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Issue 160

Friday, April 14, 2023

Prince William County

Dear Neighbors,

This week's The Wheeler Report is full of great information. While I hope you find all of the articles informative, I would like to put a little spotlight on two of them.

In the Chair's Calendar section, you'll see this week I attended a ribbon-cutting event hosted at one of our schools by Amazon Web Services (AWS). During the event AWS donated a book vending machine to the school. The students, who earn tokens to be able to get a book and keep it, were really excited about this - even more so than candy in a vending machine. I like to think that it’s “making books cool again.”

In the County News section there is an upcoming Community Open House hosted by the data center rezoning applicant QTS within the Digital Gateway. County staff estimates (pages 16-17) data centers in the Digital Gateway will generate over $400 million in new annual tax revenue, which could assist us in reducing residential tax burdens while funding strategic plan goals in support of parks, schools, transportation, and affordable housing solutions.

In Service,

Chair Ann Wheeler

Chair's Calendar

Foundation Networking Event

Saturday, April 8, Chair Wheeler attended the Casa Brumar Foundation's first in-person Meet and Greet at CenterFuse in Manassas. At the networking event, the Foundation Board shared what it has accomplished, the programs it offers, and what is to come. During the event Chair Wheeler connected with Evelyn BruMar (photo below), founder and Executive Director of the foundation (County Kudos issue 78), Vice Chair of the Prince William Human Rights Commission, and an appointed member of the Virginia LGBTQ+ Advisory Board of the Governor of Virginia.

Celebrating the "First of the Firsts"

Tuesday, April 11, Chair Wheeler toured the PWC Department of Public Safety Communications (Department Tour and Talk issue 102). These "First of the First" emergency responders are there for the residents of PWC every hour of every day and should be celebrated not just now, during National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week, but everyday. The Federal Communications Commission was also in attendance and toured the PWC Department of Public Safety Communications alongside Chair Wheeler.

Chair's Iftar Dinner

Wednesday, April 12, Chair Wheeler hosted her Second Annual Iftar Dinner in celebration of the holy month of Ramadan. Special guest speakers included PWC County Executive Chris Shorter (bottom right photo), Office of Equity and Inclusion Officer Maria Burgos (top right photo), and Human Resources Director at Islamic Relief USA and Muslim Center of Virginia Board President Sister Khadija Athman (bottom left photo). Supervisor Andrea Bailey, Director of Finance and CFO Michelle Attreed, Chief of Police Peter Newsham, Superintendent of Schools Dr. LaTanya D. McDade, and Commonwealth's Attorney Amy Ashworth (top left photo left to right with Khadija Athman).

Tech Space

Thursday, April 14, Chair Wheeler spoke at a celebration and ribbon-cutting of the remodeled AWS Think Big Space at River Oaks Elementary School. At the event they donated a book vending machine to the school. A special shout out to Maurice Hines (bottom center photo), one of PWC School system's Elementary School Community Safety Officer.

About the Think Big Space

In 2019, AWS and PWC Schools System launched a groundbreaking, first of its kind, STEAM lab, creating a space where kids would have access to the latest technology and be encouraged to ‘think big’ to solve real-world problems. Over the past four years, the River Oaks Elementary Think Big Space has served thousands of elementary school students from across the district. In addition to this exponential effect across PwC schools, the successful Think Big lab model at River Oaks inspired growth of the program in the U.S. and across the globe. 


Thursday, April 13, Chair Wheeler attended the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority meeting (recap) which included a Dominion Energy Electric Transportation presentation that focused on the electric vehicle (EV) market and Dominion's priorities to support ease of adoption, universal access and demand growth aid for the EV infrastructure. The presentation also included Dominion's Electric School Bus Initiative which has successfully delivered more than 70 buses to school districts across Virginia

Did you know Virginia's EV sales market share is higher than the nation's? Learn more about EVs in the video below.

Time of Prayer

Friday, April 14, Chair Wheeler spoke at the Masjid al-Hussain Peace House Adhan, the Muslim call to prayer. This was one of Peace House's two public Adhan's held during Ramadan. The Adhan speaks to the greatness of God, bears witness to Muhammed as his messenger, and encourages the faithful to hasten to prayer, salvation, and good deeds.  

Next Meeting

Tuesday, April 18 at 7:30 pm

For Public Comment Time options visit SpeakUp! Prince WilliamRemote speakers must sign up by 5:00 pm on Monday, April 17. In-person speakers can sign up at the meeting.

Tuesday, April 18, 7:30 pm is the FY2024 Proposed Budget markup. Budget Adoption will be during the Tuesday, April 25, 7:30 pm meeting.

View the Agenda
Register to Speak Remotely

The BOCS Tuesday, April 11, Meeting Actions

Proclaimed April Month of the Military Child to recognize their often unsung sacrifices and important contributions. Whether it’s enduring deployments, reintegrating into new states and countries, caring for wounded warrior parents, or coping with the loss of a fallen parent, the military child remains resilient and strong, and exemplifies an amazing capacity to adapt.

The Department of Defense has recognized military children during the month of April since 1986. PWC is the proud home to numerous children of military families, and by ensuring their safety and support in our schools and communities, our men and women in uniform can focus on the challenges and missions they face.

Proclaimed April 16 through April 22, National Volunteer Week to recognize and thank all of our dedicated volunteers who lend their time, talent, voice, and support to causes they care about and urge all residents to consider volunteering. Volunteer participation increases the number who are touched by quality-of-life services and programs

In 2022, 3,645 PWC volunteers gave 291,138 hours, the equivalent of 149 full-time staff, in support of County agencies to including the Clerk of Circuit Court, Libraries, Area Agency on Aging, Prince William Health District, Police, Adult Detention Center, Fire and Rescue System, and Parks, Recreation, and Tourism. Find volunteer opportunities here.

Proclaimed April 23 through April 29, Crime Victims' Rights Week and ensuring they are offered accessible, appropriate, and trauma-informed services. Through the unwavering support of communities and victim service providers, survivors are empowered to face their grief, loss, fear, anger, and hope without fear of judgment, and will understood, heard, and respected.

Senior Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Marcia Payne accepted the proclamation.

The Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney Victim Witness Assistance Program is dedicated to strengthening victims and survivors in the aftermath of crime, building resilience in our communities and victim service providers, and bringing hope and healing to all victims and survivors.

County News

Data Center Open House

Tuesday, April 18, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm, Quality Technology Services (QTS) is hosting a Community Open House on the proposed Prince William Digital Gateway at Bull Run Middle School in Gainesville. The event will focus on QTS's rezoning application for approximately 800 acres within the Digital Gateway corridor and be an opportunity for representatives of QTS to provide information and answer your questions about different aspects of data center development. QTS has made a commitment to corporate responsibility through its key Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) sustainability initiatives.

QTS' significant ESG initiative achievements in 2020 include:

  • 35%+ increase in QTS' renewable energy procurement year-over-year.
  • Ranked #1 by GRESB in sustainability among data centers globally for the second consecutive year.
  • Highest year of charitable giving in QTS history (greater than $1 million) to more than 80 different organizations.
  • Initiated a new corporate partnership with World Vision to make clean water accessible to thousands of families globally.

Learn about QTS's commitment to being the most innovatively sustainable data center in the industry in the video below.

New Historic Marker

At its Tuesday, April 11, meeting, the BOCS accepted the donation of the Hoadly Historical Marker, which was funded by an Occoquan constituent, into the PWC Historical Commission’s Historical Marker Program. The Hoadly marker recognizes the rural community of Hoadly placed in front of the James J. McCoart complex. In addition to the marker text below you can read about the Hoadly community in the Prince William Times article here. Learn about other historic markers in PWC here.

An undated photo of the Hoadly Post Office and Davis’ general store, provided to Prince William County by a descendant of the Davis family. 

Hoadly Historic Marker

The establishment of the rural post office program and a new postmaster in 1887 brought the name Hoadly to this area previously known as Maple Valley. Local post offices often occupied space at a general store and became a community gathering place as was the case in Hoadly. The site of the first Hoadly Post Office serving this country neighborhood was just east of this sign at R. M. Davis's Store. The post office relocated in 1900 a half a mile to the west near M. Davis's Dance Pavilion and the Hoadly ball field, home of the Hoadly Hellcats, but returned to its original location in 1915. Hoadly flourished with a number of other stores and churches in the area stretching along the old Davis Ford Road roughly from Laurel Hills Drive to Beacon Race Road. Rural free delivery took over after the Hoadly Post Office closed in 1954 but Hoadly lingers on as an unincorporated community.

Help Wanted

Thursday, April 20, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, the PWC Police Department is hosting a Crossing Guard Hiring Event at the Manassas Mall. Enjoy serving the needs of PWC's young residents? Love to be outside? Looking for part-time? This is the job for you! Hirees receive on the job training, paid leave, and uniforms. Openings are in Haymarket, Dominion Valley, Gainesville, Lake Ridge, Woodbridge, and Manassas. Applications will be accepted on-site, or apply in advance and come in for an on-the-spot interview.

Festival Celebrating Earth Day

Saturday, April 22, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, PWC Public Libraries is hosting a Spring Festival on Central Green. Explore this outdoor library space and celebrate spring and Earth Day with nature and conservation activities. Enjoy a pollinator garden, read a story along the story trail, check the wind's speed on the windmill, explore the weather station, and receive a free native tree sapling. Make sure to check Central Green's new bench made from recycled plastic bags (County Kudos issue 159)

Central Green open in 2022, following extensive renovations at the Central branch in 2020, which included moving RELIC, a special collection devoted to genealogy and local history, back to the Central branch and the libraries' first Makerspace Lab (County News issue 90).

Traffic Safety

At its Tuesday, April 11, meeting, the BOCS adopted ordinances to use photo-monitoring systems to enforce speed limits in highway work zones and school crossing zones, as well as photo-monitoring systems to enforce traffic light signals. These actions followed the Automated Enforcement Feasibility Study (Work Session Presentations issue 156) by County staff.

These ordinances authorize and initiate a one-year Automated Traffic Enforcement Pilot Program in select areas through August 2024. The Board also budgeted and appropriated $850,000 in Recordation Tax designated for Transportation to fund the pilot program. More information about the pilot program will be shared in future issues prior to becoming operational.

Scholarship Opportunity

The White House Farm Foundation is accepting applications for its Plein Environmental Scholarship Fund through Friday, April 28. Each awardee can receive up to $15,000 per student ($2,500 for first and second year at Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) and $5,000 for third and fourth year at a 4-year Virginia public university). Three scholarships will be awarded per year. Each recipient must continue to meet the renewal eligibility requirements every year. Learn more and apply here.

To be eligible to apply, the student must:

  • Be a graduating high school senior set to attend, or a current first-year NVCC student.
  • Be pursuing a two-year associate degree from NVCC with the intention of transferring to a four-year university to complete their bachelor’s degree.
  • Be pursuing a degree in an environmental field of study. Possible degrees include: Environmental Science, Conservation, Environmental Studies, Forestry, or otherwise related.
  • Demonstrate financial need through the submission of a short, written statement.
  • Clearly and compellingly demonstrate why they wish to pursue an environmental field of study and how they hope to utilize their degree, through the submission of an essay.

The White House Farm Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) foundation based in Northern Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley. An educational foundation with a focus on the conservation of local natural resources to in turn protect our global ecosystem. We care about living more sustainably and using natural resources wisely. It owns and manages Leopold's Preserve (County Happenings issue 109), a 380 acre nature conservancy in Haymarket. 

County Happenings

Safe and Legal Way to Dispose

Saturday, April 22, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, the PWC Police Department, the Manassas City Police Department, and the Haymarket Town Police Department are joining the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and community groups are participating in the nationwide prescription drug “Take-Back" Day, so you can dispose of unused or expired medications in a safe and legal way.

Collection Sites:

  • UVA Health System Prince William Medical Center in Manassas
  • UVA Health System Haymarket Medical Center
  • Sentara Healthcare Lake Ridge

Items accepted:

  • Prescription and over-the-counter solid-dosage medications (i.e., tablets and capsules)
  • Vape pens and e-cigarettes AFTER batteries have been removed.

Items NOT accepted:

  • Intravenous solutions, injectables, needles, hydrogen peroxide, compressed cylinders (asthma inhalers, for example), iodine-containing medications, and thermometers
  • Illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine

To protect your privacy, prior to turning in medications, either:

  • Peel off the label
  • Use a permanent marker to blacken out personal information

It's Back!

Thursday, April 20 through Sunday, April 23, the Spring Carnival is back at the Prince William County Fair Grounds. Come out for all the fair favorites like amusement rides, food vendors, and games. Grandstand events will include a demolition derby, tractor pull, motocross motorcycles, and monster trucks.

Fee-free Day In Our National Park

Saturday, April 22, the first day of National Park Week, all National Parks, including our very own Prince William Forest Park, will be entrance free. The 15,000+ wooded acres are filled with wildlife and more than 300 years of human history, and have 37 miles of hiking trails, over 12 miles of paved roads and 9.2 miles of gravel roads for on and off-road cycling, 18 miles of streams and man-made lakes for fishing, and a 60 point orienteering course.

The Park is the largest green space in the DC Metro area and the largest piedmont forest within the National Park Service. You can get a glimpse of some of what it has to offer in the video below. You can also visit the Prince William Forest Park Virtual Museum Exhibit here.

Additional National Parks entrance fee-free days in 2023:

  • Friday, August 4 – Great American Outdoors Day 
  • Saturday, September 23 – National Public Lands Day 
  • Saturday, November 11 – Veterans Day 

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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