During the Chesterfield supervisors’ March 24 meeting, county administrator Joe Casey noted the county was nearing 50 percent of its goal to vaccinate 75 percent of the population above age 18.
Casey credited a new vaccination site at Virginia State University with helping the county progress toward its goal. He noted that VSU’s site was vaccinating 2,800 people a day on average.
Casey said the county is ranked third amongst localities in the state for COVID-19 vaccinations.
In addition, jail inmates are now being vaccinated, he said, referring to a comment from Sheriff Karl Leonard.
Casey reminded the public of the COVID-19 website, vaccinate.virginia.gov, where one can sign up for a vaccine or check on pre-registration status.
“It’s really fantastic that they got that stood up,” said Kevin Carroll (R-Matoaca), referring to the VSU site, which covers the Chesterfield-Colonial Heights and Crater health districts.
Casey and county treasurer Rebecca Longnaker noted that the county has installed JACK, the Justified Automated Collections Kiosk, outside the treasurer’s office at 9901 Lori Road.
Casey said the kiosk accepts payments for real estate and personal property tax, which are due June 5. Payments can be made by cash, check, and credit or debit card, and a receipt is provided.
Longnaker added that an awning would be built over the kiosk in the near future.
Public hearings were held on utility fees, tax rates, the budget, capital improvement plan and Community Development Block Grant plan.
Neal Elosge, who said he lives in the Clover Hill district, said he lost his job in Hopewell due to COVID-19 last year and had to retire early at age 62 as a result.
Elosge said he was unable to find another job with commensurate pay unless he was willing to move out of state. He asked the supervisors to reduce the real estate property tax rate from 95 cents per $100 of assessed value to 90 cents. He noted that his property tax went from $2,712 to $2,908, even though the rate didn’t increase.
“I don’t believe double-digit increases in school budgets every year is an acceptable thing,” Elosge said. “I don’t want to have to move out of state.”
He said that reducing the rate from 95 to 90 cents would keep up with inflation.
The supervisors are scheduled to approve the fees, tax rates, budget and CIP and CDBG plans on April 7.
The utility fee — which consists of water and wastewater — is slated to increase from $57.67 to $59.17 a month.
The threshold for paying the Business Professional and Occupational License, or BPOL, gross receipts tax is scheduled to go up from $300,000 to $400,000. This would exempt some businesses from paying the tax.
During public comment for items not on the agenda, Marie Long — who said she is president of Matoaca High Chorus Boosters — Kim Pond and Elise Matheson asked that restrictions for choral students related to COVID-19 be rescinded.
“Students in arts should not be treated as second-class citizens” compared to athletes, Long said.
Nicole Rowland, chair of the district’s Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee, thanked the county for planning to use solar power at five schools over the next two years. She also asked the supervisors to not wait until November 2022 to hold a bond referendum. A $600 million bond referendum scheduled for November 2020 was postponed due to COVID-19.