City Council Meeting Recap - December 8, 2014
In its final meeting of 2014, Richmond City Council approved the funding for the first phase of construction of a new brewery in the Greater Fulton neighborhood. It also approved several economic development measures, but again delayed acting on most measures related to the construction of a new baseball stadium.
Here are some notable actions from yesterday's meeting, as well as Council's full summary of the meeting.
Council passed the following measures:
Ord. No. 2014-228 - Funding construction of new Richmond brewery
This ordinance would appropriate $23 million to Richmond's Economic Development Authority to construct a building for Stone Brewing Company, which agreed to open a new brewery in Richmond in October.
Several Richmond food retail owners spoke at the meeting with concerns about this measure, including the Michelle Williams, a co-owner of the Richmond Restaurant Group, and Eric McKay and Patrick Murtaugh, the owners of Hardywood Park Craft Brewery.
Ord. No. 2014-234 - Maggie L. Walker Citizen's Advisory Board
Though the Maggie L. Walker Citizen's Advisory Board has been meeting since July 2013, this ordinance would formally establish it as an official City board. The volunteer group is a mixture of academics, clergy, city professionals and Richmond citizens living in impoverished areas. Check out this March 2014 feature in Style Weekly to read more about the work of the board.
Ord. No. 2014-245 - Letting the Martin Agency expand
The Martin Agency, one of the world's leading advertising companies, is based in downtown Richmond. This ordinance allows the City to sell 0.15 acres of unused land for $916,000 to the Agency to allow it to expand its headquarters.
Res. 2014-R239 - Supporting redistricting reform in Virginia
A federal court ruled Virginia's recently redistricted Congressional districts unconstitutional in October because the map packs African-Americans into one gerrymandered district to protect Republican influence elsewhere. This non-binding resolution expresses Council's support for reform of the often contentious and convoluted redistricting process that takes place every decade in Virginia, and in particular for the work of the organization One Virginia 2021.
Res. No. 2014-R248 - Using real estate tax revenue to pay debt on school maintenance
In the wake of City Council rejecting Mayor Jones' bid to reduce Richmond's real estate tax rate, this resolution diverts $2.5 million of the money collected annually to paying for maintenance of school buildings.
Ord. No. 2014-231 - Economic Development money to Pfizer
In 2010, Mayor Jones negotiated an agreement to keep Pfizer's Sherwood Avenue research and development facility in Richmond. This meant keeping about 300 jobs within the city, as well as the prestige of the presence of the world's largest pharmaceutical company.
This ordinance helps fulfill that agreement by providing the first of 10 annual payments of $65,000 to Pfizer for agreeing to stay in Richmond.
This resolution expresses support for the City's Economic Development Authority to acquire more than a dozen properties in Shockoe Bottom to use for some kind of commercial development. This property could be used for a baseball stadium, or for completely unrelated development. Read more about it here.