Richmond’s City Council convened remotely on Monday, April 13, for its first budget work session of the year. During the work session, Councilmembers were presented with new revenue projections by Jay Brown, the City of Richmond’s Director of Budget and Strategic Planning. The City’s General Fund revenue is projected to be $38.5 million less than originally predicted in Mayor Levar Stoney’s proposed budget for the coming fiscal year. This significant decrease in revenue is largely due to an anticipated decline in property and local tax revenue attributed to the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the mayor’s administration has cut its proposed expenditures by $38.5 million.
Budget work sessions were scheduled to begin on March 23, but the first three were canceled while the Council and City staff worked on remote meeting options that conformed with ongoing state restrictions for gatherings of more than 10 people. Councilmembers will consider the FY 2021 budget during teleconferenced work sessions over the next few weeks. Members of the public can find agendas and information on how to watch or participate on City Council’s calendar. Budget work sessions and public hearings are scheduled on the following dates.
- Budget Work Session: Monday, April 13 (1:00 – 3:00pm)
- Budget Work Session: Monday, April 20 (1:00 – 3:00pm)
- Amendment Work Session: Wednesday, April 22 (1:00 – 3:00pm)
- Amendment Work Session: Monday, April 27 (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm)
- Budget Public Hearing: Monday, April 27 (6:00 – 8:00 pm)
- Amendment Work Session: Wednesday, April 29 (1:00 – 3:00 pm)
- Budget Amendments Introduced: Monday, May 4 (TBA)
- City Council Establishes FY21 Budget: Monday, May 11 (6:00- 8:00 pm)
Mayor Stoney presented his proposed FY 2021 budget to City Council on Friday, March 6. His proposed Capital Improvement Plan includes almost $70 million for projects that will contribute to a healthier James River.
- $49,502,000 for Combined Sewer Overflows
- $11,976,000 for Stormwater Facilities Improvements
- $7,681,500 for Wastewater Treatment
The James River Association is encouraging Richmond’s City Council to maintain funding for these projects in the Capital Improvement Plan. Unfortunately, Mayor Stoney’s proposed Capital Improvement Plan did not include funding for implementation of the Richmond Riverfront Plan or the recently adopted James River Park System Master Plan. The James River Association is encouraging the City Council to fund projects in the Richmond Riverfront Plan and James River Park System Master Plan, specifically constructing the Missing Link trail and creating a new public park at East Riverfront. Stay tuned in the coming weeks as the James River Association follows City Council budget work sessions and public hearings.
ACTION ALERT: If you live in Richmond, TAKE ACTION by contacting your councilmember and encouraging them to support funding that would benefit the James River including addressing Combined Sewer Overflows, Stormwater Facilities Improvements, Wastewater Treatment, as well as funding for implementation of the Richmond Riverfront Plan and James River Park System Master Plan.