Stafford County and the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Crystal Vanuch, Rock Hill District, are proud to release the annual "State of the County" video for 2022. Stafford focused this year on advancing its strategic priorities for the community. Highlights of the year include a 15% pay raise to deputies with the rank of 1st Sergeant and below, one of the most significant transfers to Stafford County Public Schools ever, the construction of a new water tank, conducting a Community Survey, the launch of AskBlu – a new customer service online tool and the dedication of a new funding stream dedicated to transportation projects.
"While this video highlights the many things we have accomplished this year, it only scratches the service of all we have done to move the County forward," said Chairman of the Board Crystal Vanuch, Rock Hill District. "This year, we made great strides in attracting and retaining high-quality employees, especially in the Sheriff's Office. Employees are the bedrock of our ability to provide services to the community and when we invest in them, we want them to stay."
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 – Stafford values input from the community to help with decision-making. This year, the County completed its first-ever Community Survey with questions on growth. The Utilities Department has been busy with massive waterline upgrades in Ferry Farm and the building of a new Enon Road $6.25 million water tank to ensure we can fulfill water demand.
Transportation – The County funded a dedicated funding stream for transportation projects via personal property tax revenues. Stafford continued work on Road Bond projects on Hartwood Road, Cropp Road, Spotted Tavern Road, Winding Creek Road, Mountain View Road, Enon Road and more. The County also launched work on its first-ever Transportation Master Plan.
Recreation, History and Culture – Stafford debuted a new Instagram page to show off all its many offerings. The County debuted a new Parks website with a more streamlined registration process. A Tree Lighting Event drew thousands of residents. A parking fee program was implemented at the Historic Port of Falmouth Park after residents brought overcrowding to the Board's attention.
Quality Educational Opportunities – The Board approved one of the largest-ever transfers to the Schools. They also funded the Schools' step plan for teachers, giving teachers a pay raise in the range of five to 20%, bringing our pay into competition with other localities and giving the Schools enough to provide all the other employees with a 5% raise.
A Vibrant and Exciting Business Community – The County partnered with Comcast to bring broadband to more than 640 unserved residents in the County's western end. Stafford embarked upon a broadband study to help formulate future plans for underserved and unserved residents. The Testbed continued to incubate and support growth in local businesses.
Public Safety – The Board was able to give Sheriff's Office deputies with the rank of 1st Sergeant and below a 15% pay raise. This raise also applied to 911 operators. Fire and Rescue completed its first-ever Strategic Plan, and the Sheriff's Office conducted a staffing plan – both actions help ensure Stafford can meet the needs of a growing population.
Organizational Excellence – Stafford maintains its triple-AAA bond rating, a distinction showing the County is excellent at managing its financial health. The County debuted the AskBlu customer response system and the Blu's News monthly newsletter. To encourage more accessible access to information, the County created a new Public Record Online Portal, where users can find records of Board action dating back to 1870.
More highlights from the State of the County may be seen in the video at https://vimeo.com/778614398/751fbd1d07.