Infrastructure Finance Committee in, cash proffers out?

With Chesterfield squeezing every cent out of every dollar it takes in, a reduction or even elimination of a capital improvement revenue source could be challenging for the county budget and management department.

Cash proffers of $18,966 per new home or apartment unit are used to offset the impact, which a new dwelling puts on the county’s infrastructure such as schools, roads, libraries, public safety and parks. Many builders want to either do away with the system of paying for county infrastructure or make major adjustments to make housing more affordable. In 2012 the debate over cash proffers began to heat up and rezoning cases have begun to back up on the county’s planning commission agenda as developers wait for a possible revamping of the cash proffer system.

Last month, the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce and the Chesterfield Business Council held a forum to discuss the cash proffer system and if it was still a feasible way to finance major improvements in county infrastructure.

Now Chesterfield has assembled a committee to assess the benefits or disadvantages of the cash proffer policy. The committee has been asked to report to the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors in April.

Five county citizens, one from each magisterial district, were chosen to participate on the “Infrastructure Finance Committee” (cash proffers committee).  Committee members will include by district: Dave Anderson, Bermuda; Paul Grasewicz, Clover Hill; Michael Jackson, Dale; William Woodfin, Matoaca; and Terri Cofer Byrne, Midlothian. An organizational meeting was held by the committee following the afternoon session of the Planning Commission meeting. A second meeting was held Tuesday and a third meeting has yet to be schedueld.

Matoaca District Planning Commissioner Edgar Wallin said, “We are in a unique situation in Chesterfield. I look forward to a fair hearing.”

Hanover County eliminated their cash proffer policy of $19,503 for each home in November, but Hanover is now discussing a plan that would set cash proffers starting point at around $2,300.

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