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News
Prince William property tax bills to increase by $139 under advertised tax rate, county jobs still on chopping block

Prince William leaders set an advertised tax rate Tuesday night.

It’s lower than the 4% increase agreed upon last year in the county’s five-year budget plan, but it’s higher than an earlier 1.3% rate increase that would have meant multiple cuts in county services, and pay freezes for county employees.

The Board of Supervisors set the advertised property tax rate at $1.122 per $100 of assessed value (property taxes are the main source of revenue for county governments in Virginia). That’s a 3.88% increase over last year’s tax rate. The rate would generate an average tax bill of $3,722 per household, an increase of $139 per year, $12 more per month than last year.

Since the county government gives about 57% of its total budget to the schools, the $1.122 rate will mean $8.4 million than what the school division expected to receive under the 1.3% increase batted about when budget talks began in earnest last month. The school division would is still short about $8 million of what it needs to fully funded, according to officials.

For about $40 more per household, the schools would have been fully funded if the county adopted a tax rate of $1.135, raising the average property tax bill by 5.11%, according to officials.

Since the Board of Supervisors set the advertised tax rate at $1.122, they cannot go higher at budget adoption time April 21. The option to fully fund the schools is now off the table.

Gainesville District Supervisor Peter Candland  proposed the 1.3% increase, which would have set a property tax rate of of $1.094 per $100 of assessed value. It would have capped the growth of the average tax bill at $47. That proposal would have also meant slashing community services, supplemental funding for Magistrates at the county’s courthouse, funding for libraries, funding for criminal gang education and awareness efforts, as well as cuts in funded healthcare services.

As of Feb. 21, funding to many of these programs was restored by the Board of Supervisors, with the exception of a portion of funding to the county’s capital park bond projects, a program for juvenile drug offenders, $175,000 in funding to Healthy Families prevention program, and $319,000 in funding for the county’s in-house print shop.

Discover Prince William / Manassas, the agency that promotes tourism in the county and Greater Manassas areas, could also see $92,000 of its funding shifted into the county’s Historic Preservation department.  (more…)

First Friday March Madness in Downtown Manassas

  • Historic Manassas Inc.
  • Address: 9431 West Street Manassas, Virginia 20110
  • Website: visitmanassas.org
first friday, manassas, shop, city

Historic Downtown Manassas is going a little “mad” for First Friday. On March 6 from 6 to 9 p.m., City restaurants, retailers and the Manassas Museum are offering specials and special entertainment.

The list participating merchants is growing and can be viewed at .visitmanassas.org.

Each store and restaurant is selecting their own way to celebrate March with either a Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day or other March theme.

The Manassas Museum will offer free admission and 10% off at Echoes, their gift store.

The Osbourn High School String Quartet will serenade museum visitors.

There will be book signings, drink specials and much more around the Historic Downtown of the City of Manassas. Come for dinner and stay to shop and explore.

Inspired by the success of the monthly event concept held in other localities, First Friday in Historic Downtown was created by the Historic Manassas, Inc. promotions committee to enhance tourism and entertainment offerings in the City of Manassas.

The initial First Friday event was held in February 2014 and has grown and evolved. Some months feature roving musicians and caricature artists, while other months feature sidewalk art, games or special foods.

Traffic
Closings and delays Sunday, Mar. 1, 2015

Potomac Local will keep you up to date on the latest in closings and delays.

 

News
Wintry mix today, into tomorrow morning

5:53p.m.

The Stafford County Fire and Rescue Department were called to the scene of another collision, at Shelton Shop and Courthouse Road. According to the department, one of the individuals in the crash was injured.

1:05 p.m. 

winter strom warn

A winter storm warning is in effect for Prnce William and Stafford counties, and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park until 3 a.m. Monday.
Here’s the latest from the National Weather Service:

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS
ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR FREEZING RAIN…WHICH IS IN
EFFECT UNTIL 3 AM EST MONDAY. THE WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IS NO
LONGER IN EFFECT.

* LOCATIONS…WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA…CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN
MARYLAND.

* HAZARD TYPES…SNOW…SLEET…AND FREEZING RAIN.

* ACCUMULATIONS…A COATING TO AN INCH OF SNOW AND SLEET. 1 TO 2
INCHES OF SNOW AND SLEET NEAR THE MASON-DIXON LINE. ICE
ACCUMULATION AROUND ONE QUARTER INCH.

* TIMING…SNOW AND SLEET WILL CHANGE TO FREEZING RAIN BETWEEN 11
AM AND 1 PM THIS AFTERNOON. THE HEAVIEST ICE ACCRETION FROM FROM
FREEZING RAIN IS EXPECTED THIS AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING.
PRECIPITATION WILL END THIS EVENING.

* IMPACTS…ROADS WILL BE SNOW AND ICE COVERED THROUGH TONIGHT.
TRAVELLING WILL BE DANGEROUS.

* WINDS…SOUTH AROUND 5 TO 10 MPH.

* TEMPERATURES…RISING THROUGH THE 20S THIS AFTERNOON.
TEMPERATURES WILL RISE INTO THE LOWER 30S

(more…)

News
Under new plan, $4 million from Prince William fire levy used to fund career firefighters

Can county officials take funds from the fire levy to fund career firefighters?

Virginia law does allow it, said Prince William County Attorney Angela Horan.

Now, under a new proposal, $4 million of Prince William County’s $35.2 million fire levy — money traditionally goes to pay for the cost of new fire stations, new fire engines and equipment, as well as to fund operations at the county’s various volunteer fire houses — and use it to offset costs of county fire and rescue operations.

Shifting the funds will lessen the burden on the county’s general fund, of which $10.6 million was used to fund volunteer fire operations, according to county government spokesman Jason Grant.  

The current proposal aims to provide an additional  $4 million in fire levy revenue to the general fund, bringing about $8 million to cover some of the cost of career staffing during traditional volunteer times.

The In this next year’s budget nearly $8 million will be needed to fund those salaries.

“Four million dollars is a big change,” said County Executive Melissa Peacor. “I’m sure the volunteers would tell you that.”

The Prince William County Board of Supervisors spent Saturday looking for budget cuts. They also looked at moving monies from reserve funds to the general fund in an effort to cap a planned property tax increase to no more than 4% in next year’s budget.

The fire levy  collects $35 million per year, and is directly tied to property tax bills. The levy revenue has grown too large at the expense of the county general fund, according to Prince William Board of Supervisors Chairman At-large Corey Stewart, who said it should be tapped to help lessen the burden tax burden on residents.

Volunteers fear, however, that if county officials dip into the reserve fund to pay for new career firefighters now it’ll mean less money to purchase new equipment, and funds to train new volunteers, and operations costs down the road.

“If you continue to take increased funds from the fire levy over the next five years, the fund becomes stagnant,” said Nokesville Volunteer Fire Department Chief Brian Hickerson.

Hickerson added that he suspects the county will funnel even more funds from the levy in 2017 and ‘18 to meet the growing demands of the county’s career fire staff.

Peacor and County officials dispute that claim and say they will only take $4 million from the fund each year for the next five years.

Career firefighters are on duty from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Prince William Fire Chief Kevin McGee said his department will spend $10.6 million funding career staff during traditional volunteer hours – nights, weekends, and holidays.

The fire levy will also go to fund construction of the planned $11 million Bacon Race Fire station on the corner of Prince William Parkway and Hoadly Road near Dale City.

McGee said volunteer fire chiefs will meet on Wednesday to get a first look at the proposal to shift $4 million away from the fire levy to the general fund.

*This story has been corrected

News
Prince William resident to leaders over $96 tax difference: ‘They can buy back their souls with it’

The Prince William County Board of Supervisors will be meeting at 10 a.m. Saturday for another budget work session, to discuss potential cuts and what programs to retain. The ceiling property tax rate — the county’s largest source of revenue — must be advertised as of March 3, only giving the board members a few more days to work out an initial tax rate number.

County Executive Melissa Peacor presented the first draft of the budget at the board meeting earlier this month.

The board took a vote in December and directed Peacor to create a budget with a 1.3% tax increase, which reflects the CPI inflation rate. It was not the 4% increase written in the county’s 5-year plan, decided upon last year. Peacor was given additional restrictions on segments of the budget that had to be fully funded, including public safety and the libraries.

Many of the community programs that had been on the chopping block saw their funding restored. But now leaders must decide what else to cut to ensure taxes do not rise beyond the planned 4% increase. 

“I wasn’t on this board when the direction was given but had I been on the board – I think it’s fair to say that I would have voted for [the 1.3%],” said  newly elected Brenstville Distirct Supervisor Jeanine Lawson.

Occoquan District Supervisor Michael May was not present for the vote, but also stated he was in favor of looking at a budget using the inflation rate.

Gainesville District Supervisor Candland also voiced his support for the 1.3%.

Coles District Supervisor Marty Nohe was against the 1.3% vote, as was Potomac Supervisor Maureen Caddigan, who favored the original 4%.

“My belief then, was that we would end up with a budget that was far too detrimental to our school system’s budget. That the amount of rollbacks that the school board would have to do in order to implement that budget would be more than our community is willing to swallow,” Nohe said.

Corey Stewart, Chairman At-large stated that the vote for the 1.3% was meant only to serve as an exercise to get the county thinking about the types of cuts that could be implemented.

“The vote that the board took in December was the guidance to the County Executive to prepare a budget at the 1.3%, but that is not the rate that the board is ultimately going to adopt, and it’s not even going to be the one we advertise. The purpose of requiring the County Executive to develop the budget at such a low level was to force the county government and the schools into the exercise of looking for cost savings, and trying to identify things we could cut in order to keep tax bills as low as possible,” Stewart said. (more…)

News
Closings and delays Friday, Feb. 27, 2015

Public schools 

News
Prince William Police Seeking Help for 2014 Murder

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – According to Prince William police, homicide detectives are still seeking any information that can lead to the arrest and conviction of the individuals connected to the murder of Glenda Marisol Coca-Romero.

The murder occurred at Platanillos Grocery and Jewelry in Woodbridge, VA on February 21, 2014.

The local police and the FBI Washington Field Office are working together to offer a reward of $20,000 for information that can lead to the arrests and convictions of these individuals. Additionally, there is a $1,000 reward being offered by the Prince William County Crime Solvers.

Glenda Coca-Romero was one of two victims (both employees) caught in the shooting at Platanillos Grocery and Jewelry, located in Woodbridge on 14342 Jefferson Davis Highway. The second victim was a 42-year-old store clerk who had also been shot and wounded. According to the police, the murder happened before 9:00 pm when three males entered the store in dark clothing and covered faces caught by the surveillance video footage. Following the shooting, the men fled the scene, most likely on foot.

Another employee, as well as a customer, was also inside the store when the murder happened but were unharmed. Prince William police also reported that no money or property was taken from the scene. Prince William police have released the surveillance footage from the night, and it is available for anyone to watch. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Prince William County Crime Solvers anonymously.

Below is the latest from Prince William police;

Reward increased to $21,000 in the 2014 Murder of Glenda Marisol Coca-Romero

Prince William County, Va. — Prince William County Police Homicide Detectives continue to seek any information related to the murder of Glenda Marisol Coca-Romero, which occurred on February 21, 2014 at the Platanillos Grocery and Jewelry in Woodbridge, Va.

The FBI Washington Field Office partnered with the Prince William County Police Department to offer a reward for the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the murder of Coca-Romero. On February 20, 2015, the reward amount was increased to $20,000. This reward is still being offered in conjunction with a reward of up to $1,000 from the Prince William County Crime Solvers.

Anyone who has information regarding this case is asked to call Crime Solvers at 703-670-3700 or 1-866-411-TIPS. You do not have to give your name, just the information.

Glenda Coca-Romero was murdered at the Platanillos Grocery and Jewelry located at 14342 Jefferson Davis Highway in the Woodbridge area of Prince William County on February 21, shortly before 9:00p.m. A second store clerk, a 42-year old woman, was also shot and wounded during the attack.

Three male suspects wearing dark clothing with their faces covered were seen on surveillance entering the store. The suspects immediately fled the business following the shooting, possibly on foot. Two additional individuals, a customer, and another employee, were also inside the store at the time of the incident and were unharmed. No property or money was taken during the incident. Both victims were identified as being employees of the business.

The FBI and Prince William County Police encourage the public to continue viewing the video surveillance taken during the attack.

The Prince William County Police Department is the lead agency for this investigation. The FBI has been providing investigative assistance.

FBI Bulletin seeking information: http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/seeking-info/glenda-marisol-coca-romero/view

Surveillance footage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i07VFaj8RL8

 

Glenda Marisol Coca-RomeroGlenda Marisol Coca-Romero

 

 

 

Attack the Fat uses the most effective equipment in the industry

freedom, fitness, aquatic, manassas
Attack the Fat, Win, fat, fitness, freedom

The Attack the Fat challenge at the Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center uses a variety of different work outs to keep participants inspired and burning as many calories as possible.

Director of the Attack the Fat, Robin Frey says that for the strength component of the program they use everything from Technogym strength equipment, free weights, various weighted equipment, and many times functional body weight exercise, without any equipment.

Frey highlighted their use of TRX suspension training, which involves suspension straps weighed down by body weights. She said, “It’s very functional because you have to control every part of your movement with your body itself. You can do all different movements that require balance and stability so you’re getting a more integrated effort at that point.”

The center’s Olympic sized swimming pool is also used for strength training because of the natural resistance the water creates.

In addition to more strength based training, Frey says that they do a lot of cardio work.

“It’s by creating a metabolic effect where you’re keeping the heart rate elevated is where you’ll see calories burned,” said Frey. She explained that their goal is to create this metabolic effect, where both the heart rate and the metabolism increases.

Frey said, “Our most recent research shows us that when you bring the body up to that level and maintain it, it takes calories afterwards, a sufficient amount of calories, to bring it back to a resting state. So your body continues to metabolize and stay at a certain level after exercise.”

While the variety in these Attack the Fat workouts helps to burn calories and shed pounds, it also keeps the participants in the program engaged. With so many different resources available, trainers are able to help participants explore a variety of options for reaching their weight loss goals.

News
Snow ending across area, warmer temps to look forward to on Monday

It started snowing overnight and it piled up quickly.

All school systems in our area canceled classes today, governments delayed their opening, and Quantico Marine Corps Base closed altogether.

The National Weather Service just released some unofficial snow totals that measure what snow fell overnight:

…CITY OF FREDERICKSBURG… FREDERICKSBURG 4.0 827 AM 2/26 PUBLIC

…PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY… 1 ENE DUMFRIES 3.5 849 AM 2/26 TRAINED SPOTTER

HAYMARKET 1.3 936 AM 2/26 PUBLIC

…STAFFORD COUNTY… STAFFORD 2.5 831 AM 2/26 PUBLIC

A winter storm warning in effect for Stafford County expires at noon. Expect more snow showers this afternoon and evening ending before 2 a.m.

There’s another chance of snow showers Friday, and high temperatures will only be in the low 30s, according to the weather service. It’ll be sunny and cold on Saturday, and cloudy and in the low 40s un Sunday.

We could see highs in the low 50s on Monday – hello winter warm up.

News
Closings and delays Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015

Public schools 

Colleges and universities

Military 

Federal government

Local governments 

Why is Attack the Fat so successful?

freedom, fitness, aquatic, manassas
Win, fat, fitness, freedom

People keep coming back to the Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center’s Attack the Fat challenge. Director of the program, Robin Frey, says that it’s so successful because it utilizes all the elements of personal training, without the high cost.

“Group training in the industry itself is the driving force with training right now,” Frey said, adding, “Economically it’s more affordable. Personal training can be a little more costly.”

While some people might be concerned that they don’t get the same amount of one on one time without a personal trainer, Frey says that this is not the case with Attack the Fat. She says with teams that are maxed out at four to six people, the trainers are still able to work one on one with each of the participants.

“Quality control is still there,” Frey said. She added, “The trainer is able to watch form and technique, motivate them, and make sure everything is running correctly.”

It’s not just the personal training that makes people want to come back though. Frey says they really enjoy the community that Attack the Fat creates. Instead of working on just their own goals, participants are able to help motivate and look after one another too. “It’s more fun for them,” she said.

News
Record-breaking cold hits Dulles Airport, more snow possible

Record cold hit Dulles International Airport this morning.

The National Weather Service says temperatures have not been this low at the airport in nearly 20 years.

RECORD EVENT REPORT

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC 932 AM EST TUE FEB 24 2015 

…RECORD DAILY LOW TEMPERATURE SET AT WASHINGTON DULLES DC… 

A RECORD DAILY LOW TEMPERATURE OF -4 DEGREES WAS SET AT WASHINGTON DULLES DC THIS MORNING. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 14 SET IN 1967. 

THIS IS ALSO THE COLDEST AIR TEMPERATURE OBSERVED AT WASHINGTON DULLES DC SINCE FEBRUARY 6 1996.

The temperatures today — they’re not going to warm up that much:

 

max temps

There’s also a chance of snow early Thursday morning into the afternoon. Some snow is expected to move into the area after 3 a.m. Thursday and taper off by 1 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

And, as it if weren’t cold enough for you, take a look at some photos of the frozen Occoquan River:

occoquan-river-boardwalk-ice-1occoquan-river-boardwalk-ice-2occoquan-river-boardwalk-ice-3occoquan-river-ice-2occoquan-river-ice-3occoquan-river-ice

 

News
Sunday melt giving way to Monday cold, schools planning delayed openings

Rappahannock River, Mary davidson

Sunday brought high temperatures in the low 50s. That meant some of the snow that had fallen the yesterday when temperatures were well below freezing had a chance to melt.

Cold temperatures are back in the forecast on Monday. The National Weather Service issued a warning noting what melted today is likely to freeze overnight.

..PATCHES OF ICE PROBABLE OVERNIGHT WITH REFREEZE… 

AIR TEMPERATURES WILL DROP WELL BELOW FREEZING OVERNIGHT…CAUSING ANY SNOW AND ICE THAT MELTED TODAY TO REFREEZE ON UNTREATED SURFACES.

TEMPERATURES WILL REMAIN WELL BELOW FREEZING THROUGH RUSH HOUR ON MONDAY…SO GIVE YOURSELF SOME EXTRA TIME TO GET TO YOUR DESTINATION. 

PLEASE USE EXTRA CAUTION IF TRAVELING OVERNIGHT INTO MONDAY MORNING.REDUCE SPEED AND STAY ALERT FOR PATCHES OF ICE AND SLICK ROAD CONDITIONS.

Some school divisions in the region are already planning delayed openings for Monday, Feb. 23.

It’ll be cold Monday with clouds in the morning giving way to clearing skies and a high of 28 degrees, according to the weather service. The bitter cold returns Monday night with a forecast low temperature of nine degrees.

Cold weather sticks around through Tuesday, and a relative warm up comes Wednesday with a high temperature of 41 degrees and partly sunny skies.

 

News
Closings and delays Monday, Feb. 23, 2015

Public schools 

News
Haymarket sees 1 foot of snow; others see several inches

Snow began falling about 8 a.m. Saturday across the region and kept falling until about 5 p.m.

Afterward, we saw the precipitation changeover from snow to sleet, then to rain.

By the time it moved out early this morning, ice coated sidewalks, handrails, and cars. Underneath the ice is several inches of snow.

Take a look at these snow totals from the National Weather Service:

…CITY OF MANASSAS…

   1 NE MANASSAS          6.1   808 PM  2/21  TRAINED SPOTTER        

   1 SW MANASSAS PARK     4.0   530 PM  2/21  TRAINED SPOTTER        

 

…PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY…

   HAYMARKET             12.0   911 PM  2/21  PUBLIC                 

   5 NW GAINESVILLE       7.8   555 PM  2/21  PUBLIC                 

   2 SW WOOLSEY           7.7   705 PM  2/21  TRAINED SPOTTER        

   GAINESVILLE            6.8  1000 PM  2/21  TRAINED SPOTTER        

   2 ESE INDEPENDENT HI   4.5   635 PM  2/21  TRAINED SPOTTER        

   1 ENE DUMFRIES         3.0   810 PM  2/21  TRAINED SPOTTER  

 

…SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY…

   3 NW SPOTSYLVANIA      2.8   530 PM  2/21  PUBLIC      

 

…FAUQUIER COUNTY…

   OPAL                   8.5   710 PM  2/21  NWS EMPLOYEE           

   1 NW OPAL              8.5   658 AM  2/22  TRAINED SPOTTER        

   NEW BALTIMORE          7.0   725 PM  2/21  TRAINED SPOTTER        

   1 WSW NEW BALTIMORE    6.0   624 PM  2/21  TRAINED SPOTTER      

 

…FAIRFAX COUNTY…

   RESTON                 9.3   845 PM  2/21  PUBLIC                 

   1 NNE RESTON           8.5  1052 PM  2/21  TRAINED SPOTTER        

   2 SSW HERNDON          8.4   819 PM  2/21  TRAINED SPOTTER        

   1 SSW FAIRFAX          8.0   745 PM  2/21  TRAINED SPOTTER        

   2 N CHANTILLY          7.8   530 PM  2/21  COCORAHS               

   2 N RESTON             7.3   633 PM  2/21  NWS EMPLOYEE           

   3 NNE CHANTILLY        7.0   811 PM  2/21  TRAINED SPOTTER        

   2 E CHANTILLY          6.5   800 PM  2/21  TRAINED SPOTTER        

   2 N CENTREVILLE        6.5   625 PM  2/21  TRAINED SPOTTER        

   2 SSE MCLEAN           6.2   544 PM  2/21  PUBLIC                 

   HERNDON                6.0   538 PM  2/21  BROADCAST MEDIA        

   VIENNA                 6.0   750 PM  2/21  CO-OP OBSERVER         

   1 SE CENTREVILLE       6.0   723 PM  2/21  TRAINED SPOTTER        

   1 S WEST MCLEAN        5.9   700 PM  2/21  COCORAHS               

   1 S VIENNA             5.5   610 PM  2/21  TRAINED SPOTTER        

   VIENNA                 5.0   600 PM  2/21  TRAINED SPOTTER        

   MCLEAN                 5.0   529 PM  2/21  NWS EMPLOYEE           

   3 NW CLIFTON           5.0   547 PM  2/21  BROADCAST MEDIA        

   1 W FALLS CHURCH       4.9   655 PM  2/21  TRAINED SPOTTER        

   1 NNE FAIRFAX STATIO   4.0   616 PM  2/21  TRAINED SPOTTER        

   1 E FAIRFAX STATION    4.0   529 PM  2/21  TRAINED SPOTTER        

   1 NW ANNANDALE         4.0   700 PM  2/21  TRAINED SPOTTER        

   1 SE FAIRFAX           3.8   627 PM  2/21  TRAINED SPOTTER        

   1 E BURKE              3.5   531 PM  2/21  PUBLIC

 

…DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA…

   1 WSW NATIONAL ARBOR   8.0  1000 PM  2/21  TRAINED SPOTTER        

   1 ENE ADAMS MORGAN     4.6   838 PM  2/21  PUBLIC                 

   1 SW AMERICAN UNIVER   4.3   610 PM  2/21  TRAINED SPOTTER

 

News
Funding largely restored to programs facing cuts, Prince William budget process far from over

In a rare Saturday meeting, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors largely moved to restore funding to community services and programs that just earlier this week had been on the chopping block.

Millions in funding for Virginia Cooperative Extension programs, jailhouse drug rehabilitation programs, the Flory Small Business Center, gang awareness programs, funds for Prince William Soccer Inc., and the Boys and Girls Club – just to name a few – we’re all added back into the fiscal year 2016 budget.

Their removal was recommended earlier this week by County Executive Melissa Peacor, who delivered, as instructed by the Board, a scaled back $1 billion county government funding budget for the coming year. That budget envisioned an increase real estate taxes – the county’s largest revenue source – by 1.3%, not the 4% as was originally called for a year ago in Prince William’s five year funding plan.

The work to find a balanced budget is far from over. If the county passed its budget in its current form today, so many programs have been restored, it would require a tax increase greater than 4% to fund them all and the rest of general government operations, according to Chairman, At-large Corey Stewart. The Board will hold another budget work session, similar to today’s meeting, at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 28 at the Buckhall Fire Station outside Manassas. The Board is expected to adopt a final budget in April.

One of the largest of the looming cuts budget cuts now off the table was a call to freeze county government employees’ (excluding teachers and county schools employees) salaries for the next five years for a $6.1 million savings.

“This was never gonna happen,” said Gainesville District Supervisor Peter Candland, a strong proponent of limiting a tax increase to 1.3%. “No one on this Board was going to entertain the notion of freezing employees’ salaries for the next five years.”

“If you’re going to rollback millions of dollars in funding in the five-year plan, and this was the biggest item on the table, the 1.3% tax increase wasn’t realistic in the first place,” Coles Supervisor Marty Nohe told Candland.

Funding for lighting and turf at new sports fields, improvements to Waterworks Water Park in Dale City, new restroom facilities at Long Park in Gainesville, and county monies that supplement state salaries for magistrates who work in the county’s courthouse were all restored.  The Board also moved to add $300,000 in one-time funding to the Flory Small Business Center near Manassas to fund an expansion of the facility currently located in a 19th-century farmhouse.

Still on the chopping block is nearly $100,000 that had been allocated to Discover Prince William / Manassas, the agency that promotes tourism for the county and city. A total of $25,000 in funding from the county’s hotel tax could now be allocated to fund its historical properties program.

County government employees and officials could also soon be outsourcing printing work for fliers, cards, and other publications, that had been handled by the county’s in-house print shop for an estimated $320,000 savings.

“Moving this service out to the private sector is an efficiency, and I do not support motion to restore it,” said Stewart.

Immediately following Peacor’s budget cut proposal earlier in the week, members of the group “Our Prince William” sent a letter urging public support for community programs and urged residents’ participate in the public budget process. Last year, Our Prince William banded together to urge restoration of similar cuts that had been proposed in the 2015 budget.

News
Cancellations Sat. Feb. 21 and Sun. Feb. 22, 2015

Tweet your closings and cancellations to @PotomacLocal

@MCB_Quantico is Code Red. The base is closed. Only emergency and essential personnel are required to report to work. pic.twitter.com/oOnLPgx2RZ

— MCB Quantico (@MCB_Quantico) February 21, 2015

News
Closings and delays Friday, Feb. 20, 2015

Public schools 

News
Updated: Near zero degree temperatures expected Friday morning

Updated 

A wind chill advisory that was supposed to end at 9 a.m. Friday will be extended until noon. And even then there’s no immediate signs of the cold letting up.

Here are the chilling details from the National Weather Service:

A wind chill advisory that was supposed to end at 9 a.m. Friday will be extended until noon. And even then there’s no immediate signs of the cold letting up.
Here are the chilling details from the National Weather Service:
…WIND CHILL ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON EST FRIDAY…

* WIND CHILL…BETWEEN ZERO AND 10 BELOW INTO THE EVENING HOURS
BEFORE FALLING TONIGHT TO AROUND 10 TO 15 DEGREES BELOW ZERO.

* TEMPERATURES…DROPPING INTO THE LOWER AND MIDDLE TEENS THIS
EVENING. LOWS TONIGHT INTO EARLY FRIDAY AROUND ZERO.

* WINDS…WEST 15 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS AROUND 30 TO 35 MPH INTO
THIS EVENING…SUBSIDING TO 10 TO 20 MPH OVERNIGHT AND INTO LATE
MORNING FRIDAY.

* IMPACTS…THE COMBINATION OF GUSTY WINDS AND COLD TEMPERATURES
MAY RESULT IN DANGEROUS WIND CHILLS THAT CAN QUICKLY CAUSE
HYPOTHERMIA AND FROST BITE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

Here’s the forecast for the rest of the week. 

Original post

Yeah, it’s cold outside. The National Weather Service posted the unofficial wind chill low temperatures in the region taken during the overnight hours.

Take a look:

Location  Wind chill degree Fahrenheit  Time
QUANTICO MARINE CORP BASE
-5.0
6:56 a.m. 
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY -- Independent Hill 
-7.0
7:10 a.m. 
STAFFORD COUNTY
-5.0
7 a.m. 
DULLES INTERNATIONAL
-9.0
5:52 a.m. 
TYSONS CORNER
-5.0 6:50 a.m.

All of this cold weather isn’t going anywhere, either. Here’s the latest forecast: 

…WIND CHILL ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM EST FRIDAY…

* WIND CHILL…0 TO 10 DEGREES BELOW ZERO THIS MORNING. WIND
CHILLS MAY RISE CLOSER TO ZERO THIS AFTERNOON BEFORE FALLING
TONIGHT TO AROUND 10 TO 15 DEGREES BELOW ZERO.

* TEMPERATURES…HIGHS TODAY IN THE TEENS. LOWS TONIGHT INTO EARLY
FRIDAY AROUND ZERO.

* WINDS…WEST 15 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS AROUND 30 TO 35 MPH INTO
THIS EVENING…SUBSIDING TO 10 TO 20 MPH OVERNIGHT.

* IMPACTS…THE COMBINATION OF GUSTY WINDS AND COLD TEMPERATURES
MAY RESULT IN DANGEROUS WIND CHILLS THAT CAN QUICKLY CAUSE
HYPOTHERMIA AND FROST BITE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A WIND CHILL ADVISORY MEANS THAT VERY COLD AIR AND STRONG WINDS
WILL COMBINE TO GENERATE LOW WIND CHILLS. THIS WILL RESULT IN
FROST BITE AND LEAD TO HYPOTHERMIA IF PRECAUTIONS ARE NOT TAKEN.
IF YOU MUST VENTURE OUTDOORS…MAKE SURE YOU WEAR A HAT AND
GLOVES.

Manassas turned a public place into a public art space

art, city, space, virginia, artist

Manassas City Hall doubles as public art gallery  

The Hall at City Hall is open with an inaugural exhibit by the p-ART-ners, a professional network of Manassas area artists. What is The Hall at City Hall? It is the new place for local artists to display their work. When Councilman Ian Lovejoy talked to City Manager W. Patrick Pate about replacing the 1980’s artwork in City Hall at low or no cost, an idea was born.

In 2009 the City Council created an Arts and Tourism District in the Historic Downtown area of the city. With City Hall being right in the middle of the district, why not bring public art inside City Hall? Staff was tasked with learning about gallery space and making the area ready for artist displays.

Local artist Michele Frantz, Center for the Arts Gallery Director Anna Mish, and Osbourn High School Art Teacher Sarah Weaver were consulted to help with preparations for the opening. A picture railing already existed in the first floor hallway, so very little was needed to turn the hallway into The Hall.

P-ART-ners volunteered to be the first group to display their art in The Hall. The exhibit features an eclectic mix of vibrant scenery, Civil War portraits, and historic sites from more than 10 different artists. There is something for almost any taste. The exhibit runs from Feb. 13 through March 13. Exhibits will rotate in and out of The Hall and will include different forms of visual art.   Visiting The Hall is free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and later when evening meetings are held in the building.

“It is our hope that this new gallery space will be a great place for the public to visit,” said City Manager W. Patrick Pate. “Maybe it will inspire artists of the future.”

The preceding post was written by the City of Manassas under a marketing agreement with Potomac Local. (more…)

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