6th District Buzz
Welcome to RVA 6th!
Welcome to District 6! Home to Richmond's best! Whether you live in Richmond or are just stopping by, take a minute to explore our rich and eclectic district.
Resources for COVID-19
Here are additional resources for those affected by the COVID-19:
Local resources can be found at richmondgov.com, including public health information, support for small businesses, and updates on services and closures.
Visit publichealth.va.gov of updates, information, and actions taken by Commonwealth of Virginia.
Food assistance is available for those who qualify, and Virginians can also find information on meal services for children by texting “food” or “comida” to 877-877.
Information and updates for students and parents from RPS can be found at rvaschools.net, including the availability of meals for children.
Unemployment information is on the Virginia Employment Commission website at vec.virginia.gov.
Advice for managing stress, anxiety, and mental health during the outbreak is available from the CDC at cdc.gov.
Small Business Administration loan information for businesses affected by the outbreak. Small businesses in Richmond are all eligible for disaster loans. More information at sba.gov.
Loan and debt relief resources for students is available through the Department of Education at ed.gov.
Visit the State Department at state.gov for travel guidance, including a Level 4 “Do Not Travel” Global Health Advisory.
Council met yesterday. The agenda for the 6 p.m. formal meeting included a public hearing on the proposed fiscal year 2022 budget.
Here's what you need to know about the budget:
The proposed budget contains no increases in real estate, personal property or other general taxes. It does include a proposed utility rate increase of $5.27 a month for the average customer. The increase would fund more than $3 million in infrastructure improvements to address flooding in Southside and other parts of the city.
The proposed operating budget and FY22-26 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) include a two-step salary increase for sworn police officers and firefighters; an hourly wage increase for city employees making $12.07 per hour to $13 per hour; and nearly $6 million to implement recommendations of a compensation study.
Other funding highlights include:
• $187 million to Richmond Public Schools, a $6.4 million increase when excluding RPS’ use of one-time funding in FY21. The amount fully funds the school system’s operational funding request.
• $200 million for school modernization in FY24, including funding for a new George Wythe High School.
• $33.5 million in investments in sidewalk maintenance and construction, paving, new bike lanes and bridge maintenance, and other transportation-related improvements.
• $28 million for the Enslaved African Heritage Campus in the FY22-26 CIP.
Many cities are struggling to increase revenues while facing structural budget shortfalls that threaten service delivery and quality. One way we can help change this is by creating new revenue streams. We need things in place that represent the horizon for innovation across all revenue streams. And development can be an intervention to help drive this.
We should be looking to putting concrete projects and initiatives in place. As we look at revenue, we must look at development. Development can contribute to sustainable growth if we are innovative and bring the right ideas to the table. Your voice is important in the process of determining our development priorities and other community development initiatives.
Additionally, the right new development could also offer substantial opportunities to reduce poverty.
I believe if we think smartly and plan accordingly, we will recognize the link between how and where the community develops and the costs and revenues associated—a link that is all the more important during challenging economic times like we are experiencing at the present time.
What's vital is a City that works – one that is inclusive, healthy, resilient, and sustainable. And this requires intensive policy coordination and investment choices. As we recover from COVID-19, our action now will shape the future. That's why we need development to create opportunities for all.
Ellen F. Robertson
Vice President, Richmond City Council