Matt Kelly for Fredericksburg, Virginia City Council

City Water Treatment Facility

Infrastructure

Investment in public safety, water/sewer infrastructure and other services have not kept up with city growth. If we are to continue to be recognized as having the best quality of life for a city of our size in Virginia we need to ensure we have the public services to maintain such things as parks and trails, clean water, clean neighborhoods, and provide for public health and safety.

What Has Been Accomplished:

  • Parking Deck –Involved in securing site/funding for the downtown parking deck. Served as Chairman of the Design Committee.
  • Police Station—Involved in securing site/funding for the current police station on Cowan Blvd.
  • Negotiated for additional fire suppression equipment for the Fire Department related to the gasoline storage facility off Dixon Street.
  • As part of the city negotiating team with the Silver Cos. secured a fire station site in Celebrate Virginia.

The Next Four Years:

  • Public safety needs to be a priority. First on the list is expanded fire protection with a new station.
  • Establish long-term plan, to include implementation, to ensure city services are keeping up with the growth of the city. Make improvements in the Capital Improvement Plan on a regular basis.
  • Begin to assess future needs to incorporate technology, and the needs to support it, such as electric vehicles, solar power, alternatives to landfills, etc.

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Since coming on City Council in 2002 a new fire station has been a priority. We put it off again this year–2023. The city has grown significantly but fire/EMS services have not. Public safety is a top priority for any local government. We need to focus more on these needs. Complete Station 3 and staff and equip it as needed.

We have a tendency to take basic city services for granted until we really need them. We have a very dedicated staff but many are reaching retirement age. We need to focus more on the needs and a little less on the wants.

While riding with the night shift we pulled over a drunk driver. Took almost 3.5 hours to process the individual. A study updated in 2020 recommended an increase in police officers for the next five years. We are having issues with just maintaining staffing levels. Competition for hires with other jurisdictions and the difficulties of the jobs itself is making it harder to find qualified applicants. We need to commit to a multi-year plan to meet service needs in upcoming budgets.

As expensive as the new Water Treatment Plant will be we are going to find that the city’s water/sewer system serving the plant will also need significant upgrades. We need to prepare for the costs associated with that work.