Windsor buys 5 acres for $1 million

Published 11:33 am Wednesday, February 15, 2012

WINDSOR—Windsor Town Council on Tuesday voted 4-1 to spend $1 million for 5.2 acres for a new police station, town hall and library.

The town will pay cash for the property, which lies at Shirley Drive and Route 460. Farmers Bank sold the land for 15 percent below its appraised value.

Construction on a new police station is expected to be completed in two years. No time-frame has been set for the town hall.

Councilman Clint Bryant abstained from voting because his wife works for Farmers Bank.

The land was purchased due to the town’s anticipated growth, said Mayor Carita Richardson.

“We are seeing growth of the (Shirley T. Holland) Intermodal Park right outside of town,” Richardson said. “Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (is coming) with 800 new jobs. We are already seeing businesses calling, looking for land to come to town. It looks like the intermodal park is going to grow.”

She said she’s not at liberty to say what businesses are interested in Windsor.

“I can tell you there has been an increased interest,” Richardson said.

Gov. Bob McDonnell has made the construction of a new Route 460 a priority, which should trigger growth, she noted.

“The Windsor area is expected to be an area of economic growth for the Hampton Roads area,” Richardson said.

Windsor’s population nearly tripled from 2000 to 2010, jumping from 916 to 2,626. The population is expected to increase to 3,500 with the construction of 320 homes in two developments.

“The state requires more services from an incorporated town, starting with maintaining streets,” she said. “We know with that coming, we are going to have more employees, more office space. That was another key feeling that we needed to buy land.”

After being elected mayor in May 2010, Richardson initiated a guideline for the next 15 years. Buying land was an initial priority.

“We have been saving each year and putting into it,” she said. “We put in a new financial policy with strict budget line items for all departments so that council would have more oversight of the spending. We also cut our capital improvement projects to the bare bones and started collecting back taxes.”

The police chief has his office in the town hall. A business man donated the use of his building for the police station.

The Town expects to borrow money for the new police station, but is counting on $138,000 from Holland Meadows housing development after they sell 33 homes.

“We will have the money we save at the end of this budget year, and we should have it paid for fairly quickly,” Richardson said.

Cost estimates have not yet been determined.