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December 19, 2012

Supervisors chairman offers 2012 “state of the county”

File photo/Lawrence Emerson
Mr. Trumbo (right) presented a Fauquier County flag to members of a delegation from Liyang, China, in May. The Chinese later in the year hosted Fauquier economic development and tourism officials.
Because of the slight increase in revenue, the county has been able to restore certain services and programs that were suspended over the past few years — including the restoration of business hours at the county’s libraries. To honor its commitment to public safety, the board has added positions to the office of the commonwealth’s attorney, the sheriff’s office and the department of fire, rescue and emergency management.
R. Holder Trumbo Jr.
Board of supervisors chairman

2012 has been a challenging but productive year for Fauquier County and its residents. The county continues to experience a mild recovery from the recent recession. County revenues in real and personal property, as well as sales tax, have shown a hopeful uptick. Unemployment has improved over the past year, and the county’s unemployment rate remains appreciatively lower than the national average. Residential foreclosures continue to decline. Fauquier County is significantly more fortunate than many of its neighbors.

Because of the slight increase in revenue, the county has been able to restore certain services and programs that were suspended over the past few years — including the restoration of business hours at the county’s libraries. To honor its commitment to public safety, the board has added positions to the office of the commonwealth’s attorney, the sheriff’s office and the department of fire, rescue and emergency management. These new positions will help to expedite cases and enhance response times across the county’s large, 660-square-mile radius.

2012 has also set the stage for several notable accomplishments. Major renovations at Fauquier High School continue. The construction of the new fire station in New Baltimore has been completed. Because of its fiscal prudence, the county has maintained an enhanced double-A bond rating, demonstrating a credit-worthiness that allows us to borrow money for capital improvements at better rates. The county also received prestigious national awards for both its finance and budgeting operations. During both the derecho and Hurricane Sandy, the county’s emergency operations plan was activated effectively. Federal declarations have been sought for both incidents to provide reimbursement for the resulting damage. The county received a $500,000 grant for the Safe Routes to Schools project at Cedar Lee Middle School and continues to expand its recreational trail system for the enjoyment of its residents.

In accordance with the county’s commitment to business-friendliness, the board of supervisors agreed in 2012 to increase the threshold on gross receipts for businesses currently not subject to the business, professional and occupation license (BPOL) from $100,000 to $200,000 to help small businesses thrive. The board also created special “tourism” and “technology” zones where incentives can be offered to attract the location and expansion of desirable businesses. This year, the county’s business and tourism coordinators traveled to China with a delegation from the governor’s office in an effort to gain access to rapidly expanding global markets. The board also adopted resolutions enhancing the usefulness of industrial zones and adding a new “business park” zoning category.

It has been my singular honor to serve as chairman of the board of supervisors in 2012. I would like to convey my respect and best wishes to my fellow board members, county staff and the citizens of this great county. God bless Fauquier County and its citizens as we move forward into 2013 and all of its challenges.
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Rick Buchanan · December 20, 2012 at 11:04 pm
Have you looked at the tourism ordinance? Google "Fauquier county ordinance to establish tourism zones". This is an example of crony capitalism at its best.
Existing businesses are punished with taxes while new businesses are given the advantage of paying no taxes when they follow the “rules”. So much for "free enterprise".
Also, favors are legally granted for the wealthy businessmen if they locate where it has been decided to be "favorable" to the powers that be.
But, if you are starting a small business on a "shoestring" you have an uphill battle to compete with the moneyed elite, since they begin tax-free.
All done in the name of “bringing in new business”.
Why not just lower the tax rate for all and market that to businesses that come forward. That would take all the favoritism out of the mix, strengthening all the existing Fq. Co. businesses and encouraging the newcomers, large and small, wealthy and just beginning down the road to success.
Of course, that also takes all of the power out of the hands of the deciders.
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