Delaware County Council partnered with the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce to present the 2019 State of the County address at the Drexelbrook. This year’s theme was “Expansion and Advancement Across the County” with a focus on new development and businesses throughout the county, open space, and addressing concerns from the public.
Every year, council presents a State of the County address that is positive and optimistic about the county’s past accomplishments and future visions.
During this year’s address, council highlighted the economic success of the county, including its high-grade rating of Aa1 from Moody’s Investors Service and AA from Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services. Moody’s praised the county’s tax base, which is excellent news for economic development and for businesses that are looking to locate or expand in Delaware County.
Council unanimously approved a 2019 budget that decreases property taxes while maintaining services for residents.
For the 24th consecutive year, the Delaware County Controller’s Office was awarded a “Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting” by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada. The recognition was for the 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and finance reporting and represents a significant accomplishment by government.
The address featured some of the major developments across the county, including the Granite Run Promenade, Ellis Preserve, AmeriHealth Caritas relocating to Ellis Preserve, and Kimberly Clark’s new natural gas power plant, a $150 million investment into its Chester facility.
In the five-county region, Delaware County saw the largest hotel growth in 2018. The occupancy rate rose 3.9 percent and revenue increased 16.3 percent to $102.2 million.
Delaware County’s unemployment rate is currently 3.6 percent, down from last year and also below the state’s rate of four percent.
Council also commended members of the small business community who contribute tremendously to the economic success of Delaware County, noting that small businesses are the backbone and strength of the community.
Open Space was also a topic featured during the address. Delaware County works to preserve its natural resources for environmental protection and for recreational use. Open space, parks, and recreational areas are assets that draw people to a community and enhance their quality of life, encouraging them to want to stay. Delaware County’s Planning Department works with municipalities and other partners, such as the Natural Lands Trust, to preserve communities while promoting smart growth through the Delaware County Open Space, Recreation, and Greenway Plan.
The county has 12 county parks and 1,824 acres of county-owned open space, in addition to 2,721 acres of state-owned open space, mainly Ridley Creek State Park, and 713 acres of federal land in Heinz Refuge. The county’s municipalities have 4,654 acres of open space and parkland. There are countless scenic settings across the county for residents to enjoy the outdoors.
The county recently launched a new website that is more modern, more mobile friendly, and includes more videos and links to documents and resources.
Click here to access the entire 2019 State of the County address.