CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - For the first time in two years Chesterfield County does not have to chop millions from the budget. In fact, some county employees could see a raise.
Chesterfield police don't make nearly as much as their neighbors. But tonight, at a special meeting, the county made plans to offer them more money.
It's a pay boost years in the making. After at least two years of "no", tonight the police chief finally gets an okay.
"Slight increases in salary for those that have been successful in achieving career development positions," said Chesterfield Police Chief Col. Thierry Dupuis.
350 officers could get the money owed to them after going through extra training.
"The officers now are going to see that yes, we went through some tough times, but things are starting to move forward," Dupuis said.
In November, we introduced you to Barry Wood, the Chesterfield mastermind behind payourpolice.com. He's hoping his online movement pushed the county to address police pay.
"We've had a lot of our officers leave the county and go to places where they're paying more," Barry said.
Firefighters and the sheriff's department will also get more money.
"We need to take good care of public safety, because they take care of us," said Dupuis.
Under the proposed budget, education will get double what public safety gets 41-percent of the county's money. The school board won't cut teaching positions, though a three-percent pay cut already in place, will continue next year.
Libraries will still be closed Thursdays. And you will still pay $25 to recycle.
The county's money manager says this proposed budget proves Chesterfield is making a recovery after hitting rock bottom.
"I'm happy, but at the same time I'm not satisfied because I think the board of supervisors needs to do a better job in prioritizing the funds here in the county," said Barry.
This budget is just a proposal. It's now your turn to weigh in. Supervisors will hold community meetings starting next Monday before approving the budget that takes effect July first.