Thursday, November 30, 2006

Transportation Summit

Following the Transportation Summit on Nov. 20th , Chesterfiled has been provided with some varying avenues to explore funding for over 300 million in road improvements. The neccessary funds in reality the county will require will be much more. Other juristictions or localities dealing twith same issue as Chesterfield have required much more than 300 million to address the concerns the Board is attempting to address.
All voters should be aware that though County Board is completely Republican it is not likely to convince members of the Genearl Assembly any time soon to open the budgets for new improvements. Afterall, given the fact this was a huge issue for Gov. Kaine in his election it would seem apparent that Republicans in the Assembly are not set on delivering this to him regardless if it is the right thing for Virginia. I am not being partisan, but its a shame when on such an important issue as this and only one Delegate from Chesterfield attends. This demonstrates a complete disregard for the real issues facing Virginians and those of us in Chesterfield are attempting to remedy. When politcians at the local level cannot even garner the ear of those of same Party at the State level it tells just how disconnected the folks in the Assembly are. As they continue to allow VDOT to bandaid roads; they use "maintain" as its current role since there is no funding available for new construction. Duribng this cycle or until voters flip the Assembly, County governments are left with seeking alternatives to funding.
The most heated debate will service over the proposal to raise cash proffers. Currently sitting at $15,600 the cash proffer could be raised to north of $22,000 with the difference used to offset neccessary funding for improvements and construction.
The Board as well as the Planning Commission will have to work together if proffers are to be used as a means of funding. Dan Gecker on the Planning Commission and former candidate for Board of Supervisors is not likely to support any increase in the proffer fees nor any requirement that would burden developers would increased costs. All site planning goes through the Planning Commission. Politically not seeing this option taking root.
That leaves us in the County, as in you and me, flipping the bill most likely by way of real estate taxes. BPOL appears dead. The Board is not ready to embrace this as an option as it is perceived as anti-business growth. Its a tough issue that needs some balance. The Board will have to use a mix of things to get it right.
I feel a bond referendum for roads coming. Bonds are the politcians easy way of appeasement. Let the citizens vote to issue bonds to pay for it and we won't have to actually compromise or create any tru strategic planning for all this. Bonds are the go-to option and do not require consent from the State. Two more flat tires and dozen or so alignments and resolution will not be any clearer.


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