“Strong, resilient and progressive” were the main takeaways of the 2019 State of the County report presented by the Chatham County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.
The report covers fiscal year 2018-19, starting July 1, 2018 and ending June 30, 2019. It includes updates on countywide initiatives such as encouraging economic development, climate protection efforts and achievements within the Chatham Comprehensive Plan, the county said in a press release.
“The state of Chatham County is one of strength, resiliency and promise as it continues to experience rapid growth while embracing the many traditions that make our county so special,” said Chatham County Board of Commissioners Chair Mike Dasher. “We are making great strides in achieving our collaborative goals and cultivating opportunities so people can work and raise their families for generations to come.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Chatham County is North Carolina’s fourth fastest-growing county, with a growth rate of 2.7 percent. Much of the growth has stemmed from new jobs and business investment — the expansion of new and existing businesses resulted in a combined 500 jobs and $60 million in capital investment in Fiscal Year 2018.
In the future, the completion of Chatham Park is expected to bring even more jobs and investment to Chatham. The MOSAIC, a 226-acre mixed-use development and the so-called epicenter of Chatham Park, is already underway in Pittsboro.
The county has also been working on several education-related improvements regarding security, technology and mental health. Chatham County Schools added four additional School Resource Officers in FY 2018-19, in addition to installing door security systems in every school.
Meanwhile, the district added a new social worker and behavior position and purchased an at-risk screener for grades K-5 to identify and support students with mental health needs.
Addressing climate change has been another one of the county’s priorities. In addition to finding ways to make existing facilities more energy efficient, the Board of Commissioners recently implemented a sustainable facilities policy requiring all new County buildings to abide by LEED Silver standards.
- Chatham Grove Elementary School is under construction and is expected to open to students in the fall of 2020. Chatham Grove will be Chatham County’s 17th school.
- The Chatham County Board of Elections had the highest voter turnout in North Carolina — 66.76 percent — for the November 2018 midterm elections.
- The Chatham Health Alliance, in partnership with the Chatham County Public Health Department and Chatham Hospital, released the 2018 Chatham County Community Assessment in March 2019. Nearly 100 community members and professionals selected three Health Impact Priorities based on the findings: Access to Comprehensive Health Services, Poverty and Obesity.
- Chatham County Family Violence and Prevention Services developed a 24/7 crisis hotline to serve survivors in the community.
- A Hispanic Support Group was developed to serve survivors of domestic violence in Siler City in collaboration with the Siler City Police Department.
The full 2019 State of the County Report is posted online at chathamnc.org/StateoftheCounty.