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Chesterfield County 2021 Budget: 'Modest' Pay Increase & Possible Bond Referendum

Chesterfield County Building
Chesterfield County's over $770 million budget seeks to give staff employees a 2 percent merit raise and streamline various departments. (Photo: Ian Stewart/VPM News)

Chesterfield County residents will get a chance to weigh on its newly released $770 million budget this week. About three quarters of that is dedicated to education and public safety, with some of the money going to hiring and staff development.

County staff, including school teachers, will see what County Administrator Joe Casey calls a “modest two-percent” pay raise. However, the county may give additional mid-year increases after they see results from a $2.5 million dollar compensation study for teachers and public safety employees. 

“We are recognizing the need to really devote our time and attention to what is the proper pay for teacher, police officer, firefighter and Sheriff deputy," said Casey.

Casey is set to present the fiscal year 2021 proposed budget at Wednesday's Board of Supervisors meeting, starting at 6pm.

The budget is available online and the public will have a chance to weigh in at a meeting on Thursday, March 12 at 1 p.m. at the Clover Hill Library. 

Bond Referendum

Chesterfield County leaders are working on a $600 million dollar bond referendum for  the November election. If voters approve the measure, the county would use the funds on infrastructure improvements and new construction.

Bond referendums ask citizens to help fund major projects that county funds cannot generally cover. If the proposed bond passes, the county plans to build several new schools, police stations and libraries.

“If a referendum is approved in November, we have the authority to go out and borrow against that to start to work on those projects, those bills don't come to really until fiscal year 22," said Matt Harris is Deputy County Administrator. 

County Administrator Joe Casey says they have no plans to increase the current 95-cent property tax in order to pay the bond back. However, he says, a meals tax could speed up payment and finish projects sooner.

“Because if there was a $20 million meals tax as part of the referendum, or part of any processes, you know, we need to have that discussion," said Casey.

County officials are still working out the details of what would encompass a possible bond referendum, which they say won’t be finalized until after the state and county adopt their respective budgets. 

The last county-wide bond referendum was in 2013. 

 

 

Ian M. Stewart previously was the transportation reporter and fill-in anchor for VPM News.
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