In case you missed the March 23 Board of Supervisors meeting, here is a brief recap of items from the board’s work session and business meeting:
PUBLIC HEARINGS ON PROPOSED BUDGET, LOCAL TAX RATES
Chesterfield residents got opportunities to address the board and provide feedback on several topics, most notably the county administrator’s proposed fiscal year 2023 operating budget and capital improvement program and local tax rates for this year.
You can view all of the public hearings in their entirety here.
The $905.1 million operating plan includes an $18 million increase in local funding for Chesterfield County Public Schools, bringing the county’s recurring support to the school system to $347.7 million.
School funding represents the largest share of the budget, at 41%. Combined with public safety (25%), those two priorities continue to receive two-thirds of every dollar allocated from the county’s general fund.
The proposed budget is balanced against a real estate tax rate of 92 cents per $100 of assessed value, which represents a 3-cent cut from the current rate and would be Chesterfield’s lowest in at least the last 50 years.
That’s part of a broad package of local tax relief measures totaling $52 million.
The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on the budget at its April 6 meeting.
POLICE DEPARTMENT’S ANNUAL REPORT
Col. Jeffrey Katz, chief of the Chesterfield Police Department, presented its annual report to the board during the afternoon work session.
Included in his remarks were recognition of the department’s 2021 Officer of the Year, Master Officer Rob Wilson, and Detective of the Year, Senior Detective Chris Lee.
The Mason T. Chalkley Award, which is presented annually to supervisors who exhibit exemplary leadership, went to Sgt. Winfred “Lew” Lewis.
The chief’s full presentation is available below.
CARP BARRIER ON SWIFT CREEK RESERVOIR
The board authorized the award of a $1.49 million construction contract to Haren Construction Co. for the Swift Creek Reservoir Dam Carp Barrier project.
The project consists of renovating the existing dam to accommodate the installation of a barrier that will prevent carp from escaping over the spillway during high-water events.
Chesterfield Utilities periodically releases sterile triploid grass carp into the reservoir to manage the growth of hydrilla, an invasive aquatic plant that has been present there since 2010.
FEDERAL GRANTS FOR SCHOOL SYSTEM
As requested by the School Board, the Board of Supervisors accepted and appropriated $1.72 million in federal grants from the American Rescue Plan Act’s (ARPA) Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund.
Chesterfield County Public Schools will use $1.66 million to administer a Saturday remediation program for special education students during the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years. The funding will cover pay for teachers, instructional aides and support personnel to deliver programming, as well as transportation, snacks and materials for participating students.
A second federal grant of $65,190 will support a mentoring program for new CCPS teachers. The program is for teachers who are in their first year with the school system and have not worked previously as a teacher in another locality. CCPS teachers who participate as mentors will receive a stipend for their time and effort.
NEW PARKS AND RECREATION DIRECTOR
County Administrator Dr. Joe Casey introduced the new director of Chesterfield Parks and Recreation, Edwin C. “Neil” Luther IV.
Luther, a Chesterfield resident, spent the past decade as director of Henrico County’s Department of Parks and Recreation. He started in his new role on March 21.
Luther, who began his career in Chesterfield, returns with 30 years of leadership experience in Parks and Recreation. During his time in Henrico, Luther oversaw a budget of more than $21 million and a department that included nearly 180 full-time positions.