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Winter 2016

NewWoodbridge Vision

Community Updates from Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank Principi

FRANKLY SPEAKING

INVESTING IN PRINCE WILLIAM’S FUTURE I spend a considerable amount of time thinking about the financial future of Prince William County. Balancing community needs with residents’ ability to pay taxes is arguably one of the most important responsibilities of the Board of County Supervisors. I believe that all spending decisions should be carefully reviewed and considered with that balance in mind. During the FY2016 Budget Season, the Board agreed to continue to follow the fiveyear roadmap we set last year, which carefully considered citizen feedback on meeting community needs while maintaining an acceptable tax level. After considerable discussion we also agreed to increase our commitment to schools and public safety. I believe that other critical investments are still necessary, and so I led the fight for funding to staff area fire stations to address our growing population and advocated for an additional investment in mental health services to reduce the wait list times. Another priority I continue to advocate for is the Potomac Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC), of which I was elected FY2016 Chairman of the Board. Contd. p. 2

IN THIS ISSUE.. ÂÂ Expanding Global Markets (2)

KNOW MORE, SOONER

Learn more about your community, sooner. Visit NewWoodbridge.org and click the «Subscribe» button ÂÂ Your Rte. 1 FAQ, Answered (5) to sign up for our electronic Grubbs Center is Part Lab, Part newsletter and community ÂÂ Museum (7) updates. You can also follow Facebook.com/ ÂÂ County’s Coal Ash Concern ATTEND... NewWoodbridge Continues (9) TOWN HALL to read about and ÂÂ Civic Association’s ON POTENTIAL share your thoughts on local Busy 2015 (10) RTE. 1 TAKES, happenings and news. March 23 ÂÂ Snowzilla Memories, Questions? Comments? In Pictures (11) 7-9 pm ÂÂ Why We Must Save PRTC Bus Service (4)

ÂÂ ...And More!

Get in touch!

703.792.4646 | www.NewWoodbridge.org


Contd. from p. 1 Starting July 1, 2016, PRTC faces an average $9.2 million dollar annual shortfall (down from $11.5 million, thanks to PRTC proposing propose salary cuts, fare increases and stratetic service reductions) over the next five fiscal years. This budget gap could impact 11,300 riders a day – making it difficult, if not impossible in some cases, for many residents to commute to work, get to medical appointments or access commerce centers. Due to my persistent focus on this issue, my colleagues agreed to include an increased subsidy to PRTC to help bridge the gap. In my roles as Supervisor and PRTC Chairman, I will continue to work in a bipartisan fashion with local, state and federal officials to maintain bus service in Prince William. Lastly, I introduced a more aggressive plan to reduce the number of businesses in Prince William County that are subject to the BPOL (Business, Professional, and Occupational License) tax, which is based on gross revenue rather than net profit. Over the next 5 years the exemption threshold is scheduled to increase to $500,000; my proposal would have increased the threshold to $1 million dollars, which would have benefited almost 11,300 area businesses. Over the next 4 months I will continue to diligently monitor and review all budget developments. As my colleagues and I move forward with this process I encourage area residents to share their thoughts and suggestions at upcoming Board of County Supervisor meetings, usually held at 2 p.m. on the first, second and third Tuesdays of each month, and also at 7:30 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays.

Expanding Economic Opportunity: Brookings Institute’s Global Cities Initiative I firmly believe that private investment follows public investment. By securing more than $1 billion to revitalize the Route 1 corridor, my goal is to both improve the quality of life for those who call New Woodbridge home, and to create the infrastructure and community amenities that will attract major employers to our area. We can also expand economic opportunity by enabling existing Woodbridge businesses to introduce their products and services to global markets. To that end, I am promoting Prince William County’s involvement in a Metropolitan Washington Council of 2

NewWoodbridge Vision

Governments (COG) application to participate in the Global Cities Initiative (GCI), a joint project from Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase. “This initiative provides [metropolitan] leaders with proven, actionable ideas for how to expand the global reach of their economies, building on best practices and policy innovations from across the Winter 2016 | NewWoodbridge.org


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BETTER DEVELOPMENT nation and around the world…Ultimately, GCI aims to foster an international network of metropolitan leaders who are committed to trade, invest and grow together,” according to Brookings.edu. To date, more than 12 regions across the United States have participated. This three-phase effort lasts 12 months, consisting of market assessment and plan, strategy development and plan

launch, with implementation and plan refinement continuing indefinitely. Brookings released the 2016 application in January. Supervisor Principi has been working to garner regional support for GCI participation, speaking with various regional and County stakeholders about this valuable opportunity and how it could benefit Northern Virginia and, in particular, Prince William County.

Economy Forward: A Roadmap for Metro D.C. During Supervisor Principi’s Chairmanship of Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG), the organization commissioned Economy Forward, an in-depth report on how the region could best position itself for market shifts in relation to federal spending cuts. It identifies “specific actions to strengthen economic competitiveness and spur and sustain job growth.” “The federal government has provided a solid foundation for decades and will undoubtedly continue to play a major role in the region’s economy,” says Principi. “However, a plan for economic growth and competitiveness will help put the region on even more solid footing.”

talks Continue on New potomac nationals stadium

Recently a Maryland real estate firm, The JBG Companies, purchased Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center. Supervisor Principi met with representatives from JBG in November to discuss the future of the Potomac Nationals baseball stadium’s proposed move to Stonebridge and related development. Future discussions with other County elected officials and staff are expected in coming months, as the Potomac Nationals ownership continues to identify funding sources to construct the 6,000 – 7,000-seat, $25 million dollar venue. As updates occur, they will be posted at NewWoodbridge.org/News. Better Development * Better Neighborhoods * Better Transportation

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BETTER TRANSPORTATION

Closing PRTC Budget Gap is Critical PRTC to get them to work, medical appointments, job training and errands. PRTC also enhances the appeal of living in Prince William, allowing residents to enjoy all that our community has to offer while providing convenient access to additional employment opportunities throughout the region.

You may have heard that even with proposed cost saving and revenue increasing measures, the Potomac Rappahannock Transit Commission (PRTC) faces an average $9.2 million annual shortfall starting in FY2017. Discover what is at stake, and why Supervisor Principi is taking a strong stand in support of Prince William County helping to close the budget gap and protect this critical service. First, let’s look at the origins of the budget crisis. PRTC is funded primarily from motor vehicle fuels tax revenue, which dropped drastically due to falling gas prices and increasingly fuel efficient cars. Additional challenges result from changes in how the federal government distributes transportation funds. If steps aren’t taken at the local, state and federal levels to restore funding, we risk adding thousands of cars to our already crowded roads. During the week, more than 11,000 riders rely on 4

NewWoodbridge Vision

PRTC reports that 97 percent of OmniRide/MetroDirect riders use the service to commute to work. Within the County and Manassas, 71 percent of OmniLink/Cross County Local riders rely on the service to get to jobs. For more than half of OmniLink riders— over 1,500 residents—it is their only means of transportation. Prior to 2008, the County provided a subsidy to offset PRTC’s operating costs. When that subsidy was eliminated, PRTC was left to fill the void using reserve funds. In July, those funds will be exhausted. Accordingly, Supervisor Principi has proposed that the Board of Supervisors allocate $6 million dollars annually (from FY17 to FY21) so that PRTC may continue normal operations. His fellow Supervisors agreed with this approach and included the funding in the proposed budget that the County Executive is scheduled to release on February 16, 2016. Learn More! Visit

NewWoodbridge.org/Issues/PRTC-Funding-Crisis

Winter 2016 | NewWoodbridge.org


BETTER TRANSPORTATION

Your Route 1 Questions, Answered With all the progress taking place in Woodbridge—blighted buildings coming down, road work underway, utilities going underground, new sidewalks being built—come many questions. To help keep area residents informed, Supervisor Frank Principi regularly holds Transportation Town Halls with presentations on current and upcoming projects. Following are some of the top questions from a Town Hall he held this fall. For a full list of Q&A from that evening, visit NewWoodbridge. org/issues/ and look for “Transportation FAQ.” It seems like Route 1 construction is taking place in stages, rather than being done all at once. Why is that? Widening Route 1 to six lanes, along with undergrounding utilities and adding bike lanes and sidewalks, is a large and expensive project. To obtain the needed funding, it has been broken into three sections—Annapolis Way to Marys Way, Neabsco Mills to Featherstone and Featherstone to Marys Way—each with a different combination of funding sources and timetables. When will the Route 1 widening and undergrounding of utilities be complete? This varies by section; federally funded projects must adhere to a longer, federallymandated process than those receiving state or county funds: Annapolis Way to Mary’s Way ÂUndergrounding  of utilities will be completed mid-2016 ÂWidening  will begin April 2016 Featherstone to Mary’s Way ÂProperty  Acquisition will begin September 2016 ÂConstruction  will begin January 2019 Neabsco Mills to Featherstone configuration of the intersection of Rippon/Dale Boulevard and ÂFinal  Route 1 will be completed December 2015 ÂPaving  will begin April 2016 ÂEntire  section will be completed June 2016 Contd. on page 6

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BETTER TRANSPORTATION

Route 1 FAQ, contd. Will the work along Route 1 be continued all the way through Prince William County? The County plans to widen Route 1 through the entire County, and is in the process of securing funding for the remaining sections. What is being done to make the Route 1 corridor safer for pedestrians and cyclists? There will be a multiuse path on the western side of Route 1 for cyclists and pedestrians and a sidewalk on the eastern side. “Sidewalks to nowhere” currently found in parts of Woodbridge will also be connected. All intersections will have lighting and improved crosswalks and signals with countdown timers. Is Fairfax planning to widen the Route 1 bridge in conjunction with Prince William County widening its section of Route 1? The project is now in Fairfax County’s Comprehensive Plan, and Fairfax has recently approached Prince William about conducting a joint feasibility study.

Updated Project Timeline, Featherstone Road to Marys Way March 23, 2016 - Town Hall Meeting & notification of potential takes June/July 2016 - Public Design Meeting and official notification of takes September 2016 - Property acquisition starts 2017-2019 - Relocations and duct bank work January 2019 - Construction (following relocations and duct bank work in 2017 to 2019) is tentatively scheduled to start April 2021 - Tentative date for project completion To receive notice of the citizen’s meetings, follow Facebook.com/NewWoodbridge and go to NewWB.org/VisionSignUp to receive our electronic newsletters and community updates.

How to Report Streetlight Outages To report streetlight outages and other problems, call the PWC Street Lighting Branch at 703-792-6825, or report it directly to your local utility provider: Dominion’s Streetlight Repair Portal (dom.com) or call 1-888-667-3000; NOVEC’s Streetlight Repair Portal (novec.com) or call 703-335-0500. For improved service, provide the closest street name and address. Routine maintenance such as bulb and photo eye replacement will be completed within 11 days (though typically within 3 to 4 business days). Underground faults or wiring issues may take up to 45 days. 6

NewWoodbridge Vision

Winter 2016 | NewWoodbridge.org


BETTER NEIGHBORHOODS

Grubbs Center Educates on Water Sources, Treatment, Conservation The Durward E. Grubbs Environmental Education Center, located at the Edward Mooney Advanced Water Reclamation Facility off Rippon Boulevard, is part lab space and part museum. A colorful exhibit greets visitors. Interactive displays, light-up maps, back-lit photographs and life-size pipes show how the Prince William Service Authority treats water, sends it to 250,000 customers, treats it again and then sends it back to the Potomac River via a waterfall that empties into Neabsco Creek, a Potomac River tributary. The exhibit hall is also lined with facts about the County’s water system, providing the answer to questions such as: Did you know 35,000 valves are used in the system? They help isolate a leak or water main break, making it easier to fix. About 24 million gallons of water per day is processed at the Mooney facility. Grubbs Center Lab Director Mary Eure and her team of 15 technicians are constantly monitoring the water. They work behind glass so passersby may watch. The Grubbs lab is also designated as a

commercial testing facility for outside agencies and companies. Homeowners who have wells can bring samples to the center for testing as well. Back in the education center, the plan is to fill the halls with students on field trips. Teaching people how water comes into their homes, and how they can help to protect and conserve this vital resource, is a priority mission for the Service Authority. *Excerpted from Nov. 17 Potomac Local; updated & condensed for space. View original, full article at PotomacLocal.com.

Grubbs Part of STEM Movement The exhibits at Grubbs Center are part of a larger movement to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education in Prince William. Programs such as Cybersecurity at Potomac High and the Watershed Field Experience student trips to Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge encourage scientific curiosity in K-12 students, while the future Potomac Science Center and offerings at Northern Virginia Community College and George Mason University provide lifelong STEM learning to our workforce.

Better Development * Better Neighborhoods * Better Transportation

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BETTER NEIGHBORHOODS

BOCS Implement Principi’s Classroom Reduction Grant County Will Implement Supervisor Principi’s Class Size Reduction Grant, Earmarking $10 Million Over 5 Years Prince William County is addressing its classroom overcrowding head-on, with passage of the FY2016 Class Size Reduction Grant, introduced by Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank Principi. The grant allocates $1,000,000 towards hiring 23 additional full-time teachers in Prince William County Public Schools. This will allow for an additional seventh grade teacher at each of the County’s 16 middle schools. Additionally, four tea-

chers will be added at the K-5 level and three to address changes in overall student enrollment. “Research shows that smaller class size helps increase student achievement. While the current classroom sizes reflect that Prince William is attracting new residents who see this as a desirable place to live and raise a family, we must continue our efforts to provide all of our students with the best possible environment to succeed,” says Principi, who has advocated for increased investment in education since he was first elected in 2008.

County to Expand Services to Homeless Winter Overnight Shelter Open Through Mar. 31 When cold weather hits, the homeless in Prince William County can seek shelter in the Bill Mehr Winter Shelter, Nov. 1 through Mar. 31, 6:30 p.m. to 7 a.m. This 48-bed overnight shelter is available to single men and women. No pets or children are accepted. Call 703-897-0199 for questions. The shelter is part of a network of services available to homeless people in the County. The Prince William Board of County Supervisors recently voted to further invest in these services, applying $500,000 from FY2015 savings to renovate the Prince William County Human Services Building, moving the Drop-in Center there from its current location in the Winter Shelter, along with other improvements that will enhance the County’s ability to provide services such mental health care, life skills classes and job counseling. Additionally, the renovations will add 15 temporary beds that can be used in cases of emergency, such as extreme weather. To learn more about these and other County services, visit NewWoodbridge.org/Services. 8

NewWoodbridge Vision

Winter 2016 | NewWoodbridge.org


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BETTER NEIGHBORHOODS

BOCS Continues Review of Coal Ash Permit Despite public concern, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s (VDEQ) Water Control Board recently approved Dominion Virginia Power’s permit to begin “dewatering” its coal ash storage ponds at Possum Point Power Station in Dumfries, Va., discharging over 150 million gallons of wastewater into Quantico Creek, a tributary of the Potomac River. The approved permit allows wastewater contaminant limits far higher than found in other states, including an arsenic limit approximately 15 times higher than required for coal ash pond dewatering in North Carolina. For the second phase of closing the ponds, Dominion seeks to store toxic coal ash in Pond D, which is only partially lined, and has been leaching contaminants for decades. This leakage is approved to continue under the VDEQ permit. VDEQ did not respond to a Prince William Board of County Supervisor (BOCS) request to delay its vote by 60 days to allow more time for fact finding and public comment. Now, Supervisor Principi and his BOCS colleagues have voted to allocate up to

$40,000 for a consultant and a lawyer to assist County staff in analyzing the permit, and in weighing whether or not to appeal the Water Board’s decision. “There are still many questions to be answered. Why wasn’t the filtration process discussed and agreed upon prior to permit approval? Why wasn’t testing of the toe drain performed prior to mid-December? What is the timeline for dewatering?” asks Supervisor Principi. “It is a disservice to the people of Virginia for VDEQ to approve the dewatering permit without requiring answers or responses to all public questions and comments.” Learn more about the closing of the Possum Point coal ash ponds, and how you can add your voice to the growing concern and sign the petition: NewWoodbridge.org/Issues/Possum-Point

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YOUR NEW WOODBRIDGE

A Busy 2015 for Civic Association Supervisor Principi’s office works closely with the Woodbridge Potomac Communities Civic Association. This busy group meets regularly and also hosts handson activities, like community clean-ups, to enhance our community. All area residents are welcome to attend meetings or to join! Read highlights of the Association’s 2015 accomplishments; the full list can be found at NewWoodbridge.org/Civic-Association. ÂÂ United community to lobby for burying utility lines underground on Rt. 1. ÂÂ Erected “Excuse Our Mess” signs along Rt. 1, showing that the corridor is revitalizing and that boarded businesses will be demolished. ÂÂ Supported Supervisor Frank Principi’s resolution in support of Congressman Gerry Connolly’s bill to authorize a WMATA-funded study on feasibility of bringing Metro Rail to Woodbridge. ÂÂ Recieved Potomac Champion Award at the Alice Ferguson Foundation Trash Summit, in recognition of WPCCA Litter Prevention Campaign, created in partnership with Alice Ferguson Foundation and Keep Prince William Beautiful. ÂÂ Held a River Boat Cruise, inviting several organizations to introduce themselves and learn about WPCCA. ÂÂ Held two Dumpster Days, collecting

Congratulations, and thank you, to the 2015 WPCCA Award Recipients: Beautification Awards: Joe Mohalland Moving, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and Professional Collision Center Friends of Woodbridge Awards: Harbour View Events Center, The Osprey Golf Club Dedicated Service to WPCCA Awards: John Karhnak, Collin Davenport, Devon Cabot

6.5 tons of trash and shredding 6,900 lbs. of paper in the fall. Spring Dumpster Day resulted in 8.9 tons of trash collected and 3,000 lbs. of paper shredded. ÂÂ Organized 43 volunteers to collect 1,550 lbs. of trash during Neabsco Clean Up. ÂÂ Picked up 2800 lbs. of trash along Route 1 in partnership with Keep Prince William Beautiful and the help of 140 volunteers.

To learn more, or join, visit NewWoodbridge.org/Civic-Association. You can also follow Facebook.com/WoodbridgeCivicAssociation for updates on activities, meetings and community news. 10

NewWoodbridge Vision

Winter 2016 | NewWoodbridge.org


YOUR NEW WOODBRIDGE

Thanks for the Snowzilla Memories First, a thank you to the first responders, medical professionals and snow removal teams who worked through the blizzard to help us all weather the storm safely! The blizzard that shut down the region also brought in reports of neighbors digging one another out and gathering for community potlucks and game nights. Here’s some of our favorite pictures residents posted of Snowzilla in Woodbridge:

Kelci Edwards hearts Snowzilla

Sutton Place residents gather for a community potluck

Courtesy Lisa K. Edwards

Courtesy Marlo Thomas Watson

Bailey braves the snow at Belmont Bay

Courtesy Myrna Lim Youngberg

If we get more winter weather, check Facebook.com/NewWoodbridge for closings, safety tips and other related news. Plus, it’s a great place to show off your snow-selfies!

discover your community... 2016 WPCCA Meetings The only requirement for attending meetings of the Woodbridge Potomac Communities Civic Association is an interest in our community. Meetings start at 7 p.m. Locations vary and can be found at NewWoodbridge.org/Calendar as they are confirmed. If you see a topic of interest, save the date and RSVP to bjohnson1@pwcgov.org: February 18, 2016: Grubbs Environmental Education Center March 17, 2016: «Pardon Our Dust» Route 1 Reception April 21, 2016: Legislative Town Hall Meeting May 19, 2016: WPCCA River Cruise Meeting

PLAY BALL!

Believe it or not, now is the time to sign up for many spring sports. Go to

NewWoodbridge.org/services

to find local leagues.

Better Development * Better Neighborhoods * Better Transportation

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NewWoodbridge Vision

Winter 2016 | NewWoodbridge.org

Community Updates from Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank Principi

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New Woodbridge Vision - Winter 2016  

Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank Principi provides an overview of FY2016 budget priorities, the need to save PRTC bus service, County re...

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