Manassas Joins Transportation District

Manassas Park Council recently joined the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation District to be eligible for funds for commuter bus service to Washington and resident bus service within city limits. Manassas Park officials must notify the city's three gas station owners and two convenience stores that sell gasoline to begin imposing a 2 percent tax on each sale, which will finance the bus within the city and to Washington, a spokesman said.

In other business, the council awarded a contract of more than $690,000 to Jack Bays Inc., a Northern Virginia company, to build a public safety building that will house the city's police and fire safety offices.

Quantico Gets Grant for Housing Repairs

The Quantico Town Council last week learned that the town will receive a federal grant of more than $570,000 to rehabilitate 35 housing units in the town. The funds will be spent on owner-occupied and rented houses and those owned or rented by senior citizens, Quantico Mayor Lively Abel said.

The council also approved an ordinance prohibiting swimming in the town's new riverfront park, Abel said, because the Potomac River is polluted, the river's swift current makes it unsafe and the town does not have a lifeguard. Public hearings on the park's development will begin at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow and run through Tuesday. Ideas for the park include a picnic area, a gazebo and a marina, Abel said.

In other business, the council promoted police officer William Unrine to sergeant and approved 9 to 12 percent raises for the three-member police department, the meter reader and the town's maintenance person.

Of Occoquan Sidewalks, Cement and Bricks

Sidewalks, what they should be built of and how they should be funded, were among the concerns expressed by Occoquan residents who attended a special town meeting called by Mayor Chuck Pugh to listen to residents' opinions.

The Town Council has been debating for at least a year on whether to replace broken sidewalks with brick or cement and has suggested that residents and business owners pay part of the cost.

Although brick is deemed more attractive, it is also three times more expensive, Pugh said. The council commissioned a consultant who evaluated Occoquan sidewalks and may give his report this week on where the worst sidewalks are located. Pugh says he doesn't care what the sidewalks are made of "as long as they're smooth and safe."

Other concerns expressed by residents who attended the meeting included the town's traffic bottleneck caused by commuters during rush hours. The residents also discussed the visitors center's lease, which is to be negotiated soon with Prince William County's Office of Tourism. There will be a public hearing about the visitors center. The center is to be housed in a building the town currently uses for storage, before the end of the summer, Pugh said.

As for the traffic tieups, "we'll continue to have meetings to let the citizens know what's going on in Richmond {at the Virginia Department of Transportation} about widening Rte. 123," the mayor said.

34 Young Artists in Residence

Thirty-four artistically talented Prince William County students are attending the 12th Summer Talented in Art workshop at Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg this week, a school spokeswoman said. The students will live on campus and will be instructed by the college art staff in lithography, textile design, watercolor and ceramics, she said. The workshop will include evening sessions on art history and art as a career choice.

Manassas Fine Arts for Preschoolers

The Manassas Performing and Fine Arts Center will offer music workshops for children from preschool age to fifth grade Monday through Thursday next week. Classes for preschoolers will be from 9 to 9:45 a.m., for kindergarteners through second-grade students from 10 to 11:15 a.m. and for third through fifth-grade students from 12:30 through 2:30 p.m. Tuition is $2 per child; for information call 368-FINE.

Symphony 'Under the Stars' in Pr. William

The Prince William Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players will sponsor "Under the Stars," a concert featuring violin, flute, horn and clarinet, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. tomorrow at Tackett's Mill.

According to a symphony spokeswoman, the Sunday afternoon "Meet the Instruments" programs at Tackett's Mill have been canceled because of low attendance.

'Voices of Hope' in the Ben Lomond Park

"The Voices of Hope," a 30-member gospel group, will perform at the Prince William Park Authority's family concert 7 p.m. Sunday in Ben Lomond Park in Manassas.

The "Over The Hill Gang," a group of senior citizens who perform traditional American music, will also perform 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Locust Shade Park in Triangle. For information on both concerts call 361-7126.