Harrowgate fire station and Reams-Gordon library Capital Improvement Program (CIP) projects were approved during last Wednesday’s Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors meeting.
The CIP funds pay for the construction or renovation of projects and cannot be used for operating expenses for the county.
The projects have been on the slate of bonds approved during the 2004 bond referendum and are the last of a few projects yet to be built.
Solicitation of bids and the awarding of contracts for the projects should be reviewed, said Dan Gecker, Supervisor of the Midlothian District. “Frankly, I think that gives too much disgression to the county administrator.”
Mr. Gecker said he could not support building the fire station or the Reams-Gordon library unless it could be proved that the county has enough funding to support them. Gecker was interested in a library in his district, not yet considered to move to the bidding process, and how that would fit into the mix or could continue on the CIP books – the Robious library.
Steve Elswick, Matoaca District Supervisor pointed out that there would be no expense increase to the county for the operation of the Harrowgate fire station. A grant has been approved to cover the cost of manning and operating the station for at least a year in addition to the ability to rotate fire fighters from other stations with the Harrowgate station. Mr. Elswick also spoke about the need for revitalization and how these projects could help revitalize those areas around the CIP projects.
Chairman Dorothy Jaeckle said she would not mind deferring the projects until the county’s residential real estate values become viable again. She said the County Administrator’s report on the project says the county should move forward and at the same time reported expenditure pressures. She voted against funding the fire station.