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Stone Brewery Officials Forced to Keep Waiting

The Stone Brewery officals will need to wait at least one more week before the city council signs off on their deal to break ground. The city council postponed a resolution that allows Stone Brewery to break ground. The Council wants to add a provision that the land will be returned to the city if the deal falls through. The whole deal has been very contentious due to the secrecy of it. The council itself is still highly divided. Read more here

City Council Meeting Recap - 2/25/2015

For its second meeting of February the City Council considered issues dealing mostly with transparency and passed suprising little. Major Resolutions and Ordiances passed: Ord. No. 2015-28-44 - to accept $600,000 from the state that will be given to The Black History Museum and Culture Center of Virginia Res. No. 2015-R8-15 - to requires all new city buildings to become "green" and to recomend that all new buildings in Richmond become "green" certified. Bills debated but not voted upon: Ord. No. 2014-254 - The Stone Brewary bill was strongly debated by both members of the council and citizens of Richmond. Richmond citizens expressed views in both favor of the ordiance based upon economic dev

Richmond Schools Facing Budget Deficit

The Richmond Public School Board is set to pass a budget that could cost up to $290.4 million. This would leave a $30 million gap between the budget and projected revenues for the same period, requiring additional monetary support from Mayor Dwight C. Jones and the City Council. The budget is set to cover Superintendent Bedden and his staff's academic improvement plan which includes hiring more teachers and having all teachers work a longer year. Read more here.

City Council Preview - 2/23/2014

For its second meeting of February the City Council will consider a range of issues from the Stone Brewing Company, treatment of animals, and the school facility upgrades. Notable Resolutions: Res. No. 2015-R4 – a plan proposed to take over $10,000,000 from the proposed Shockoe Infrastructure Improvement project and reallocate them to school maintenance and upgrades. Res. No. 2014-R264 – a plan proposed by the mayor to refill Richmond Public School’s maintenance and facilities budget if it falls below $2,000,000 Ord. No. 2015-33 – a resolution that would change to the name of the ‘new’ city hall to the “L. Douglas Wilder City Hall” Ord. No. 2015-33 – a proposal to move the city’s wastewater

Governor McAuliffe looks to distribute budget surplus

Governor McAuliffe is looking to distribute much of the $136,000,000 to teachers, the homeless, economic development and ABC Modernization. The Governor is looking to aid many of his initiatives that were cut in last year’s budget. He wants a 1.5-3% increase in teacher pay, $500,000 for tourism growth incentives, $1,000,000 for housing the homeless and $30,000,000 to revamp the outdated ABC model. He is also looking to save $176,000,000 for a rainy day fund for the next budget year. Read more here

City Council Recap - 2/9/2015

In the meeting of February, the city council dealt with some business relating to bike lanes, the stadium and juvenile justice. The Bike Lanes - Ord. No. 2015-6-31 The city council approved the acceptance of $240,000 from the Virginia Department of Transportation with $60,0000 in matching funds from the city to building cycle tracks on Franklin, Broad, Main and 9th Street. The Stadium - Res. No. 2014-R181-2015-14 The city council after amending the original language proceed to pass a resolution that called for Mayor Jones to seek out regional help from Henrico, Hannover and Chesterfield County in help to develop a new minor league baseball stadium. To find out what the counties think here. J

Teacher Work Year tied to Teacher Pay

With a 7-0 vote, the Richmond School Board voted to tie teacher salary to contract length. If the teacher work year is extended, teachers will be compensated accordingly. Read more here.

Richmond School Leaders Propose Enrollment Options for Binford

Richmond school leaders are proposing different options to revitalize Binford Middle School as the deadline for the city's open enrollment process nears. This will be done in an effort to change a school that is currently underenrolled. Barriers include transportation costs and student selection. Read more here.

Teachers and State Workers are to get a Raise

Due to increase in state revenue from the two year 2014 state budget, lawmakers in Richmond are now trying to raise funds for many state employees. Both the House and Senate budget amendments agree to raise teachers pay by 1.5% with additional matching funds from localities. College staff pay is expected to increase by about 2% and public police pay will have an extra 4-6 million dollars added to their budgets state wide. State workers can expect between a 1.5-3% raise depending on how much the state government will give to their workers and how the raise is implemented. Find out more here.

FOIA Lawsuit against City of Richmond Proceeds

A lawsuit by a former member of the Richmond School Board to reveal the murky details behind the sudden resignation of Chief Administrative Officer Byron Marshall last fall will proceed in court. Mayor Dwight Jones has vehemently denied releasing any details. Read more about this at RVANews

Bike Lane Plan moves forward

Downtown bike lanes moved past the City Planning Commision with a 9-0 vote. This is one of the huge steps that move forward the plan to build bikes lanes in downtown Richmond. The city will accept $240,000 from the state and the additional matching city funds of $60,000. More information here.

City Council Meeting Preview - February 9, 2015

For its first meeting of February the City Council will consider a range of issues from the Stone Brewing Company, treatment of animals, and the addition of bike lanes. Notable Ordinances: Ord. No. 2015-6 - an ordinance to accept $240,000 in funds from the Virginia Department of Transportation for the development of bike lanes in the City of Richmond. The city will be transferring $60,000 in additional matching funds. Ord. No. 2014-258 - an ordinance to accept $50,000 from the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice to help to juveniles who are detained through reentry placement and additional services. Ord. No. 2014-199 - an ordinance set for debate that will outlaw certain devices for the

City Council Meeting - February 2, 2015

Occasionally, Richmond City Council holds meetings outside of its normal schedule to vote on items that they feel can't wait until the next meeting. Tonight, it met to vote on amendments to two items from last week's meeting. Read the official meeting summary, and check out what happened below. Ord. No. 2015-1 - Naming Richmond streets to honor former City Council members This ordinance gives honorary names to the five African-American members of the first black-majority Richmond City Council in 1977. This ordinance was delayed from the January 26 meeting over concerns that the previous version of the ordinance set a precedent for only giving street naming honors to African-Americans. The am

Richmond School Leaders Expect Legislation to be Withdrawn

Richmond City Council leaders want to hold off on legislation that would create an additional layer of bureacracy to fix some of the city's run-down schools. They are hoping that an existing School Board task force could complete this work in a shorter period of time. Read more from the Times-Dispatch here.

State of the City Summary

Mayor Jones delivered his State of the City this week. He talked about the successes over the past year, including bike lanes, business develolpments, Stone Brewing Company, the World Cycling Championships and the new jail. His speach focused on challenges and goals that he wants to work on in his last term in office. These goals include addressing education, mitigating poverty, and old attitudes. He mentioned the need to conintue to develop partnerships with members and organizations around the Richmond area to best deal with competiros. You can read a complete summary here

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