City of Manassas

The following were among actions taken at the Sept. 18 meeting of the Manassas City Council. For more information, call 335-8211.

CENSUS COUNT -- The City Council agreed to challenge the recent federal census results, which showed Manassas with 1,761 fewer households than city officials counted last winter.

The council met in a closed-door session to discuss the legal ramifications of challenging the federal results, which indicate 10,280 inhabited housing units, 774 vacant units and 28,039 residents.

If the city's count of 1,761 additional households is deemed accurate, the population might exceed 30,000, which could result in the city's losing the right under state law to some services shared with other jurisdictions. City officials declined to discuss what shared services and facilities, such as the regional jail and the Prince William County Courthouse, might be affected.

Another issue related to an accurate census count is that federal and state aid often are based on the size of a city's population.

POWER LINE EXPANSION -- A city engineer, responding to a question by Vice Mayor James Payne, told the council that Manassas's current electrical facilities should meet residents' demands through next summer. However, he added, the city eventually will need additional power from a substation near the Barron Heights development. That substation, under a current city plan, would be fed by a controversial new transmission line.

Virginia Power has said that the 230-kilovolt line, expected to be completed by 1992, is critically needed to serve all of Northern Virginia. Rerouting the line could take an additional two to five years of planning, according to Payne.

The business community and residents have opposed the planned above-ground transmission line, arguing that it would visually mar Manassas's historic district. The line would be installed on 103-foot-high poles along the Norfolk Southern railroad track bordering historic Old Town. Opponents say the line should be buried underground.

Last week, state officials ordered the city to reopen public hearings to hear the concerns of residents who said they were unaware of the public hearings on the issue held last winter. The hearing will be held Nov. 19 at 10 a.m. at the Prince William Circuit Court building, 9311 Lee Ave.