2021 Annual Report

A year of recovery, a year of progress.

City Manager Dan Hoffman

A message from City Manager Dan Hoffman

Winchester is poised to recover fully from COVID-19, but new challenges lie ahead.

Last year, I said Winchester is well-positioned to weather the COVID-19 storm and that is proving to be true. The latest wave of COVID appears to be moving into the rearview mirror and our revenues have bounced surpassed pre-pandemic levels. Although inflation and rising prices weigh heavily on operations, our sound financial decisions over the past year have placed the City on strong footing. That, combined with a new strategic plan, gives us reason to be excited for 2022.

Our community is blessed with an incredibly committed and talented team of public servants. From my senior management team to the front-line staff, City employees have proven their ability to deliver high levels of service while adapting to new challenges. In return, we passed a budget last year that held tax rates flat while also continuing our mission to make strategic investments in our programs, services, and people.

I have no doubt that the Winchester’s resiliency will be on full display in 2022. From new and enhanced parks to investments in public safety and technology, this year will be one of growth and prosperity for the Winchester. Be on the lookout for not only new employers, housing, and infrastructure to be added or enhanced throughout the community, but also a city-wide spirit of renewal.

In 2021, the entire Winchester community came together to continue moving Winchester forward, and I am proud to have been a part of it with you.

Thank you,

Dan Hoffman

How to Read this Annual Report

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Public Services

Winchester Police Department

More Fire & Rescue Highlights

Personnel training hours totalled 34,326.

Participated in the Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk and Tunnel to Towers (9/11) parade and barbecue.

ESCI Mater Plan Study Update:

  • Updated Career Development Program
  • Updated Officer Development Program
  • Updated all department policies and procedures
  • Addressed unequal paychecks
  • Restructured Fire Marshal Division to Community Risk Reduction Division
  • Introduced Community Paramedicine Program
  • Introduced Technical Rescue Capabilities and Responsibilities
  • Implemented Fire & Rescue Department 5-year Strategic Plan
  • Formalized a Memorandum of Understanding with the volunteer companies
  • Restructured administrative staff roles and responsibilities

Grants received:

  • Assistance to Firefighters Grant (Diesel Exhaust Extraction Systems) – $199,500
  • Rescue Squad Assistance Fund (Nasal Narcan) – $500
  • VA Department of Emergency Management Hazmat Grant (Training) – $38,000
  • VA Department of Fire Programs (Technology) – $700
  • VA Risk Sharing Association Grant (Treadmills) – $4,000

Winchester Fire & Rescue Department

Parks & Recreation

More Parks & Recreation Highlights

WPRD’s childcare program, The Hive, took great pride in remaining open for childcare to both city residents during the school year and both city and county residents during the summer throughout the pandemic. Staff followed recommended guidelines from local health officials and provided a much-needed service, especially to frontline employees.

Shenandoah University broke ground on both Bridgeforth and Rotary Fields in early September 2021 to begin the renovation project to convert both fields to synthetic turf.

As part of the Shenandoah University Memorandum of Agreement made between the SU and the City of Winchester, WPRD received an annual stipend of $25,000 in 2021 to help remove economic hurdles for City youth to participate in positive programs. WPRD launched the first initiative in this process by offering basketball leagues for ages 5-14 free of charge for city youth encouraging more youth to get involved in positive programs. We are planning similar initiatives in the future.

Continued working with the Winchester Garden Club on the Abrams Creek Wetland Preserve and 2021 brought us the addition of a viewing platform on the north side of the preserve which was installed in November 2021. In early October, the Garden Club hosted a ceremony at the ACWP to celebrate to addition of the platform and performed the “big cut” which brought City staff, Garden Club members and volunteers together to work to on the preserve. The preserve has new and improved educational placards and an audio tour that is easily downloaded to anyone’s phone.

Increased the number of seasonal picnic pavilion rentals, athletic field rentals, program offerings, memberships and overall park participants in 2021 in an effort to return to pre-covid participation rates.

Approved a new fee structure for Parks and Recreation programs and services in December of 2021 that will be fully implemented in 2022.

Launched the first annual Holiday Open House at the War Memorial Building in Jim Barnett Park in December with a variety of activities including arts and crafts, fitness related activities, holiday performers, and a visit from Santa himself to ring in the holidays. The event was free of charge, served patrons breakfast and partnered with downtown association for a daylong event.

Upgraded the BMX Track lighting and starting ramp in 2021 as the track is recognized as one of the premier competition sites in the tri-state area. The local BMX organization hosts local, regional, and state competitions drawing riders from all over the Commonwealth.

More Development Services Highlights

The Economic Development Department released a business retention survey in order to find out how to best serve city businesses. The brief survey allowed staff to gather information about factors impacting businesses, their employees, and their ability to maintain and expand operations.

The Winchester Economic Development Authority partnered with Frederick and Clarke Counties, the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber, and the LFCC small Business Development Center to form the COVID-19 Economic Response Team - a collaborative campaign to unite and create solidarity amongst business owners in the region. Businesses were given access to a media tool kit and were able to sign the “Open and Safe NSV” safety pledge.

Tourism has seen an extremely successful return to Winchester post-covid, with tracked tourist spending surpassing 2019 pre-covid numbers.

Windependent, Winchester’s Shop Local campaign, was launched and piloted in Old Town. This marketing campaign encourages shoppers to “put their money where their heart is” and keep dollars in their community.

The new Old Town Vibe performance series created weekly paid opportunities for local artists and performers while prioritizing public health.

Old Town Winchester partnered with Selah Theatre Project to host live outdoor theatre at Taylor Pavilion.

Development Services

Information & Innovation Services

Acquired RTK drone through Emergency Management ARPA requests. Tested and implemented drone imagery collection on various drone platforms. Collected updated imagery of City Yards property.

Created “Drone Squadron” group in GIS Portal to assist City of Winchester drone pilots with planning missions and documenting missions with preflight planning applications.

Updated GPS locations of all mile marker locations along Green Circle Trail.

Completed data updates and application enhancements to City Floodplain Mapping application.

Created public survey for Public Works to collect data on citizens' preferences for Trash Cart sizes. Assisted in analyzing and compiling data from survey and billing information into numerous dashboards.

Created application to assist redistricting committee map from 2020 US Census (VA adjusted) data and made necessary adjustments to City voter ward and precinct boundaries.

Created dashboards and workflows for processing/visualizing all the various revenue sources in the City over the past 15 years.

Assisted the Emergency Communications Center with their AT&T ESINet migration.

Began consolidating several payment processing vendors into a single platform to:

  • Provide increased online/mobile accessibility
  • Authorize new payments types like Venmo, ApplePay, etc.

Budget in Brief FY2022


Click here to read the Finance Department's Budget in Brief for Fiscal Year 2022.

Click here to view the City's Budget Transparency Tool and see up-to-date transactions, revenues, and expenditures.

Planning, Zoning and Inspections 2021 Annual Report cover

Planning, Zoning and Inspections

Click here to read the full Planning, Zoning and Inspections Annual Report for 2021.

Department of Social Services 2021 Annual Report Cover

Social Services

Click here to read the full Department of Social Services Annual Report for fiscal year 2021.