New Henrico budget proposal focuses on schools and public safety

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Henrico County leaders met on Monday to discuss the newly proposed budget for fiscal-year 2018. 

According to Henrico County manager, John Vithoulkas, 85 percent of funding will be allocated to Henrico’s school system and public safety function.

The new budget is set to give county employees a 2.5 percent pay increase, make renovations to six county schools and increase manpower for Henrico’s police and fire departments.

Vithoulkas said he credits the steady increase in police with the lowest crime numbers the county has seen since the late 70’s.

“We have 10 new police officers that are being recommended in the budget,” Vithoulkas said. “This is the fifth year of a five-year commitment, so we have added 50 new police officers in Henrico County.”

Henrico Fire Captain Taylor Goodman said with they hope to stay ahead of the call volume as the West End area grows. 

“The West End has just exploded with growth over the past 10-15 years and we don’t see any slow-down in that, with both approved and proposed housing plans that will be within that area,” Goodman said. “So, by putting the fire station there, we hope to stay ahead of that as the call volume continues to grow for that geographic area.”

There are also recommendations for business tax reductions to attract more business to the county, enhancements for sports tourism and to think of the residents by not raising the real estate tax. 

Vithoulkas said this budget is actually an accomplishment for the county.

“This is actually the 39th consecutive year that a Henrico County budget will have either kept the rate the same or had some sort of reduction attached to it, quite an accomplishment.” Vithoulkas said.

For a look at Henrico County’s full budget proposal for the fiscal year of 2017-2018 click here

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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