Release Date: September 14, 2022
Danielle Fitz-Hugh, President
Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce Supports Yes Vote to Bond Referendum
(Chesterfield, VA ) Chesterfield residents will be asked to vote on the Community Facilities Bond Plan to authorize the issuance of $540 million in General Obligation bonds. If approved by voters, the bond proceeds will fund 26 capital improvement projects in four categories — schools, public safety, libraries and parks – over the next 8 to 10 years.
The largest share of the Community Facilities Bond Plan ($375 million) is allocated to Chesterfield County Public Schools for the following projects:
- Replacement of A.M. Davis Elementary ($40 million)
- Replacement of Bensley Elementary ($42 million)
- New elementary school in western Route 360 ($43 million)
- New high school in western Route 360 ($135 million)
- Replace Grange Hall Elementary ($43 million)
- Thomas Dale High School expansion ($22 million)
- Replace Midlothian Middle School ($50 million; the total project cost is $100 million, half of which will be funded through other sources)
The county government is slated to receive $165 million, broken down as follows: $81.1 for public safety (police and Fire/EMS), $45.7 million for libraries and $38.2 million for parks and recreation.
More than half of the public safety funding, or $42 million, will be used to replace two of Chesterfield’s oldest fire stations (Chester and Ettrick) at $12.3 million apiece. Fire and EMS also plans to expand and renovate the Clover Hill and Dutch Gap stations for $9.3 million and $8.1 million, respectively.
The Chesterfield Police Department plans to vacate its current leased space and move into four newly constructed, county-owned stations: Western Route 360, Chester and Westchester ($10.1 million apiece) and Stonebridge ($8.8 million).
The library funding is slated for three projects: Enon Library replacement ($17 million), construction of a new library in western Route 360 ($16.5 million) and expansion of the Ettrick-Matoaca Library ($12.2 million).
Most of the parks and recreation funding is allocated to enhancements at River City Sportsplex ($17.2 million) and Horner Park ($10 million). There is also $5 million for a boat launch on the James River in Enon, $4 million for Falling Creek water access and $2 million for creating new public access points in county-owned conservation areas.
The outcome of this bond referendum will have a profound impact on Chesterfield County, its resources, its prospects, and its capabilities to serve the citizenry. It is crucial that voters understand the issues at hand and the ramifications of either result of the referendum.
The Chamber Board of Directors believes revenues to support infrastructure investment should come from a broad base of funding sources. The Chamber supports a review of Capital Improvements annually to ensure effectiveness and efficiencies to adapt to the changing technology, trends, and opportunities within the County.
This bond referendum helps ensure that happens. Sound tax and revenue policies foster a strong pro-business environment balanced by prudent fiscal management with essential government services at a reasonable cost. When generating revenue, the County should seek to balance and minimize adverse impacts on any one segment of the business community or citizenry. The strong bond rating from prudent financial management is a testament to the County’s sound practices in financial management. General Obligation Bond funding is the least expensive way the County has to borrow money for capital projects. As debt is retired from previous GOB projects, that money can be applied to help fund the debt service payments for future projects.
It is for these reasons stated that the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce supports approval of the referendum.
About the Chesterfield Chamber: To be the champion for the business community, fostering growth and development, transformational relationships, and a thriving environment in Chesterfield County. To learn more about our organization” please visit www.chesterfieldchamber.com or call 804-748-6364.