The gypsy moth, which has already infested several counties surrounding Prince William, has landed in the western end of the county and may soon become a serious problem unless preventive measures are taken, representatives of the Virginia Extension Service told the Board of Supervisors last week.
One hundred gypsy moth egg masses have been discovered in forested areas of the county. In the caterpillar stage the pest defoliates trees, often white oak, according to Kim Largen, acting chairman of the extension service's gypsy moths advisory committee.
Eighty percent of the county's trees are white oak, and Largen said the financial and environmental impact on the county could be serious if egg production continues unabated.
She urged the supervisors to consider hiring someone to coordinate gypsy moth control, as 11 Virginia counties have done, the cost of which would be split evenly with the state. The supervisors said they would consider hiring a coordinator, to work with the county staff, during the next budget process in late spring.
In other action, the board approved a resolution supporting state legislation that would limit Prince William School Board members to two-year terms. They now serve for four years. The bill was introduced by Del. Floyd C. Bagley (D-Prince William) when a bill for elective school officials died in a House committee last month. The board also supported a proposed amendment that would raise the $5,000 cap on School Board members' salaries to $5,500.
In a long-awaited move, the board approved a resolution that turned over a 13-acre site at Pattie Elementary School in Dumfries to the park authority for a baseball field. "I am delighted," said Dumfries supervisor Ed King, who had lobbied his colleagues for months. "The board's action indicates that they recognized a valid need for recreation area in Dumfries. I've been promised kisses from two ladies if the board approved this today."
The land was originally in a package the School Board planned to declare surplus and turn over to the supervisors to sell, with the proceeds to be used to build a $1.5 million school administration complex at Independent Hill. Dumfries School Board member Maureen Caddigan has been working closely with King and a Montclair property owners association near Pattie to obtain the parcel for recreational purposes. The supervisors approved the sale of two other parcels, a total of 40 acres, to the City of Manassas.
In a 6-to-1 vote, the supervisors approved a request from General Services Director Dean BeLar for $37,750 for repair and maintenance of the new judicial center and the 49 other buildings in which the county staff works.
In other business, the board authorized contract negotiations for an enhanced 911 telephone emergency service to be paid for by charging a fee of 50 cents to 60 cents a month to all county telephone users. Annual personnel costs of about $335,000 would be paid for with general tax revenues.