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Pets to adopt at Stafford County SPCA

xena 3.12.15
Xena is a 14 week old pit bill mix that is UTD on her puppy shots and is already housebroken. She loves being around people! 
 
Nahla is one of the sweetest cats at our shelter! She is happiest when being pet. She is a tabby/calico mix, 4 years old, spayed, and UTD on shots.
 
LOST DOG – Senior Pug. Went missing 3/10/15 in King George Oakland Park area. Please contact Mail@StaffordSPCA.org or 540-657-7387 if you have any information. 
 
Nahla

Nahla

 

-Information provided by the Stafford SPCA. Contact them for more information on any of the animals shown above.

News
New landfill workers would keep out Stafford trash

King George’s landfill is for King George residents to use, and they want to keep it that way.

The county landfill is seeking funding from its county’s Board of Supervisors to hire two additional part-time employees. Part of their job duties will be to ensure Stafford residents don’t dump their trash illegally at King George’s landfill, according to landfill manager Jeff Jenkins.

“This is something that we’ve been looking into…we’ve been looking at this for a while. It just kind of got pushed to the forefront with Stafford starting to charge [for landfill use]. [Dumping] is not a big issue here – but sometimes there are people trying to get down here, and we just want to get it before it becomes a problem. You’ve got to realize we’re right here at the Staffordline,” Jenkins said. 

The move comes after The Rappahannock Regional Solid Waste Management Board (R-Board) instituted a new disposal fee for Stafford County and Fredericksburg City residents who use the Stafford County Regional Landfill. 

Residents can purchase an annual pass that costs $100, a 10-coupon booklet for $30, or pay $4 per visit at the Eskimo Hill landfill location.

There have been several complaints filed by Stafford residents in recent weeks about a increase in the amount of garbage found dumped along streets near the Stafford landfill.

Matthew Kelly and William Withers, both sit on the Fredericksburg City Council and on the R-Board, and commented on the issue.

“[Littering] was one of the major things we were concerned about. We were certainly hoping that would not happen…the one thing that I do know is that we had to have enough money to run the landfill – and without those charges, we could not have done that,” said Withers.

Kelly said the illegal dumping issue is isolated to Stafford, and he has not seen any of the same issues in Fredericksburg City.

“I can tell you from the city of the equation, we have not had any significant dumping issues. It’s an unfortunate situation – there’s no question about it,” Kelly said.

Withers and Kelly both stand by their vote in favor of the landfill fees.

“Well we didn’t have a choice,” Withers said.

“I actually voted against the current [flat] fee structure…we have a deficit we have to deal with. And as we moved through this, I asked a lot of people questions about it…I got a lot of ‘I don’t like it’ but I didn’t get a lot of suggestions,” said Kelly, continuing, “Stafford specifically voted against providing any additional funding [for the landfill] to the R-Board, to make up the deficit.”

While the R-Board will try to come up with a solution that will meet the need to handle the deficit, and the growing littering problem in the county, Kelly made it known that the problem reflects more on the citizens than the R-Board.

“…[the dumping] says something about our society, and not about decisions made by the R-Board. That people would begin dumping to avoid a relatively small fee, to make up a deficit…I think it says more about the people dumping than anything else,” Kelly said.

News
Woodstream Trail construction to begin in Stafford

The Woodstream Trail, a trail that is being built to connect the Woodstream community to Smith Lake Park, will begin to be constructed in Stafford.

“This trail will connect the [surrounding] neighborhood[s] to the park,” said Chris Hoppe, a project manager for the county.

After a bidding process that began in January, the Stafford Board of Supervisors approved a bid on February 24 from Southwood Building System, Inc. for the project, according to county documents.

According to minutes of the February 24 board meeting, the board has allotted $548,700 for the project, which is being funded from county capital reserves.

There were some considerations that had to be addressed during the design process of the trail, including steep slopes and stream crossings, from the community to the park.

Hoppe stated that there was no safe way for residents in the surrounding neighborhoods to access the park without riding in their car.

“There are several people who live in the Woodstream community in North Stafford, and there are communities immediately adjacent…who access the [Smith Lake] park by foot and by bicycle,” Hoppe said, continuing, “[Building of the trail] was an initiative taken on by citizens, so that they can get to the park without having to drive their cars or walk along a relatively narrow two-lane road…we’re providing safer access for the citizens, so they’ll be able to walk to the park.”

The county is currently finalizing the contract for construction, and look to have the project completed by the fall.

“We are in the process of getting our contract in place [to move forward], and we’ll be letting our contractor know to proceed with construction, and the trail should be complete in September of this year,” Hoppe stated.

Manassas City Hall art exhibit: Water, water everywhere

manassas, virginia, art

Have you ever watched the Ebb & Flow of water as it laps against the bank, whether it is a river or the ocean? Photographer Hannele Lahti explores the visual fabric of life that is water in the next exhibit at The Hall at Manassas City Hall. Ebb & Flow is a photo exhibit capturing the fleeting moment when all of the variables meld together and are stilled. The exhibit opens on March 17 and runs through April 24 at City Hall, 9027 Center Street in Manassas, Virginia.

Hannele Lhati is a nationally-recognized documentary and fine art photographer who creates images that explore the wonder and fragility of the natural world. She is the owner of Hannele Lahti Photography and a contract photographer for National Geographic. As a child, Lahti grew up on a lake and learned to respect the natural world, to honor its beauty as she sat by the water’s edge with her grandfather.

Exhibits in The Hall rotate on a monthly basis and 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.

manassas, virginia, art

The Occoquan Reservoir depicted in the Ebb & Flow art exhibit will be held at Manassas, Virginia’s City Hall

manassas, virginia, art

Lake Champlain depicted at the Ebb & Flow art exhibit will be held at Manassas, Virginia City Hall

News
Stafford to hold public hearing tonight on Belmont-Ferry Farm Trail

Tonight at 7 p.m., Stafford will be hosting a public hearing at the Falmouth Fire Station to hear from residents about the design of the upcoming phase 4 of the Belmont-Ferry Farm trail.

The trail, a 2,900 linear foot, 10-foot wide asphalt trail along River Road in Fredericksburg, has been a work in progress since the 90s, according to Chris Hoppe, a project manager for the county.

The work being done to develop the Belmont-Ferry Farm trail is a part of the county’s ten-point plan to increase tourism and economic development.

“The Board of Supervisors passed a ten-point plan – and it’s generally economic development and tourism – and one of the things [this] trail will do is connect our historic sites, like Belmont all the way to Ferry Farm, and eventually they want it to be a part of the Heritage Trail route,” said Shannon Howell, Public Information Officer for the County.

The phases are not being completed in numerical order, Howell said.

Phases 1, 2, 3 and 5 link county parks and the Stafford visitor’s center as well as other community sites and have already been completed, according to Stafford’s Parks and Recreation website.

In the current design plan for phase 4, the trail will extend from John Lee Pratt Memorial Park all the way to Chatham Bridge. This would add another 2,100 feet to the trail.

The phase will cost $780,000 to complete, but the county will not have to pay that full amount, according to Hoppe.

“With grant funding at 8% reimbursable, it will only cost the county 20% of that total cost,” Hoppe said.

The project’s majority funding sources are federal government grants, which are managed by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), Hoppe commented.

“We’ve received numerous grants over the years. We have to apply every time we need some additional money for each respective phase – and depending on the demand for the grants, we may or may not get the funding…the construction of phase four is conducted and designed, and the next phase, phase six has been funded by the [most recent federal] grant,” Hoppe said.

“The first part of [phase 6] is to do an alignment study, to figure out the best way to get from the Route 3 Bridge at Chatham, to Ferry Farm…then we’ll proceed with additional design work,” said Hoppe.

The meeting will give residents the chance to see the design and make their comments about concerns or any things they would like to see incorporated into the design plan.

News
Dumping instances increase near Stafford landfill after new fees introduced

stafford landfill trash street

First on Stafford Local 

After recent decision by the Rappahannock Regional Solid Waste Management Board (R-Board) to charge disposal fees at a landfill Stafford, more trash has been spotted along streets leading to the landfill.

Stafford County Supervisors Meg Bohmke and Paul Milde have both fielded complaints from several residents about the recent uptick in litter they’ve seen in their communities since the fee structure became active.

“I know of two cases myself. One was a mattress that was put outside…but the other one that I know of was I believe on Eskimo Hill Road – somebody dumped some boxes,” Bohmke said.

Under the new fee structure, residents can purchase a yearly pass for $100, a 10-coupon booklet for $30 or $4 per visit on-site at the landfill, according to a county release.

Prior to charging fees, the R-Board picked up the cost of disposal fees for residents. Milde, Aquia Supervisor and a member of the R-board, expressed his discontent with the littering as a result of the new fees, restating his position against fees for landfill use from the start.

“It was avoidable, predictable, and there was a better way to do it,” Milde said, continuing, “I’m finished arguing with the Supervisors. I’m the only one that didn’t want fees. And I stand by my position that it’s better to try to run the [landfills] in a more competitive fashion, and if necessary, ask for a small subsidy from [Stafford] county.” (more…)

News
Tractor trailer crash snarls I-95 in Stafford

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A tractor trailer carrying a load of cherry tomatoes crashed about 5 a.m. Saturday.

Emergency crews were called to the crash scene on Interstate 95 north, just north of Garrisonville Road. The truck slammed into a crash attenuator, filled with hardened foam, just prior to a series of concrete barriers on the right shoulder.

The trailer ripped in two. The back end remained at the crash attenuator, and the rest of the truck continued north for about 50 yards before coming to rest. The truck came to rest behind the Aquia Pines campground in North Stafford.

No one was injured in the crash. A man who identified himself as the driver stood outside the crash scene talking with Virginia State Police, the agency that was on the scene investigating the crash.

About 75 gallons of fuel spilled from one of the truck’s tanks. Highway crews used sand to absorb the fuel.

At 8 a.m., traffic was getting by the crash in the left lane.

Several boxes of cherry tomatoes speckled the snow-covered roadside. The truck is owned and operated by Leroy Butler, of Jacksonville, N.C.

Drivers on I-95 north sat in delays for about a mile south of the crash scene, to about Courthouse Road.

News
Dudenhefer speaks out against the 4% VRE Fare Hike

The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) held a public hearing this week in Stafford to talk about a potential 4% increase in fare prices.

There were four attendees at the meeting to ask questions and express their opinions about the fare increase. 

The VRE released the list of submitted questions and statements from the meeting to Potomac Local, but answers to these questions will not be available until later, for VRE’s overall record.

One attendee that spoke out against the fare increases was former delegate Mark Dudenhefer. 

“The proposed fare hikes are expected to cost commuters more than $900,000. As the folks at the VRE work hard to keep cost down, and some factors out of their control like new regulations from our bloated federal government has caused a budget gap. If the state can approve over $700 million for construction of a new trolley car line in Arlington, they should cover this small amount,” said Dudehefer in a release. 

According to a release, Dudenhefer proposed three alternative ways to fund the increases in VRE’s costs, without increasing the fares for residents. 

He proposed finding funding in current allocations of transportation funds, a budget amendment to provide more funding to the VRE, and working with the Transportation Partnership Opportunity Fund to find more resources.

Dudenhefer is running this year for the delegate seat in the 2nd district.

Here are the questions and comments from the meeting:

Questions

Why does VRE subsidize the Step-Up ticket by $5?

Why is there a new Fredericksburg Line train?

Will the new train operate in the same window as existing trains?

Have the Class I railroads been cooperative in scheduling of the trains?

Will the increase help you speed up service or help you break even?

Are your fuel costs down?

Are you programming increases over the next few years?

Have you looked at peer commuter rail agencies and how they get dedicated funding for their operations? 

 

Comments

An extra $100 per year is a lot for me.  The commuter benefit helps but a four percent increase in fares is substantial to me.  I don’t get a four percent increase in my cost of living.

VRE is a fine service.  I would say perhaps you should not improve it any more.  I can’t even get a Free Ride Certificate any more since you are on-time so much.

Mark Dudenhefer of Stafford County objected to the fare increase.  He stated many folks are not subsidized and this is a hard hit to many people.  Non-government employees have taken pay cuts to keep their jobs.  He is upset over the reduction in state assistance to VRE while the state would provide $800 million for trolley service in Arlington.

You should not plan automatic increases when the economy is rocky.

I am opposed to the fare increase as it is a burden to passengers.  VRE needs a dedicated funding source otherwise we’ll be back here in two years.

News
Snow storm breaks records at airports, brings several inches to area neighborhoods

030614 march snow

Thursday’s snow was record breaking at all three Washington, D.C. area airports.

At total of 9.5 inches of snow fell at Washington Dulles International Airport, breaking the daily snowfall total at that airport set in 2001.

At Regan National Airport, 4.8 inches of snow was recorded breaking the old daily record of 4.4 inches set in 1888.

In Baltimore, 6.2 inches of snow fell breaking a the old record set in 1902, according to the National Weather Service.

The Washington area has recorded above average snowfall this winter. While winter was slow to bring snow to the area, 15.4 inches of snow have been measured at Reagan National and 22 inches of snow has fallen at Washington Dulles, according to the weather service.

Here’s a look at some local snow total as reported by the National Weather Service:

…CITY OF MANASSAS…
1 SW MANASSAS PARK 6.0 1022 PM 3/05 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 NE MANASSAS 5.4 445 PM 3/05 TRAINED SPOTTER

…FAIRFAX COUNTY…
HERNDON 9.0 525 PM 3/05 PUBLIC
1 NNE HERNDON 9.0 435 PM 3/05 NWS EMPLOYEE
1 NW FALLS CHURCH 8.7 630 PM 3/05 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 NNE RESTON 8.6 830 PM 3/05 TRAINED SPOTTER
2 N RESTON 8.0 509 PM 3/05 NWS EMPLOYEE

…KING GEORGE COUNTY…
JERSEY 6.0 900 PM 3/05 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 SSE SHILOH 6.0 710 PM 3/05 TRAINED SPOTTER

…PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY…
3 NNW WOOLSEY 7.3 557 PM 3/05 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 ENE DUMFRIES 6.1 538 PM 3/05 TRAINED SPOTTER
GAINESVILLE 6.0 559 PM 3/05 PUBLIC
1 W DALE CITY 5.8 725 PM 3/05 TRAINED SPOTTER
3 WNW DALE CITY 5.3 804 PM 3/05 TRAINED SPOTTER
2 ESE INDEPENDENT HI 4.8 850 PM 3/05 TRAINED SPOTTER

…STAFFORD COUNTY…
2 WNW ARKENDALE 5.5 738 PM 3/05 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 WSW SEALSTON 5.3 707 PM 3/05 OTHER FEDERAL
HARTWOOD 5.0 538 PM 3/05 NWS EMPLOYEE
STAFFORD 4.5 539 PM 3/05 TRAINED SPOTTER

Bundle up today as high temperatures are expected to only climb into the high 20s, but we’ll have some sun. Tonight, temperatures will fall back down into the mid teens with clear skies.

Saturday will bring partly cloudy skies with a high of 46 degrees and light winds increasing throughout the morning hours. On Saturday night, expect partly cloudy skies with low near 31 degrees.  

News
Closings and delays for Friday, March 6, 2015

Check back for the latest in closings and delays from Potomac Local.

Need to be added to the list? Let us know if you’re organization is closed or delayed by sending us a Tweet.

Public schools

Colleges and universities

Military

Local governments

News
No changes to tax rate, increases in county salaries and schools proposed in Stafford

Stafford County Administrator Anthony Romanello presented his proposed fiscal year 2016 budget to the Stafford County Board of Supervisors at their meeting Tuesday.

Among the key points in the proposal were that no changes in tax rates were suggested. The real estate tax will remain at $1.019, the same rate as last year, according to Stafford County spokeswoman Shannon Howell. 

According to Howell, the average tax bill for a Stafford resident would be $2,731. 

“There is no change to the average tax bill because this year is not a [property] re-assessment year,” Howell said. 

Real estate taxes is the county’s main source of funding revenue.

Additionally a 2% raise for school and county employees, and more funding to the school system were proposed, according to county documents.

There were six areas that the board stated were a priority for this budget process – reducing the citizen’s tax burden, public safety, education, infrastructure, economic development and service excellence.

With the current budget draft, Romanello stated that the county would be looking to attain a AAA bond rating.

The spending not related to public safety in the county is $3 million less than in 2009, and the staff also made $3.4 millions in reductions and management additions. (more…)

News
Closings and delays for March 5, 2015

Check back for the latest in closings and delays from Potomac Local.

Need to be added to the list? Let us know if you’re organization is closed or delayed by sending us a Tweet. 

News
4 to 8 inches expected, snow heaviest Thursday morning

11:15 a.m.

Here’s a weather forecast from the National Weather Service for projected accumulation in the next few hours.

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 11.14.21 AM

 

11:08 a.m.

The snow is coming down hard in the Manassas area right now. Video submitted by one of our reporters, Amber Champ. 

 

10:53 a.m.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is ready to clear roads as the winter storm continues to move across the area this afternoon. They have advised against non-essential travel on roads today.

More from a VDOT release:

Virginia Department of Transportation crews with nearly 900 pieces of available equipment are ready to treat and clear roads this afternoon as a winter storm moves across the 14-county Fredericksburg District. 

Road conditions are currently clear in most of the Fredericksburg area, with ice beginning to appear on primary roads in Stafford County, which is experiencing sleet and freezing rain.

Road conditions are clear and wet in the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula.

Conditions are expected to change quickly as rain changes to sleet, freezing rain and snow this afternoon, and driving could quickly become hazardous.

 Before starting a trip, travelers should check real-time road conditions at 511Virginia.org, by calling 511, or downloading VDOT’s free mobile 511 app. While snow is falling, motorists are advised to stay off the roads and delay nonessential travel.

VDOT has tree removal contactors on standby to assist the agency with removing trees and other debris that may obstruct travel lanes. 

Temperatures are expected to fall below freezing Thursday evening into Friday morning, which could lead to icy, slippery road conditions. VDOT crews will apply salt to melt ice and snow, and sand to improve traction for motorists.

What Motorists Should Know: 

While snow is falling, VDOT crews will make repeated passes on Interstate 95, primary roads, and key secondary roads to keep travel lanes clear.

VDOT’s goal is to have all roads passable within 48 hours of a storm’s end.

Motorists are encouraged to delay any nonessential travel.

VDOT’s Customer Service Center is open 24 hours a day to answer questions and take reports of roadway hazards at 1-800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623).

Shovel snow from your driveway to the right as you face the street. This will minimize the snow pushed into your driveway by plows clearing the road. Consider waiting to shovel the last several feet closest to the street until after plows have passed.

 

8:53 p.m.

The National Weather Service has released a Dense Fog Advisory, in effect until 10 p.m. tonight.

7:07 p.m.

Wondering if you have work or school tomorrow? Take a look at our closings page.

4:18 p.m.

The City of Manassas has declared a snow emergency, effective starting 8 a.m. tomorrow.

More from a city release:

On March 4, 2015, the City of Manassas is declaring a Snow Emergency effective at 8 a.m. on March 5, 2015 due to the impending snow event. This means that cars parked along designated snow emergency routes are subject to towing and fines.

Snow emergency routes in the City of Manassas are as follows:  Dumfries Road/Route 234, Hastings Drive, Godwin Drive, Liberia Avenue, Richmond Avenue, Fairview Avenue, Grant Avenue, Wellington Road, Ashton Avenue, Cockrell Road, Nokesville Road/Route 28, Center Street, Prescott Avenue, Sudley Road/Route 234, Church Street, Zebedee Street, Centreville Road/Route 28, Mathis Avenue, Portner Avenue and Euclid Avenue.

Once the snow event is over, the City will issue a termination of the snow emergency and will reopen these streets to parking.

1:41 p.m.

The Service Authority is asking residents to help keep fire hydrants free of snow during the storm, in case of incidents where fire and rescue need access.

winter warning1:30p.m.

Expect more snow – and lots of it.

The National Weather Service has issues a Winter Storm Warning, in effect from midnight to 9p.m. on Thursday.

There is a wintry mix expected, with between 4 to 8 inches of snow accumulation and additional ice accumulation.

The snow is expected to be heaviest during late Thursday morning, and continue on through Thursday afternoon.

If you’re still planning to commute into work on Thursday morning, VDOT is urging caution, and has also issued a release about difficulties traveling during the storm. 

Potomac Local will keep you updated on the latest in closings, delays and outages.

More from a National Weather Service alert:

…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT

TO 9 PM EST THURSDAY… 

* PRECIPITATION TYPES…WINTRY MIX…THEN ALL SNOW…HEAVY AT

TIMES. 

* ACCUMULATIONS…SNOW ACCUMULATION OF 4 TO 8 INCHES…ALONG

WITH AROUND A TRACE OF ICE.

* TIMING…RAIN CHANGES TO WINTRY MIX AROUND MIDNIGHT THEN ALL

SNOW THURSDAY. SNOW HEAVIEST THURSDAY LATE MORNING INTO THE

AFTERNOON. 

* TEMPERATURES…IN THE UPPER 20S.

* WINDS…NORTH 10 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 25 MPH.

* IMPACTS…ROADS WILL BE SNOW COVERED…VISIBILITIES WILL DROP

TO AROUND A QUARTER-MILE AT TIMES…MAKING TRAVEL DANGEROUS. 

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER

CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW

ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN

EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL…KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT…

FOOD…AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY. 

(more…)

News
No charges ultimately filed in Stafford Christmastime stabbing

[Photo by: Diane Elkins McCutcheon]

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Department has decided not to file charges against the two individuals involved in a road rage incident that turned into a stabbing near a Wal-Mart location in Stafford on December 21.

“[After] consultation with the Commonwealth Attorney, there are no charges being filed,” said Bill Kennedy, Public Information Officer for the Stafford County Sherriff’s office.

According to Kennedy, one individual got out of his car and attacked the driver in the car in front of him, which led to the stabbing.

“The individual who was stabbed – before that occurred – got out of his car, reached in and began punching and assaulting the individual who was in the car in front of him. Now in response, that individual had a razor knife and defended himself. He caused, when he did that, there was cut that caused a major loss of blood,” said Kennedy.

Stafford Local attempted to reach out to a man claiming to be the father of the assault’s victim but received no response.

Kennedy stated that the individual stabbed was taken to the hospital with severe injuries, and after the incident occurred, did not even remember what had taken place.

“In fact, the man who was injured, when he was taken to the hospital…said he had no recollection of the incident,” said Kennedy.

Sheriff deputies interviewed several witnesses at the scene in December to help make a determination as to what took place, and whether it was appropriate to file charges.

“This was self-defense – legally justified. The gentleman who reached into the car was assaulting the individual who was in the car. However, keeping in mind the severe injury that resulted in the altercation – this guy almost lost his life as well,” Kennedy said.

The sheriff’s department could not release the names of the two individuals, as no charges were filed. They also could not discuss the current condition of the individual who was stabbed or the location of his medical treatment, under HIPAA protections.

Kennedy warned residents always to call for law enforcement to prevent these types of incidents.

“If there’s an issue that is going to result in an altercation, call 9-1-1 right away. And no matter where you are, deputies will respond,” Kennedy commented.

News
Flooding possible, significant snowfall expected Wednesday night

While the winter weather wasn’t as severe as predicted today, the National Weather Service has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook alert.

The rain is expected to continue into Wednesday, and could pose a flooding threat in some areas.

Late Wednesday night the precipitation is expected to turn into snow. There has been no exact project on the amount of snowfall expected, but the accumulation is projected to be significant.

Potomac Local will be releasing all information about weather updates, closings, delays and outages.

More from a National Weather Service alert:

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN…WEDNESDAY THROUGH MONDAY 

HEAVY RAIN IS POSSIBLE WEDNESDAY INTO WEDNESDAY NIGHT WHICH COULD

COMBINE WITH SNOWMELT FOR A LOCALIZED FLOODING THREAT. 

SIGNIFICANT SNOWFALL ACCUMULATIONS WILL BE POSSIBLE LATE WEDNESDAY

NIGHT INTO THURSDAY. THERE IS UNCERTAINTY WITH REGARD TO HOW MUCH

SLEET MAY MIX IN WITH THE SNOW. PLEASE STAY TUNED FOR DETAILS.

News
Stafford board passes TDR program, shifts growth to courthouse area

The Stafford County Board of Supervisors has established a transfer of development rights (TDR) program that will help the county to direct development and protect open space in Stafford.

“There’s peninsulas in Stafford, that jut out towards the Potomac River…and if you have more than twenty acres out there, you can apply for your rights to be severed and extinguished on that property – with a conservation easement placed on that property,” said Paul Milde, Aquia Supervisor.

After a property assessment, the county will issue developers a taxable certificate for the development rights. The developers will then be able to use these development rights in the courthouse area in Stafford, and their properties in these peninsula areas will be placed in a conservation easement, according to Milde.

“You can use those [development rights] inside the receiving area – that is the [Stafford] courthouse area,” Milde said.

While most properties must be twenty acres or larger in order to apply for the TDR program, there are some exceptions in the Crow’s Nest Harbor area.

“The area of Crow’s Nest Harbor, which is about 1,000 acres, 353 lots, 2 and half acres on average each – they are the exception to the twenty acre minimum. And [the board] did that because in the comp plan that’s designated park-land…We did that because we wanted to provide some kind of relief for the owners in Crow’s Nest Harbor that are suing us, because we won’t let them develop their property on water and sewer, and we also won’t let them develop their property on on-site septic and wells – we just won’t let them develop their property,” said Milde.

The county could not comment on the lawsuit when Potomac Local reached out.

There are two points of concern about the program. 80 lots in the Crow’s Nest Harbor area are not eligible for the TDR program, and the program will allow developers to increase density without a public hearing for transferred rights in the courthouse area.

“The [owners] that have less than an acre of buildable space…they’re not eligible. And that will be a point of contention, and we’ll have to deal with that later,” Milde commented.

By implementing the TDR program, the county will be able to direct growth to areas where public utilities and services are already available.

“These lots had to be billed [for transfer of development rights] inside the courthouse area, which already has water, sewer – it’s right next to Stafford Elementary and Stafford Middle – the high school, the courthouse…Everything is already there. So we are moving these lots where they’re easily supported,” said Milde.

Milde has been working to establish the program since 2006. He is concerned about over-development in Stafford and the evaporation of open land spaces.

“What’s going to happen in 30 years, 40 years, when Stafford’s a bunch of three acre lots, and there’s no open farm land,” said Milde.

News
Snow, sleet expected tomorrow morning into the evening

3:16p.m.

The Winter Weather Advisory has been called off by the National Weather Service, as the precipitation has been mostly rain.

10:48a.m.

With the impending winter weather forecasted today, VDOT has issued a release warning drivers to be careful on the roads today, as conditions could become dangerous.

More from a VDOT release:

Motorists are advised that sleet and freezing rain could affect road conditions this afternoon in the Fredericksburg area, especially in northern and western areas. 

Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) crews are ready to apply salt and sand to reduce icing, and provide additional traction for vehicle tires. Sleet and freezing rain are forecast to affect the region starting in early afternoon, followed by rain.

Rain is forecast this afternoon in the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula.

Travelers are encouraged to monitor weather forecasts and road conditions on 511Virginia before starting a trip this afternoon. 

Motorists are encouraged to:

Slow down and allow extra travel time to reach your destination.

Be aware of potentially icy areas such as bridges, ramps, hills, curves and overpasses. 

Keep a safe following distance of at least five seconds behind other vehicles and trucks that are applying sand, salt, and treatment chemicals to the road.

Use extra caution on roads carrying less traffic, such as subdivision streets.

12a.m.

And just when you thought that the snow was over – it’s come back again. 

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory earlier this evening, in effect tomorrow morning at 9a.m. until 10p.m.

Snow and sleet accumulation is expected to be up to 1 inch, and there is some anticipated ice accumulation as well.

As always, Potomac Local will keep you up to date on the latest in weather, closings, delays and outages.

More from a National Weather Service alert:

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 9 AM TO 10 PM
EST TUESDAY...

* LOCATIONS...THE BALTIMORE AND WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREAS
  AND NORTH CENTRAL MARYLAND.

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

* ACCUMULATIONS...SNOW AND SLEET ACCUMULATION OF UP TO 1
  INCH...ALONG WITH UP TO ONE TENTH OF AN INCH OF ICE.

* TIMING...TUESDAY MORNING THROUGH LATE TUESDAY EVENING.

* IMPACTS...ROADS WILL BE SNOW AND ICE COVERED. TRAVELING WILL BE
  DANGEROUS.

* WINDS...SOUTHEAST 5 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 25 MPH.

* TEMPERATURES...IN THE UPPER 20S.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW...SLEET...OR
FREEZING RAIN WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR
SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES...AND USE CAUTION WHILE
DRIVING.

News
Improvement projects slated for three Stafford high schools

Within the next three years, three Stafford high schools – Brooke Point, Colonial Forge, and Mountain View – will be undergoing improvement and expansion projects.

The programs have been slated for completion as part of Stafford’s capital improvements program for several years.

“These additions have been in the capital improvements program for a number of years. But student growth [prompted the additions],” said Valerie Cottongim, Public Information Officer for Stafford County Public Schools.

The Brooke Point project will add eight classrooms and labs, two wellness rooms, an orchestra room, and update the culinary arts space and the library, according to Board documents.

The Colonial Forge and Mountainview expansions will also offer similar updates to the building, with the addition of a security entrance, according to board documents.

Currently, the construction of the projects is out for bid.

Brooke Point’s improvements will cost $6,611,000 and will be completed by September 2016. The Colonial Forge improvements will also be completed in September 2016 and will cost $7.3 million.

The Mountain View project will not start until the other two high school’s projects have been completed, but it’s estimated start date is 2017, slated for completion in September 2018.

Cottongim stated that the bond-funded improvement projects would help accommodate current students, and provide more quality education in Stafford.

“It’s going to allow us to accommodate the students that are attending these schools. The expanded rooms, and fine arts suites will provide extra space for those areas of the curriculum. At Brooke Point, the expanded media center will allow our students and staff to take advantage of more modern technologies than a library that was designed and built 25 years ago,” Cottongim said.

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.

News
Closings and delays Monday, March 2, 2015

Public schools

Colleges and universities 

Military

Local government

News
Closings and delays Sunday, Mar. 1, 2015

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

 

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