Stafford County and the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Crystal Vanuch, Rock Hill District, is proud to release the annual “State of the County” video for 2021. Stafford made great strides this year on its strategic priorities for the community. Highlights of the year improve enhanced efforts to retain public safety and school personnel, a change in zoning ordinances to better implement Healthy Growth, attracting two Amazon facilities that will bring more than 600 jobs, continuing Transportation Bond projects and the unveiling of a new website and interactive budgeting tool for residents.
“As a Board, we are focused on moving the county forward with regard to the priorities identified as important to our community,” said Chairman of the Board Crystal Vanuch, Rock Hill District. “This year, I am proud to say we have made major strides, particularly in the areas of public safety, education, transportation and economic development.”
The Strategic Plan includes seven priorities for the County: Healthy Growth; a Responsive Transportation System; the Heartbeat of Recreation, History and Culture; Quality Educational Opportunities; a Vibrant and Exciting Business Community; a Dedicated and Responsive Public Safety Team; and Organizational Excellence. Highlights for each area are detailed below.
Healthy Growth - After much input from the public, Stafford changed its zoning ordinance to change the minimum lot size in A-1 Zones from three acres to six acres. Agricultural areas do not have the infrastructure – roads, water lines – to sustain an increased population.
Transportation – The County continued work on its $50 million Transportation Bond projects, improving more than nine miles of road in 2021 and preparing for multiple projects in 2022, including the $10.6 million Enon Road Improvement Project and the $29.9 million Shelton Shop Road Improvement Project. Additionally, work begins on a $20 million Route 1 and Courthouse Road Intersection Improvement Project.
Recreation, History and Culture – Parks were made safer, especially the heavily used ones like Historic Falmouth, and navigational buoys were installed at Lake Mooney. The Board broke ground for Musselman Park while creating a master plan for Patawomeck and Mountain View parks.
Quality Educational Opportunities – The Board approved funding to provide at least a 5% pay increase for teachers and exceeded the Superintendent’s Proposed Budget by $1.5 million. Additionally, the Board approved $1.5 million to support and increase the bus driver pay scale and committed to building a sixth high school in the southwestern portion of the County.
A Vibrant and Exciting Business Community – The County attracted two Amazon facilities to the Centreport Parkway area, bringing more than 600 jobs to the County. The County worked with the state and region to attract a significant unmanned aircraft company.
Public Safety – The Board adjusted the pay scale for public safety employees, instituting a step system to prevent pay compression. In 2020, that commitment was reinforced by increasing the pay scale by 2.25%. The Board also accelerated the rebuild of Aquia Station 9 to Fiscal Year 2022 and approved the Rockhill Station rebuild in FY 2024.
Organizational Excellence – The County debuted a new, more mobile-friendly website and several new accessibility features. Open.gov was launched to make the County budget more interactive and transparent.
More highlights from the State of the County may be seen in the video below.