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Issue 184

Friday, October 27, 2023

Prince William County

Dear Neighbors,

This week I participated in the County's celebration of the completion of the widening of a section of Route 1 (see Chair's Calendar below). You can see a video recap of the event here. This is one of the many current mobility projects happening in Prince William County. It is also a critical part of our reinvestment in the Woodbridge area by improving traffic congestion and accessibility to retail, shopping, restaurants, the historic Belmont Bay, and the VRE station.

Upgrading Route 1, one of the oldest roads in America, versus building a new road was a complex process and required patience. As I have said before, Prince William County has the best Department of Transportation in Northern Virginia and very possibly in the Commonwealth. While we have over $1 billion in ongoing road projects, most are not building new roads. It’s about transforming existing roads to alleviate congestion and enhancing people's quality of life. 

For example, the $109-million Balls Ford Road Interchange Project, which was completed on time and under budget, has given me back roughly 15 minutes a day on my commute. This translates into over an hour a week. If you multiply that by 48 weeks a year, I now more than 48 waking hours more, or three whole days, of productivity, time with family, or even vacation. If you think about how many thousands and thousands of people drive these roads every day, after we alleviate the congestion, we actually are changing the productivity of the County as a whole. The investment makes a difference.

In Service,

Chair Ann Wheeler

Chair's Calendar

Annual Fund Raising Event

Saturday, October 21, Chair Wheeler's Office attended the 6th Annual Bill Mehr Banquet and Silent Auction hosted by the Cooperative Council of Ministries at St Matthew's Lutheran Church in Woodbridge. All proceeds will benefit the Bill Mehr Drop-in Center for the Homeless

The Bill Mehr Drop-in Center for the Homeless provides essential services to the homeless in PWC, including nutrition and wellness programs, social skills and job readiness programs, and medical services. It offers classroom and training space, private counseling areas, laundry, shower facilities, and an instructional, commercial kitchen

Congressional Event

Wednesday, October 25, Chair Wheeler attended the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Congressional Delegation Reception. Held at the Russell Senate Building in Washington, DC, Virginia U.S. Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner joined Maryland U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen to discuss regional priorities and collaboration.

Bottom left: City of Falls Church Mayor Dave Snyder, Fairfax County Board Supervisor and COG Board Vice Chair Rodney Lusk, and Virginia State Senator George Barker

Center: COG Board Chair Kate Stewart and U.S Senator Tim Kaine

Far right: City of Fairfax Mayor Catherine S. Read, Fairfax County Board Supervisor and COG Board Vice Chair Rodney Lusk, Arlington County Supervisor Libby Garvey, and Falls Church Mayor Dave Snyder

Ribbon Cutting

Thursday, October 26, Chair Wheeler spoke at the Route 1 Widening Ribbon Cutting Ceremony in Woodbridge. The newly completed section between Featherstone and Marys Way widened Route 1 from a four-lane undivided highway to a six-lane- divided highway with a five-foot-wide sidewalk along the road. The 1.3-mile section of the road was built with local, regional, state and federal funding. The design for the project was approved in 2015, with the roadway construction beginning in 2020.  

“This project is yet another example of progressive moves by the county that we're taking towards our strategic goals, because we know by easing congestion and improving mobility along the Route 1 corridor and by providing ease of access to local businesses and family friendly activities, Prince William County continues to become a premier location where people look forward to living, working and playing.”

Ann Wheeler

Chair At-Large Board of County Supervisors

Awareness Brunch

Friday, October 27, Chair Wheeler's Office attended the Town of Dumfries Pink and Purple Brunch to bring awareness and end to Breast Cancer and Domestic Violence.

Next Meeting

Tuesday, November 28

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 the issue prior to the meeting.

Tuesday, October 24, BOCS

Commendations and Proclamations

Commended the Boy Scouts of America Troop 1396, National Capital Area Council

During the past summer, Boy Scouts of America Troop 1396 undertook

watering and caring for 45 trees located around the new bridge on the Occoquan Greenway off Hedges Run. The care and maintenance of these trees significantly contributed to the beautification and ecological health of the County. The dedication, hard work, and community spirit demonstrated by Boy Scouts of America Troop 1396 in this endeavor exemplify the values and principles that are foundational to the Boy Scouts of America organization.

Commended The Links, Incorporated Old Dominion Chapter on Their 30th Anniversary

The Old Dominion Chapter of The Links, Incorporated was chartered on

September 18, 1993, as the 250th chapter of the Organization. It has evolved as an award-winning chapter with members who are committed to exceptional philanthropic service in PWC, including its:

  • Food Insecurity Program, which has provided over 1,500 boxes of food to local elementary schools.
  • Backpack Program, which has provided over 425 backpacks to local youth.
  • “Saturday Academy” programs in collaboration with local elementary schools with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

The chapter also engages with the community through many other initiatives such as Night at the Arts, a showcase of the artistic talent of local high school students, collaborating with Colgate to have the Colgate Van visit a local elementary school, AARP to provide programming at each of the Senior Centers, and many other partnerships with civic organizations. 

About The Links

The Links Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit organization

established in 1946 by Margaret Rosell Hawkins and Sarah Strickland Scott in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations committed to enriching, sustaining, and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other people of African ancestry.

Proclaimed November 18 National Adoption Day

On Saturday, November 18, the local courts of the 31st Judicial District will open their doors to celebrate National Adoption Day by finalizing and recognizing the adoptions of local children. This effort, along with similar celebrations in all 50 states, offers children the chance to live with stable and loving families and encourages others to make a powerful difference through adoption.

There are more than:

  • 117,000 children in the U.S. foster care system.
  • 700 children in the Virginia foster care system.
  • 20 children in the PWC foster care system. 

County News

Master Plan Adopted

On Tuesday, October 24, the BOCS adopted the Prince William Community Energy and Sustainability Master Plan (CESMP, BOCS Work Session issue 156). The County utilized an inclusive stakeholder engagement process in developing the master plan, which consists of five Climate Mitigation and Resilience Goals, which are supported by twenty-five High Priority Actions

New County Department Director

Following a thorough recruitment process Mandi Spina has been appointed the County’s Director of the Department of Development Services effective Monday, November 13. Ms. Spina has been Acting Director of the department for the last eight months and previously served as the department’s Deputy Director.

Ms. Spina began her career with the County in 2013 and has served in several roles, including Senior Human Resources and Administration Analyst for the Department of Development Services, Senior Human Resources Analyst for the Department of Information Technology, and Senior Business Services Analyst with Development Services. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh.    

As Director of Development Services, Ms. Spina will lead a staff of more than 150 full-time employees and be responsible for the department’s divisions of Building Development, Land Development, and Zoning Administration, as well as the Early Assistance Desk. She will serve as a liaison to industry groups, including the Commercial Development Committee, NVBIA, NAIOP, and the Chamber of Commerce. She will also co-chair the County’s Development Ordinance and Review Advisory Committee.

“Mandi has demonstrated with her extensive experience, proven performance and leadership that she is the best candidate for the job. Her experience with the Small Business Project Management Program, managing Development Fee Schedule budgets, leading Continuous Quality Improvement initiatives, collaborating with the development community to address permitting process issues, and leading organizational transitions, are all necessary skills needed to effectively lead the Department of Development Services.” 

Christopher Shorter

PWC Executive

Library Fun

PWC Public Libraries is getting into the "spirit" of the season by hosting varied Halloween-themed activities through Tuesday, October 31. There will be spooky crafts, Repair Café: Halloween Edition, Halloween story times, costume parades, and more! All ages are welcome. Check here for dates, times, locations, and activities.

Learn more about Halloween safety at home and on the road.

Please note: PWC does not designate an official date for trick-or-treating.

Farmers Markets

The PWC Department of Parks and Recreation Farmers Markets in Woodbridge and Dale City will be transitioning from the Spring/Summer/Fall season to Winter in the coming weeks. Details for each location are below.

Prince William Farmers Market

7 County Complex Court, Woodbridge

  • Last day of Spring/Summer/Fall season will be Thursday, November 9, 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm
  • Closed for Winter season

Dale City Farmers Market

14090 Gemini Way, Dale City

  • Last day of Spring/Summer/Fall season will be Sunday, November 26, 8:00 am to 1:00 pm
  • Holiday Market will be Saturday, December 2, 9:30 am to 3:00 pm
  • Winter Market will be Sundays, December through March, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm

Friday, November 10, in observance of Veteran's Day PWC:

  • Government Offices, including the courts, will be closed. 
  • Libraries will be closed. 
  • Landfill and Balls Ford Road Compost Facility will be open normal Friday hours of 6:00 am to 6:00 pm.


Saturday, October 28, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, the PWC Police Department and the Manassas City Police Department are joining the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and community groups in the nationwide Prescription Drug “Take-Back" Day (County News issue 182).

County Kudos

Special Needs Educator Recognized

Ken Davis, teacher of students with special needs at Chris Yung Elementary School, was honored with the Military Bowl Foundation Extra Yard for Teachers award. Given to educators who go above and beyond for their students, Mr. Davis was given a small metal lunchbox containing a $1,000 donor choice card to improve his students' educational experience. He plans to use the funds to purchase electronic devices to help the children communicate with him and his colleagues.

Staff members nominated Mr. Davis for the award, detailing his dedicated efforts in providing academic excellence for his students. The program, organized by the College Football Playoff Foundation, the Military Bowl, and Wegmans, provides these grants to teachers who are veterans or from military families, as well as teachers who serve communities with significant military populations.

Mr. Davis served in the U.S. Navy from 1987 to 1989 when his military career ended due to an injury that required a year of rehabilitation. He has been teaching for 10 years, eight of those in PWC Public Schools. Mr. Davis and other winners will be recognized at this year’s Military Bowl on December 27 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland.

“Mr. Davis has a heart for serving others, approaching students and families with compassion, empathy, and professionalism. He cares deeply for the children in his classroom and creates engaging learning experiences for them each day. We are excited to congratulate and honor our colleague as he receives the Military Bowl Award. It is so well-deserved.”

Stephanie Downey

Principal, Chris Yung Elementary

“This is a severe multiple disabilities classroom. All of my children cannot talk, some cannot walk, and they all learn very differently than you and I. So, we teach them practical skills that they can use every day. I’m just trying to give back to my community.”

Ken Davis

Award Recipient

About the Foundation

The Military Bowl Foundation is a nonprofit organization that operates premier events in the National Capital Region to benefit our nation’s service members. Originally formed to operate the region’s first-ever college football postseason bowl game, it now operates the Military Bowl, DC Touchdown Club, and Patriot Point, a retreat for recovering service members, their families, and caregivers on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The Foundation hosts engaging events throughout the year to raise money and awareness for our service members.

County Happenings

Thanksgiving Art Fun

Saturday, November 4, 10:00 am to 11:00 am, the PWC Parks and Recreation is hosting a Turkey Handprint Plates class at the Pat White Center at Ben Lomond in Manassas. Children, ages 5 to 10, will work with a parent or guardian to design and paint their own keepsake turkey handprint pottery plate. Plates will be set in a kiln and available for pickup on Saturday, November 11. Cost is $35. Register here.

Lesson in Penmanship

Saturday, November 11, 10:00 am to 11:30 pm, the PWC Historic Preservation Office is hosting a Calligraphy II Class in the Brentsville Schoolhouse. Participants will learn about the historical importance of writing forms and calligraphy styles, as well as try their own calligraphy skills and learn history along the way. For ages 13 and up, $15 per person. Participation on Calligraphy l Class is not required. Register here.

Movie Night

Saturday, November 11, 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, PWC Parks and Recreation is hosting Family Movie in the Park at Veterans Park in Woodbridge. The movie will begin at sunset. Please bring your lawn chairs or blankets for seating. The event is free, but all participants must pre-register here. A parent must attend with children under the age of 16.

DC League of Super Pets

Krypto the Super-Dog and Superman are inseparable best friends, sharing the same superpowers and fighting crime side by side in Metropolis. However, when the Man of Steel and the rest of the Justice League are kidnapped, Krypto must convince a ragtag group of animals to master their newfound powers for a rescue mission.

Finding Calm Before the Holiday Season

Wednesday, November 15, 6:00 pm to 6:45 pm, PWC Parks and Recreation is hosting a Gratitude and Thankfulness Special Event with Guided Meditation and Sound Bath Therapy at the Sharron Baucom Dale City Recreation Center. Meditation can help train attention, awareness, mental clarity, and calmness. Together with the sound of sonic vibrations therapy, which can stimulate the brain, balance and rebuild your body, reduce anxiety, and improve sleep quality. Free for pass holders of Sharron Baucom Center and/or Chinn Aquatics and Fitness Center members, $12 drop-in fee for non-members. For ages 14 and older, register here.

Helpful PWC Links

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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