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December 11, 2018 · OPINION

Board chairman: A good year for county government

File Photo/Friends of the Rappahannock
The board of supervisors this year received a donation of riverfront property near Orlean and continued to work on development of public access at Remington.
By Christopher T. Butler
Board of Supervisors Chairman

This has been a successful year for Fauquier County and its citizens.

The county has continued to experience modest growth in revenues from real estate, personal property and sales taxes. The county has seen an increase in commercial investment, which will benefit the tax base in years to come. Unemployment continues to trend significantly lower than state and national averages.

Highlights of 2018, a busy and productive year, include:

• In recognition of its financial stability, the county has received national awards for both its finance and budgeting operations. Fitch Rating Services continues to rate the county’s bonds as AAA, allowing us to borrow money at more favorable rates for major capital projects.

• Economic development remains critical. This year has seen a spurt of interest in the county from data center providers, a commercial use that would help develop our tax base, provide jobs and is consistent with our quality of life.

• The county’s ongoing commitment to provide adequate broadband services to its unserved and underserved residents received a boost this year as the county issued a Request for Private Proposals. The top three bidders are currently being evaluated with a recommendation expected to be made to the board of supervisors on Thursday, Dec. 13. In 2016, the board of supervisors included almost $20 million in the Capital Improvements Plan over the next five years for broadband. Although we hope to conserve some of this funding by partnering with the private sector, the county will be able to implement a “hybrid” solution, which includes both towers and a fiber backbone.

• State and federal funds for major improvements at the Warrenton-Fauquier Airport have become available. The next two years will see the construction of a state-of-the art aviation terminal, which is expected to be an economic driver for the Midland area and the county as a whole.

• The county’s long quest to provide Rappahannock River access to its residents was achieved this year with the donation of property in the north and continuing progress in the south. Construction on the long-anticipated Central Sports Complex off Meetze Road will begin in the next few months. These developments will open up new avenues for recreation and enjoyment for our residents and youth.

• The board of supervisors has prioritized the health, safety and welfare of our citizens this year. In the area of public safety, 15 full-time fire and rescue technicians were added to provide a more balanced delivery of services. The county provided approximately $770,000 for additional personnel to enhance school security initiatives. Completion of the new fire and rescue station in Orlean will occur in 2019, as well as the replacement of the county’s public safety radio system. The county continues to work with its state legislative delegation to support stricter penalties for distracted drivers.

As busy as 2018 has been, 2019 will only bring more challenges and opportunities to our great county. I look forward to working with my fellow board members, staff, and citizens to address them. It has been my singular honor to serve as your chairman. God bless us all as we move forward into a new year.

Serving his first term, the writer represents Lee District on the five-member board. He lives near Remington.
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Demosthenes · December 16, 2018 at 1:32 pm
It is almost amazing that Jeffersonian can't manage to post on any issue without adding in a little bit of xenophobia. I am so sorry that you find people different from you to be so scary. It must be an awful world to be living in for someone with your views.
nonewtaxes · December 13, 2018 at 11:01 pm
why do you think there are opiods. Make all of your troubles go away.
Jeffersonian American · December 12, 2018 at 8:20 pm
I might add it was a another horrific year for tax-paying citizens of Fauquier County with another massive increase in taxation from a local Government which seems Hades-bent on ever-expanding the size of our local Government to meet the needs of an ever-expanding local Government. In the mid-1960s, Fairfax County was a largely rural backwater with suburbia limited to near the newly completed Capital Beltway. Half a century later, Fairfax County has become a Third World Hades-Hole of mass development and overcrowding with oppressive taxation and all kinds of foreign languages and signage everywhere. Fauquier County is racing toward that same sad destination, unless our citizens invoke their Virginia Declaration of Rights to stop the outrageous annual tax increases at the hands of an arrogant elite. Here is a quick study of the VDR, Section 3, most applicable to we taxpayers- as current and applicable today as it was in 1776 (pay close attention to the second part of Section 3):

SEC. 3. That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people, nation, or community; of all the various modes and forms of government, that is best which is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness and safety and is most effectually secured against the danger of maladministration; and that, when any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community hath an indubitable, inalienable, and indefeasible right to reform, alter, or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal.

We need to end the citizen suffering and oppressive taxation for all kinds of non-essential services- or we become the next "Un-fairtax County," now a sea of oppressive taxation, Agenda-21 public schools with over 160 languages foreign spoken in them, and pitiful urban lives of wretched despair.
marshallva · December 12, 2018 at 1:52 pm
Once the Fauquier County Broadband Advisory Committee converted to the Fauquier County Broadband Authority the Meeting Minutes seem to no longer be posted to the county website. The last meeting minutes available are from 8/2017.
Additionally I think Fauquier County should consider add an expansion clause to the Franchise Agreement between Fauquier County and Comcast which would require a certain number of out of footprint addresses become eligible for broadband service each year.
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