Henrico County voters overwhelmingly approved all measures on a $511.4 bond referendum.
The referendum contained four yes or no questions in the areas of schools; recreation and parks; fire station and public safety; and flood prevention and stormwater drainage.
County officials held nearly 160 community meetings ahead of the election to inform Henrico residents about what it means to issue general obligation bonds and how voters’ approval of the measures will affect county projects.
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“We appreciate everyone who voted in the bond referendum and are grateful for our residents’ confidence in Henrico to deliver promised large projects touching every corner of the county,” said Henrico Deputy County Manager for Administration Brandon Hinton. “As always, Henrico will be good stewards of these newly authorized resources and will closely monitor interest rates and financial markets to ensure utmost responsibility to our taxpayers before issuing any bonds.”
The largest category in the referendum is $340.5 million for Henrico County Public Schools projects, which amounts to about two-thirds of the bond referendum.
“Investing in our schools is investing in the future of our community, and we are grateful the citizens of Henrico County and our elected leaders value our successful public schools,” said Henrico School Board Chair Marcie Shea. “The projects in the referendum create learning spaces that support innovation and collaboration by funding new schools and renovations of buildings that, in some cases, are more than 50 years old.”
The most expensive schools project is the rebuild of Quioccasin Middle School, which is estimated to cost about $89 million. The 1971 building has an odd layout that creates challenges for people who use wheelchairs.
Other schools that county officials plan to rebuild by issuing general obligation bonds are Jackson Davis Elementary ($36 million); R.C. Longan Elementary ($37 million); and Highland Springs Elementary ($45 million).
As of 8:30 p.m., all of the measures had passed with more than 80% approval.
The six projects in the fire and safety category amount to $83.85 million and include the rebuilding of three firehouses.
The stormwater drainage projects category is priced at $50 million and will address the more than 7,000 homes in the county with drainage problems. The smallest category, parks and recreation, is slated for $37 million and will pay for a new park in the Three Chopt area and improvements to Deep Bottom Park in Varina and Tuckahoe Creek Park.