will administer civil celebrant services with court-style wedding ceremonies and vow renewals. For more details and to schedule your appointment, please call 703-792-6036.

County Happenings

An Easy and Fun Way to Show You Care

Through Friday, February 3, PWC Public Libraries is once again hosting Valentines for Veterans. Simply stop by any of the 12 Library Branches, color a valentine card, and the library will share it with local veterans.

Date Night

Saturday, February 11, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism is hosting Valentine's Day Painting at the Pat White Center at Ben Lomond in Manassas. An instructor will guide participants as they complete their own Valentine’s Day theme canvas painting. Cost is $38 per couple and registration can be completed here.

Celebrating Through the Arts

Open Space Arts, located at Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center in Woodbridge, is hosting a free exhibition stating February 1 to kick off its Black History Month Celebration. The exhibition will be open Wednesdays through Sundays and feature works of artists from across PWC. The venue will also host three performances by professional theatre artist Herb A. Williams on three Saturdays in February. Tickets for Herb's performances on February 11, February 18, and February 25 are $15.

Chilly Reminder

You can still register for the 2023 Prince William Polar Plunge (County Happenings issue 139). The annual icy dip into the Potomac River will be Saturday, February 18, at Leesylvania State Park. When you raise money for Polar Plunge, you're supporting more than 18,000+ Special Olympics Virginia athletes

County Kudos

The 2022 Universal Human Rights Winners

The Tenants and Workers United, for its 20 years of service providing resources and information to county residents in need, including leadership training, student programs, immigrant rights, affordable housing, and driver’s licenses for all.

The Woodbridge Alumni Chapter Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., whose mission is to inspire “Service to the Public Interest,” for its work in guiding PWC youth through mentoring, college preparatory programs, tutoring, college and career planning, decision making, health education, and workshops.

Freedom High School Coach Darryl Overton, who led the football team through an undefeated season and on to a state championship, was recognized for his work in the community serving the less fortunate, including the annual Thanksgiving dinner giveaway Overton started in 2016.

The National Coalition of 100 Black Women Inc., in collaboration with Apple Federal Credit Union, John D. Jenkins Elementary School, and the SPARK Foundation, which is committed to providing opportunities for middle-grade students to help them appreciate the connection education has to their future and financial literacy programs to teach young people the value of saving early.

Rev. Cozy E. Bailey, for his work as President of the Prince William National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, to eliminate racial prejudices, discrimination, and circumvent attempts to diminish or nullify civil rights.

Winners of the 2023 MLK Oratorical Program

Alyssa Godfrey, eighth grade, Benton Middle School

Best Before the Judges - Middle School

Rosalie Bagay, seventh grade, Bull Run Middle School

Judges’ Choice Award - Middle School

Arhaan Gautam, sixth grade, Pennington Traditional School

Featured Speaker Award

Sakshi Gowda, eighth grade, Ronald Wilson Reagan Middle School

Best Before the Audience - Middle School

Shavonne Davis, ninth grade, Patriot High School

Best Before the Judges - High School

Best Before the Audience - High School

Ritha Igout, 11th grade, Gainesville High School

Judges’ Choice Award - High School

Open to students in grades 6-12, participants were asked to first write and then present an oration in celebration of the life and accomplishments of Dr. King, based on this year’s theme, “A View of the Promised Land.”  Students study with a coach, often a teacher, and begin early in the year to prepare and practice their speeches in anticipation of presenting in the tradition of the acclaimed oratorical skills of Dr. King.

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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