BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) – Ten years ago Botetourt County’s unassigned general fund rollover was 14 million dollars, this year that general fund rollover is at 27 million. What this means is growth in infrastructure, housing, schools and public safety. More and more families are moving into Botetourt County, this brings more tax money… but it also brings more demand.
“There’s actually a lot of leakage that’s going out of the community… restaurants, there is $35 million in demand. So, in demand past where we are now. So there’s opportunity for people to be involved in that.”Gary Larrowe – County Administrator / Botetourt County
Leakage is a term used to describe money leaving your city or county. Money that’s not being invested back into the county. The demands for more shopping centers, more camping and hiking grounds… it means Botetourt County still has a lot of work to do to keep people spending their time and money at home and not the next county over.
In 2019 Botetourt had a banner year, investment from the state of Virginia, local businesses. Then there is the housing boom, Botetourt County ran a housing summit in the Spring of 2017. They were hoping for 500 new dwellings, but ended up getting twice the number of houses built then they had hoped for.
“We had a housing summit in the Spring of 2017 and we were hoping to get about five hundred new dwellings or houses built in Botetourt… We’ve passed that by almost double, so… we’re ready for the things that’s coming.”Billy W. Martin – Board of Supervisors / Botetourt County
What they’re ready for is major investments for 2020. Where are these investments going? Well… three areas have been identified by the Botetourt County based on community input, those are public safety, education and infrastructure. The County Courthouse renovation project in Fincastle. Broadband expansion is still on high priority with towers going up all over the county. Colonial Elementary School is in need of renovations and additions, The Board of Supervisors granted and additional $2.5 million for the school in June of 2019. The County is also investing in a new public safety radio system. This is a big deal for The County’s emergency and non-emergency communication First Responders need to do their job. The current system is 20 years old and is in need of replacement.
“In 2020 we’re celebrating 250 years of being Botetourt also, so that tied in… it really makes it really interesting within the community that we have such a history, and I think we have such a future.”Gary Lorrowe – County Administrator / Botetourt County