After numerous budget review and work sessions that began following the presentation of Mayor Stoney’s proposed budget last month, Richmond’s City Council reached a consensus on the FY 2020 budget Monday afternoon. The good news is the budget supports capital projects that will contribute to a healthier and more accessible James River. Additionally, City Council fully funded operations and maintenance of the James River Park System. The bad news is funding for some projects was reduced or completely cut to balance the budget.
City Council largely supported funding capital projects that will contribute to a healthier James River. More than $21 million is in the budget for projects that will help the Department of Public Utilities expand the treatment capacity of Richmond’s wastewater treatment plant, reduce the frequency of combined sewer overflows, and capture stormwater with green infrastructure before it carries nutrient, sediment, and bacteria pollution to the James River. Projects that will contribute to a healthier James River funded in the budget are listed below.
- $15 million for Stormwater Facilities Improvements
- $3.9 million for Wastewater Treatment
- $2.3 million for Combined Sewer Overflows
- $115,000 for Low Line Phase III
Funding for projects that will contribute to a more accessible and inclusive James River took a hit during Monday’s budget work session. Funding for two accessibility projects, Universal Access at Huguenot Flatwater and Tredegar/Brown’s Island Accessible Walk Improvements, was reduced. Projects that will contribute to a more accessible and inclusive James River funded in the budget are listed below.
- $210,000 for Gillies Creek Greenway
- $205,400 for Canal Walk Connector from the Virginia Capital Trail to Brown’s Island
- $150,000 for Universal Access at Huguenot Flatwater
- $117,442 for Tredegar/Brown’s Island Accessible Walk Improvements
City Council was able to balance the FY 2020 operating budget by making reductions in funding for capital projects like Universal Access at Huguenot Flatwater, Tredegar/Brown’s Island Accessible Walk Improvements, and Jefferson Avenue Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Green Street Improvements. While reductions in funding will slow these projects down, they should continue to move forward.
City Council has a special meeting scheduled for Monday, May 6, at 5:00 pm and on Monday, May 13, at 6:00 pm, Council is scheduled to establish the FY 2020 budget. Email Justin Doyle at email@example.com with questions.