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Issue 156

Friday, March 17, 2023

Prince William County

Dear Neighbors,

At this week's Board meeting we held a few work sessions, and heard several presentations. Two of them, the County's Community Energy and Sustainability Master Plan and Automated Enforcement Feasibility Study, shared completed staff work that laid the groundwork for moving forward in these areas.

The outcomes from these studies, along with the future plans, will positively impact residents across the County from an environmental perspective and a safety perspective. I have included details on both below and encourage you to read them to learn more. There are so many positive actions taken lately, and they cover a wide swath of topics, that I will try to highlight them as we move forward.

The other presentations, a local noise study and a compensation study, were preliminary and a component of other work in progress in the County. As all of these topics evolve, I will keep you informed.

In Service,

Chair Ann Wheeler

Chair's Calendar

Special Guest

Friday, March 11, Chair Wheeler was attended the performance of La Boutique Fantasque & More! at the Hylton Performing Arts Center as a special guest of the Manassas Ballet Theatre. (Performance photos below are from Manassas Ballet Theatre.)

Next Performance

The Manassas Ballet Theatre 2022-2023 season closes with a performance of Swan Lake Friday, May 19, through Sunday, May 21. Tickets can be purchased here.

Cultural Celebration

Saturday, March 11, Chair Wheeler participated in the 23rd Annual Greater Manassas St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Serving as Parade Grand Marshall this year was Joe Martin (top left photo), local businessman, community volunteer, and native of Manassas.

Law Enforcement Graduation

Monday, March 13, Chair Wheeler provided remarks at the PWC Criminal Justice Academy Basic Law Enforcement 52nd graduation. The 15 men and women completed a 24-week course of training in all aspects of police work, including classes in firearms, use-of-force decision making, driver training, legal training, patrol techniques, criminal investigation and crash investigation. The graduation included the swearing-in of twelve graduates as PWC Police officers and three graduates as Sheriff’s deputies. These graduates will further contribute to PWC being the10th most diverse county in the United States.

Regional Transportation Meeting

Wednesday, March 15, Chair Wheeler participated in the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments' National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) meeting .

The TPB is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization for the region, and plays an important role as the regional forum for transportation planning. The TPB prepares plans and programs that the federal government must approve in order for federal-aid transportation funds to flow to the Washington region.

Open House

Wednesday, March 15, Chair Wheeler's Office attended AmeriCorps' Open House at the new CASA Welcome Center in Woodbridge. Attendees toured the many departments such as their Immigration Integration department which helps immigrants study for their citizenship exam, as well as walking them through the process of filling out the forms. Several AmeriCorps volunteers (light blue shirts) at CASA provided information about their services. 

About AmeriCorps

The Open House was held during AmeriCorps Week, which is held the second full week of March to recognizing the commitment of the millions of Americans who have chosen to serve their country through AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors. It is also a time to give thanks to those members and volunteers who raise their hands to help when the need arises. They are often the first on the ground and last to leave—making sure to leave their projects better than they found them. 

AmeriCorps engages 200,000 Americans each year in sustained, results-driven service through our AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors programs. Members and volunteers continue to help communities manage COVID-19 response, ensure students stay on track to graduate, combat hunger and homelessness, respond to natural disasters, fight the opioid epidemic, help seniors live independently, support veterans and military families, and much more.  


Friday, March 17, Chair Wheeler participated in the Potomac/Neabsco Mills Commuter Garage Project Groundbreaking that included capturing mason jars of soil (top right photo). The PWC Department of Transportation secured significant federal funding through Commonwealth Transportation Board's SMART SCALE Program to construct the 1,400-space commuter parking garage and approximately 750 feet long sidewalk. It also received funds from State Revenue Sharing and the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority.

Next Meeting

Tuesday, March 21

2:00 pm and 7:30 pm

For Public Comment Time options visit SpeakUp! Prince WilliamRemote speakers must sign up by 5:00 pm on Monday, March 20. In-person speakers can sign up at the meeting.

View the Agenda
Register to Speak Remotely

BOCS Work Session Presentations

Sustainability Master Plan Update

The Progress and Next Steps of the Community Energy and Sustainability Master Plan (CESMP) (scroll down for slide deck) was presented by Giulia Manno, PWC Environmental and Energy Sustainability Officer, and partnering infrastructure consulting firm AECOM. The CESMP Core Team is comprised of eighteen County staff members from eleven areas, and eight AECOM staff members.

CESMP Timeline to Date

  • November 2020 - BOCS adopted Climate Mitigation and Resiliency Goals (slide below) and authorized the creation of a CESMP to serve as a roadmap for the County to reach the goals.
  • April 2021 - BOCS created the Office of Sustainability charged with developing the CESMP and advising on energy and environmental sustainability advancements for the County.
  • March 2022 - Office of Sustainability was launched.
  • June 2022 - Office of Sustainability began leading the CESMP.

The presentation had a focused on Greenhouse Gas (GHG) and included a review of the 2018 Emissions Inventory (slide below). The next steps are to draft actions the County can take, that when combined with existing Federal and Regulatory forces, will allow PWC to reach its GHG Emissions target goal.

Community Engagement

As the CESMP draft plan evolves, residents of PWC will have community engagement opportunities. Currently, they are scheduled for:

  • Monday, May 15 Community Town Hall: Presentation and feedback opportunity of draft prioritized actions.
  • Monday, September 4 Community Town Hall: Presentation of Public Review Draft (community will have four weeks to review the draft prior to the town hall).

Details on how to participate in the upcoming Town Halls will be provided in future issues.

Traffic Safety

The Automated Enforcement Feasibility Study was presented by Ricardo Canizales, PWC Department of Transportation Director, and Lt. Shawn Peak, PWC Police. The study gathered data from speed cameras placed at several locations across the County at school zones, construction zones, and signalized intersections.

Positive Aspects

The study showed compliance with the law rises to 80% to 95% at locations where cameras are installed and increase safety by eliminating the need for a traffic stop. Additionally, traffic cameras allow constant enforcement in active school and construction zones and are cost-effective since the cameras free up police officers for other duties. 

Next Steps

Staff recommended a one-year pilot program expected to begin in August 2023 and run through July 2024. The pre launch phase of the pilot program will include:

  • Drafting ordinances and holding public hearings.
  • Developing a public education and engagement campaign.
  • Establishing operating rules, fine structure, and site selection criteria.
  • Confirming initial sites for implementation.
  • Identify, procure, and contract with a vendor.
  • Securing permits and making required improvement to selected sites. 

A Few More Details

Currently, if police stop drivers going over 10 mph in a school zone, the driver is pulled over for 10 to 15 minutes while a police officer writes a citation. The fine currently stands at $132 and three demerit points. An automated photo enforcement citation would eliminate the need for an officer and the proposed fine is $100 with no demerit points.

Virginia Code requires that governing bodies:

  • Adopt ordinances before installing speed cameras.
  • Have a 30-day grace period after cameras are installed.

Jurisdictions can decide the location of the cameras and determine the fine structure.

County News

Budget Public Hearings

The first of two public hearings on the Proposed FY2024 Budget will be next Tuesday, March 21, at 7:30 pm in the Board Chamber at the McCoart Building. The community may attend the public hearings in-person or participate remotely. To speak remotely, you must register by Monday, March 20, 5:00 pm.  

Register to Speak Remotely at March 21 Hearing

The second public hearing will be April 11, at 7:30 pm and 8:00 pm and registration to speak remotely will be open from Thursday, April 6 through Monday, April 10, at 5:00 pm.

Regional Budget Process Lunch and Learn

The Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance and Alliance for Housing Solutions are hosting a regional, lunchtime virtual community conversation on Tuesday, March 21, at 12:00 pm on tips, strategies, and tools on how to engage your local leaders on the budget process. This free Community Conversation will discuss local budget advocacy best practices to use in all Northern Virginia jurisdictions. Learn more and register to attend here.

Help Name New School

PWC Public Schools is hosting two virtual community input sessions in March for the naming “Rosemount Lewis” Elementary School, opening the 2023-24 school year. Following a brief presentation, members of the public can provide naming suggestions, justifications, and background information to the Naming Committee. Speakers will have up to three minutes to share their suggestion.

How to Participate

Register to attend a session using the links below:

Submit a name suggestion(s) by either:

Who Will be Attending

The PWC School Board recently approved the new elementary school's boundary plan (tab 4). Portions of the attendance areas associated with the following elementary schools: Ellis, Loch Lomond, Mullen, Sinclair, and West Gate were reassigned. The approved plan does not change the attendance areas for Sudley and Yorkshire Elementary Schools.

Art Winners

The PWC Service Authority recently held its 2023 Water Art Invitational. Open to PWC students in 9 through 12 grade, the art competition seeks to encourage, recognize, and reward talented young artists and raise awareness about the value of water as an indispensable natural resource.

The 166 submissions depicted this year’s theme, “Every Drop Counts,” using painting/drawing, computer graphics, or photography. Take a virtual walk through this online Water Art Invitational 2023 Winners Gallery to view the truly impressive and wide variety of artwork by these talented student artists.

Denise Kamgaing, a Charles J. Colgan Sr. High School, Grand Prize.

You can find the names of the top three awards in each of the three categories, as well as the General Manager awards here.

County Kudos

Only One of Six in the Nation

Congratulations to Charles J. Colgan Senior High School students Ray Butler, Aurora Ramos, and Xander Walt, along with their advisor, Tim Mason, on making it to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) student competition in Las Vegas, Nevada. Hosted by the International Builders Show, the competition is the largest industry show of its kind, hosting more than 1,000 vendors and over 200,000 attendees.

Colgan High School’s NAHB student chapter was the only team in Virginia and one of only six high schools to compete in the annual competition comprised of colleges and high schools across the nation, with most schools being trade specialty-focused schools. The competition requires the team to develop a complete set of construction management documents, including pricing and project management plans, based on a real-life home.

“This is impressive on its own, but more so when you consider that Colgan is a performing arts school competing against construction and architectural specialty schools.”

Tim Mason

Advisor, Colgan High School’s NAHB Student Chapter

County Happenings

Choo Choo

Saturday and Sunday, March 18 and 19, the National Capital Trackers will showcase their model trains at the National Museum of the Marine Corps. Learn more about the groups and see their displays in the video below.

Friday, March 31, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm, the PWC Police Department is hosting Coffee with a Cop at the Potomac Town Place Barnes and Noble in Woodbridge. Join your neighbors and police officers for coffee and conversation to include asking questions, talking about your neighborhood, and share your concerns. Stay in the know about future Coffee with a Cop events on the PWC Police Department's Facebook events page.

Annual Festival

Saturday, April 8, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, come out to the Virginia Bluebell Festival at Merrimac Farm, a protected farm located on 302 acres in Nokesville. In addition to viewing the almost mile-long carpet of the beautiful wildflowers, the free event will have a robust schedule of family-friendly activities with some of Northern Virginia's top naturalists. Sturdy shoes and long pants tucked into your socks are recommended to keep the bugs out.

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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