Board Looks to the Future
December 10, 2016
Fincastle, VA – The Board of Supervisors has reaffirmed its strategic vision for the County. On December 10, the Board received updates from staff regarding the County’s strategic priorities. The priorities cover all aspects of the County, from the development of the Gateway Crossing area and other economic development initiatives to improved quality of life and responsible governance. In receiving the update, the Board concluded that much progress has been made since the development of the priorities two years ago.
“When we developed the vision and strategic priorities, we knew we wanted to reach for the stars,” said Vice Chairman Todd Dodson. “This is only the next step in achieving our long term goals, but it is a very good step. Staff have done an amazing job moving these items forward.”
In addition to receiving updates about the strategic priorities, the Board also got a fresh look at the demographic, financial, and social characteristics of the County. The outlook is positive yet reserved. The County is still evaluating the impact of the new business announcements, a flat reassessment, and the tax increase from last year in order to refine its future financial picture. Moreover, the results of the analyses and forecasting performed by staff have prompted a number of administrative adjustments. These changes have included critically evaluating the need to fill open positions, diligently supervising staff working hours, and closely monitoring all discretionary spending. The forecast also has allowed a renewed look at the County’s debt capacity and the need to remain conservative with capital projects.
“We are building on a firm foundation with many possibilities ahead of us,” said County Administrator Gary Larrowe. “There will be some lean times in the near future, but everything is working to make the County’s future more sustainable. Good things are coming if we are patient in the meantime.”
A large part of that future outlook comes from the many new jobs and businesses that will be coming in the next decade. In order to work toward that sustainable future, the Board has expressed a desire to have those new employees live in Botetourt. At the strategic planning meeting, the Board received positive news from the consultant hired to perform a housing study in the County. A representative from S. Patz & Associates joined the meeting to present preliminary results of that study, which is nearing completion. The consultant outlined the available opportunities for future workforce housing development.
“More jobs are coming to the County, and we want the people who work in Botetourt to be able to live in Botetourt,” said Director of Economic Development Ken McFadyen, who is helping to guide the housing study. “Aligning these housing goals with the Board’s strategic priorities will be a win-win for the County.”
The Board anticipates incorporating the strategic priorities into the budget development process that began this month. Regular updates on the priorities will continue as major milestones are met and projects are completed.
For more information, contact:
Cody Sexton, Management Assistant