He is not happy with the current pace of development especially with the County being so restricted on proffers right now. A 2016 law passed by the General Assembly to narrow the scope of proffer usage by jurisdictions has been interpreted by many local governments as meaning that developers can’t talk to elected officials at all about their plans. That has put a chill on development and removed a tool for local elected officials to use in securing needed infrastructure improvements in growing communities. Chairman Benton indicated that much of the County’s budget is committed to the school system, nearly 59% of it, so there isn’t a lot of wiggle room left for accomplishing other priorities.
His top priority is bringing new business to the County and he said the County has been working hard to make that happen. He is pleased with the many victories the County has had already with Lidl and iDX but said they are always seeking out new possibilities.
Transportation is also an important issues for him and the County is currently looking at options for improvements to Exit 126 and the Cosner’s Corner area. He said the County might be open to the idea of a regional transportation authority but that he would need more information on how it works, how the money is raised and divided, and what projects would be funded.