Prince William County

The following were among actions taken at the July 3 meeting of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors. For more information, call 335-6600.

COUNTY EXECUTIVE NAMED -- The Board of County Supervisors announced the appointment of James H. Mullen as county executive, beginning Aug. 6. Mullen, a native of North Carolina and a former Air Force captain, is currently deputy city manager for Aurora, Colo.

The board voted to hire Mullen during a closed-door executive session in late June, and approved his salary and benefits package at a meeting June 30. Mullen, 47, who was selected from a pool of 90 applicants, will receive an annual salary of $100,000, as well as up to $26,000 for moving expenses.

Mullen's appointment ends a six-month search that began when former county executive Robert S. Noe resigned after 11 years to join Anden Group, a developer with major land holdings in the county.

TAX RELIEF FOR NONPROFITS -- The board directed county staff to develop guidelines for a real estate tax relief program for charitable and nonprofit organizations. The guidelines would replace the board's system of reviewing each organization's request for tax relief on a case-by-case basis.

Currently, charitable and nonprofit organizations can seek tax-exempt status as permitted under state law or apply with the county for full reimbursement of real estate taxes they have paid -- now at a rate of $1.36 per $100 of assessed value.

Full reimbursement, as oppposed to tax exemption, is preferred by the county because the property stays on the county's tax rolls and county officials have a more accurate picture of "lost revenues," according to Finance Director Craig S. Gerhart.

The county currently reimburses several nonprofit organizations a total of less than $10,000 annually, Gerhart said. Many other local nonprofit organizations, including most county churches, may have tax-exempt status but the exact number is unkonwn, he said.

The board's action followed the approval of a $1,809 real estate tax reimbursement to Good Shepherd Housing Foundation, a local group home for mentally retarded adults.

REZONING -- The following zoning requests were approved:

CARDINAL DR., 15424 -- By Dale City Moose Lodge No. 2165 for a special-use permit to expand a 4,500-square-foot lodge to 13,550 square feet and to expand the parking lot from 50 spaces to 150 spaces. 6 to 0. Dumfries District.

CENTREVILLE ROAD AND EAGLE LANE -- By Laws Auction and Antiques Inc. to rezone three acres from suburban residential and urban residential to general business, to construct a 36,500-square-foot building and expand a parking lot. 6 to 0. Brentsville District.

CORNWELL DRIVE AND PURCELL ROAD -- By Champ Mill Branch Ltd. Partnership to rezone 48 acres from agricultural to rural residential, to construct 35 single-family houses. 6 to 0. Coles District.

NOKESVILLE ROAD AND PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE -- By McDonald's Corp. for a special-use permit to operate a fast-food restaurant with drive-through service in an area zoned general business. 6 to 0. Brentsville District.

RIDGE ROAD AND SUMNEY ROAD -- By Bell Atlantic Mobile Systems Inc. for a special-use permit to install and operate computer and transmitting equipment in a 350-square-foot communications facility in an area zoned agricultural. 6 to 0. Gainesville District.

City of Manassas

The following were among actions taken at the July 9 meeting of the Manassas City Council. For more information, call 335-8211.

RECREATION CENTER -- The City Council authorized the town to apply for a $25,000 state grant to develop plans for a community and recreation center in or near the Georgetown South subdivision, a low- to middle-income development on the southern end of the city that has been fighting drug traffic for several years.

The grant application was requested by Social Services Director Judith Hays and the Georgetown South Community Council and Task Force, with the stipulation that no city funds would be used for planning, constructing or operating the proposed facility.

The city plans to construct a youth recreation complex, including an indoor swimming pool, at the Jennie Dean Park at Prince William Street and Wellington Road, near Georgetown South. That facility is scheduled to be completed by 1992.

Councilman Maury Gerson said the city could not afford to split its "resources and efforts" between two similar facilities. However, council members agreed that the application should be worded so that state and local funds -- if approved -- could be used on the city's proposed complex in the event the city and Georgetown South decide to combine their efforts into a single facility.

The Georgetown South center would be funded by state grants and partnerships between Georgetown South and local businesses, according to Hays.

If approved, the $25,000 grant would be used for planning and architectural design. The city would then apply for a second state grant for up $600,000 to construct the facility.

Hays said the center was proposed in response to 1987 and 1989 surveys of Georgetown South residents, who were asked about community needs.

AVIATION TOWER -- The council authorized city staff to study the feasibility of moving a 65-foot air control tower from an airport in Arapahoe County, Colo. to the Manassas Municipal Airport.

Manassas currently does not have a tower or air traffic controllers, who direct airplanes landing and taking off at an airport. Planes now landing at Manassas use a designated radio frequency to alert other pilots in the area that they are approaching the airport.

Although the cost disassembling and transporting the tower to Manassas has not been determined, Airport Manager Ollie G. Cramer said it may be less than constructing a new tower, which could cost $1.5 million to $2.2 million.

Cramer said he would confer with officials from the Federal Aviation Administration and the state Department of Aviation on the proposal.

A combination of city, state and federal funds are expected to fund the construction and operation of a tower for Manassas -- new or used, Cramer said.

City of Manassas Park

The following were among actions taken at the July 3 meeting of the Manassas Park City Council. For more information, call 335-8800.

HOME ASSESSMENTS -- The City Council tentatively approved plans to establish a city department, staffed by one full-time employee, which would conduct home assessments in the city.

Since its incorporation in 1976, Manassas Park has contracted with a private assessor for biennial home assessments. The most recent survey was completed in the spring. Currently, a typical single-family home in the town is assessed at $93,685 -- an increase of 19 percent since 1988.

The council proposed hiring a city assessor and conducting the assessments annually, beginning in 1991, in response to the proposed development of 462 acres recently annexed from Prince William County. According to City Manager James Norlund, a city assessor and annual assessments would make it easier for the town to keep track of increasing property values in the area.

Norlund said the city attorney is working to verify whether the city can legally establish an assessment department apart from the city's Commissioner of Revenue, which is an elected office and has its own staff.

If the position is approved, the city assessor would work under the direction of the council and the city manager, and be paid about $30,000 annually -- about twice what a private contractor is paid for five to six months of work, according to Norlund. A city assessor, Norlund said, would "return his {or her} salary tenfold to the city" by providing consistency and better follow-through in the assessment process.