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The State Of Chesterfield County

Chesterfield County Building
Chesterfield County Administrator Joe Casey gave a review of the past year and a peek into what's coming in 2021. (Photo: Ian Stewart/VPM News)

Chesterfield Administrator Joe Casey gave a virtual “State of the County” address Wednesday. 

He said the year was dominated by the response to the coronavirus, which included distributing federal relief funds to small businesses, childcare centers and waiving utility fees. 

Casey’s main message was the county tried its best to remain open for business as the pandemic continued. 

“Fifty one percent of our services have returned,” Casey said. And he added that the region’s unemployment claims are also trending downward.

One of the highlights during his hour-long speech was how the county’s economic development association has helped bring many new businesses to the region, such as Triple Crossing Brewery and Gather, a company that rents out work spaces.  

He also gave a glimpse of plans to spend part of a $54 million dollar surplus. Casey said the county had already finished with the new budget, but had to quickly pivot to adapt to changes brought about by the pandemic. 

“Next week, the Board of Supervisors will take action to consider a budget amendment that would make a $13.5 million investment in our public safety workforce. The largest in our history and region's history,” Casey said.

Despite the good fiscal news, some of the savings resulted from furloughing workers and hiring freezes. At the same time, the recent boom in new construction brought in more tax dollars. Casey said they are in the process of rehiring workers who were furloughed--including 10 librarians.

That pay raise is a result of a pay compression study that the Board of Supervisors approved earlier this year. Another pay compression study--this one for teachers--has just been released through the school board. Supervisors are set to discuss this at a future meeting.

The Board of Supervisors are holding a public meeting about the large surplus on December 16.

 

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