Throughout the past 20 years, Prince William County has experienced significant growth in its population.
The increase has resulted in a diverse community that contains residents of various ethnicities, backgrounds and viewpoints.
More than 468,000 community members chose to call the county “home” in hopes of having a “bright future,” Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) Chair Ann Wheeler explained during the State of the County address on Tuesday.
That hope is guiding the BOCS.
In the address, Wheeler outlined the board’s long-term vision.
As part of the vision, the BOCS plans to invest in education.
Raises for teachers, expanding the pre-kindergarten program and renovating older schools were a few ideas Wheeler brought up.
The board also hopes to address transportation. Funding projects included in the approved $355 million road bond is one way it plans to reach this goal.
“However, the creation of additional roads will not solve our transportation issues,” Wheeler said in the address. “We must dream big and lay the groundwork for a future that brings multiple transit opportunities to Prince William County.”
According to Wheeler, that can be done by growing area transportation, reviewing an expansion of the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) to Gainesville, and studying a metro line extension to Woodbridge.
Economic development is another focus of the BOCS.
Growing the number of high-paying jobs available in the county, Wheeler explained, is necessary.
“Prince William County currently has the highest percentage of residents in the region who work outside of the county, and our residents have some of the longest commutes in the nation,” Wheeler said. “Locating more businesses here, small and large, through the fostering of a business-friendly environment will help reverse these trends and help both our commutes and our tax bills.”