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Chesterfield County Annual Report - 2012
 
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County Administrator
Dr. Joseph P. Casey
Email us 

Executive Assistant 
Joy Galusha
804-748-1190
galushaj@chesterfield.gov 

Phone Numbers
Office: 804-748-1211
Fax: 804-717-6297
TDD: 804-748-1910


Mailing Address
P.O. Box 40
Chesterfield, VA 23832-0040

Street Address
9901 Lori Road
Chesterfield, VA 23832
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Annual Report
Chesterfield County Annual Report - 2012

A prolonged downturn continues to create challenges for Chesterfield County after five years of national economic recession. Even so, the county has exercised fiscal constraint throughout this period while developing a model that allows for progress and future planning.

The Board of Supervisors, foreseeing an extended period of difficult times, made necessary reductions early. The board crafted a multiyear strategy to conserve resources and focus on generating new investment throughout the county. Nearly $600 million in new business has spurred revitalization along targeted corridors and created hundreds of new employment opportunities. Companies such as Sabra, Capital One, Amazon, Networking Technologies and Support Inc. have collectively created a Mid-Atlantic region gateway of commerce and distribution, bolstering Chesterfield County’s reputation as a desirable place to do business.

The board also made targeted investments in sports tourism, an initiative that accounted for $20.3 million in economic impact in 2012, highlighted by the opening of the Greater Richmond Aquatics Partnership’s aquatics center and the celebration of 400 years of history with special events, tours and activities at Henricus Historical Park. Sporting events, ranging from soccer tournaments to lacrosse tournaments to mud runs, attracted 61,000 out-of-town visitors and were attended by 116,000 people.

The board’s focus on economic land development helped to keep unemployment well under state and national averages, and provided support for steady consumer spending. Local unemployment, currently at about 5.5 percent, has continued to stay below state and national levels. Consumer spending grew by nearly 5 percent, resulting in increased sales-tax revenues. On the housing front, building permits for single-family homes were up by 25 percent, home sales were up by 15 percent, and home price declines moderated from -5.3 percent in 2011 to -1.3 percent in 2012. Since 2008, the value of single family homes decreased by 15 percent overall, resulting in an average tax bill reduction of almost $1,200 per household. Despite these difficult times, Chesterfield is one of the few counties nationwide in 2012 that maintained its triple AAA bond rating.

During this year, the board also continued to be mindful of the county’s future needs, adopting a new comprehensive plan in October, which will serve as a guide to growth and development. The plan is the culmination of several years of hard work by county staff, the Planning Commission, county residents and other stakeholders. In addition to the typical components of a comprehensive plan, such as land use and transportation, the new plan guides important efforts relative to revitalization, economic development, the environment, and historical and cultural resources.

Renewed emphasis on revitalization also can be seen through the redevelopment of the former Cloverleaf Mall site. The site has been developed into the 83-acre, mixed-use site, Stonebridge, where in December, Kroger Marketplace opened as the largest grocery store in the Mid-Atlantic region. The development of 600 apartments and an addition of 20,400 square feet of small shop space currently are in progress. By the final phases, it is anticipated that Stonebridge will become a 400,000-square-foot, $100 million redevelopment along one of the county’s key business corridors. Plans also are under way for the revitalization of nearly five miles of the Hull Street Road-Hull Street corridor in the county and the City of Richmond. The Hull Street 360 vision is to transform the area into places where people can walk to shops, schools, parks and restaurants, and make it a destination for visitors from other areas.

This continuous work of county officials in attracting business investment is complemented by its innovative problem-solving to improve processes, reduce costs and enhance Chesterfield County’s quality of life. The way in which officials have shifted resources and implemented new ways of operating with little budget growth is a testament to the county’s commitment to fiscal restraint. Examples of streamlining local government business units and better collaboration with community partners as ways to address many of these challenges are detailed in this report.

In the coming years, however, the county faces a new set of fiscal challenges that could put the strong local climate in jeopardy. Eroding state dollars for road improvements and maintenance, strict and expensive requirements for clean water initiatives, and new benefit costs mandated by the federal Affordable Care Act will all contribute to the county’s fiscal stress. Nonetheless, the county’s philosophy of taking a longer, and cautious, perspective in financial situations has helped it to withstand the tough economic times better than many other local governments. Chesterfield County will continue to rely on those disciplined practices to help the county navigate the looming challenges in the future.

Chesterfield County by the Numbers

  • Population: 323,000, the third largest county in Virginia, with a workforce of more than 170,000.
  • Size: 446 square miles, the second-largest in the Richmond metropolitan region.
  • Public School System: Fourth largest in the state with more than 60 schools and 58,000 students.
  • Education: 36.3 percent of the county's population (age 25 and up) have bachelor's degrees or higher.
  • Median household income: $71,110.
  • Enterprise Zones: Two, making up 7,470 acres, with incentives that include tax credits and rebates, fee waivers, utilities connection credits, job grants and loan programs for businesses.
  • Unemployment rate: 5.3 percent, as compared to 8.1 percent for Richmond, for November, 2012.
  • 2012 Highlights (from departments)

Special Awards and Recognitions

  • Chesterfield County was once again recognized by America’s Promise Alliance’s 100 Best Communities for Young People, presented by ING for its initiatives to help young people. This was the county’s sixth consecutive time being recognized since the program began in 2005. This national competition recognizes communities across the country that focus on reducing high school dropout rates and providing service and support to youths. The county received a $2,500 grant, signage identifying the community as one of the nation’s 100 Best Communities for Young People, and access to America’s Promise Alliance’s community development resources. Just a few of the many initiatives recognized were:
    • The Communities In Schools program, with more than 400 mentors, tutors, lunch buddies and classroom helpers, volunteered nearly 5,000 hours to deliver education, health and social support services to promote academic achievement and help students graduate.
    • The Chesterfield County Youth Services Citizen Board provides young leaders with the opportunity to have a voice regarding youth-related issues by planning programs and offering policy recommendations to the Board of Supervisors.
    • Each year, thanks to a partnership with the Virginia Dental Association, the Southside Dental Society and Communities In Schools, nearly 150 students in need receive dental screenings and follow-up treatments free of charge.
  • Chesterfield County received 12 achievement awards from the National Association of Counties. NACo’s membership includes more than 2,000 counties across the country representing more than 80 percent of the nation’s population. The association has been granting annual awards since 1970, recognizing innovative programs or services provided by counties. The 2012 award winners were:
    • Adolescent Reporting Program: Chesterfield Adolescent Reporting Program
    • Center for Organizational Excellence: Emerging Senior Leader Program: Ensuring Our Future
    • Human Resource Management: Diversity Management . . . A New Approach
    • Human Resource Management: Modernizing Leave Plans: Paid Time Off
    • Information Systems Technology: Civil War Earthworks Preservation
    • Information Systems Technology: CitizenGIS
    • Juvenile Services: Capping a Community Problem: Partnerships for Preventing Refrigerant Huffing
    • Library Services: iHunt: Crack the CCPL Code
    • Library Services: Enhancing Customer Knowledge of eReaders and Digital Collections
    • Planning: The Ready to Build Expedited Plan Review Process
    • Risk Management: Safety Audit Program
     
  • The Chesterfield County Library Services also received a VACo Award for its program, “Enhancing Customer Knowledge of eReaders and Digital Collections.”
  • The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, recognized the county with two Bright Ideas awards for Compliance Checks: A Community Approach and Build-a-House. Youth Planning and Development partnered with Chesterfield County Police and Substance Abuse Free Environment Inc., or SAFE, the county's substance-abuse-prevention coalition, to develop a strategy to help reduce the ease with which underage drinkers can purchase alcohol. Through a combination of increased compliance checks, positive recognition for the clerks and stores that complied, and the building of community partnerships with retail outlets, sales of alcohol to minors from off-premise alcohol outlets decreased by 75 percent between 2007 and 2012. The county worked in partnership with Chesterfield Alternatives Inc. to build homes for intellectually disabled adults through the Build-a-House initiative. Two homes have been constructed since 2008, with more than 600 students working on site and numerous businesses donating materials, offering discounts or volunteering to assist the students.
  • In November 2012, the Utilities Department earned the AAA rating for utilities water and sewer revenue bonds from Standard and Poor’s Rating Services, one of the top three credit rating agencies. This is the highest rating available, which categorizes utilities as having strong financial profiles and sound management practices. The Utilities Department is one of only a few utilities in the nation to achieve an AAA rating on its revenue bonds from all three of the top rating services: Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investors Services and Standard & Poor’s Rating Services.
  • The Planning Department received a National Association of Counties award for the Ready to Build Expedited Plans Review Process. They used the Fast Track and Ready to Build Expedited Plan Review processes to quickly approve24 new construction projects that support jobs in the construction and supply industries and bring new businesses and jobs on-line more quickly, up from 19 in 2011.
  • Michelle Oblinski, deputy emergency management coordinator, received the 2012 Virginia Emergency Management Agency/Virginia Department of Emergency Management Presidents Award for her outstanding work supporting those agencies.
  • The county was an Excellence in Virginia Government Award Winner, receiving an Innovation in Government Award for “My Business Starts Here.”
  • The county’s Coalition for Active Children, COACH, works with 15 community partners to offer programs that address childhood-obesity issues and help families make healthy choices. COACH, Chesterfield County’s Coalition for Active Children, has adopted the 5210 Every Day message that promotes healthy lifestyles for families. Being healthy is as easy as learning four numbers — 5, 2, 1 and 0. These are part of a public-health campaign helping families, schools, communities and physicians raise awareness about nutritional and physical-activity guidelines. The 5210 program is rapidly gaining national attention. The program began in Portland, Maine, in 2003 and has expanded throughout the Northeast, through the South, and even to California and Hawaii. For more information about the Maine program, visit www.letsgo.org.
  • Chesterfield County provides a variety of educational pathways and early-intervention programs that have resulted in an on-time graduation rate of nearly 87 percent. A Drop-Out Prevention Task Force, comprised of school and community representatives, provides a systematic approach to ensuring that students stay in school and graduate on time. Starting in elementary school, counselors are alerted when a child has five absences. Advocates reach out to the child and family to offer assistance in addressing attendance barriers. The Success Program allows academically-struggling eighth graders to complete two ninth-grade core classes in summer school and receive mentoring throughout their freshman year for a smoother transition into high school. Twice each year, drop-in fairs provide an opportunity to connect students who have dropped out with resources that will help them earn a high school diploma.
  • The Department of Public Affairs also earned eight awards in this year’s National Association of County Information Officers’ Award of Excellence competition for writing and graphic design work. NACIO is an affiliate of NACo, the National Association of Counties. The organization represents several hundred communication professionals who work for more than 3,000 counties, boroughs and parishes across the nation.
  • The Utilities Department received the American Water Works Association’s Public Communications Achievement and Community Relations Award for the Route 10/Beach Road project. This award acknowledged the effective communication techniques and the extra efforts the department took related to customer service during this major water line construction project.
  • Agriculture and Natural Resource staff partnered with the Agriculture and Forestry Committee, Chesterfield Farm Bureau, Virginia Farm Bureau, and Virginia State University staff to conduct the first “Predatory Wildlife Control Workshop and Demonstration” to address coyote problems affecting area producers and ranchers. The program won 2012 County Activity Best-In-State award at the Virginia Farm Bureau annual meeting.
  • Information Systems Technology also earned several awards including:
    • Top 5 - Best Municipal Website - Chesterfield.gov
    • Top 5 – Best Digital County
    • Governor’s Technology Award - Mug Shot Lineup
    • A+ Transparency Rating – By Sunlight Foundation
     
  • The Government Finance Officers Association, GFOA, awarded the Accounting Department a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its annual financial report for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2011. This is the 31st consecutive year that Chesterfield County has received the award. The certificate is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.

Reaching Out To Residents

Chesterfield County is committed to keeping residents informed about issues and services that affect the quality of life. This communication is achieved through a variety of ways, including:

  • Board of Supervisor meetings – A five-member Board of Supervisors, elected by district, governs Chesterfield County. Residents may attend Board of Supervisors meetings, which are held in the Public Meeting Room, located in the County Administration Complex at 10001 Iron Bridge Road.
  • Currents – The county's Department of Public Affairs distributes a free e-newsletter to subscribers who wish to receive district news from the Board of Supervisors and information about county programs, meetings, services and events.
  • Facebook – follow Chesterfield County on Facebook!
  • Parks and Recreation Program Guide— seasonal activities guides are produced three times a year. To sign up for notices of special events, new programs and facilities, registration dates, volunteer opportunities and more, email parksrec@chesterfield.gov. Include name, mailing address and phone number.
  • Spanish Translation – Translation assistance is available by calling 804-796-7085, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. For emergencies outside of normal business hours, please call 911. The Emergency Communications Center also provides a service made available by Language Line Inc. This service provides 24-hour over-the-phone interpretation of more than 140 languages. Si usted necesita asistencia en español, por favor marque 804-796-7085.  
  • Mobile Access – A mobile-friendly version of the county’s website is available for smart phones and tablets. Go to m.chesterfield.gov.
  • 1630 AM – The county operates a motorist public-information radio network at 1630 AM. Depending on their proximity to transmitter locations, some residences in the county also may be able to receive information on home radios. The station carries routine county information around the clock and features regular weather updates from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s facility in Wakefield, several times each hour. During emergency situations, the station may be used to communicate important information about road conditions, shelters and other topics of interest to the public.

Listening to You

There are many ways that residents can communicate with Chesterfield County government and their elected officials.

Contacting your Board of Supervisors member:

Contacting your County Administrator:  

Other Contacts:  

Get Involved  

  • Subscribe to Currents, Chesterfield County’s free quarterly e-newsletter.
  • Stay informed about events, meetings, workshops and more by checking the Current News and Events sections.
  • Volunteer with a Chesterfield County department, program or special event.
  • Use Citizen GIS, an online-mapping and aerial-imagery application on chesterfield.gov. Citizen GIS provides detailed electronic map layers showing parcels and property lines, subdivisions, streets, resource protection areas, public easements, fire hydrants and areas where zoning cases are pending.

Chesterfield County Division Highlights

Human Services 

Management Services 

Community Development  

Administration and Government Affairs  

Public Safety 

 
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