I am reaching out today with a special email to share the high level overview of the Mayor's $3 billion budget proposal, which was just presented to Council this afternoon.
In particular, I want to highlight the inclusion of a specific line item of $15 million in fiscal year 2024 to fund the reconstruction of Fox Elementary. This money will be made available to RPS should there be any shortfall resulting from their ongoing insurance negotiations and pursuit of state school construction grant funding.
The City has never wavered from its commitment to rebuild Fox. Should there be a gap between current funding sources being pursued and the final cost, the proposed budget affirms that money will be there, and Fox will be rebuilt as quickly as possible. I’m grateful that the CAO, Mayor, and his staff were able to utilize new debt capacity that was identified in the final days of the budget process to backstop any shortfalls in Fox’s construction funding.
There has been so much love and support for Fox since the fire-- getting through this past year has been a truly collaborative process. There are so many people to thank, from churches housing classrooms, to our state elected officials advocating at the General Assembly and of course all the staff, teachers, parents and students, our School Board, Superintendent Karmas and of course his staff. I look forward to seeing the roof go up next month and can’t wait to welcome back our Fox family to 2300 Hanover Avenue!
Check out a full summary of the Mayor's proposal below:
Education & Youth:
$15 million in additional CIP funding for Fox Elementary
$21.1 million in operating budget for Richmond Public Schools
$200 million for City-wide school construction
$1.0 million for community-based Positive Youth Development programs
$1.2 million for new Community Center based After School Programs & $500,000 to support the Trauma Healing Response Network
$244,000 to We Matter RVA for youth gun violence prevention
Housing & Economic Development:
$50.0 million to build new Affordable Housing over the next five years
$1.75 million in new funding for Homeless Services and Emergency Shelter and an additional $200,000 in incremental funding for Homeless Services Organizations
$800,000 for Richmond's Eviction Diversion Program
$500,000 to expand Manufactured and Alternative Housing Program
$10.0 million to replace Richmond's First Police Precinct
$15.0 million to replace Fire Station 21
$985.000 for new Traffic Control Signals
$51.1 million for Street Lighting
$10.0 million for Fire Apparatus, Police Vehicles, and Refuse Trucks
$21.0 million for Traffic Calming, Sidewalks, and Complete Streets
$7.0 million for Citywide Parks Improvements
$800,000 to expand hours at Richmond Public Libraries
$200,000 for the History and Culture Commission and Historical Markers
$250,000 for Neighborhood Signs and Way making
$12.7 million for 8% General Wage Increase and $18 Per Hour Minimum
$5.0 million maintained from FY 2023 for public safety adjustments
$5.7 million for a step increase and 3% step plan adjustment for Sworn Officers
$1.4 million for Employee First Time Homebuyer's Assistance (ARPA)
$1.2 million for Employee Tuition Assistance and Language Incentive
You can view the full recording of the Mayor's presentation here.
As a reminder, Council kicked off our budget process with our first budget work session last Monday. The meeting included discussion of shared priorities, and the establishment of a schedule for public meetings and deliberation on the budget. You can view a recording of the meeting here. The full Council budget schedule, including work sessions, public hearings, and final adoption anticipated for May 8th, can be viewed here.
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