Manassas to Hear Poll Results

The Manassas City Council expects to hear the results of a survey of Georgetown South residents this week presented by Virginia Tech Prof. Michael Chandler.

City Manager John Cartwright said 50 percent of the community's 864 town house residents responded to the extensive survey, which asked residents to give their views of their neighborhood, identify areas of concern, evaluate city services and determine the neighborhood's direction. The survey was taken in response to a citizens group's concerns about an increase in some types of crime and complaints about city services in the area. Cartwright said the city welcomes the responses because they will help officials decide which problems the city can solve, which ones the community can solve and which ones they can solve together. The citizens group, the Georgetown Council, will work on the issues identified in the survey with a city task force. In an effort to fight crime, the community recently established a neighborhood watch program, Cartwright said.

Last week the council decided to go to the bond market within two months for nearly $8 million to fund improvements on the city's roads, storm sewers and electrical system. The decision came after a report by Municipal Advisers Inc. that said bond market conditions are favorable for such a move, Cartwright said.

The council also established a budget/finance committee to make long-range financial forecasts based on growth estimates. Cartwright said the committee would provide thoughtful analysis of some major issues, such as roads and schools. Among the possible revenue sources to be considered is a meals and lodging tax.

The council also decided on a turn-of-the-century design for street light and traffic light poles in historic downtown Manassas. Cartwright said four traffic light poles, fluted steel posts with cast iron collars costing about $2,000 apiece, will be ordered immediately; street light poles will be ordered later with the cost spread out over several years, he said. The Manassas Planning Commission and the Architectural Review Board made the lighting design recommendations for Old Town Manassas.

State to Study Occoquan Traffic The Occoquan Town Council last week learned that the Virginia Department of Transportation will conduct a traffic study and analysis of heavy rush-hour traffic caused by commuters -- mostly from Lake Ridge, a large community north of Occoquan -- who drive through the town to reach I-95. "Occoquan has become a handy shortcut," said Vice Mayor Bob Lehto. "This town has nearly 5,000 cars a day going through it. Our roads aren't built to handle that volume of traffic." The transportation report will "give us an idea of what the state is planning to do and tell us what we can do," Lehto said.

Country-Western Concert to Open Series The Prince William Park Authority will begin its series of summer concerts and shows with a performance at 7 p.m. Sunday by a country-western group, the James Brothers, at Ben Lomond Park in Manassas. The group plays contemporary and classic country-western with elements of jazz, Cajun and the blues, a park spokesman said. For information call 670-9110.

The park authority also will sponsor a day camp program for children ages 6 through 12 from Monday through Sunday at Ben Lomond Park. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; the fee is $50 for the week. For information call 361-7126.

Chamber Orchestra To Play Under Stars The Prince William Symphony Chamber Players will present a concert under the stars with a performance by the Chamber Orchestra tomorrow from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at Tackett's Mill in Lake Ridge. In addition, the Sunday afternoon program, which introduces the audience to different orchestral instruments, continues at 1 p.m. Sunday at Tackett's Mill.

Quantico Sets Park Regulations The Quantico Town Council last week approved the first ordinance regulating use of its two-year-old river-front park. According to council member Mitchell Raftelis, it will now be a misdemeanor to be in the park one half hour after sunset until sunrise. A first offense will be punishable by a $10 fine; a second offense will be punishable by up to one year in jail and not less than a $50 fine.

The council also hired a third police officer, John King from Colonial Beach, Va. According to Mayor Lively Abel, the third officer is necessary because crime usually increases during the summer.

The council also directed the mayor to negotiate a contract with a demolition company to remove a small vacant house whose roof collapsed during last winter's heavy snowstorms. The town had advertised for bids, Raftelis said, but none came in.