Prince William County agencies presented the Board of Supervisors last week with their legislative "wish list" for the General Assembly -- requests that ranged from redistribution of highway construction funds to clarification of the state's weed-control statute.
With one exception, the requests were endorsed by the supervisors and with some minor revisions will be presented to the Nov. 9 meeting of the Virginia Association of Counties to be included in the association's legislative package. The supervisors will meet with General Assembly members who represent Prince William County before the end of October to ask for their support for the program. According to county legislation liaison Barry Lawrence, the final draft will be adopted by the board at its Nov. 20 meeting.
A top priority, said Lawrence, is the adoption of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee's recommendation that the state redistribute its limited highway funds more evenly, giving one-third each to primary, urban and secondary roads. Under the current funding formula, 50 percent goes to primary road construction, with urban and secondary roads getting 25 percent each. At the suggestion of the supervisors, the recommendation will include a request that total funding be increased, Lawrence said. Highway construction is currently funded through a gas tax.
The one request the board chose not to endorse, pending a staff study, was a restatement of the purposes of zoning. State law lists eight purposes for local zoning ordinances. The package added a ninth purpose, implementation of the local comprehensive plan. Brentsville supervisor Joseph Reading said he was concerned that such an amendment would "lock the county's comprehensive plan in concrete" and could make any changes the county wanted to make in the plan "indefensible."
The county will request authority to impose a 2 percent tax on restaurant meals. Called a meal preparation tax, the proposal could give the county as much as $1.4 million in new revenue annually.