Department of Tax Administration Receives Prestigious Assessment Certification
July 28, 2015: The Fairfax County Department of Tax Administration (DTA) has been awarded the prestigious Certificate of Excellence in Assessment Administration (CEAA) by the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO). Fairfax County is the first county government and fourth jurisdiction in Virginia to achieve this recognition. The other Virginia jurisdictions include the cities of Alexandria, Hampton and Portsmouth. Only 28 jurisdictions in the United States have been awarded this certification.
“This is an important certification for our residents and homeowners. It recognizes that the county is committed to following best practices and the highest professional standards in the fair and accurate assessment of the value of their homes and properties,” said Kevin Greenlief, DTA director. “Real Estate Tax revenue is 63.9 percent of the county’s General Fund Budget and this is a responsibility that we take very seriously."
“We have outstanding staff in DTA and this underscores the hard work they do every day to provide a high level of service to residents. I am incredibly proud of their achievement,” he added.
According to the IAAO, “The Certificate of Excellence in Assessment Administration recognizes governmental units and individuals involved with assessments that integrate best practices in the workplace.” The certificate will be presented to Fairfax County at the IAAO 81st Annual International Conference on Assessment Administration in Indianapolis on September 14, 2015.
Safety Tips For Heat Advisories
- Drink plenty of fluids: Drink two to four glasses of cool fluids each hour. Your body needs water to keep cool. Drink water even if you don't feel thirsty.
- Keep cool indoors: If you can, stay in an air-conditioned area. Resting for just two hours in air conditioning can significantly reduce heat-related illnesses. Consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings such as movie theaters, shopping malls and other community facilities. Several Fairfax County facilities also serve as cooling centers where you can go for respite from the heat. These include libraries and community centers, as well as the county Government Center.
- Electric fans may provide comfort, but with temperatures in the 90s, fans do not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
- Avoid strenuous physical activities or reschedule them for the coolest part of the day, usually the early morning. Limit physical activity until your body adjusts to the heat.
- Eat light meals.
- Wear light-colored clothing, which helps reflect sunlight.
- Wear sunscreen to prevent sunburn. Sunburn makes it more difficult for your body to cool off.
- Make sure your home is well insulated and that you have weather stripping around your doors and window sills to keep the cool air inside. Also keep shades pulled down to keep extra heat out.
And please, never leave children or pets unattended in a car — not even for a few minutes. In addition, if you have elderly neighbors or people with special needs, take a few minutes and check on them to make sure they are okay.
Flood Protection Information
The Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management and the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services has a webpage dedicated to flood protection, and I encourage you to visit it to learn more about how to protect yourself and your belongings.
To determine if a property is in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), you may do one of the following:
- www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/stormwater/floodmaps.htm OR
- FEMA at 1-877-FEMA-MAP (1-877-336-2627), OR
- Stormwater Planning Division, Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, Fairfax County, at 703-324-5500, TTY 711
Fairfax County Police Department Youthful Driver Program
The Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) recognizes the need for advanced driving skills for our youthful driver population. Teenage drivers are at a higher risk than any other age group of being involved in fatal crashes. Inexperience, peer pressure, and the increased risks that our younger drivers take is a recipe for disaster. In an effort to reach out to this very specific population group, (teens aged 16-18) we have undertaken a partnership with the community to address this issue.
The FCPD’s Youthful Driver Program is a one-day, hands-on course developed to provide advanced driver training techniques to these younger drivers. The course is held one Saturday a month.
- Basic Vehicle Dynamics
- Skid Recovery Techniques
- Proper Seating Positions (forward & reverse)
- Crash Avoidance
- Proper Steering Techniques (forward & reverse)
- Controlling Weight Transfers
- Anti-Lock & Threshold Braking Techniques
- Off Road Recovery Techniques
These are some of the same skills taught to FCPD officers. Fairfax County’s Emergency Vehicle Operations Course and Instructors are ranked among the best in the nation.
Training takes place one Saturday per month, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy’s Emergency Vehicle Operations Center.
• Must be 16 to 19 years
• Fairfax County residents (other residents welcome if space permits)
• Possess a valid drivers or provisional license (NO LEARNER’S PERMIT)
• Authorize a DMV record check (status only)
Location: Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy; 3725 Stonecroft Blvd.,Chantilly, Virginia 20151
Mental Health First Aid
Mental Health First Aid is a public education program offered by the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board Wellness and Health Promotion staff that can help communities understand mental illnesses, seek timely intervention, and save lives.
One in five Americans has a mental illness and many are reluctant to seek help or might not know where to turn for care. The symptoms of mental illness can be difficult to detect — even when friends and family of someone who appears to be developing a mental illness can tell that something is amiss, they may not know how to intervene or direct the person to proper treatment. Far too many (up to two-thirds) go without treatment or significantly delay seeking services.
Yet, just as CPR training helps a layperson without medical training assist an individual following a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid training helps a layperson assist someone developing or experiencing a mental health problem or crisis.
Mental Health First Aid:
- Introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems,
- Builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and
- Most importantly, teaches individuals how to help someone in crisis or experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge.
Mental Health First Aid uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis; select interventions and provide initial help; and connect people to professional, peer, social, and self-help care.Participants do not learn to diagnose, nor how to provide any therapy or counseling – rather, participants gain concrete tools and answers to key questions like “What can I do?” and “Where can someone find help?” and a core five-step action plan to support someone developing signs and symptoms of mental illness or in an emotional crisis.
Our certified instructors teach the program throughout Fairfax County and cities of Fairfax and Falls Church.
In addition to courses that are available for individual enrollment, you can also request a customized group Mental Health First Aid course.
Mental Health First Aid training for adults is available in both English and Spanish, and the youth training is available in English.
For more information, visit the website: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/csb/events/mental-health-first-aid.htm
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Training Offered
Fairfax County will offer Community Response Team (CERT) training to residents over a two month period, during September and October 2014, at the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Academy, 4600 West Ox Road, Fairfax, VA. Residents may choose from one of two sessions, either September 8, 15, 22, 29, and October 6, 20, and 27, or September 10, 17, 24, and October 1, 8, 22, 29, from 7 to 10:30 p.m.
The Community Emergency Response Team training program is designed to prepare residents to help themselves, their families, and neighbors during a disaster in their community. Through the CERT training program, residents learn about disaster preparedness and receive low-impact training in basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, minimal search and rescue, and disaster medical operations. The training intends to provide immediate assistance and critical support before first responders arrive on scene.
The classroom instruction incorporates some hands-on skill development and experience in conducting a search and victim assessment. There is no cost for the program.
To sign up, go to the Fairfax County volunteer portal at https://volunteer.fairfaxcounty.gov and search for CERT. For more information, call Jeff Katz, at 703-246-3926.
Laurel Hill Adaptive Reuse Area
In the final step required to transform the former Lorton Prison into a mixed-use community, Fairfax County approved a master development agreement today.
Under this legal and financial agreement with the county, The Alexander Company and Elm Street will redevelop the site 80-acre Laurel Hill Adaptive Reuse Area.
preserving and reusing former prison buildings while providing up to:
- 412 market-rate residential units, including up to 225 apartments in former prison dorms and workshops, 157 new townhomes, six condos and 24 new single-family homes
- 110,000 square feet of retail and office space
- 20,000 square feet in civic or community space
The development is divided into two phases.
The first phase, expected to break ground this fall, calls for 165 apartments by fall 2016 and 107 new homes by 2020.
The project’s second phase is expected to begin in late 2016. It includes 60,000 square feet in new commercial and retail space, 50,000 square feet in adaptive reuse commercial space, 74 townhomes and six condos.
Per the agreement, the county will only pick up a projected $12.7 million of the estimated $188 million project cost. Fairfax’s contribution goes toward new infrastructure needed to adaptively reuse the site. The county will split these infrastructure costs equally with the developers — but the deal caps the county’s contribution to a maximum, fixed amount.
Fairfax County acquired the former prison property for $4.2 million in July 2002. While the entire property encompasses about 2,323 acres, a portion, including the Laurel Hill Adaptive Reuse Area, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Laurel Hill Adaptive Reuse Area Master Plan was approved by the Board of Supervisors in 2010, after a two-year master planning effort.
Board of Supervisors Votes Against Approving Extension of Lorton Landfill Operations
7/29/14 - The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted today against
approving two zoning applications from Furnace Associates Inc. to
extend its landfill operations in Lorton until Dec. 31, 2025. The
construction debris landfill is currently scheduled to close by Jan. 1,
2019. The board was poised to vote on the landfill’s zoning
proposal on June 17, but it deferred a decision until today. The landfill
is located along the west side of I-95 and north of Furnace Road in
Furnace Associates, Inc.
Emergency and Information Phone Numbers:
Non-emergency public safety - 703-691-2131
Fairfax County Government - 703-817-7771
Fairfax County Public Schools - 1-800-839- 3277
Fairfax Water - 703-698-5613
Storm Flooding - 703-323-1211
Wastewater Collection Division - 703-323-1211
Washington Gas - 703-750-1400
Columbia Gas - 1-800-544-5606
Dominion Virginia Power - 1-888-667-3000
NOVEC - 1-888-335-0500
Verizon - 703-954-6222
Cox Communications - 703-378-8422
Comcast of Virginia - 703-670-3500
American Red Cross - 703-805-2057
Are You and Your Family Prepared for a Disaster?
Do you have a family plan? Do you have emergency supplies for your family and pets if the power is out and the roads are closed for a few days or longer? What if you have to evacuate? What if someone gets hurt and rescue crews cannot get to you right away? These are all important questions and there are good answers.
Fairfax County participates in a National Program that trains and prepares citizens for all kinds of disasters; THE TRAINING IS FREE! Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training is presented by certified instructors in 3 hour sessions, one evening a week for 8 weeks. Training is informative; practical; hands on; challenging; and FREE! Participants must be at least 16 years old.
- Things you can do to prevent emergencies in your home and office; safety practices
- Things you can do now to prepare for a disaster and reduce the impact when it happens
- Things you can do during a disaster to protect yourself and your family
- Things you can do after a disaster to help your family and your neighborhood recover if the professional responders are delayed or cannot get to you right away
Specific Classes include:
- Personal and Family Preparedness
- Disaster Preparedness
- Basic Fire Suppression
- Medical Aid and Operations
- CERT Team Operations
- Light Search and Rescue
- Disaster Psychology
- Hazardous Materials
Classes are regularly scheduled at the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Academy and, if there is sufficient interest, classes can be conducted at local venues (fire stations; community centers).
For more information, please check out:
Fairfax County: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/oem/citizencorps/cert.htm
Make an Impact Close to Home
RSVP is America's largest volunteer network for people age 55 and older. In Northern Virginia, RSVP volunteers are responding to community needs in and around Fairfax County, Arlington County, and the City of Alexandria. Individuals choose how, where, and how often they want to serve, with commitments ranging from a few hours to 40 hours per week.
Lead with a Lifetime of Experience: RSVP volunteers bring 55+ years of skills and experience, and many of them want to explore new talents! RSVP offers a wide range of opportunities, including:
- Mentoring children in classrooms
- Supporting veterans and military families
- Tax counseling for low-income families
- Working in local and national parks
- Enrich Your Life and the Lives of Others
Studies show that volunteering helps us to live longer, more meaningful lives. In addition to meeting friends who share the same passion for service, benefits to RSVP members include:
- Free accident and liability insurance while serving
- Optional transportation reimbursement
- Social and recognition events
- Ongoing educational opportunities
Complete information can be found here: http://www.volunteerfairfax.org/individuals/rsvp.php
Boards, Authorities and Commissions
Supervisor Hyland needs dedicated community leaders to serve on important Boards, Authorities and Commissions for Fairfax County. Click here to learn about vacancies and how to apply.