Jo Knows: Weekly News 3.11.16

//Jo Knows: Weekly News 3.11.16

Jo Knows: Weekly News 3.11.16

TRANSPORTATION

 I-66 toll plan rolls forward

In the summer, drivers on Interstate 66 will see crews preparing for the toll-gantry system along the lanes inside the Capital Beltway. It won’t take long, compared with other major transportation projects. The tolling signs will be activated about a year later, in mid-2017. The image above gives drivers an idea about what they will see as they approach the entry points for I-66. There’s still some planning left. This week, the Virginia Department of Transportation is holding public hearings on design details. The first was Monday night at the Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, the second is from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Eagle Rock Middle School in Ashburn, and the final is 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at VDOT’s Northern Virginia headquarters, 4975 Alliance Dr., in Fairfax.

Connolly: Metro must be part of Prince William’s future

Congressman Gerry Connolly was on his way Tuesday afternoon to meeting to discuss how to persuade the FBI to locate its new headquarters in Springfield rather than one of two Maryland sites. He stopped first for lunch with the Prince William Chamber of Commerce and during his remarks reminded chamber members that Prince William also proposed a site to the FBI several years ago – near Quantico. But the site was quickly dropped from consideration because it was not close to Metro. “It made me think,” said Connolly, a Democrat whose 11th district includes most of eastern Prince William. “How often does that happen in the private sector?”

 

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY

 PW Supervisors clash over advertised tax rate

Still unable to reach a consensus on the advertised tax rate, Friday evening, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors defaulted to advertise the “administrative” property tax rate at1.145 percent or a 3.88 percent increase of FY16 as per the county’s five-year plan. If enacted, that would amount to an average increase of $145 annually from FY16. However, with four on the board pushing for a flat tax rate or even lower rate, it is unlikely the 3.88 percent will become the final number in April.

Prince William supervisors settle with Dominion over coal-ash ponds

Prince William County officials announced an agreement with Dominion Virginia Power late Tuesday they say will better protect Quantico Creek from pollution related to treated coal-ash water. The agreement comes just three days before the county would have had to file its formal appeal against Virginia over the modified wastewater permit the state Department of Environmental Quality approved for the utility in January. Supervisor Frank Principi, D-Woodbridge, a leader in the county’s fight against Dominion’s coal-ash disposal plans at the Possum Point power plant, said the board agreed to the deal because they believed it better than what they likely would have won in court, considering the vague legal standard outlined in federal regulations.

 Police: Man attended open houses as ruse to steal $15,000 worth of items

A 46-year-old Virginia man was charged with burglary after police said he went to several open houses pretending to be a potential buyer and stole over $15,000 worth of items. Erik David Johnson of Ashburn was arrested Tuesday after investigators searched his home and found evidence that connected him to the thefts, a spokesman said. He was charged with four counts of burglary and four counts of larceny, Prince William County police said Thursday.

 

REGIONAL

 DC area’s housing market is bucking typical market forces

Something unusual has been happening in the D.C. area’s housing market recently. Sales are strong and inventory is low. Typically those factors push prices higher. Instead, prices have been steady the past few months. What’s disrupting the usual market forces? A number of factors are likely at work, but one could be tighter lending standards. Mortgage lenders haven’t loosened their requirements much. That’s limiting how much home buyers can borrow, which in turn is causing downward pressure on prices.

 

GENERAL ASSEMBLY

 State budget deal: 3% raise for state employees, faculty; 2% for teachers

Virginia budget negotiators have agreed on a plan that in one grand stroke provides a 3 percent raise this year for state employees and higher education faculty, saves money by paying off an old debt on state pensions, and reduces operating costs for public colleges and universities to help them keep down tuition. The agreement, pending approval by the Senate and the House of Delegates on Friday, also would provide a 2 percent pay raise for teachers and state-supported local employees this year, help sheriff’s departments and state police keep veteran pay at pace with new hires, and allow constitutional officers to offer incentives for employee career development.

 

ELECTIONS

 Incumbents aim to keep seats o Manassas City Council
Incumbents are lining up to keep their seats on the Manassas City Council. “On our Council, the following positions are up for the November election: Mayor, and three Council Members – Jonathan Way, Ian Lovejoy, and Mark Wolfe. The Council runs on a staggered election cycle every two years so that the entire Council is not up for re-election at the same time.” said Manassas City spokeswoman Patty Prince. In addition to the current incumbents, Theresa Coates Ellis will be running for Council with the Republican Party and Michael Youlen will be running for Council as an Independent. Winners of the Primary from each party will move on to the General Election to campaign in November.

 GOP’s Vogel running for lieutenant governor

State Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel, R-Fauquier, is entering the race to be Virginia’s next lieutenant governor. “I’m running,” she told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “I’ve had a lot of people from all around the state engage me and ask me to run, and I’m incredibly flattered and incredibly humbled.” “I think this is an awesome opportunity,” added the 45-year-old lawyer, a working, married mother of six.

 State Sen. Reeves announces GOP run for lieutenant governor

State Sen. Bryce E. Reeves, R-Spotsylvania on Monday officially joined the 2017 race for lieutenant governor. The announcement by the former Army Ranger and Prince William County narcotics officer, came at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond. Reeves spoke just 48 hours after his state Senate colleague, Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel, R-Fauquier, surprised many in the party by declaring her intentions to seek the GOP nomination for the same office. “Public service is in my blood,” Reeves told a gathering of four dozen supporters and family members, including several fellow Republican senators and a half dozen members of the House of Delegates.

 Delegate Davis of Va. Beach joins GOP contest for lieutenant governor

The Republican field in the race to be Virginia’s next lieutenant governor is getting more crowded by the day. On Thursday, Del. Glenn R. Davis Jr., R-Virginia Beach, formally joined the 2017 fray, promising a “Virginia turnaround” of the state’s economy. “I’m running because too many Virginians are unemployed, underemployed or stuck in part-time jobs desperate for full-time work,” Davis, 42, said in a statement announcing his campaign. “It’s time for a Virginia turnaround so we can start creating jobs and growing our economy once again.”

 

 Jo Gehlbach
Government Affairs Coordinator

By | 2017-03-29T17:30:32-04:00 March 11th, 2016|Jo Knows|0 Comments

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