On Election Day, Nov. 5, voters considered three questions regarding capital-improvement projects for schools and public safety in Chesterfield County, Virginia. See Chesterfield County election results
- Whether to issue $304 million in bonds to support school facility improvements, headlined by the renovation or replacement of 10 older schools and the addition of one new elementary school.
- Whether to issue $49 million in bonds to provide for the replacement of the county’s emergency communications system.
- Whether to establish a local meals tax in order to help finance the public safety and school construction improvements in the referendum.
If approved, the meals tax would be set no higher than 2 percent and would be restricted to paying for a portion of the capital costs associated with the 2013 referendum projects.
How will the referendum help maintain Chesterfield County’s FIRST CHOICE community?
Providing adequate facilities is a key component in delivering high-quality education and maintaining desirable neighborhoods and property values.
Numerous county school buildings have exceeded their useful lives and need to be renovated or replaced. The referendum focuses on seven elementary schools with an average age of 62 years and two middle schools with an average age of 47 years. It also includes one new school to accommodate overcrowding.
The technology behind the county’s existing emergency communication system is almost 20 years old and, by 2017, the manufacturer will no longer provide technical support or replacement parts. The emergency communications system is the primary tool for coordinating and dispatching public safety responders — police, fire and emergency medical services, and sheriff’s deputies — and needs to be replaced to provide ongoing reliability.
Public safety and the quality of local schools are top considerations for new and expanding businesses when they decide where to locate and create jobs.