Since becoming Mayor of the City of Richmond in 2017, Levar Stoney and his administration have been committed to improving the health of the James River by funding projects that properly manage stormwater and wastewater. Mayor Stoney’s Proposed Capital Improvement Plan for Fiscal Years 2021 – 2025, presented to City Council on March 6, is a continuation of his commitment. His proposed Capital Improvement Plan includes almost $70 million for projects that will contribute to a healthier James River.
The James River Association strongly encourages Richmond’s City Council to maintain funding for the following projects included in Mayor Stoney’s proposed capital improvement plan.
- $49,502,000 for Combined Sewer Overflows
- $11,976,000 for Stormwater Facilities Improvements
- $7,681,500 for Wastewater Treatment
This critical funding, a total of $69,159,500, supports projects that will improve Richmond’s combined sewer system and result in fewer combined sewer overflows into the James River. The Department of Public Utilities has planned a number of stormwater facilities improvements that capture stormwater and reduce localized flooding across the city. Additionally, the department plans to upgrade Richmond’s combined sewer system and wastewater treatment plant, including the installation of a new automatic trash rack system at the Shockoe Retention Basin and the expansion of treatment capacity at the wastewater treatment plant from 75 million gallons of water per day to 140 million gallons per day. This additional capacity will capture and treat 91% of stormwater and wastewater entering the combined sewer system before it enters the James River!
What about the Richmond Riverfront Plan? While Mayor Stoney’s proposed Capital Improvement Plan funds projects that will improve the health of the James River, it does not include funding to advance implementation of the Richmond Riverfront Plan or the recently adopted James River Park System Master Plan. Both plans include recommendations to make the James River and public spaces on its banks more accessible to Richmonders. Planned projects like a new park at East Riverfront (Lehigh) and Missing Link need funding to support design and construction so that all members of our community can easily access and connect to the river and the green spaces in our City. The James River Association will continue to urge Mayor Stoney and City Council to provide funding for implementation of both plans.