Mason District Home
Penelope A. "Penny" Gross
Mason District Supervisor
Mason District Governmental Center
6507 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA 22003
Phone: 703-256-7717, TTY 711
Welcome to the Mason District homepage! It is designed for easy use, and I hope you will find the information both helpful and timely. Special features include Mason Matters!, my twice-a-year newsletter, information about reserving the public meeting rooms at the Mason District Governmental Center, and other meetings and activities throughout Mason District. Links to county agencies also are included. Please refer to the Web site often, and don't hesitate to contact me.
Penelope A. "Penny" Gross
Mason District Supervisor
The Board Corner: Perspectives from Penny – When February winds blow, you know it's time for County Executive Ed Long to release his proposed county budget for Fiscal Year 2018. This year, his presentation coincides with Valentine's Day, but there probably won't be a lot of love in the numbers. Preliminary forecasts indicate that residential property values are flat, commercial property values are up slightly, and the needs for county services and programs continue to increase. Balancing revenues and expenditures, and keeping in mind the financial burden on our residential taxpayers, remains the challenge facing the Board of Supervisors and our constituents.
Important budget dates to keep in mind are:
February 14 – Budget presentation and release
Tuesday, February 21 – Board's budget committee meets at 1 p.m.
Tuesday, March 7 – Board's budget committee meets at 1 p.m.
Thursday, March 9 – Mason District Budget Town Meeting at 7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 21 – Board's budget committee meets at 1 p.m.
Tuesday, March 28 – Board's budget committee meets at 1 p.m.
Tuesday, April 4 – Budget Public Hearings begin (around 6 p.m.)
Wednesday, April 5 – Budget Public Hearings continue at 1 p.m.
Thursday, April 6 – Budget Public Hearings continue at 1 p.m.
Tuesday, April 25 – Budget mark-up by the Board
Tuesday, May 2 – Board votes to adopt revised budget
Saturday, July 1 – FY18 revised budget becomes effective.
The March 9 Mason District Budget Town Meeting will be held at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale. The other meetings listed will take place at the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, in Fairfax. All meetings are open to the public. The proposed budget will be posted on line at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dmb following the presentation on February 14. Copies also will be available for review at each Supervisor's office and Fairfax County Public Libraries.
Tax Season Resources Available to Help You – Tax time is here! If you need tax help, there are free county resources available to assist you during the tax season. From free tax information to free income tax preparation, find help at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news2/tax-season-resources-available-to-help-you/
Some quick links:
- Tips for Choosing a Tax Preparer
- State Income Tax Information
- Tax Forms and Information From the Library
- Information for People with Disabilities
AARP Tax Aide Returns to Mason District in February! – Free tax assistance will be available beginning Wednesday, February 1, 2017, thanks to AARP volunteers, who will be at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale. AARP volunteers will provide walk-in service from February 1 through April 18: Mondays and Thursdays from 1 to 8 p.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.; Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Please note that walk-in hours will be closed on President's Day, Monday, February 20, 2017. All returns are filed electronically. Because Emancipation Day (April 16) is a holiday in the District of Columbia and will be observed on Monday, April 17, the deadline for federal taxes this year is Tuesday, April 18. File Virginia taxes before the deadline on Monday, May 1. Remember to bring documents, such as last year's tax return, a photo ID, and Social Security cards for taxpayers and all dependents. Residents with illnesses or infirmities, which confine them to their homes, may schedule appointments with AARP for tax preparation services by calling 703-594-6576. For more information about AARP Tax-Aide, visit www.aarp.org/money/taxaide, or call 1-888-227-7669.
VDOT Resources for Snow Season – The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is ready for snow season with plow-tracking technology, expanded monitor program, and a new one-stop shop for online resources that are available for residents to use. Visit www.virginiadot.org/novaemergency to access all of VDOT's online information resources, including important messages and updates, news releases, and links to the customer service center, 511, and vdotplows.org.
Some quick links to resources:
- 511virginia.org or call 511 for road conditions (local and statewide).
- vdotplows.org for neighborhood status and locations of plows.
- @vadotnova on Twitter
- my.vdot.virginia.gov or 1-800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623) to report issues.
Winter Lecture: Coping with Deer – Sunday, February 26, 2017, 1:30-2:30 p.m. at Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA 22312. Are deer eating up your garden? Garden expert Ruth Clausen shares beautiful shrubs, annuals and perennials that deer seldom browse. Get design tips and plant combinations for your deer-resistant garden. Expand your garden palette to reduce damage and frustration. Book signing to follow lecture. $10/person for advance registration ($12 for out-of-county registrants) or $12 at the door. Register online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/parktakes using code 2901824601 or call 703-642-5173. For additional information, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring.
Mason News and Updates – If you know individuals who would like to receive news and updates about Fairfax County services and events in Mason District, ask them to send an e-mail to email@example.com to subscribe. If you do not wish to receive this newsletter, or the news and updates, please send an e-mail and include unsubscribe in the subject line to remove your e-mail address from the subscription list.
The Quick 411 – I am still looking for a New Year's resolution. Can Fairfax County help? Yes. Fairfax County has ideas to help you expand your world, reduce your waistline and tidy up your life: 1) Get more exercise, 2) Meet new people, 3) Declutter, and 4) Help others in our community. To learn about these ideas, visit Fairfax County's NewsCenter at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news2/6-ideas-for-your-new-years-resolutions for more information.
Need a Notary? – Notarial services are available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Office of Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross, located in the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale. Please call 703-256-7717 to schedule an appointment.
Senior Citizen Tax Relief 2017 Workshops Coming to the Mason District Governmental Center – Supervisor Penny Gross, in collaboration with the Department of Tax Administration (DTA), is hosting free tax relief workshops on March 8 and 10, 2017, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon both days, at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale. DTA staff will be on-site to assist residents with completing the 2017 Tax Relief application form and answer questions. No appointment is necessary. Bring your 2016 tax returns or proof of 2016 gross income from all sources, and all asset information as of December 31, 2016. Real estate tax relief is available for older adults and people with disabilities who meet certain qualifications. Qualified residents also may be eligible for car tax and rent relief. For more information, visit the Web site www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dta or call 703-222-8234; TTY 703-222-7594.
Alternatives for Bagging Yard Waste – Plastic bags are made from non-renewable resources, are not compostable, and require additional processing. Eliminating plastic bags for yard waste collection helps ensure all local yard composting facilities make the highest-quality end-products for use on residential and commercial lawns and gardens. When packaging yard waste for collection at the curb, consider the use of paper lawn and leaf bags or a reusable container. Paper lawn and leaf bags are made from a renewable resource, use less energy to produce, break down naturally when composted, reduce the cost of processing the material, and they are a more sustainable alternative to plastic. Yard waste also can be taken to the I-66 transfer station or the I-95 landfill complex. For more information, including sustainable yard waste management options such as grasscycling, composting, and self-hauling material, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/recycling/yardwaste.htm or call 703-324-5230.
Express Lanes Community Grant Programs – Since 2008, Transurban has been active in the local community through the Express Lanes Grant Programs, which support organizations that sustain, enhance or protect the local environment and communities. Transurban is accepting grant applications for the next quarter for their 495 and 95 Express Lanes Grant Program, and their 395 Express Lanes Grant Program. The next application deadline is March 31. For more information and to learn if your local organization is eligible for a grant, visit the 495 and 95 Express Lanes Community Grant Program site at www.expresslanes.com/grant-program or the 395 Express Lanes Community Grant Program site at http://395expresslanes.com/grant-program.
Save the Date: Fairfax Animal Shelter Hosts Low-Cost Rabies Clinic for Pets in Annandale – The Fairfax County Animal Shelter and Pender Veterinary Clinic, in partnership with the Office of Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross and the Mason District Station of the Fairfax County Police Department, will host a low-cost rabies clinic on Sunday, April 23, 12 to 2 p.m., for dogs, cats and ferrets, in the Main Community Room of the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale. All dogs must be on leashes, and cats and ferrets must be in carriers. Vaccination cost is $15 per pet. Fairfax County 2017 dog licenses will be sold separately and cost $10. Cash and checks only will be accepted for payment at the clinic. For more information, call 703-830-1100, or visit the Fairfax County Animal Services Division Web site at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police/animal.
Mason Matters! The Television Show – We have a vast sanitary sewer system serving residents and businesses in Fairfax County. Collection and treatment of wastewater is a vital task, protecting public health and our waterways. Overseeing this significant operation is Fairfax County's Wastewater Management Program. The February edition of Mason Matters!, the television show that brings you news and information about our Mason District community, hosted by Supervisor Penny Gross, features Stacey Smalls, Director of the Wastewater Collections Division in the Wastewater Management Program of the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, and Juan Reyes, Chief, Environmental Monitoring & Pretreatment, Fairfax County Wastewater Management Program. Mason Matters! airs on Cable Channel 16 every Thursday at 7 p.m., and every Friday and Sunday at 6:30 p.m., and daily on-line at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/mason.
Top Books of 2016 – So what were the top books for 2016 in the Fairfax County Public Library system (as measured by checkouts)? Visit the Fairfax County NewsCenter at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news2/top-books-of-2016-in-fairfax-county to view the top lists in several categories, as well as a link to a "County Conversation" podcast with Peggy Bercher, adult fiction selector for the Fairfax County Public Library, about what books were popular in 2016 and what's coming out in 2017. The library's circulation (print and electronic) topped more than 10 million this year, with almost five million visits to our branches!
More news and information can be found at the NewsWire.