In case you missed the Feb. 23 Board of Supervisors meeting, here is a brief recap of items from the board’s monthly work session and business meeting:
PROPERTY TAX RATE REDUCTION
The board authorized advertisement of Chesterfield’s maximum property tax rate for 2022 at 93 cents per $100 of assessed value, ensuring all property owners in the county will receive at least a 2-cent reduction from the current 95-cent rate.
County administration has proposed cutting the rate by an additional penny to further mitigate the impact of rising property assessments, which increased countywide this year by an average of 12%.
A 92-cent property tax rate would be Chesterfield’s lowest since the 1960s.
Administration also is proposing to slash the county’s vehicle registration fee from $40 to $20. That would reduce local revenue by $6.9 million, equivalent to another 1.5-cent cut in the property tax rate.
County Administrator Dr. Joe Casey’s proposed fiscal year 2023 operating budget, which will be presented to the Board of Supervisors at a March 9 work session, incorporates both the 92-cent property tax rate and the vehicle registration fee reduction – as well as other local tax relief measures already approved by the board.
Adjusted for inflation, the proposed financial plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1 maintains per-capita spending on county government operations at 1992 levels.
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM
Matt Harris, deputy county administrator for finance and administration, presented Chesterfield’s proposed capital improvement program (CIP) for fiscal years 2023 through 2027 during the board’s afternoon work session.
The $612.9 million plan includes increased funding for community enhancement projects, as well as replacement or renovation of fire stations and libraries, improvements to public parks and construction of permanent police precinct buildings, which will result in significant savings over time as the Chesterfield Police Department vacates office space it currently leases.
The CIP will be voted on by the Board of Supervisors, along with the fiscal year 2023 operating budget, in early April.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT UPDATE
Jennifer Wakefield, president and CEO of the Greater Richmond Partnership, updated the board on its efforts to attract new business prospects to the Richmond region.
Chesterfield County is part of GRP, along with Henrico and Hanover counties and the city of Richmond.
You can watch Wakefield’s full presentation below.
The board received presentations on Chesterfield’s efforts to protect the environment, and were advised by staff that stringent regulations for development in the Upper Swift Creek Watershed are having the desired effect on water quality in Swift Creek Reservoir.
Shawn Weimer, land protection manager for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, also fielded a series of questions from board members regarding a construction demolition debris landfill that opened in the county’s Skinquarter area in 2019.
Josh Sloan, volunteer and outreach coordinator for Sportable, presented an award recognizing Chesterfield Parks and Recreation as the local nonprofit’s 2021 Community Partner of the Year.
It was one of several county honors noted during the board’s evening business meeting.
Chesterfield recently was recognized by TopWorkplaces.com as one of the top 100 employers in the U.S. with more than 2,500 employees.
The Urban Libraries Council honored the local library system as one of its top innovators at its virtual 2021 Innovations Celebration. Chesterfield County Public Library received honorable mention for institutional change and strategic management, after implementing curbside pickup and other operational improvements that preserved safe public access to library materials during the COVID-19 pandemic.
And Sports Events magazine selected River City Sportsplex No. 2 nationally in the category of all-star outdoor sports venues. The county-owned facility attracted more than 130,000 visitors last year and generated $32.2 million in local economic impact, from which the county received $1.2 million in direct tax revenue.
4-H STUDENT AWARD
Chesterfield teen Andrea Farag was recognized at Wednesday’s board meeting after recently receiving one of the Virginia 4-H program’s most prestigious honors, the 2022 Youth in Action Award for Civic Engagement.
4-H is the youth development education program of Virginia Cooperative Extension.
Farag, a senior at Thomas Dale High School, has been a member of Chesterfield 4-H for about 10 years and currently serves as Virginia 4-H State Cabinet President.
She also has worked within the organization to highlight social justice issues, both on the county and state level, and help create a diversity and equity committee to make Virginia 4-H a more inclusive environment.