County Administrator Bryan Hill gave a rough sketch of what the next year would bring after the Board of Supervisors passed a 7 cent increase in the real estate tax rate last month. The tax hike, which provided roughly $9 million in additional funds for 5 strategic initiatives, will go into effect on July 1.
The five initiatives funded by the tax increase include stormwater management, replenishing county debt service reserves, roofing improvements at local schools and bus replacements, economic development and cleaning the county.
Hill thanked members of the public for their input during the budget process, which led to the first real estate tax increase for James City County in two decades. He said now it was time to begin the process of implementing the initiatives, including developing a more robust strategic planning process.
"You’ve had rapid growth," Hill said. "We need to take care of the infrastructure necessitated by rapid growth. I’m not saying you’re going to lose values in your house. My job is to ensure that your property values stay level or grow."
Hill said 15 stormwater projects have been outlined for fiscal year 2016, the first of which will begin at James Terrace, a roughly $1 million project. A quarter of those funds will be provided by the federal government.
Hill said in the coming weeks the county will release the full list of 15 projects that will be done. In addition, work was being done to prioritize the neighborhood drainage program, which provides grants to homeowners associations to help mitigate stormwater runoff.
"This is a cost share agreement, I’ll do our part if the HOA will do their part," Hill said.