Pr. William Approves Towing Ordinance
The Prince William County Board of Supervisors last week approved an amendment to the county code that will allow a police officer to remove a vehicle from private property if it has been deemed inoperable and the car's owner fails to respond to a written warning within 10 days.
The amendment, written at the request of Neabsco Supervisor John Jenkins, who said he is often plagued with complaints about inoperable vehicles in his district, included a $41,000 appropriation to enable Police Chief George Owens to hire an additional officer and to buy a tow truck. Quipped Coles Supervisor G. Richard Pfitzner, "I don't know why I'm voting for this -- I have a '72 Maverick that may be in jeopardy." Zoning Director Michael Congleton said his office fields about 25 such complaints each month.
In other action, the board commended three employes whose suggestions, which came during what County Executive Robert Noe calls Innovation Week, could save the county money and time. In addition, each employe received a $100 check and was named chairman of a committee that will implement their suggestions. The employes are Mary Simon, planning office administrative assistant, Bruce Shepherd of the office of information and budget and Roger Snyder, planning director.
Snyder, Noe said, offered two pages of suggestions -- a total of 21 -- six of which will be implemented. They include: coordinating a master list of county equipment, inviting garden clubs to "adopt" areas of the new administration building grounds and having staff attend "brown bag" lunches with county agencies periodically to keep abreast of new developments. Said Noe, "I don't believe in suggestion boxes; I've never seen a good suggestion come out of one of them yet. Innovation Week works for us."
County Information Officer Joyce Eaby resigned recently to take a position next month with a computer company in Northern Virginia. "It was time to move on," said Eaby, who came to Prince William in 1984 from Stafford County where she held a similar position. "I'm ready for new challenges." According to Noe, who has begun advertising for a replacement for Eaby, "Joyce contributed many fine things to the county government and to its information program."
In other business, the board appointed a fifth member to the newly created War Memorial Committee, which will raise funds and design a memorial for the war dead of the county and the city of Manassas. They are Claude Bradshaw, Gainesville district; William Raines, Neabsco; James Wersenberger, Dumfries; Shep Craine, Coles, and former legislator Floyd Bagley, who will serve as an at-large member.
The board must still appoint members from the Occoquan, Brentsville and Woodbridge districts. Manassas this week named James Davis as its representative. According to Manassas Park Mayor Robert Maitland, officials there declined to name a representative to the committee. "We've decided to raise our own memorial on Manassas Drive," he said. Industrial Park Bids to Open
Manassas Park Mayor Robert Maitland said that the 50-acre third section of the city's industrial park, which is hooked up to public water and sewer, will open for bids soon. The first two sections of Conner Center, totaling about 200 acres, have sold out, he said. Another 89 acres on Manassas Drive is also slated to be part of the park, although it is not yet ready for development. Officials hope that revenue generated by business and industry in the park will allow them to lower the city's tax rate of $2.43 per $100 of assessed value, the highest in Virginia. Manassas Park is the smallest city in the state. Manager Hired for Historic Manassas
Historic Manassas Inc., formed after the city was turned down last year for participation in the Virginia Main Street program, last week hired a manager to oversee the three-year downtown revitalization project the city initiated on its own.
Eric Persson, who has been directing similar programs in Pottstown, Pa., will begin serving in the $26,000 position March 10, according to group treasurer Thomas Shaughnessy. When Manassas lost its bid to be part of the state program, which provides technical assistance to cities with populations of under 50,000 to rehabilitate their downtown area, officials decided to use the $65,000 raised in pledges for the project and implement their own program. The National Main Street Center agreed to help the city by providing consultation services under a one year $23,500 contract, Shaughnessy said. Occoquan Joins Incinerator Protest
The town of Occoquan has joined a protest spearheaded by a Lorton homeowners group against a proposed garbage incinerator Fairfax County may build across the Occoquan River at a Lorton landfill.
Officials named council member Chuck Pugh to represent the town at meetings of the Federation of Lorton Communities, which represents about 18,000 residents. According to council member Bob Lehto, the town objects to the incinerator on the grounds of esthetics -- the building may be 154 feet high with a 320 feet smokestack -- and environmental concerns.
According to group chairman Marcia Hanson, concerns about the type and amounts of pollutants the incinerator could release into the atmosphere have caused the group to meet with engineers and environmental specialists to assess the possible danger from carcinogens. "We have also hired an attorney," Hanson said, "in case we can't reason with the county about this plant." Officials said the plant will be built to take over when the landfill is full, estimated to be about 1992. They said the county has signed a letter of agreement with the district, which leases the landfill site from the federal government. Haymarket Eyes Equestrian Facility
About 30 horse owners braved sleet on a recent evening to meet in the Evergreen firehouse community room to discuss the possibility of forming Prince William County's first public equestrian facility on land owned by the county Park Authority in Haymarket on Rte 15.
According to William Broadus, chairman of the authority's board of directors, there is a lot of interest in the facility by horse owners in the area and he is hopeful that an outdoor show ring will soon be partially funded with donations from the horse owning public. According to group spokesman Jere Collins, another meeting is slated for sometime in March. For information call Collins at 754-7351. Dale City Library Honors Astronauts
Dale City artists Kim Snyder and Fuller Brown were nearly finished with the colorful mural they designed for the children's corner of the new Dale City mini-library when the Challenger space shuttle disaster caused them to rush back to the drawing board.
Said Snyder, "We wanted a mural that depicted the past, the present and the future; for the future component we had painted the Challenger with three stars in the sky to illustrate teacher Christa McAuliffe's 'Reach for the Stars' quote. Then the disaster happened, and we added four more stars."
In addition, a small plaque with the names of the seven astronauts who died may be added to the mural, which was partly paid for with a $15,000 donation by the Dale City Civic Association. "It was a work of love, said Snyder. "The money paid for our materials. We donated our time." The mural is low relief wood and masonite painted in acrylics.