Archive for September, 2012

Personal Property Taxes Due by October 5

The Prince William County Department of Finance reminds residents that personal property taxes are due on or before Friday, October 5, 2012.

There are several convenient ways to pay your bill. If you choose to pay by check, mail payments in the remittance envelope included with your tax bill. Make checks payable to “Prince William County.” Payments by mail must be postmarked no later than October 5, 2012, to avoid a late payment penalty and interest charges.

 You can also pay taxes online using eCheck. The eCheck system is Prince William County’s automated payment system that allows you to pay real estate taxes, personal property taxes, and other taxes over the Internet. This option saves you the time it takes to write and mail a check and the cost of postage. It also eliminates worry about mail delays. To access the eCheck system, visit http://www.pwcgov.org/tax.

In addition, taxes can be paid using your Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express credit card. This service is available via phone at 1-888-2PAY-TAX or online at http://www.officialpayments.com. Please note that there is an additional service fee added to your charge for use of this service. Information on how to pay by credit card and instructions for using this service can be found on the reverse side of your tax bill.

Taxes can also be paid in person at the County’s Tax Administration Offices at the James J. McCoart Administration Building, Dr. A.J. Ferlazzo Building and the Sudley North Government Center. Those offices are open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

The in person payment locations and the phone center will remain open until 6:30 p.m. on October 3, 4, and 5, 2012.

Residents who have not received a tax bill, or who have questions about their bill should contact the County Tax Administration Office at 703-792-6710 (Metro 703-631-1703, ext. 6710) or e-mail Taxpayer_Services@pwcgov.org.

Prince William County Named One of Nation’s Best Communities for Young People for Third Consecutive Year

For the third consecutive year, Prince William County has been recognized as one of the Nation’s 100 Best Communities for Young People by America’s Promise Alliance and ING. Prince William County is again being honored for its commitment to addressing the challenges facing its youth through education and safety initiatives. The winners were announced Tuesday, September 12, at a national press conference at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.  Some examples of Prince William County’s innovative programs include:

  • Students Learning Essential Assets of Development (L.E.A.D.) gives youth leaders from each high school the opportunity to be trained in ways to implement community service projects including participating in town hall meetings on such issues as reducing underage drinking, collecting food for the needy  and coordinating Bingo Night at area nursing homes.
  • SySTEMIC Solutions, a partnership among the Prince William County School System, Northern Virginia Community College and local businesses.  The program provides financial support, mentoring and networking opportunities to students and encourages student interest in science, technology, engineering and math.
  • Gang Response Intervention Team (GRIT) supports safety initiatives to combat gangs and youth violence.  The program educates community members and makes referrals to existing community resources, such as the school bulling prevention program.
  • The Department of Parks & Recreation is the area’s largest youth employer and provides a vast variety of after-school and weekend and summer activities that improves children’s teamwork and leadership skills, such as the nationally recognized First Tee Program.

America’s Promise Alliance is the nation’s largest partnership organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth through efforts aimed at keeping youth in school.  The ING family of companies is a partner in the award.  The ING Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life in communities where ING operates and its employees and customers live.

County Department Wins Statewide Award for Innovative Use of Technology in Local Government

The Gypsy Moth and Mosquito Control (GMMC) Branch of Prince William County’s Department of Public Works has been awarded a Governor’s Technology Award at the Commonwealth of Virginia Innovative Technology Symposium (COVITS) in Richmond. The category for the award was Innovative Use of Technology in Local Government.

The award recognized a customized mobile field data management system used by the GMMC Branch. The field inspection and data collection mobile application uses iPad2 tablets to streamline its daily inspection workflows.  The application is user-friendly and allows the field user to:

  • Complete an inspection,
  • Set a recurring site visit date via a GPS-enabled map interface,
  • Generate a reminder for the site visit on his or her personalized dashboard,
  • Assign citizen requests to specific field users in real-time,
  • Work in an occasionally-connected or disconnected scenario, where an internet connection is not available or is limited.

The application also has an in-office Web based desktop component that enables production of executive reports, graphs, charts, and real-time field summary data. The field mobile solution is built using HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS3, and is hosted in the cloud.

Winners were determined by a distinguished panel of government information technology (IT) experts. For 16 years, the Governor’s Technology Awards program has recognized public sector IT projects that have improved government service delivery and efficiency. A record number of entries were received for judges’ consideration this year.

For more information on the program, contact Tim McGonegal, GMMC Branch Chief at tmcgonegal@pwcgov.org.

Prince William County Conducting Community Survey

Prince William County government would like residents to share their opinions on the services provided by the County through the 2012 Community Survey. The County is partnering with ORC International, an independent research firm, to conduct the biennial community survey. A random sample of households will receive a postcard in the mail this week requesting them to visit a Web address or call a phone number printed on the card. They may also be contacted directly via telephone by ORC International.

The survey period begins this week and will conclude at the end of September. Results will be presented to the Board of County Supervisors in October and will allow the County government to:

  • learn more about residents’ opinions, which will help to guide the County’s actions;
  • integrate the development of the survey with the next County Strategic Plan; and
  • help measure the success of the County Strategic Plan.

The Community Survey will be conducted under the Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO) Code of Ethics. For more information about CASRO or the Community Survey, visit www.pwcgov.org/survey.

County Opens New Telegraph Road Commuter Lot

Prince William County commuters have 553 new spaces to park in at the new Telegraph Road Park and Ride Facility (Phase 1). The Prince William Board of County Supervisors was joined by Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean T. Connaughton to cut the ribbon on the new lot at an event held on September 6.

The site near the intersection of Telegraph Road and Caton Hill Road used to be a PRTC Bus terminal. The location complements the existing Horner Road Commuter Lot – which is just down the road, and offers access to the HOV lane. That site is very popular with commuters, and fills early each day.

The project was a joint venture with funding from VDOT, County and private funds. It cost $3.25M, and came in ahead of schedule and under budget. Phase I added 553 spaces including 23 handicapped spots. The site will ultimately provide 729 parking spaces, bicycle rack and lockers, site lighting, bus shelters and a separate bus pick up lane.

Future improvements will include widening Telegraph Road from two lanes to four lanes to alleviate congestion and improve safety. It will include turn lanes at the intersections and at the entrance to the Park and Ride facility. It will also include a pedestrian sidewalk and a shared use trail.

The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute is performing an assessment of new LED (Light Emitting Diodes) lighting technology in the new Park and Ride facility. They are evaluating lighting fixtures from five different manufacturers at the Telegraph Road Park and Ride Lot in comparison to standard lighting products. The Institute will test the lighting quarterly for the next two years to assess performance, light level, weathering and lifetime of the luminaires. This new technology has the potential to reduce energy use and maintenance costs, while improving visibility and user comfort. Results from the text may influence VDOT’s choice of lighting systems statewide.