Hillsboro Tax to Ease Burden on Writers

Hillsboro officials said the Town Council last week unanimously adopted a $25 flat-rate business tax at the urging of writer and former mayor Byron Farwell, who has been trying to convince Loudoun County officials that the business tax imposed on writers by the county is too high. The new tax effectively means any writer living in the town will not have to pay the county's business tax of 33 cents per $100 of gross receipts. In addition, Farwell and other writers in the town will not be bound by Loudoun's zoning ordinance, which prohibits persons in home occupations from hiring anyone other than family members and requires that a building inspector approve the place where a business person works. Hillsboro, with a population of 115, has six businesses, which include two antique shops, a grocery and a bookstore.

"I told the county I would rather pay the town if they persisted in this nonsense," Farwell said. According to Town Council member Sandy Muir, the town had intended to approve a business tax for a long time. "Byron's request gave us the opportunity to finally do it," he said. Farwell said he was so elated about the new tax that he handed his $25 check to the council right after the meeting.

In other business, the council approved a $7,604 budget for 1987-88. Because town expenditures are expected to total just a little more than $7,000, officials are looking forward to a $500 surplus, Muir said, "and with the new business tax, which wasn't figured in, we'll have about $150 more than that."

Roberts Selected as Hillsboro Mayor

The Hillsboro Town Council last week elected lifelong resident Glenn Roberts, a council member, to fill the post of mayor, left vacant recently when Alexandra Spaith resigned because she is moving. Roberts, 64, has served the town in a variety of posts, including water commissioner and treasurer. In addition to his official duties, Roberts helps run Hillsboro's Hill-Tom Market, which he sold two years ago. The council immediately will begin its search for someone to fill Roberts' council seat, officials said.

Round Hill to Weigh Water Proposal

Although all water test results are not in, Leesburg developer Bruce Brownell's representative, Mark Nelis, presented a formal proposal to Round Hill officials that said Brownell will supply water to the town's 260 water customers. Brownell has drilled wells to serve a proposed 170-unit development on 700 acres he owns just outside town lines. In exchange, the council was told, Brownell wants the town to sell him 100 sewer taps. But, according to officials, doubts about the capacity of wells to serve western Loudoun on a long-term basis were raised by an engineering firm frequently hired by the town as a consultant. Town Clerk Betty Wolford said the council will ask the firm to study Brownell's proposal before it makes a decision. Although it is not legally required to do so, the town will hold several public hearings on the water and sewer proposal before any action is taken, Wolford said. Hearing dates will be set after all water test results are in, she said.

Residents Protest Round Hill Area Plans

About 170 residents of the Round Hill area, including some from Purcellville, crowded an informational meeting last week held by the Greater Round Hill Area Management Council to express their anger and concern about two major developments near Round Hill: a massive residential project planned by the Intergate Co. Inc., a Virginia developer, and a 170-unit community proposed by Leesburg developer Bruce Brownell. Council member Ben Fordney said residents' concerns centered on water, traffic and the impact of so much development -- Intergate's proposal could include as many as 6,/000 houses -- on area schools.

The greater Round Hill area management plan, recently approved by the Town Council, is to be discussed at the July 22 county planning commission meeting. Fordney said the council urged the meeting's participants to attend the county work session and give their opinions. The Round Hill land use plan is intended to be a guideline for development in a 700-acre area surrounding Round Hill through 2002.

Middleburg Opens Way for Library

The Middleburg Town Council recently approved an amendment to the zoning ordinance that will allow a library to be built in a residential area. The local community center donated nearly one acre for the purpose. Library associate Patty Kilpatric said the Middleburg library is not a top priority now because some western Loudoun towns have more pressing library needs. For instance, in Lovettsville, 2,500 books, two volunteers and a full-time librarian are crowded into two rooms. "This site just came out of the blue; it's wonderful. But it will be another six months to a year before we begin to move on it -- unless they insist," Kilpatric said. In 1984, Loudoun voters approved a $6.5 million bond referendum to pay for library construction and expansion of some existing facilities. Plans include expansion of the Purcellville library and new libraries for Leesburg, Lovettsville and eastern Loudoun.

Purcellville Welcome Sign Destroyed

Last week's storms felled a tree that destroyed a two-year-old stone and latticework sign at the eastern end of Purcellville. The sign welcomed visitors and announced the service clubs in town. The sign, which sat atop a stone springhouse to "symbolize the disappearance of agriculture in western Loudoun," was built and paid for by the town's business and professional association, said association President Michael Richardson. He said the group will rebuild the structure and construct a second one at the western entrance to town. The sign at the eastern end may have to be removed someday, Richardson said, because the developer who owns the land has indicated he probably will not extend the easement granted by the land's former owners. "We'll rebuild it anyway," Richardson said. "We want it up as long as it can stay there." The cost to build the new sign is estimated at about $600, he said.

Family Concert Set in Leesburg

The Bluemont Concert Series will present a performance by the McLean Symphony Orchestra at 7 p.m. Sunday on the steps of the old courthouse in Leesburg. The family concert will include Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf," which will be accompanied by a series of drawings by artist Rae Owings to be created during the performance. In addition, two door prizes will be given away that evening. They are a seat in the middle of the orchestra to listen to the music in "living stereo" and a chance to conduct the orchestra in a rendition of "The Stars and Stripes Forever." Donation is $2 per person; for information, call 777-0574.

Manassas Park Fills Council Seat

The Manassas Park City Council last week appointed board of zoning appeals member John McLaughlin to fill the seat on the council vacated by Allen Newcomb, who is moving out of the city. According to City Clerk Lana Conner, the council will appoint someone to the zoning board who must then be approved by the Prince William County Circuit Court.

Bank Building Purchase Rejected

The Manassas City Council last week unanimously voted against the purchase of an unoccupied United Virginia Bank building on which the city has held an option to buy since March. City officials had planned to restore the building for use as a museum because Manassas is fast outgrowing its present facility. The council decided to "work toward building a new museum" in Baldwin Park, council member Stephen Randolph said. The new facility will be paid for in part with the $500,000 officials had appropriated for purchase of the bank building; museum director Douglas Harvey will seek grants to pay for the rest, Randolph said. The decision was made because the council was concerned "that the city would spend a lot of money on restoring an old building that might not meet the museum's needs in the future," he said. The decision was based on a recommendation by a consultant the city had hired to study the options.

The Manassas Performing and Fine Arts Center will present its first outdoor summer concert at 7 p.m. July 18 at Baldwin Park with a performance by Fat Cats Festival Jazzers, a local group. Residents are invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets and a picnic lunch if desired. There will be no charge, but donations will be welcome, a spokeswoman said. Baldwin Park is in Old Town Manassas across from the railroad depot. For information, call 368-FINE.

Dumfries Council Considers Adding Police

The Dumfries Town Council this week is expected to hear residents' arguments for hiring more police officers. According to council member Samuel Bauckman, the fast-growing town of about 4,000 residents is experiencing an increase in some types of crime in the newer sections. "In the old section, where I live, we don't need more protection. But things are changing in other parts of town," he said. Dumfries has eight police officers.

Bauckman also said that one of the services the recent tax increase is expected to fund is the increased cost of trash removal for the town. When the White Oak Trash Removal Service signed a three-year contract with Dumfries in 1984, the town had 670 households; now there are 1,100, Bauckman said. "The company is doing a decent job and the owner asked us to adjust our payments to cover his costs. I think we ought to do that," he said. The tax increase approved by the council at its last meeting raised town car tags from $10 to $15 annually and brought the real estate tax up from 5.5 cents per $100 of assessed value to 7 cents.

Summer School Pickup Point Changed

The Prince William County school administration last week said that the pickup point for children attending summer school has been changed from Stonewall Jackson High School to Stonewall Middle School in Manassas. Students will be picked up at 6:45 a.m. and returned to the middle school at 1:25 p.m., a school spokesman said. The school is at 10100 Lomond Dr. For information, call 791-8720.

Puppeteers to Perform in Triangle

The Bob Brown Puppeteers, originators of the Smithsonian Puppet Theater, will present Corky's Clown Circus at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Locust Shade Park in Triangle. A Prince William Park Authority spokesman said the puppeteers have performed at the White House, Wolf Trap Farm Park, the Kennedy Center and on television's "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood." For information, call 221-2158 or 221-8579.

Pr. William Golf Tourney Scheduled

The Prince William County Golf Championship will be held at Prince William Golf Course Saturday and Sunday. For information, call 754-7111.