City of Manassas

The following were among actions taken at the July 30 meeting of the Manassas City Council. For more information, call 335-8211.

BUDGET MOVE -- The Manassas City Council, preparing for possible reductions in state funding to localities, agreed not to fill city positions that become vacant, to freeze current capital expenditures and to cut the operating budgets of city departments by 5 percent. {For more details, see related story in today's Weekly.}

DELINQUENT TAXPAYERS -- The council approved a tougher policy to encourage delinquent real estate taxpayers to pay up.

The new policy, now in effect, provides for publishing the names of delinquent taxpayers in local newspapers and, when the taxes are more than two years overdue, taking legal action that will lead to auctioning off the property. In the past, the city has charged delinquent taxpayers a penalty fee.

Currently, about 160 property owners in Manassas owe a total of $571,284 in real estate taxes for 1989 and prior years; 25 of those properties have tax bills overdue by at least two years.

FUEL SPILL COST -- The State Water Control Board has agreed to reimburse the city $102,519 for the cost of cleaning up a fuel spill in a stream just north of the Georgetown South subdivision earlier this year, City Manager John Cartwright told the council.

On Jan. 31, about 2,600 gallons of gasoline seeped from underground storage tanks at a gas station on Grant Avenue into the Winters Branch stream. The owner of the gas station, Roger's Automotive, did not have insurance to cover the cost of the cleanup, according to a city official.

The city hired a private Baltimore company to clean up the spill, and about five days later city officials contacted the state, which then took over the cleanup efforts.

The state initially refused to reimburse the city for its cost because Manassas did not contact the state immediately after the spill. But in late June, city officials appealed to the state to reconsider the decision, arguing that there were no guidelines requiring localities to contact the state immediately in such situations. The state, which has since established such a procedure, announced this week that it will reimburse the city, Cartwright said.