Dale City Local
WOODBRIDGE — In the words of Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart, At-large, ‘the board is finally going to, at last, take action on the animal shelter.”
And tonight it did, voting 7-1 to spend $14 million to replace the county’s 40-year-old animal shelter on Bristow Road. The new facility that will include everything from new adoption center, 56 doubled-sided kennels for cats and dogs, a full veterinarian space, offices for animal control officers, and a community room for training pets and their owners.
“We are in desperate need of a new shelter. These animals, the shelter staff, the local rescues, and the overall community deserves to be respected and protected. And the level of service that is being provided today. That is not happening,” said Ann Marie Johnson, of Dale City.
“We’ve been talking about budgeting for a new shelter for past three years, but we’ve been talking about a new shelter for 14 years,” said Coles District Supervisor Marty Nohe.
Supervisors chose the Option C, the one that was recommended by county staff and by respondents to Stewart’s email survey. It was one of four options Supervisors could choose from ranging between $11 million and $17 million.
Gainesville District Supervisor Peter Candland was the lone dissenting vote. He objected to the cost, noting that as recent as last year the cost figures for the proposed shelter topped out at $12 million.
The rising cost of construction was given by county public works staff as the reason for the cost increases. They vowed to watch costs to ensure they don’t rise, barring any unforeseen disaster like a hurricane.
“You cannot make these decisions in a vacuum. Every dollar that we spend is one less dollar that we can spend on something else,” said Candland, who said he agreed a new shelter was needed, but he didn’t like the price tag on this project.
The new shelter is slated to open by 2021. Stewart urged county staff to speed up the process of construction so staff and animals can move into the new center quickly.
“We’ve got great staff there, we just need a new facility,” added Stewart.
The current shelter dates back to 1975. The building was donated to the county at the time, according to Nohe.
“The county has changed since then,” he said.
Just this week, after taking in rescue animals from Florida that were in the path of Hurricane Irma, the current shelter ran out of space to house new animals that would be surrounded by their owners. Afterward, shelter officials stopped accepting new animals at the facility.
A police spokesman said the change was temporary.
Respondents to Corey Stewart’s animal shelter survey like the $14 million “Option C.”
The Chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors on Sept. 6, 2017, sent an email to voters soliciting input from county voters.
From the Sept. 6 email:
“The Prince William Board of County Supervisors recently saw a presentation that included four design options for the construction, outfitting, operations, and maintenance of a new Animal Shelter.
The current shelter, built in 1975 and expanded in 1990, receives 85,000 visitors and 4,100 animals per year. The main shelter is 6,646 square feet with two modular buildings and 12 outbuildings included in the complex, and there are currently 16 double-sided and 14 single-sided dog kennels and eight double-sided and 77 single-sided cat kennels.
Recognizing that the current shelter inadequately meets the needs of the animals, employees, and visitors to the facility, the Board directed staff in June 2016 to come up with design options that address those needs. The design team included the Department of Public Works, as well as Cole & Denny Architects and Jackson & Ryan Architects, which both have significant experience with the design of animal shelters throughout the country, including Fairfax County’s animal shelter.
Tonight, Supervisors will be faced with voting for one of three options for a new animal shelter. Option C is the preferred choice of county staff, too, as it has recommended the Board of Supervisors choose it to replace the current 40-year-old shelter.
Supervisors are scheduled to take up the issue at 7:30 p.m. at the Prince William County Government Center. You can also watch the meeting online.
The film “Democracy for Sale” will be shown at two screenings in Woodbridge.
The film stars comic Zach Galifianakis, a North Carolina native who travels to the state to examine political districts and redistricting. The screenings will take place at the Lakeside Theater at the Woodbridge Campus of the Northern Virginia Community College at 4 and 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017.
The League of Women Voters in Prince William County first told us about the film showing in Woodbridge, which is one of the multiple screenings for the film across the state. The series of screenings is being made possible, in part, by The Virginia Civic Engagement Table is affiliated with State Voices.
Here’s more in a press release: (more…)
WOODBRIDGE — When it comes to seeing the signs, Supervisor Ruth Anderson thinks Prince William County may have lost its way.
The Occoquan District Supervisor this week issued what’s known as a “directive” to county staff members to look at the types of signs used to showcase everything from historical sites, parks, and welcome signs posted at entrances to the county on Routes 1, 123, 15 and others.
She sent us an email with her statement to county staff:
I wish to direct County Staff to develop comprehensive and consistent signage guidelines to include, but not necessarily be limited to, gateway signage, wayfinding signage, and signage for parks, historic properties, and other County facilities. Staff is encouraged to engage a diverse representation of stakeholders to assist with this review. Staff should identify potential locations for future gateway and wayfinding signage as well as an inventory of existing signage that will be supplanted with new designs, as a replacement is necessary.
Three years ago, signs and county logos were at the forefront of a debate over whether or not the county should adopt a new square logo commissioned by the Department of Economic Development, or keep its longtime county seal logo on signs and government buildings. (more…)
Those who want to surrender an animal to the Prince William County Animal Shelter are being turned away.
The shelter is out of space and cannot accept any new animals from owners who can no longer care for them.
While the shelter is a “kill” shelter, it does have a “no-kill” policy.
“We don’t kill animals for space,” said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok.
The no-surrender policy is temporary, he added.
The shelter is managed by the Prince William County Police Department.
The lack of space issue and the no-surrenders order came after the shelter accepted animals from a batch of 28 dogs, and 16 cats that were brought to our region from Florida in the wake of Hurrican Irma.
Many of those animals came to our area without medical records, and some of them were sick.
None of the sick animals were admitted to the Prince William shelter, said Perok. Many were sent to area veterinarians for treatment after they arrived.
“We don’t have a sickness issue at the shelter,’ added Perok.
Tomorrow, elected leaders in Prince William County will address the lack of space, and other issues plaguing the 45-year-old animals shelter. The Prince William County Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on a measure to build a new $14 million animal shelter to replace its existing structure.
Chick-fil-A Bristow Charity Golf Tournament will benefit Christ In Action, whose volunteers are in Texas helping Hurricane Harvey victims
Currently deployed to southeast Texas to assist Hurricane Harvey victims, Christ In Action is a nonprofit disaster relief, 100 percent volunteer organization, whose mission statement is “Bringing Hope to America’s Families” whose communities have been devastated by tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, and floods.
Volunteers, donations, and through their selfless commitment help to provide services to these communities at no cost by deploying their fleet of trucks to provide food, water, showers, and supplies.
However, to do this, it takes support from the community, and that is why we will be hosting the First Annual Charity Golf Tournament on September 30, 2017, to help raise money for this amazing organization.
You too can participate in the excitement of this event by supporting Christ In Action! There will be a variety of ways that you can participate and to lend your support.
Your kind donation or sponsorship will bring us closer to our fundraising goals for 2017. We encourage our communities to sign up and register to play in the tournament and get involved and help us generate the enthusiasm to participate in this upcoming golf event for this great cause!
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you in advance for supporting Christ In Action and their efforts to provide disaster relief to families in need. It is with the support of the community, donations, sponsorships, Chick-fil-A Bristow and Broad Run Golf & Practice Facility that will make this First Annual Chick-fil-A Bristow Charity Golf Tournament a success.
Prince William County Police Chief Barry Barnard will speak to residents Thursday
tonight in Dale City.
It’s part of a regular series of engagements called a “Conversation with the Chief” where residents are invited to ask Barnard about any topics relating to public safety in Prince William County.
Tonight’s meeting will be held at Dale City Elementary School at 7 p.m. Previous “Conversation with the Chief” meetings were held at the Dr. AJ Ferlazzo Building this past summer and Old Bridge Road Elementary School back in April.
From Prince William police:
Chief Barry Barnard of the Prince William County Police Department will host a “Conversation with the Chief” on Thursday, September 21, 2017 at Dale City Elementary School located at 14450 Brook Drive in Woodbridge beginning at 7:00PM. We would like to extend an invitation to those who live in the community and the surrounding area to come out, meet the Chief, and engage in conversation. Chief Barnard will personally answer questions and discuss any topics of concern from the public and residents. This is a wonderful opportunity for the community to get to know their Police Department and ask questions directly to the Chief and other police staff. Members from the Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit and Recruitment Unit will also be on hand to answer questions and provide useful information regarding safety tips, neighborhood watches and employment information. The Chief plans to hold additional community engagement conversations at other locations across Prince William County in the future. We look forward to having a productive discussion.
WOODBRIDGE — Is a new $14 million animal shelter in the future for Prince William County taxpayers?
That is what the county’s Board of Supervisors must decide on Tuesday night when they decide which one of four new animals shelters will replace, or improve the existing 45-year-old facility located next to a landfill.
The favored choice is known as Option C, a new $14.2 million facility that would replace the existing structure, and come with complete with an pet adoption lobby, a full veterinarian space, isolation rooms for sick animals, animal control offices, a community room, 156 double-sided kennels for cats, and 56 double-sided kennels for dogs.
“I love it. What’s not to love about it,” asked Occoquan District Supervisor Ruth Anderson.
Anderson called animal control a “core government service” and added a new shelter is needed in Prince William County. She familiarized herself with the issue while touring similar shelters in Fairfax and Fauquier counties, and a shelter in Fredericksburg.
Must have vs. nice-to-have
But opponents of Option C, including Gainesville District Supervisor Peter Candland, call this plan the “Taj Mahal” of animal shelters. When a new animal shelter was first discussed two years ago, county officials were ready to pay between six and $10 million for a new facility, he said. (more…)
We are learning about a bank robbery that occurred this morning in Montclair.
Here’s the latest from Prince William police:
Bank Robbery – On September 16 at 11:52AM, officers responded to the SunTrust Bank located at 4377 Kevin Walker Dr [near] Dumfries (22025) to investigate a robbery. An employee reported to police that an unknown man approached the bank area and implied he had a weapon. The suspect then passed a note demanding money.
The suspect took an undisclosed amount of money before fleeing the area. A police K-9 and helicopter from Fairfax County Police responded to search for the suspect who was not located. More information to include a picture will be released when available. The investigation continues.
Light skinned male, mid 30s, 5’09”-5’10”, 210lbs, with a large build and dark curly hair
Last seen wearing a light grey sweatshirt with a reflective vest
Few events in American history hold are remembered more than wars fought by its countrymen and women.
While Americans have fought in numerous engagements in the country’s 241 years, three stand out.
The American Revolutionary War created our country, the Civil War saved it, and World War II saved democracy for the world.
Unfortunately, most Americans have forgotten one of the most influential two years in American history — World War I. While the U.S. was officially at war in 1917, most of America’s participation in the fighting took place final months of the War, and although over 100,000 Americans died, it paled in comparison to the millions of Europeans who died.
Since American service members were back in Europe fighting against Germany within a generation, perhaps it is not surprising that our country has forgotten about the First World War. This historical amnesia obscures the fact that the U.S. that is familiar to all modern people, a first rate world power, was the direct consequence of our participation in World War I.
With the centennial of America’s active participation in the War, this fall the Prince William County Historic Preservation Division is collaborating with the Manassas Museum and will produce an exhibit on the local impact the War had. The World War, unsurprisingly, had a worldwide influence. Instead of focusing on the military campaigns fought thousands of miles away in Europe, “The Forgotten War” will instead explore the impact the war had closer to home.
The first major military engagement since the American Civil War, the American Army in World War I numbered in the millions. One way so many served was through the draft. While many Prince William County residents volunteered for service, every adult male in the county had to register for the draft.
Out of the many that served, twenty-six local “doughboys” gave the ultimate sacrifice during the War. The wartime years also witnessed an immense change in our communities with new military bases springing up, many of which are still around today. The war also witnessed the introduction of official propaganda into American popular culture.
While it would be the first time American service members would see combat in Europe, it would not be the last. Visitors to this exhibit will leave with a better appreciation of this forgotten war.
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY — The Prince William County Board of Supervisors is considering to fund a Targeted Industry and Competitive Analysis Study, requiring a transfer of $125,000 from contingency to the Department of Economic Development Fiscal Year 2018 budget to conduct the study.
Gainesville District Supervisor Peter Candland moved to table the measure during the Board’s Sept. 5, 2017, and requested more information from members of county’s economic development staff.
“We’re hiring so many consultants, and it seems our own economic development staff has to say,” said Candland. “We send them to so many conferences; it would be a good idea to get their opinion.”
The county has long touted its “targeted industry” list as a guiding document used to identify which types of companies it would like to attract to the region. The current list includes biosecurity, drug manufacturing, data centers, federal contractors, to short-haul trucking operations, like trucking firm that delivers food to retail stores.
“The Targeted Industry Study serves many purposes,” said Jeffrey A. Kaczmarek, Executive Director, Prince William County Department of Economic Development. “However, its findings and conclusions help solidify a ‘roadmap’ aimed at increased business attraction efforts and identifying ideal industry clusters, while taking into consideration the region’s values, assets, resources, and trends.
“All business plans, public or private, need to be constantly reviewed and updated to assess the competition and the overall business environment and how to best respond.” (more…)
Data released by the United States Travel Association (USTA) reveals that all regions in Virginia posted an increase in tourism revenue last year.
Tourism revenue for the City of Manassas reached $68,000,000. Local tourism-supported jobs totaled 580 while local tourism-related taxes were $1,800,000, a 3.5% increase. All data was received by the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) from US Travel Association and is based on domestic visitor spending (travelers from within the United States) from trips taken 50 miles or more away from home.
“The City of Manassas prides itself on being visitor friendly,” said City Manager W. Patrick Pate. “According to the 2016 Citizen Satisfaction Survey completed by ETC Institute, the City of Manassas scored more than 20 percent above the national average in customer service.”
According to the US Travel Association, tourism in Virginia generated $24 billion in travel spending. Tourism also supported 230,000 jobs in the Commonwealth and $1.7 billion in state and local taxes. The increase is largely attributed to Virginia’s tourism development all around the state, including: new hotels, restaurants, agritourism, craft breweries, wineries, distilleries, cideries, sports, outdoor recreation, festivals and events, music venues, wedding venues, meeting and convention venues, attractions and so much more. Virginia’s changing tourism product makes the Commonwealth a destination for authentic travel experiences and thriving communities.
“As the one of Virginia’s largest private sector industries, tourism represents $24 billion in economic impact and contributes $1.7 billion in state and local taxes, injecting critical dollars into our communities statewide,” said Todd Haymore, Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “The tourism industry supports local businesses, services, and infrastructure, and is an important contributor to job creation. Communities all across Virginia continue to develop new tourism product, making the Commonwealth one of the most exciting and compelling destinations in the world.”
The Virginia Tourism Corporation is the state agency responsible for marketing Virginia to visitors and promoting the Virginia is for Lovers brand. Virginia is for Lovers is the longest-running state tourism slogan in the country. Virginia is for Lovers stands for love, pure and simple, and promotes the state as the ideal destination for loved ones to completely connect on a great vacation. Virginia is for Lovers was named one of the top 10 tourism marketing campaigns of all time by Forbes and was inducted into the National Advertising Walk of Fame in 2009. To plan your next vacation in Virginia, visit www.virginia.org and discover why Virginia is for Lovers.
Good Morning Prince William – September is National Preparedness Month! In light of recent disasters such as wildfires, Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, please take some time to prepare for emergencies before they happen. Remember, disasters don’t plan ahead, but You Can! Please visit ready.gov/September for great information on how you can prepare an emergency kit for your family and pets.
· Please join us in Manassas Park on September 16 at the Emergency Preparedness Fair 10am-2pm at the Fire Rescue Department, 9080 Manassas Drive in Manassas Park. For more information, please call (703) 335-8845. Also, the wonderful folks in City of Manassas are hosting their Preparedness Month Fun Fair on September 23, 9am-1pm at the Manassas Farmer’s Market on Prince William Street, across from Baldwin Elementary School. Emergency kits, kid activities, emergency vehicles and lots of important emergency preparedness information will be available at both events.
· The Manassas, Bull Run Rotary Clubs supporting the great work at SERVE needs tons of volunteers for the Lou Maroon Golf Tournament on Wednesday, September 13th at the Evergreen Country Club. Jobs include check-in of teams, run the putting contest, sell raffle tickets, take photos and greet golfers as they tee off. Volunteers need to be at least 18 years old and be able to stand for the 2-3 hour shift. Shifts are 9 a.m. -12pm, 12-2:30 p.m. and 2:30-5pm. come join the fun for a fabulous cause. Please call Navara at (571) 748-2536 to learn more. (more…)
DALE CITY — Will a new Starbucks be built at Cheshire Station?
The Prince William County Board of Supervisors will decide on Tuesday. If approved, the new chain coffee house will be built across from a Safeway grocery store in the existing Cheshire Station shopping center at the intersection of Minnieville Road and Dale Boulevard.
The Starbucks would sit next to Yogi Creme, in the southeast quadrant of an intersection of the shopping plaza and Minnieville Road. The store would be 2,082 square-feet in size, have a drive-through window, and feature a 355-square-foot patio for outdoor seating.
The Prince William County Planning Commission approved the structure in July, sending it to the board of supervisors for final approval.
The drive-through Starbucks would sit along a busy thoroughfare. According to a 2015 Virginia Department of Transportation study, a total of 45,000 cars per day travel past the shopping center on the six-lane Minnieville Road.
The new Starbucks would replace an existing smaller Starbucks store in the plaza, which does not have a drive-through window.
The land on which Cheshire Station sits was rezoned in from agricultural to business in 2000, clearing the way for construction of the shopping center which has always been anchored by Safeway.
The Prince William County Board of Supervisors will take up the measure at its scheduled 7:30 p.m. meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017.
WOODBRIDGE — A proposal to rename Route 1 in Woodbridge would end up costing small business owners.
Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank Principi on Tuesday introduced an ordinance that would, in part, rename Jefferson Davis Highway in eastern Prince William County, the road named after the president of the Confederacy during the Civil War.
The four-lane thoroughfare is lined with small and medium-sized businesses and restaurants that would not only have to go back and reproduce printed marketing materials to list a new address but would also have to revamp their web presence and search engine optimization.
“It would be a major headache, and it would create a lot of work for small business owners,” said Scot Small, CEO of RevBuilders Marketing. (more…)
Long-distance travelers use the E-ZPass Express Lanes on Interstate 95.
And the operators of the lanes said they’ll be ready for them, Today via a press release, they’re warning other drivers to be ready for them, too, this Labor Day weekend.
“Last Labor Day, the busiest getaway travel times on the regular I-95 lanes and the 95 Express Lanes was Wednesday between 4 to 7 p.m. and Thursday between 2 to 6 p.m. As such, drivers traveling along the 95 Express Lanes corridor over Labor Day weekend should prepare for heavy traffic volumes,” according to a press release.”
Beginning Tuesday, September 5, the start of the weekday morning reversal will shift from 10 a.m. back to 11 a.m. Here’s what drivers can expect Labor Day weekend:
Thursday, August 31: Southbound reversal begins at 10 a.m.
Friday, September 1: Southbound reversal begins at 10 a.m.
Saturday, September 2: Lanes reverse to northbound at 2 p.m.
Sunday, September 3: Lanes remain northbound
Monday, September 4: Express Lanes remain northbound all day
Tuesday, September 5: End of early summer reversal – southbound reversal now begins at 11 a.m.”
A survey conducted by toll lanes operators in May found 40% of users travel the E-ZPass Express Lanes when traveling to vacation destinations.
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY — Fire and rescue officials in Prince William County are watching the disastrous effects Hurricane Harvey is having in Houston.
While the storm may be nearly 1,400 miles away, officials here know hurricane season is far from over. And they urge residents to be prepared should a Harvey-like storm take aim at our region.
It could take up to three days before emergency crews reach you in the event of a disaster. Having a stored supply of water, food, medicine, and pet food is a good start to ensure survival in the case of a catastrophic emergency.
“Here locally, the department of fire and rescue and first responders are expected to be able to operate for up to 72 hours after the start of an emergency without assistance from state or federal resources,” said Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue Asst. Chief Matt Smolksy. (more…)
Event to connect employers with employees
WOODBRIDGE — If you are seeking a new job or even a career change, you should look no further and attend The Greater Woodbridge Community Job Fair from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday, August 29 at the Ebenezer Baptist Church Gym, 13020 Telegraph Rd., Woodbridge, Va. 22192.
This event will provide you with access to employers seeking talented candidates in varying disciplines and admission is free.
More than 25 local businesses and resource organizations have planned to participate.
“Top employers from throughout the area will be participating and are looking to hire qualified candidates,” said Ian Lovejoy, owner of Reliant Hiring Solutions, the event’s organizer.
A full list of participating businesses is available at the event’s website WoodbridgeJobFair.com.
While walk-ins are welcome, job seekers are encouraged to pre-register so their information can be shared with employers before the event. Pre-registration can also be found at WoodbridgeJobFair.com.
Employers interested in more information should call 1-800-572-9041 or email the job fair coordinator at
Entrepreneurs devoted to helping start-ups and small business owners find a like-minded atmosphere, and centric location to engage
CENTERFUSE, a Coworking Space fills the gap for businesses to operate economically and efficiently and brings opportunity for the many entrepreneurs, solopreneurs and emerging ventures that need a fully equipped space to do business, network and grow.
The move to CENTERFUSE from the Hylton Performing Arts Center, where it has met for the past four years, will serve to support entrepreneur engagement, collaboration, and discussions around a variety of business topics and every-day challenges. The relocation shows a commitment to serve and support founders of start-up businesses and to engage them where they work.
“Small business owners are tackling new challenges every day, and finding new solutions to problems in our everyday lives,” said 1 Million Cups Prince William Volunteer Organizer Nickey Monroe.
1 Million Cups Prince William invites a speaker who has a majority equity stake in a company to talk about their firm. In the process, the group of 25 to 30 attendees provides feedback for the business owner. There is no cost to the presenter. Free coffee is also provided each week by a local business. (more…)
WOODBRIDGE — The line formed about 6 a.m. Monday.
Hundreds of people stood outside the Potomac Community Library in Woodbridge for to snag one of 600 pairs of solar glasses to view the “Great American Solar Eclipse.”
The line stretched from the parking lot, up Opitz Boulevard, nearly to Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center. Employees at the library distributed the glasses at 10 a.m. for a solar eclipse viewing party at 2 p.m.
“This was an exciting day,” said Prince William County Public Library spokesman Andrew Spence. “All six of our community libraries had solar eclipse activities happening.” (more…)
WOODBRIDGE — More skimming devices have been found at gas pumps in Prince William County.
From Prince William police:
Since last week, the Prince William County Police Department has responded to calls involving skimmer devices being located on ATMs at five separate 7-Eleven locations in central Prince William County. Over the past few month, police have also located skimming devices at area gas stations and other ATM locations.
Below is a list the 7-Eleven locations, which reported skimming devices recently (map). If you have visited one of these locations recently and used the ATM, you are asked to monitor your bank accounts for suspicious activity and, if needed, notify your bank that your card information may have been compromised.
Ø 5041 Prince William Pkwy, Woodbridge
Ø 13660 Minnieville Rd, Woodbridge
Ø 4804 Dale Blvd, Woodbridge
Ø 7001 Dale Blvd, Woodbridge
Ø 14116 Minnieville Rd, Woodbridge
These latest skimmer incidents come after one was found at an Exxon gas station at the intersection of Prince William Parkway and Worth Avenue on July 7. (more…)