Archive for August, 2012

Prince William County Ranked #8 Nationwide for Job Growth from 2000 – 2011 by CNN Money, Up from #13 Last Year

Prince William County has been ranked #8 among Counties nationwide for job growth from 2000 – 2011 by CNN Money. During that time period, according to CNN Money, Prince William County experienced a job growth rate of over 48%, with the growth rate increasing over 8% between 2010 and 2011. The ranking is featured in the magazine’s annual “Where the Jobs Are” list which placed Prince William County at #13 last year.

CNN Money cited factors including Prince William County’s “proximity to the D.C. Beltway, a smart workforce and competitive tax rates” as key growth drivers.

Speaking to the County’s aggressively pro-business posture, CNN Money noted that Prince William “rolls out the red carpet” when it comes to attracting and retaining businesses.

CNN Money has ranked Prince William County as a job growth leader for four of the last five years. Prince William was named to CNN Money’s “Best for Job Growth” list in 2008 at #23. Prince William was named to CNN Money’s “Where the Jobs Are list” for 2010 and 2011 taking the #17 and #13 rankings respectively.

About Prince William County, Virginia

Encompassing 360 square miles, Prince William County is located southwest of Washington, DC and is bordered by the Potomac River on the East. Prince William County is home to Marine Corps Base Quantico, the National Museum of the Marine Corps, Manassas National Battlefield Park, Prince William Forest Park, Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge and Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge.

For information about the advantages of locating or expanding a business in Prince William County, please contact the Prince William County Department of Economic Development at 703-792-5500 or visit us online at www.pwcecondev.org.

Prince William County Names Acting Police Chief

Deputy Police Chief Lt. Col. Barry Barnard has been named Acting Police Chief effective September 1. Current Chief of Police Charlie Deane recently announced his retirement effective September 1.   

Barnard has been a member of the Prince William County Police Department since 1976, and has more than 35 years of law enforcement experience. He has been Deputy Chief of Police since 2009, and served as Assistant Chief of Police from 2000 to 2009 as a Commander of both the Operations and Administrative Divisions.

Barnard is a graduate of George Mason University with a master’s degree in Public Administration. In addition, he has a bachelor’s degree in Criminology from Florida State University. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy; the University of Virginia Senior Executive Institute; the University of Richmond Professional Executive Leadership School and the Police Executive Research Forum Senior Management Institute.

Barnard is a member of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy Alumni and the Police Executive Research Forum.

County Saves $1.7 Million after Receiving Historic Low Interest Rate on School Bond Sale

On August 1, Prince William County sold $65.7 million in general obligation bonds. The bonds were sold as a stand-alone issue through the Virginia Public School Authority (VPSA) to finance capital costs for 13 school construction projects. By using a stand alone issue, as opposed to a VPSA pooled sale, Prince William County was able to secure an extremely low true interest rate of 2.6 percent and eliminate annual VPSA fees. This is the lowest interest rate the County has ever received on a 20-year bond sale; and it will save the Prince William County Public School System approximately $1.7 million in reduced interest payments and fees when compared with the VPSA pooled sale’s results.

The bonds were awarded to Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. after a competitive bidding process that attracted 11 bidders. This is a large number of bids for a municipal bond sale. The bonds received AAA ratings from Fitch, Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s. This rating level is awarded by all three rating agencies to only approximately 0.4 percent of all local governments in the United States and has contributed to the $32 million in County and school bond refunding savings since 2010.

The school projects to be financed, or partly financed, by the bonds are:

  • Pattie Elementary School
  • Mullen Elementary School
  • Penn Elementary School
  • Loch Lomond Elementary School
  • River Oaks Elementary School
  • Sinclair Elementary School
  • Sudley Elementary School
  • West Gate Elementary
  • Benton Middle School
  • Potomac Middle School
  • Parkside Middle School
  • Potomac High School
  • Nokesville K-8 School
  • Architectural and Engineering Design Services

Some of the reasons cited by the three rating agencies as the basis for the high level of credit include:

  • County’s sizable, wealthy tax base whose wealth indicators far exceeds those of the state and nation;
  • Strong financial flexibility;
  • Ample and increasing reserve funds;
  • Strong management;
  • Diversifying local economy;
  • Moderate debt burden;
  • New quality commercial development;
  • Low unemployment;
  • Multiyear financial planning;
  • Highly educated labor pool; and
  • Pension obligations that remain well managed and have comparatively low costs.

For more information, please call the Prince William County Finance Department at (703)792-6700.

Carryover Approved by Board of County Supervisors

On August 7, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors budgeted, appropriated and transferred carryover funds from the FY12 budget to the FY13 budget as required by the Code of Virginia.

Carryover consists of surplus revenues and expenditure savings realized in county agency budgets. From the $2.4 billion all funds FY12 budget, the County ended the year with a 3.3% expenditure variance from budget, resulting in $24.7 million in general fund carryover. In addition, $26.6 million in designated fund balances for special revenues such as the fire levy and the solid waste fee was also carried over. In adopting the FY13 budget in April, the Board had already voted to use $7.6 million in carryover as general fund support for the FY13 budget in order to reduce tax bills. The adopted FY13 budget also included the use of $5.5 million in carryover funds to support the Technology Improvement Plan (TIP).

At today’s meeting, the Board voted to transfer $2.2 million into the undesignated general fund to maintain the overall balance at 7.5% of general revenues. The Board voted in June to carryover all encumbered and capital project funds. Finally, $6 million was carried over to complete projects and services budgeted and initiated during FY12, and $2.3 million was committed to fund contracts and one-time expenditures previously approved by the Board.

The remaining $1.1 million in carryover funds was designated during the Board meeting to support one-time expenditures including:

  • Lighting and irrigating two football fields at Veterans’ Park
  • Bring three proffered existing fields into service for soccer and lacrosse at Oak Valley
  • Wheelchair accessible restroom to be located at Hellwig Universal Access Miracle Field
  • Pave the parking area to improve accessibility and upgrade HVAC system at Silver Lake Park Therapeutic Riding Facility
  • Adult Detention Center Modular Jail repairs
  • Security equipment upgrade at Molinari Juvenile Shelter
  • Wi-Fi access for 19 Fire stations to support new CAD system
  • Fund registrar costs associated with presidential elections

County Close to Gaining New Baseball Stadium

On July 17, Prince William County, the Potomac Nationals, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and PTC  Roadside Development LLC announced 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 and announced 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.

To view a video of the press conference, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4VxNO5KuMc.

Chief Deane to Retire After 42 Years of Service

On August 1, Prince William County Executive, Melissa Peacor, announced the retirement of Chief of Police Charlie T. Deane. Chief Deane is currently one of the longest standing police chiefs in the country. He has been Chief for more than 24 years. During that time, Deane has overseen numerous investigations, such as the now famous D.C. Sniper Case, the East Coast Rapist Case, and more recently, he oversaw the County’s handling of the illegal immigration enforcement issue that has since become a hallmark of good policing. Deane was one of the original officers of the Police Department when he transferred from the Virginia State Police to the newly formed Prince William County Police Department as a detective in 1970. His last day as Chief of Police for Prince William County is September 1, 2012.

“This is a tough day for me personally and for the County. Chief Deane has served the citizens of this County with unparalleled integrity and commitment,” said Melissa Peacor, County Executive.  “Chief Deane has been a stalwart of law enforcement in this community, this Commonwealth and this nation, bringing innovation and leadership to the business of Policing.  Charlie has served with many County Executives over the years, and I believe I can speak for all of us when I say that he has been both a friend and an advisor”.  

Since Deane started with the department, it has grown to more than 580 sworn and 300 civilians and has gained a sterling reputation under the guidance of Chief Deane, whose own reputation has grown to a national level. Chuck Wexler, Executive Director of the prestigious Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), a well-respected law enforcement think tank in Washington, D.C., said of Deane: “As the Vice President of our organization, Chief Deane has gained a solid national reputation as a fair, lawful and reasonable chief of police. His work on immigration has become a model for many other cities in the United States. Charlie is truly one of the great chiefs of police—a leader of excellent character, competence and caring.”

“I have been honored to work with Chief Deane over the past nine years,” said Corey Stewart, Chairman of the Board of County Supervisors. Chief Deane has provided outstanding service to the citizens of Prince William County and leadership to the Police Department and the entire organization. He has presided over a department known for its excellence and integrity, and although we are sad to see him go, he leaves us with a department made up of men and women who share his professionalism.”

Before deciding any future professional plans, Chief Deane plans on taking some time off, which he says will include some fishing, traveling and working on his family farm in Orange County.

Chief Deane said of his retirement, “The Police Department has been much of my life for the past 42 years. I will miss the daily contact with the great women and men of the Police Department, fellow County employees and the members of the community who make this such a rewarding place to work.  It is truly as interesting and exciting to police here today as it was when I started many years ago. The issues are different and in some ways more complex today, but our core mission and values remain the same, and, like back then, tremendous growth and change lies ahead. As I leave the department, I do so with confidence that the citizens of Prince William County are in good hands. The Police Department is staffed by well trained and equipped men and women of integrity who are committed to maintain order, control crime and promote the safety of the community.”