In case you missed the Dec. 15 Board of Supervisors meeting, here is a brief roundup of items from the board’s monthly work session and business meeting:
BUDGET AMENDMENTS TO REALLOCATE SURPLUS FUNDS
Following a public hearing, the board voted in support of staff’s plan to reinvest the Chesterfield County government’s historic $106 million operating surplus from fiscal year 2021.
About half of the money is targeted for expenditures that were approved earlier this year: $27 million to fully fund a supplemental retirement plan (SRP) for Chesterfield County Public Schools employees, and $25 million for three strategic land acquisitions.
Paying off the unfunded liability in the school system’s SRP will free up about $12 million annually in its operating budget and allow it to build two new middle schools at least a year earlier than expected.
The Board of Supervisors designated $19.2 million for cash funding of projects in the fiscal year 2022 capital improvement program (CIP), which will generate significant savings on interest costs.
As requested by the School Board, the supervisors also reallocated the school system’s $42 million surplus -- $20 million of which will be used to establish a reserve account for future compensation priorities.
An itemized breakdown of additional county and school surplus allocations can be found in our Dec. 13 post.
PUBLIC HEARING SET ON SPLIT VOTING PRECINCTS
The board scheduled a public hearing for its Jan. 26, 2022 meeting to consider an amendment to county code that will cure voting precinct splits resulting from the redrawing of Chesterfield’s five magisterial districts and establish polling places for newly created precincts.
The county’s redistricting plan, which the board approved on Nov. 17, caused three existing voting precincts to be split between magisterial districts:
- Skinquarter is now split between Matoaca and Midlothian
- Pocoshock is split between Dale and Midlothian
- Woolridge is split between Matoaca and Clover Hill.
The Code of Virginia requires that each voting precinct be wholly contained within a single magisterial district.
Also, the entire Manchester precinct has been moved from Clover Hill to Dale, and the Tomahawk precinct has been moved from Matoaca to Clover Hill as a result of countywide redistricting.
County code must be amended to reflect that those precincts are in new districts.
FEDERAL FUNDING FOR DOMESTIC AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE RESOURCE CENTER
The board accepted and appropriated $74,433 in American Rescue Plan Act revenue for Community Corrections Services to continue funding two full-time positions in the county’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Resource Center (DSVRC).
The positions originally were created in 2019 with funding from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant program: an Advocate that provides additional support to the daily protective order docket, reducing the potential for unserved and underserved victims, and a Senior Clinician to provide trauma-sensitive therapeutic counseling to victims of domestic and sexual violence.
The grant funding allowed the DSVRC to provide new and enhanced advocacy services for victims of domestic and sexual violence, dating violence and stalking. The center received a 2021 National Association of Counties (NACo) award for the success of the program.
Chesterfield is the only locality in the state that has a dedicated Domestic and Sexual Violence Resource Center. It serves as the hub of the county’s coordinated response to domestic and sexual violence.
Colony Village Apartments on Route 1
EXTENSION OF ROUTE 1 INCENTIVE POLICY
Rather than let it expire on Dec. 31, the board extended by two years an incentive policy created to spur much-needed residential and commercial development along Chesterfield’s northern Route 1 corridor.
It also increased the minimum investment to qualify for the incentive from $5 million to $10 million, encouraging development of larger, truly catalytic projects that align with the goals of the county’s Northern Jefferson Davis Special Area Plan.
Under the policy, which was initially adopted in 2019 and renewed two years later, the developer of a qualifying project receives a grant equal to 80% of their incremental real estate taxes for the first seven years after completion. That then falls to 60%, 40% and 20%, respectively, over the final three years of the 10-year grant period.
To gauge the effectiveness of the policy, the board agreed with staff’s contention that additional time is necessary to allow several projects in the development pipeline to be completed and become eligible for the incentive.
VIRGINIA STATE UNIVERSITY UPDATE
Dr. Makola Abdullah, president of Virginia State University, presented an annual update of the university’s activities and accomplishments during the board’s afternoon work session.
Located in the south Chesterfield village of Ettrick, VSU’s enrollment grew by 280 to a total of 4,300 students for the fall 2020 semester. That’s an increase of 7% over the same time a year ago.
VSU also reported the highest retention rate in more than 20 years.
View Dr. Abdullah’s full presentation below.
The full Dec. 15 Board of Supervisors meeting is available here.