Archive for July, 2012

Prince William County Receives Two National Association of Counties Awards

At the 2012 National Association of Counties Awards on July 15 in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, two Prince William County Programs received Achievement Awards. The Department of Fire & Rescue won for the EMS Plan Development for Mass Gathering and the Gypsy Moth & Mosquito Control Program won for Data Management in the Cloud.

EMS Plan Development for Mass Gathering – The Department of Fire and Rescue was awarded an achievement award for planning for emergencies during the Sesquicentennial Reenactment.  Much planning and many hours were spent planning and executing the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of First Manassas/Bull Run.  This EMS Plan provided on-site service, air-conditioned tents, advanced life support and services to ensure the safety and health of participants at the once-in-a-lifetime event.  With more than 20,000 participants, 8,700 reenactors and 300 horses, on some of the hottest days experienced by Prince William County, everyone’s medical needs were met in a timely and efficient manner.

Data Management in the Cloud – The Gypsy Moth & Mosquito Control program received an achievement award for the Data Management in the Cloud Program.  Gypsy Moth & Mosquito Control staff have been taking pen and paper into the field as long as the program has existed.  This data would then be entered into several different databases.  This system proved to be cumbersome, inefficient and led to errors occurring during several stages of the process.  This year, the staff from Gypsy Moth & Mosquito implemented a new process of field reporting by using an electronic device (the iPad 2) to collect their data on the various bug activity in the County.  This information is then stored on a server in the Cloud, which makes accessing and compiling the data more efficient and effective. 

Prince William County Close to Gaining State-of-the-Art Potomac Nationals Baseball Stadium through Public/Private Partnership

Prince William County, the Potomac Nationals, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and PTC Roadside Development LLC, are excited to announce that they have agreed to a framework for a public/private partnership that would bring a 6,000 – 7,000 seat state-of-the-art minor league baseball stadium to Prince William County for the Carolina League Championship Potomac Nationals. As part of this partnership, the County would also receive a commuter parking garage and additional office and residential opportunities.

The stadium would be located at Potomac Town Center, which has easy access from both Route 1 and I-95. With the wide array of quality shopping, office and residential opportunities, this will be a unique setting not found at many minor-league stadiums in this country. The stadium would offer year-round events to both residents and tourists alike while offering fans the opportunity to see a championship level minor league team that is an affiliate of the first place National League East Washington Nationals. When completed, the project would bring more than $200 million in private sector investment and $15 million in investment from the Commonwealth.

The Potomac Nationals have been located in Prince William County since 1984 and the new stadium is an important milestone in the team’s history. Art Silber, the owner of the Potomac Nationals plans to fund construction of the new stadium, announcing his intent to invest over $25 million.

An important amenity in the project would be a new commuter garage built using state transportation funds, land dedicated to public use and constructed by the Prince William County Transportation Department. The garage would offer commuter parking to Prince William residents who use the transit serving the garage or carpool using HOV or Express Lanes.

Roadside Development plans to build on the success of their town center project with additional office space and the associated residential units. The proposal to be vetted by the community would include 125,000 square feet of space, which is expected to provide new jobs particularly for medical and other industries, and 300 homes to support the retail and office uses in the Center.

Over the next 90 days, the public-private partners will continue working through the feasibility phase of the project, and will begin the process of reaching out to the surrounding communities to obtain public comment on the project.

Prince William County Awarded Virginia Certified Local Government Grant for Archaeology at Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park

The Department of Public Works received a $12,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources to support an archaeological study at Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park.  In addition, the Prince William Historic Foundation and the Prince William County Historical Commission also donated $8,000 toward the study. 

This study will identify and locate Civil War military graves.  It will allow the County to properly manage, preserve and interpret a possible mass grave of Civil War soldiers associated with Camp Jones and possibly the Battle of Bristoe Station.   The study is expected to begin this fall.  Public Works will host a public day for residents to visit the study area, ask questions and learn more about the findings from the archaeologists.

Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park includes 133 acres of fields and woodlands.  The Park interprets two Civil War battles and the Park’s natural resources.  Prince William County Public Works, Historic Preservation Division manages and operates the Park.  For more information, please call (703) 366-3049 or email rorrison@pwcgov.org.

Prince William County Calls for Investigation into 911 Outages

The Prince William Board of County Supervisors has requested a full investigation and report with solutions from Verizon regarding the 911 system failure following the severe thunderstorms on June 29. The County will fully cooperate with other Northern Virginia and National Capital region jurisdictions and Virginia Governor McDonnell’s office in this effort.

“While we appreciate the efforts Verizon made to get the system back up and running, all efforts should be made to ensure that the critical 911 system does not fail in the future,” said Corey A. Stewart, Chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors. “We expect Verizon to conduct a full investigation into how the 911 service failed and offer solutions to better secure the system. It is imperative that residents of Prince William County and the entire Washington Metro area never have to face such emergencies without the critical 911 service that can be the difference between life and death for those in need.”

This is the second significant failure of the Verizon 911 System in the past two years. The last time, residents of Maryland experienced cellular service loss during the snow storm of 2011 that impacted many drivers during the rush-hour commute. Because this is a regional issue, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors hopes other jurisdictions will join with them in demanding a full investigation and call for solutions into the 911 system failure.

Probation, Parole and Community Supervision Week

Prince William County, VA-The Prince William County Office of Criminal Justice Services, Department of Corrections Adult Probation and Parole and the Department of Juvenile Justice Court Services Unit will observe Probation, Parole and Community Supervision Week, July 15-21, 2012.  The week is observed nationally each year to recognize the work that probation, parole and community supervision professionals do in their ongoing effort to support public safety.

Probation, parole and community supervision officers are problem solvers, crime prevention specialists, motivators, educators, facilitators and often times they are the only support system for an offender. Professionals from all three probation offices are a force for positive change by assisting families and offenders to become productive members of society.

The following agencies serve the Thirty-First Judicial District which includes the County of Prince William and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park.

  • The Prince William County Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) provides community supervision and treatment to misdemeanants and some non-violent felons as an alternative to incarceration. The Pretrial Program provides information to the courts on newly arrested defendants, which may then be used in making pretrial release decisions
  • Adult Probation and Parole Services provides professional supervision of offenders in the community under conditions of probation or parole and other special conditions set by the Court or the Parole Board.
  • The Department of Juvenile Justice Court Services Unit provides support for community programs and services, community supervision and case management, and custody and care of committed juveniles.  Issues that these professionals confront on a daily basis include domestic violence, children in need of services, and youth involved in criminal activity

For more information on these programs, contact Steve Austin at (703) 792-6065 or saustin@pwcgov.org.

Fire and Rescue Recruit School Graduation 2012-1

 On Friday, June 29, at 10:00 a.m., the Department of Fire and Rescue held a graduation ceremony for Recruit Class 2012-1.  The ceremony was held at the Hylton Performing Arts Center located at 10960 George Mason Circle in Manassas.  Battalion Chief John Petrie presided over the ceremony.

 Class 2012-1 consists of 15 men and women who have successfully completed 24 weeks of rigorous academic and physical training at the Department’s Public Safety Training Center in Nokesville, Virginia.  Each student performed in excess of 1,100 hours of training and over 24,000 hours combined.  The training consists of 1 week of orientation, 6 weeks of Emergency Medical Technician Training, 14 weeks of Fire Training, and 3 weeks of Specialized Training.

 The Department announces the following graduates, Technician Is:  Blake Abel, Ian Antons, Kyle Cetar, Adam Cox, Rebekah Fulton, Justin Green, Tristan Lugo, John Muller, Matthew Rock, Andrew Sanders, Zachary Sites, Joseph Smith, April Spicer, Kyle Steele, Stephanie Sublett

Lucasville Road Closed for Repairs

On June 20, Lucasville Road in Manassas closed to thru traffic between Country Roads Lane and Hidden Spring Drive while the Virginia Department of Transportation replaces a drainage structure as part of reconstruction work to improve drainage and mitigate flooding.  The road is expected to re-open by mid-November. 

Thru traffic now follows a posted detour using Dumfries Road, Godwin Drive and Hastings Drive.  Traffic traveling from Hastings Drive to Godwin Drive uses Dumfries Road to Godwin drive to Lucasville Road. Traffic traveling from Godwin Drive to Hastings Drive uses Godwin Drive to Dumfries Road to Hastings Drive.

The $3.2 million project will raise the road’s profile and replace an existing pipe culvert with a quadruple box culvert to improve drainage and mitigate flooding. The two-lane road will be rebuilt with curb and gutter, and sidewalk will be constructed on the east side of the road.  Local residents will have access to their driveways during the closure.

Visit VDOT’s project page at http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/northernvirginia/lucasville_road_drainage_improvements.asp for more details.

Cooling Assistance Program Now Taking Applications

The Prince William County Department of Social Services (DSS) will accept applications until August 15, 2012, for the Cooling Assistance Program.

This program assists low-income County residents with the purchase or repair of cooling equipment and/or payment for electricity to operate cooling equipment. To qualify for Cooling Assistance, certain income criteria must be met and there must be an elderly person, disabled person or a child under six living in the home.

Applications may be obtained at either of the Department of Social Services Offices (at the Dr. A. J. Ferlazzo Building in Woodbridge or the Sudley North Government Center in Manassas) or they are available to download and print from the state DSS website at http://www.dss.virginia.gov/benefit/ea/cooling/index.cgi.

For more information about the program, call 703-792-7500.

West Nile Virus Positive Mosquitoes Found

Mosquitoes collected in Woodbridge during the month of June 2012 by the Prince William Mosquito Control Program have tested positive for the West Nile Virus (WNV).

Mosquito testing is used to determine periods of greater risk of contracting West Nile Virus. The wide occurrence of positive mosquitoes indicates there is an increased risk of contracting the virus across Prince William County. Mosquitoes will continue to be trapped and tested regularly from sites throughout Prince William County. The County’s Mosquito Control Program performed intensive treatment in the vicinity of the positive mosquito pools to kill adult and larval mosquitoes, and will continue larval control throughout the County, and possibly conduct an adulticide spray based on future positive trap numbers.

West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne disease that is endemic in this region. Residents play a big role in disease prevention by paying special attention to eliminating mosquito breeding areas around homes and to protecting themselves from mosquito bites while outside from now until the first hard frost.

 “Since most of the mosquito species that residents need to control breed in standing water within a few hundred feet of their residence, control measures around the home are the most effective way to prevent mosquito breeding and to reduce the risk from bites,” Dr. Alison Ansher, Health Director, Prince William Health District, said.

West Nile Virus spreads to birds, humans, horses and other mammals through the bite of an infected mosquito. Most people do not get sick. People who do get sick usually suffer a mild, flu-like illness. Those over age 50 are at greatest risk of serious illness, such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord). Very few people who contract the virus suffer from these more severe symptoms. There was one confirmed human cases of West Nile Virus disease reported in Prince William County in 2011.

The Prince William Health District recommends the following precautions to reduce exposure to mosquitoes:

  • Wear long, loose and light-colored clothing.
  • Use insect repellent products with no more than 50 percent DEET for adults and less than 10 percent for children.  Follow label instructions when using insect repellents.
  • Turn over or remove containers in your yard where any water may collect, such as old tires, potted plant trays, buckets, and toys. 
  • Eliminate any standing water in yards, tarps or flat roofs.
  • Chlorinate or clean out birdbaths and wading pools every three to five days. 
  • Clean roof gutters and downspout screens regularly.

For more information on West Nile Virus, visit the Virginia Department of Health website at http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/. For questions about mosquito control spraying, contact Prince William Gypsy Moth & Mosquito Control at 703-792-6279.

Temporary Closure of The Too Good To Waste Place

The Department of Public Works will temporarily close The Too Good to Waste Place at the County Landfill effective July 5, 2012.  Public Works will be reviewing the current use of the facility and working on program improvements and modifications. 

The Too Good to Waste Place has been open since 1991.  It offers a place for residents to drop off usable items they no longer need, but could be used by another resident.  In addition, the program diverts trash from the landfill while recycling useable items. The program has been widely used by the community and earned recognition from the state. 

During the closure, residents are encouraged to donate usable clothing and items to local charities. A list of local charities is posted on the reuse page located at www.pwcgov.org/trashandrecycling.  For more information, contact the Solid Waste Division at 703-792-4670. 

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