CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – It was a well-intended gesture that wasn't widely received. Chesterfield County waived thousands in fees hoping small businesses would come to the county, but they didn't.
The goal was to re-build Chesterfield's economy one construction job at-a-time. For the last several months Chesterfield's waived $7800 for every planning application. A month before the final day of this fee holiday- the numbers are less than expected.
With a $250-million mega sports complex under construction, Steve Burton is digging around for every penny.
"Every dollar that you can shave is a dollar less that you might have to take in debt," said Steve Burton.
In the last six months, he's saved nearly $3,000 in Chesterfield planning and zoning fees.
"It took a typical $8,000 fee and reduced it to $200," said Kirk Turner who oversees the planning department. He says the county knew it was going to lose money, but it lost less than expected.
"The subsidies are going to result in lost revenue to the county in about $143,000," said Turner. "We expect, once this fee holiday is complete, to have received 34 site plan applications and 13 re-zoning applications."
The fee holiday, from September 1, 2009 to this July 1, 2010, was targeted towards small businesses. High construction costs and fewer investors could be the reason businesses aren't interested right now. Even so, Bob Schrum with the Chamber of Commerce wants this fee holiday extended for another year.
"I think everybody finally understands that a little business that we've got here generates $40,000-$50,000 a year in income and we use very little services," said Bob Schrum. "We need to do all we can to help the little guys like us get along."
For more information: Planning@chesterfield.gov
P.O. Box 40
Chesterfield, VA 23832-0040
9800 Government Center Parkway, 2nd Floor
Chesterfield, VA 23832
Office: (804) 748-1050
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. EST