Manassas Rejects Bids on Land
Manassas Mayor Edgar Rohr last week cast a tie-breaking vote against selling a 2-acre parcel owned by the city to one of two churches that entered low bids. The council will decide at the Sept. 28 council meeting whether to open bids again or to accept developer's bid of $80,000 for the land. Rohr said that while he recognized that development on the site would result in a greater demand for services, city officials have a duty to taxpayers "to secure the most beneficial offer." The churches had bid less than $40,000 each for the site. The developer has proposed building at least two houses on it.
In other business, the council said it will ask the Prince William County Board of Supervisors to meet with Federal Aviation Administration officials to discuss whether a recent vote by the supervisors to rezone 148 acres near the Manassas Airport for residential use should be permanently rescinded. The council took the action because some residents and airport officials are concerned that the airport will be forced to close if people in the new development complain about the noise, City Manager John Cartwright said. The developer's attorney told the council that a statement will be included in the deed, indicating that home buyers in the proposed development are fully aware of the inconveniences of living near the airport.
The council also set a public hearing for 7:30 p.m. Sept. 30 at City Hall to consider a request by a Norcross, Ga., company to open a rehabilitation facility for head injury victims. Cartwright said the city's planning staff has recommended that the request be granted. Prince William-Manassas Jail Request The Manassas Park City Council has asked Manassas and county officials to consider its request to participate in the ownership of the Prince William-Manassas regional jail. According to City Clerk Lana Connor, the action was taken because such participation would help finance a much-needed expansion and would make Manassas Park eligible for a reimbursement of as much as 50 percent of its share in the expected $2.5 million to $3 million cost. Manassas Park's participation in the new minimum security facility, expected to house 85 prisoners, would reduce the burden on Manassas and the county and increase the amount of state aid that can be received. Connor said that Manassas Park's prisoners are already incarcerated at the facility and the city pays for a portion of the jail's operating costs annually.
Manassas Park may also begin participating in the county's gypsy moth program because of a significant increase in the number of egg masses found this year at the city's heavily wooded Union Mill Park, Connor said. The council heard a presentation by gypsy moth program coordinator Kim Bowling last week and will make a decision this fall on whether the city will participate, she said.
The council also approved a contract with an Atlanta firm for its 1988 July 4 fireworks display after hearing company officials explain that they did not have a program finale for this year's celebration because of technical problems. "They reassured the council they'd do better next year," Connor said. "Everyone was so disappointed this July 4th. The finale is the best part." Dumfries Home Business Licenses After a 1 1/2-year debate, the Dumfries Town Council last week decided that the issue of requiring a license for home business occupation still needs further study. According to council member Eleanor Gumm, the council has been unable to agree on what constitutes home businesses. "Even paperboys have been considered," she said. Widows and others for whom an at-home business is the sole source of income also have been a concern of the council, Gumm said. If the council approves such a license, it would probably cost about $15 a year.
In other business, the council adopted an updated land use plan and a new fee schedule for a permit. Gumm said some fees were increased and others were slightly lowered. Manassas Officials Visit School Theater Manassas officials last week visited a high school in Charlottesville whose performing arts center doubles as a community theater. The council made the trip with an eye toward building a community theater as part of a middle school the city plans to begin building soon. City Manager John Cartwright said city officials will not make a decision until Charlottesville officials provide Manassas with a list of operating costs. If, however, the council approves the plan, the school auditorium, currently planned to house 600 students, would be expanded to hold 1,200 people. Prince William Police Chief Honored A Prince William County panel last week gave Police Chief George Owens the county's first Manager of the Year award in recognition of his effectiveness as leader of the police department, said county information officer Susan Mack. Mack said the panel reviewed department directors' performances according to eight criteria, which included managerial effectiveness, professional and technical competence and effective communication. Owens became the county's first police chief in 1970 after serving in the state police department for 17 years. Owens began with a $750,000 budget and 40 officers, Mack said. He now oversees a $16 million budget and 268 officers, 74 civilians, 95 part-time crossing guards and 22 animal control employes. Crafts Festival in Manassas Sugarloaf Mountain Works Inc., a Germantown, Md., company, will offer the Seventh Virginia Crafts Festival Sept. 18, through 20 at the county fairgrounds on Dumfries Road in Manassas. More than 250 artists and craftspeople from around the country will demonstrate and sell their work. The festival will also offer a puppet show, live entertainment and apple butter simmered over an open flame as well as several other refreshments. Concert Series to Open A series of Monday night concerts offered by the Manassas Performing and Fine Arts Center will begin at 8 p.m. Sept. 28 with a program of arias including Mozart and Schubert. Each concert will be offered free to senior citizens at 10 a.m. on the Thursday before the Monday concert. The center is in Old Town Manassas. For information call 368-FINE.
The center will hold a fund-raising yard sale starting at 9 a.m. Sept. 26. Center volunteers will pick up large items Sept. 19. For information, call 368-FINE.
The center will also hold auditions at 1:30 p.m. Sunday for a chamber singer ensemble. Call 368-4542 for information. Pr. William Constitution Celebration Prince William County will celebrate the U.S. Constitution bicentennial from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 19 at the stadium complex on Davis Ford Road. Events include a guest speaker and essay winners. For information call 369-5524. Historic Occoquan Craft Show Historic Occoquan's 18th craft show will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 26 and 27, a spokesman said. A continuous free shuttle service will carry participants from three parking locations to the event, which is sponsored by the Occoquan Merchants Association. For information call 491-5984. Purcellville Town Manager to Resign Purcellville Town Manager William Dennis will resign his $39,000 post at the end of this week, Mayor Eric Zimmerman said. Dennis, who gave no reason for his resignation, had been acting as the town's financial director, planning and zoning administrator and its manager since he was hired two years ago. He will probably be replaced by three people, said Zimmerman, adding that Dennis' position had been a "very stressful one." Round Hill Water Conservation The Round Hill Town Council last week requested that the town's 260 households go on voluntary restriction of outside water use. The council had asked residents to conserve household water as well. The request was made because of the prolonged drought in the area, Town Clerk Betty Wolford said. Hillsboro Water Use Down Hillsboro water commissioner Sandy Muir said last week that the town's 115 residents have been limiting their water use to between 5,000 and 6,000 gallons a day since a published report indicated that continued high use would result in restrictions. One hot Saturday in July, residents used more than 11,000 gallons, Muir said. The town gets its water from a spring on Short Hill mountain. Loudoun Candidates on Cable Candidates for Loudoun County supervisor will appear on former supervisor Frank Raflo's cable television issues program through Oct. 19. Raflo said upcoming guests include Democratic Leesburg Supervisor Charles Bos and his opponent, Georgia Bange, a Republican; Board Chairman Betty Tatum (D-Guilford), whose only opponent, Terry Overstreet, dropped out of the race last week; and Sterling Supervisor Andrew Bird, a Republican, and his former wife, Alice Bird, who is running as an independent. The programs are set for 7:30 p.m. on Channel 14 in Leesburg and Channel 36 in eastern Loudoun.
Loudoun Administrator Promoted Loudoun County Administrator Philip Bolen promoted his assistant, James Keene Jr., to deputy county administrator to ensure proper management of the increasing workload in the fast-growing county. Keene's duties will include oversight of the department of planning and zoning. Historian to Speak in Sterling Byron Farwell, military historian and biographer, will address the Writers Network at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the Countryside visitors center in Sterling. For information, call 444-2098 or 450-6399. Leesburg Preschool Enrollment The Adult-Children Rehabilitation and Education Center in Leesburg is taking registration for its preschool program scheduled to begin Monday. The $30 two-session workshops will teach vocabulary building, writing and math skills, color identification and hand-eye coordination for children 2 1/2 to 5 years old. For information, call 777-8181. Leesburg Garden Reception English garden planning consultant and author Penelope Hobhouse will be the featured guest at Oatlands' seventh garden benefit lecture at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 17 at Simpson Middle School in Leesburg. A reception, luncheon and fair will follow at Oatlands outside Leesburg on Rte. 15., where Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Henry Taylor, a Loudoun resident, will be the guest speaker. For reservations call 777-3174. Loudoun Chamber Meeting Pamela Wev, Loudoun economic development director, and James Wordsworth, tourism advisory committee chairman, will speak on the economic development of the county at the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce luncheon at noon Sept. 24 at Mosby's Tavern in Middleburg. For information, call 703-777-2176.
Loudoun YMCA Basketball Tournament The Loudoun YMCA's fund-raising basketball tournament begins at 9 a.m. Saturday and runs through Sunday at its Harrison Street facility in Leesburg. The events include teams for the serious and not-so-serious adult basketball enthusiasts in the county. For information, call 777-YMCA. Goose Creek Day in the Park The Goose Creek Kiwanis Club will sponsor "A Day in the Park" music festival on Sept. 26 at Ida Lee Rust Park to raise funds for the park's development and promote the facility for family-centered recreation, a Leesburg town spokesman said. For information, call 777-2420. Bluemont Village Country Fair The village of Bluemont's 18th country fair will be from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Sept. 19 and 20. The fair offers craft shows, a 10K race, a flea market, a horseshoe tournament and hay rides. For information, call 777-0519 or 554-8221. Youth Services Volunteers Sought The Loudoun Office of Youth Services is looking for volunteers for its Big Friends Program. The program provides adult companionship for children 6 to 17 years old. For information, call 777-0358 or toll free from Washington at 478-1850, ext. 358. Loudoun Hospital Rummage Sale Loudoun Memorial Hospital's annual fund-raising rummage sale will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 18 and from 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 19 at the 4-H fairgrounds near Leesburg. For information, call 777-7164.