Archive for July, 2018

County Receives Additional Funding for Transportation Projects

​Prince William County recently got word that it will be receiving $244 million from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, or NVTA, for transportation projects over the next six years.

The money will help with seven projects across the county, said Rick Canizales, the director of the county’s Department of Transportation. “It is a great piece of news for the county.”

The projects, with one underway and others set to enter design and planning phases within the next five to six years, include:

  • Route 28 corridor roadway improvements (City of Manassas to Fairfax County)
  • Construction of an innovative interchange at Route 234 and Brentsville Road
  • Construction of an innovative interchange at Prince William Parkway and University Boulevard
  • Improvements to Route 28 between Fitzwater Drive and Pennsylvania Avenue
  • Extending Summit School Road and widening Telegraph Road
  • Route 28 corridor feasibility study
  • Construction of an innovative interchange at Prince William Parkway and Clover Hill Road

A project to widen U.S. 1 between Brady’s Hill and Dumfries Roads in the Town of Dumfries is also included on the list of NVTA-funded projects.

The NVTA was created in 2002 by the Virginia General Assembly as a regional body to develop the regional transportation plan and to address transportation issues in Northern Virginia. The NVTA manages public funds for transportation projects designed to reduce congestion throughout the region. In July 2013, the General Assembly increased the Regional Sales Tax, Grantor’s Tax and Transient Occupancy Tax in Northern Virginia, with the proceeds mandated to be used for transportation projects in Northern Virginia, and to provide the revenue stream for the NVTA.

Money received by NVTA are split into two pots or categories and are classified as 30-percent and 70-pecent funding. The NVTA releases 70 percent of its total revenues, as available, on a competitive basis to fund rated transportation projects that fit in the authority’s regional long-range plan. The remaining 30 percent of revenues are distributed to member jurisdictions, on a pro rata basis, for transportation projects and purposes.

Canizales said the funding will help the county with its extensive transportation projects. “This is from the 70 percent regional source. Our program right now is nearing the $1 billion mark in the five- to six-year program, if you include all of our funding.”

For more information about transportation projects in the county, visit

Parenting Help from the Virginia Cooperative Extension

As the saying goes, parenting doesn’t come with a handbook. So the Prince William Office of the Virginia Cooperative Extension, or VCE, are offering classes to help parents in all stages of child rearing.

Experts leading the Systematic Training for Effective Parenting, or STEP, classes will offer guidance to help people learn parenting techniques for children of all ages, said Rozlyn Giddens, parent education volunteer coordinator for VCE. “Our classes are educational. They’re led by professional volunteers. Many of them are retired school teachers. They’ve worked in social work, counseling and other areas in the community.”
The classes will meet for two hours one night a week for seven weeks to offer tips for parents of children that are different age groups. There are classes for parents of young children between the ages of birth to five years, school-age children between 6 and 12, and teens 13 and older, according to Giddens.
Giddens, who volunteered for three years as a facilitator in the program, said parents have questions about child development, communication skills, self-esteem issues and discipline. “We deal with discipline. Some parents aren’t sure about how to discipline their kids. That’s a challenge that parents want guidance on. They also want to know what’s realistic to expect from their kids at certain ages and stages. The classes can help parents understand behavior and why our kids do what they do.”
The classes also touch on external influences that can negatively affect children, Giddens said. “Our kids are exposed to so much more, so much younger. We want to capitalize on the needs of children that parents are hopefully sensing.”
Upcoming classes include a class for parents of school-age children between July 10 and Aug. 21 at the Dr. A.J. Ferlazzo Building at 15941 Donald Curtis Drive in Woodbridge. A class for parents of young children is scheduled for June 19 through July 31 at the Sharron Baucom Dale City Recreation Center, 14300 Minnieville Road in Woodbridge.
Classes in Spanish, which is available for all ages, will run from Aug. 9 through Sept. 20 at the Sudley North Government Building at 7987 Ashton Ave. in Manassas. A second class in Spanish will run between Aug. 13 and Oct. 1 at the Dr. A.J. Ferlazzo Building.
Classes run between 7 and 9 p.m. Registration for the classes, with a $40 fee to cover the costs of materials, is required. All fees must accompany the registration form. Credit cards will not be accepted. Class registration closes at 1 p.m. on the first day of the class.
Other classes will be scheduled for later dates. For more information, call VCE at 703-792-6288.

Don’t Blow It! Have a Fun and Safe Fourth of July

Fourth of July fireworks are as American as apple pie and ice cream. But, while apple pie and ice cream don’t pose too much of a threat to safety, fireworks do.

Each year, more fires are reported on July 4 than any other day of the year and two out of every five of those fires are fireworks related, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires annually across the nation and that number includes 1,300 structural fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,000 other fires outside, according to the association.

Annually, there are thousands of fireworks-related injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms across the country, with roughly 67 percent of those injuries occurring between June 20 and July 20, according to the association.

Fireworks, even the ones that are legal to buy in the area, can be dangerous if used improperly, according to a Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue press release.

To help people stay safe during the summer and on the Fourth of July, the county’s Fire Marshal suggests the following safety tips:

  • Fireworks should only be used under adult supervision.
  • Fireworks should only be used outdoors on a driveway, sidewalk or other fire-resistant surface. Remember, fires are caused by careless handling of fireworks in areas exposed to sparks or live fireworks.
  • Never ignite fireworks during high winds where flying sparks can start a fire. Keep a bucket of water handy in case sparks start a fire.
  • Be sure children around fireworks know to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches on fire.
  • Deposit sparklers in a metal container as they may be stepped on while hot.
  • Never aim or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Never try to re-ignite fireworks that malfunction or fail to go off.
  • Do not wear loose clothing when using fireworks.
  • Never experiment or make your own fireworks.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket. Pets may be frightened by the noise and lights of fireworks; keep pets inside or away from the area when in use.

Prince William County encourages people to find a comfortable place to spread a blanket, enjoy a picnic, and leave the fireworks displays to the professionals.

Places in the county where fireworks displays are scheduled include:

Old Town Manassas
Fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m.

G. Richard Pfitzner Stadium – Home of the Potomac Nationals
7 County Complex Court
Fireworks after the game

Signal Hill Park
9300 Signal View Drive
Manassas Park
Fireworks begin at Dusk