Chesterfield County considers $600 million bond referendum

Chesterfield County

CHESTERFIELD, Va (WRIC) — Chesterfield officials are considering a $600 million bond referendum for November, potentially teeing up capital improvements to schools and government facilities.

“About every eight to 10 years or so, we go out to the community and ask community approval for a slate of community facilities that support the full range of local government functions,” Deputy Chesterfield County Administrator Matt Harris said.

Though talks between the county’s Board of Supervisors and the Chesterfield County School Board are preliminary, it has been identified that around $400 million would be targeted for school projects, and roughly $200 million for government facilities; such as fire and police department buildings.

Harris said bond referendums in 2004 and 2013 both called for approximately $350 million. 8News asked why the current considered referendum is a stark increase from past referendums.

“So, this time when we talk about 600, give or take, the main difference is the fact that we’ve got additional general government facilities in there that we haven’t really tackled in this way since 2004,” Harris said.

For the county’s school system, which reports student enrollment increases, Harris says the referendum likely involves rehabilitation of existing facilities and building new.

“…actual growth in the number of schools in the county, I think that’s what you will ultimately see.”

Harris said potential impact to taxpayers is currently unknown, citing ongoing county budget consideration, bond financing options and projects slated to be backed by the referendum are not yet solidified.

A work session between county supervisors and the school board is slated for 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 19, in the county administration building on Lori Road.

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