The Agenda: Local government briefs for 6.6.22

Goochland, Hanover and Powhatan budgets include workforce investments

Like their larger regional peers, the area’s rural counties are making plays to recruit and retain workers in the upcoming fiscal year.

Powhatan County has earmarked $1.8 million for investments in its fiscal year 2023 budget, which the Board of Supervisors approved in mid-May.

Three main prongs of that effort include $600,000 to implement a 5 percent merit raise for county employees, $400,000 to alleviate wage compression issues and $465,000 to absorb increased health care costs without passing them onto county employees.

“We’re trying to compete with the Henricos and the Chesterfields of the world,” Powhatan County Administrator Ned Smither said.

Powhatan’s FY23 operating budget is $109 million, a 10 percent increase compared to the adopted FY22 operating budget. Supervisors also cut the real estate property tax rate down by 2 cents to 77 cents. The county also eliminated its $35 annual vehicle license fee.

Powhatan’s recently approved budget plan and its attention to workforce investments echo similar efforts in Hanover and Goochland counties amid a tight job market.

Hanover County’s $321 million FY23 general fund includes $4.4 million for a merit-based salary increase for county employees and $1.9 million to make market-based salary adjustments and increase the county’s minimum hourly wage to $15.

The FY23 general fund is a nearly 11 percent increase compared to the current year.

The Hanover supervisors approved the FY23 budget in mid-April. Hanover’s real estate tax rate remains level at 81 cents per $100 of assessed value.

Goochland County included a 3 percent raise for county employees as well as an additional 2 percent raise for non-uniformed public safety county staff in its budget, which was approved by the county’s Board of Supervisors in April.

The county’s $74.4 million general fund is a 13.5 percent increase from the FY22 budget’s general fund. The real estate tax rate remains level at 53 cents per $100 of assessed value.

The county expects to finish later this month a salary benchmark study to guide adjustments to workforce compensation. Goochland Interim County Administrator Manuel Alvarez said $700,000 has been earmarked in the FY23 budget for those adjustments.

“I think our employees feel they deserve to be paid well so we’re trying hard to figure out what our salary situation is,” he said.

Haley takes job with attorney general’s office, steps down as supervisor

Leslie Haley has resigned from the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors to take a senior position with Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares’ administration.

Leslie Haley

Haley will join the Miyares administration as deputy attorney general for government operations and transactions, according to a news release from the Office of the Attorney General.

Haley represented the county’s Midlothian District and was first elected to the board in 2015. She won reelection in 2019.

Her new boss Miyares was one of her rivals in her run for the Republican nomination to serve as the party’s candidate in the November elections. Miyares secured the nomination and later won in the November general election.

Chesterfield announced Haley’s resignation and the Attorney General’s office announced her new role last week. Haley’s resignation from the board is effective today, which is also her first day on the new job.

Haley’s former practice was focused on advising lawyers on ethical questions and risk management. She was formerly senior assistant ethics counsel for the Virginia State Bar and worked in management and business development at Philip Morris, according to the release from the Attorney General’s office

Haley’s law degree is from West Virginia University School of Law. She’s practiced law in the state for more than 20 years.

Bowler apartments upgrade and townhome infill on city planning agenda

An aerial rendering shows the nine townhomes planned along M and 26th streets beside the former Bowler School that’s now senior apartments. (BizSense file)

The Richmond Planning Commission meets Monday at 1:30 p.m. Full agenda here.

On the agenda is a special-use permit request for a planned renovation of the Bowler Retirement Community apartments and a nine-home infill development on the property. Historic Housing is seeking the permit, and Evolve Development would build the new homes.

Other business includes a request to rezone 600 Decatur St. from B-7 Mixed-Use to B-4 Central Business. The 1-acre property is owned by developer Tom Papa, whose Fountainhead Real Estate Development is planning a seven-story, 118-unit mixed-use building nearby.

Also on the agenda is an ordinance amendment that would add 1305 N. Fifth St. to the Heritage Center/Lumpkin’s Jail project. The city purchased the 1.2-acre portion of the Shockoe Hill African Burial Ground site last year and is planning archaeological research and commemoration. The amendment would also add Winfree Cottage, an enslaved woman’s home, to the project.

Proposed subdivisions near Short Pump and Harvie Road on agenda

The Henrico County Planning Commission meets Thursday at 7 p.m. Business includes a request from Pemberton Investments LLC to rezone 12 acres straddling John Rolfe Parkway at its intersection with Pump Road for a 15-home residential development. Fleettree LLC seeks to rezone 27 acres northeast of Goodell and Harvie roads for a subdivision totaling 102 homes. Full agenda here.

Goochland names new human resources and finance directors

Shaletha Dyson

Carla Cave

Goochland County has tapped new chiefs for its human resources and finance departments.

Shaletha Dyson is Goochland’s new human resources director. She was most recently a human resources division chief in Richmond, according to a county news release. Dyson assumed her role with Goochland on June 1. She replaced Jessica Rice.

At the helm of the finance department is Carla Cave, who got started as director June 1. She was previously Amelia County’s finance director, according to Goochland’s news release. Cave replaced Mary Anna Twisdale.

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