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Issue 108
Friday, March 18, 2022
Prince William County
Dear Neighbors,

In a March 14 press release, the United Nations Refugee Agency advised "more than 2.8 million" Ukrainian refugees have been forced to flee the country since February 24, and "at least 2 million more have been displaced within the country." In response, the Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC), a council of thirteen local governments, organized a drive this week and requested my participation as a drop off location.

The refugees are facing bitter cold weather conditions. The NVRC is specifically requesting donations of:
  • New/Gently Used Coats
  • New Blankets
  • New Pairs of Sweat Socks/Heavy Socks
  • New Pairs of Gloves
The items will be shipped to Poland and then make their way to those in need in both Poland and Ukraine.

If you are able, and would like to donate any of these items, you can drop them off at my office located in the McCoart Building at 1 County Complex Court in Woodbridge (get directions) during regular business hours. Additional drop off locations in the region can be found here. NRVC requests items be donated by April 15 so they can be boxed and secured for shipping.

In Service,
Chair Ann Wheeler
COVID-19 News
Vaccination Center Update
 The Prince William Health District COVID-19 Manassas Mall vaccine clinic closed on Saturday, March 12.

The Prince William Community Vaccination Center (CVC) at the old Gander Mountain building in Woodbridge continues to operate Tuesday through Saturday, from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Appointments can be made here. Walk-ins are accepted. Please note, it will be closed on Wednesday, March 23.
TSA Mask Extension
On Thursday, March 10, following the CDC’s recommendation, the TSA extended its security directive for mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs from Friday, March 18 to Monday, April 18. This mandate applies to all public air travel as well as OmniRide buses, the Virginia Railway Express (VRE), and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro). This mandate does NOT affect PWC School buses, where masks have been optional since February 25.
The Extension Could be Nullified
On Tuesday, March 15, the U.S. Senate, in a 57 to 40 vote, passed a bill that would nullify the extension. Next would be a vote by the U.S. House of Representatives, and then President Biden's desk if it passes.
How to Get Vaccinated:

How to get tested:
Next Meetings
Tuesday, April 5
2:00 pm Regular Meeting
7:30 pm School Board Budget Presentation

Links to the agenda and how to participate in Public Comment Time will be shared in issue prior to the meeting.
PWC School Board Budget (issue 102 School News) Resources
County News
Federal Funding for Important Program
The PWC Police Department announced a partnership with the Center of Evidence-Based Crime Policy at George Mason University to enhance and expand the County’s existing Co-Responder Program (issue 73 County Kudos). The program utilizes a team approach by pairing a Crisis Intervention Trained (CIT) officer with a mental health clinician to respond to calls involving persons in crisis. The unit offers resources to the individual, as well as proactively identifies and provides outreach to those who have a more consistent need for public safety and mental health services.
Through the collaboration, the Department will utilize approximately $1,003,960 in federal funding to accelerate training to significantly increase the number of CIT officers and provide further training to existing CIT officers. The funding will also support research-based assessments and evaluations to help gauge the program’s effectiveness and guide strategic decision making. In 2021, the Police Department responded to approximately 3,351 mental health-related calls and handled over 600 transports totaling over 27,000 hours, the equivalent of 13 full-time officers.
“We are grateful for the support of Senator Tim Kaine in supporting this endeavor and we are excited about this opportunity to provide expanded training to our police officers to foster supportive relationships with residents and help them connect with the highest quality of services available. Additionally, working with George Mason University in this endeavor affords us the opportunity to incorporate research, expertise, and program evaluation to ensure the effective delivery of police services are provided.”
Ann Wheeler
Chair At-Large Board of County Supervisors
Real Estate Assessments
The PWC Real Estate Assessment Office began mailing its 2022 assessments the week of Monday, March 14. You can also lookup assessments online. If you have questions about your real estate assessment, please contact the Real Estate Assessments Office at 703-792-6780 or
The Code of Virginia requires the tax calculated on the assessment be at the current adopted rate of $1.115 per $100 of assessed value. The Proposed FY2023 Budget (issue 106 BOCS) rate is $1.050 per $100 of assessed value, which if adopted, would result in a lower calculated tax.

The FY2023 Budget is scheduled to be adopted Tuesday, April 26, at 7:30 pm and goes into effect July 1. The final Budget Public Hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, April 12, at 7:30 pm. Information on how to participate in the hearing will be shared in a future issue.
How Assessed Values are Determined
The Real Estate Assessments Office collects information regarding property descriptions, property sales, and other real estate market data. County appraisers periodically inspect properties to verify current data.

One or more of the following methods is used to value property:
  • The Sales Comparison Approach: The assessed value is based on recent sales of similar properties. Properties that have sold are analyzed and adjustments are made for differences such as size, condition, age, location, and interior and exterior amenities.
  • The Cost Approach: Current materials, labor costs and depreciation rates are used to determine how much it would cost to replace a property. Also, the Assessments Office determines how much a similar lot would be worth if it were vacant.
  • The Income Approach: Industry-derived figures are used to determine the income a property would generate and the cost to maintain and operate that property.
Public Record
Real estate assessments are a matter of public record. Other public information available at the Real Estate Assessments Office includes sale prices and dates, legal descriptions, descriptions of the land and buildings, and ownership information.
Coming to an Area Near You
PWC Public Works Neighborhood Services and Solid Waste Management divisions have announced their 2022 Dumpster Days schedule. The County-wide events, occurring from April through October, are open to all residents as a way to remove clutter and debris from their yard and home. Neighbors are encouraged to use these days to organize community cleanup events. Last year, 32.7 tons was collected through the Dumpster Days program!
Important Details
Please ensure refrigerators are empty of their contents and wiped clean, remove glass trays from microwaves, and secure the doors with tape before dropping them off at the dumpster location.

The following cannot be accepted: Fuel tanks, motor oil, fuel drums, household hazardous waste, antifreeze, paint thinners, pesticides, pool chemicals, commercial waste, and electronics. These items can be disposed at the PWC Landfill. Please call 703-792-5750 for more information on proper disposal.
Keeping Children Safe
Saving Prince William’s Littles was founded in September 2017 in an effort to bring additional car seat safety awareness to PWC. Its certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians teach caregivers how to correctly install their children’s car seats and make sure their children are riding as safely as possible. It provides FREE car seat check events at least once a month within the County and also attend community events to provide car seat education. During PWC car seat check events, it typically sees at least 75% of car seats installed incorrectly.
Did You Remember?
Switching to Daylight Saving Time is also a great time to change the batteries in your smoke alarms. Working smoke alarms in your home can reduce the chance of dying in a fire by 50%! Most fire deaths occur at night while people are sleeping, so it is important to install working smoke alarms in the home to give you and your family enough time to get out of the house safely. Each residence should have a working smoke alarm on every level of the home and in or near each bedroom. Learn more about smoke alarms here.
Speaking of Daylight Saving Time
Tuesday, March 15, the U.S. Senate UNANIMOUSLY passed the Sunshine Protection Act of 2021, which makes daylight saving time the new, permanent standard time, effective November 5, 2023. While the vote was unexpected, the bill is not new having been originally filed in 2018 and then reintroduced in 2021. Next would be a vote by the U.S. House of Representatives, and then President Biden's desk if it passes.
There is still availability in many of PWC Parks, Recreation, and Tourism's Spring Break Camps. Running Monday, April 11 through Friday, April 15, there are traditional full day camps and a wide variety of specialty camps.
County Happenings
Now Hiring
Sunday, March 27, from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm, PWC Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism is hosting a Drive-Thru Job Fair at SplashDown Waterpark, located at 7500 Ben Lomond Park Road in Manassas. Hiring managers and supervisors will be on site for interviews. If you are only interested in lifeguard positions, you can sign up for a swim test here (must be 15 years old by June 15) in lieu of attending the fair.
Summer 2022 Job Openings Include:
  • Attendant I ages 14+
  • Aquatic Attendant, Cashier, Cook, Concessionaire ages 16+
  • Head Cashier ages 17+
  • Lifeguard ages 15+ and Lifeguard II ages 16+
  • Food and Beverage Supervisor
  • Assistant Park Manager – Aquatics
  • Waterpark Supervisor – Aquatics and Customer Service
Farmer's Markets Opening Soon
The PWC Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism is opening two Farmer's Markets in April.
The Dale City Farmers Market will be open every Sunday from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm every Sunday starting April 3 through November 27. It will be held at 14090 Gemini Way in Dale City (get directions).
The Prince William Farmers Market will be open every Thursday from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm from starting April 7 through November 17. It will be held at 7 County Complex Court in Woodbridge (get directions).
Check out Visit PWC's Farmer's Markets for information on more markets.
Registration is still open for the Marine Corps 17.75K on Saturday March 26, at 7:00 am. All live event finishers 14 years of age and older are guaranteed access to the Marine Corps Marathon in October.
County Kudos
Student Art Awards
Last week, twenty-four PWC high school students received awards during the PWC Service Authority’s 2022 Water Art Invitational. Gabriela Molina Otaiza, a sophomore at Colgan High School, took home this year’s Grand Prize. Her submission, a realistic painting featuring a family of sea turtles, embodied this year’s theme, “Water: Our Most Precious Resource.” You can view 132 submissions in the Photography, Computer Graphics, and Drawing and Painting virtual galleries.
“I think our most precious resource isn’t what only benefits us but what holds our planet and other organisms together. In this case, water is the protector for these turtles, seen as the mother shields her babies. They are depicted at a time of reunion where water is the vessel for connection.”
Gabriela Molina Otaiza
Colgan High School Sophomore
You can view the virtual award ceremony in the video below.
Important Awareness Reminder
March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month and the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) are uniting with the nation’s 55 poison control centers to celebrate National Poison Prevention Week Sunday, March 20 through Saturday, March 26. This annual event occurs to raise awareness about poisonings, the leading cause of injury deaths in the U.S. According to the AAPCC’s 2020 Annual Report, U.S. poison control centers provided telephone guidance to over 3.3 million encountersChildren younger than 5 accounted for over 40%, followed by adults and teens.
In addition to drugs and medication poisonings, human exposures to poisons occur with household and personal products, plants, mushrooms, pesticides, animal bites and stings, carbon monoxide, and many other types of non-pharmaceutical substances when swallowed, inhaled, or touched. While it can happen anywhere, 93% of human exposures reported to poison control centers occurred in the home.

What To Do
If you suspect someone has been poisoned, the PWC Fire and Rescue System recommends calling 9-1-1 first prior to calling the Poison Control Center. If needed, you can reach the Poison Control Center Hotline online, by calling 1-800-222-1222 or texting POISON to 797979.
To help prevent unintentional poisonings in the home, follow these simple safety tips:
  • Use child-resistant containers whenever possible.
  • Never refer to medications as “candy”.
  • Read the label on all medicines and products, to follow directions exactly.
  • Use measuring devices that come with medications.
  • Store all medications, pesticides, and laundry products out of the reach of children.
  • Keep all products in their original containers.
  • Do not mix household products together.
  • Install carbon monoxide alarms on every floor of your home, including the basement and outside of each bedroom.
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.