Thursday, April 30, 2015

Richmond Fleet Operations Ranked Among Best in the Americas




The City’s Department of Public Works’ Fleet Management Division has received an honorable mention by The 100 Best Fleets in the Americas as one of the preeminent fleet operations in North and South America for 2015.  Of the more than 38,000 public fleets in North America alone, only 100 are selected annually for the Top 100 list, while operations in 25 additional cities, including Richmond, are given the distinction of honorable mention.  In addition, on July 17 Richmond will host the 100 Best Fleets Conference at the Virginia War Memorial.  Fleet managers from across the country will be in attendance. 

"I'm pleased that our Fleet Management Division has been recognized in this way," said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. "City workers are often working with limited resources and dwindling budgets, and it is encouraging to see this division recognized for bringing a spirit of excellence to their responsibilities."

The 100 Best Fleet winners, which were announced at the NAFA Institute and Expo and in American City and County Magazine, are selected based on their answers to a series of questions and 12 criteria which include areas such as: use of technology and information; accountability, collaboration, quick and efficient turnaround, staff development and resources stewardship. 

According to its website, 100 Best Fleets identifies and encourages ever-increasing performance level improvements within the fleet industry. The agency offers seminars and programs aimed at educating fleet managers and workers on best practices and industry standards.

Public Works' Fleet Management Division maintains and services approximately 2600 units of City vehicles and equipment. Approximately 1,200 maintenance work orders are completed monthly to ensure the maximum safety and lifespan of each vehicle. The division places a high emphasis on preventative maintenance and its operations are Automotive Service Excellence certified. 

For more information on city services and schedules, please visit www.RichmondGov.com.




Thursday, April 23, 2015

Briefing on UCI Event Preparations

On April 23, Mayor Dwight C. Jones and City Officials held the first press briefing concerning preparations for the 2015 UCI Road World Cycling Championships. The Championships will take place in September.

Click here for the presentation.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

2015 UCI Road World Cycling Championships Awarded UCI reCycling Eco-label


Mayor Dwight C. Jones and Richmond 2015 officials marked a historic occasion today when they announced that the 2015 UCI Road World Cycling Championships has become the first Road World Cycling Championships to receive the official UCI reCycling eco-label.

Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) created the reCycling program to help its members organize more environmentally responsible cycling events by addressing practices in transportation, energy and water conservation, recycling and waste management, accommodations, catering, and supplies. UCI awards the eco-label to cycling events that have submitted an Environmental Management Plan documenting intended actions that meet the reCycling criteria.

“We’re very grateful to Mayor Jones for his leadership and to Alicia Zatcoff, the City of Richmond Sustainability Manager, for her hard work and commitment in obtaining the reCycling eco-label for the 2015 Championships,” said Wilson Flohr, Chief Executive Officer, Richmond 2015, Inc. “The eco-label will generate interest and benefit the image of our event. It also provides a tangible value to Richmond 2015, our sponsors, and partners to use the eco-label in promotional materials related to the 2015 Championships.”

“I applaud the City of Richmond and Richmond 2015 officials for their significant achievement. Their approach will encourage future UCI World Championships to become more environmentally responsible,” said UCI President Brian Cookson.

During the 2015 UCI Road World Championships, attendees will notice practical efforts to promote sustainability like mobile water-filling stations provided by the City’s Department of Public Utilities in the fan zones to reduce plastic use and a Green Team of volunteers who are focused on carrying out the eco-label initiatives.

“Attaining the official UCI reCycling eco-label for the 2015 Championships will help us enhance the City’s broader sustainability goals,” said Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “The City is strategically leveraging the World Championships to further community-wide initiatives that are essential for a vibrant and resilient Richmond. These initiatives enhance the quality of life for the entire community and will continue to benefit our residents long after the nine days of racing are over and the visitors have returned home.”

During today’s press event, Mayor Jones issued an important progress report on the City’s RVAgreen Sustainability Plan titled Moving Sustainability Forward. The progress report tracks headway in achieving the 55 sustainability initiatives established in RVAgreen; develops indicators to measure overall sustainability goals in areas such as green jobs, healthy food access, community energy use, recycling rates, open space access, housing cost burden, and alternative modes of transportation; and sets an ambitious goal to reduce City government and the community’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 which equates to a 1.8% reduction every year.

“Receiving the UCI eco-label acknowledges the efforts to date of so many within the community,” said Alicia Zatcoff, City of Richmond Sustainability Manager. “We want to maximize the opportunities for sustainability that hosting this major international event presents. To that end, we are pursuing the Council for Responsible Sport event certification which is based on the event’s actual performance in key areas of: equity, access, community impact, and legacy in addition to the environmental planning focus of the UCI eco-label.”

As a result of work related to the 2015 Championships, the City of Richmond and collaborators are building capacity in the community to enhance the sustainability of future events. In addition to the mobile water filling stations and Green Team of volunteers, improvements include a comprehensive, visible waste diversion system that includes recycling and composting stations; and a green event toolkit to provide free information and resources to help organizers make their events more sustainable.


About City of Richmond RVAgreen

RVAgreen is the City’s sustainability program. It includes the RVAgreen Sustainability Plan that was released in 2012 to further the City’s sustainability goals: improve the quality of life for residents, create a healthy environment and enhance economic opportunity in the city of Richmond. For more information about RVAgreen including a copy of the RVAgreen Progress Report called Moving Sustainability Forward visit www.richmondgov.com/sustainability <http://www.richmondgov.com/sustainability>


About Richmond 2015, Inc.

Richmond 2015, Inc., is the independent nonprofit corporation responsible for the organization, management and promotion of the 2015 UCI Road World Championships. The 2015 World Championships is projected to generate approximately $158 million in economic impact, 450,000 onsite spectators over the course of the nine day event and a global television audience in the hundreds of millions viewers.

Partners of Richmond 2015 include Altria, Anthem, CarMax, Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, Davenport & Company, Dominion, Genworth, Hourigan Construction, Kings Dominion, Lansing Building Products, MARTIN’S Food Markets, MWV, McGuireWoods, Norfolk Southern, PIASCIK, The Community Foundation, TowneBank, VCU Medical Center and Williams Mullen.

In addition to its corporate partners, the Commonwealth of Virginia, the City of Richmond, Hanover County and Henrico County are all key partners of Richmond 2015. For more information about Richmond 2015 visit http://richmond2015.com/and connect on Twitter <https://twitter.com/richmond2015>  and Facebook <https://www.facebook.com/richmond2015> .


About the 2015 UCI Road World Championships

The 2015 UCI Road World Championships, cycling’s pinnacle event, will be held Sept. 19-27, 2015 in Richmond, Va., and is expected to attract 450,000 onsite spectators over the course of the nine-day event as well as a worldwide TV audience in the hundreds of millions. More than 1,000 cyclists – Elite Men and Women, Under-23 Men and Junior Men and Women – from more than 75 countries will compete in three disciplines: the traditional Road Race, Individual Time Trial and Team Time Trial. The event, which is being held in the United States for the first time since 1986, culminates with the traditional road races on Sept. 26 (women) and Sept. 27 (men).



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Grace Street Two-Way Traffic Seen as Beneficial to Downtown



For the first time in several decades, East Grace Street between North 4th and North 9th Streets will open to two-way traffic. Currently vehicles only move westbound. The conversion will permit cars to travel eastbound as well.

Converting this five block area of East Grace Street is included in the 2009 Downtown
Plan and is, in part, being implemented to help attract more businesses to downtown
and make it easier for motorists to travel in the area. In addition, the change will provide
a direct connection to the Capitol Square and reconnect it to the balance of the central
business district, like many other streets in the vicinity.

“City officials have long discussed ways to enhance East Grace Street in an attempt to
restore it to its former splendor,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “This improvement is one
important step in that direction.”

The City predicts there will be prime opportunities for economic growth along the
corridor, evidenced by renewed interest from sidewalk café users, restaurants, offices
and developers. Earlier improvements, such as streetscaping and widening sidewalks,
have made East Grace Street more pedestrian friendly.

The Department of Public Works expects to have the street conversion completed by
the end of July. The work will include new two-way traffic signals and pavement
markings, electrical work, handicap ramp modifications and modifications to pedestrian
countdown signal heads. The $376,000 cost for the project is being shared between
the city and the state.

For more information on City services and programs, visit www.RichmondGov.com.


Monday, April 20, 2015

DPU Planned Water work, Cary and Main Streets – downtown



Beginning Saturday, April 18, 2015, the Water Distribution section of the city of Richmond Department of Public Utilities (DPU) will begin an extensive project to replace and upgrade failing water valves at several intersections in downtown Richmond.  Preliminary project work involves digging to uncover the water valves and will begin Sat. April 18, 2015.  The following are the locations and work days and times that work will be performed.  During valve work, intersections may be closed. Water valves allow DPU to control and isolate water flow during emergencies.

For specific utility related street closures and updates, follow DPU on Twitter @UtilityBuddy.

Location
Work
Date & Time
Impact
Customer
Intersection of 3rd & Main Streets
Replacing water valve
Sat. April 18, 2015 7 a.m.- 5 p.m.
3rd St closed between Main & Franklin Streets Traffic detoured around work area.
Water service to approx. 15 customers affected
Intersection of 6th and Main Streets
Exposing water valve
Sat. April 18, 2015
7 a.m. – 4 p.m.
6th St closed between Main & Franklin Streets. Traffic detoured around work area.
No water service to customers will be impacted
Intersection of 7th and Main Streets
Exposing water valve
Sat. April 18, 2015
7 a.m. – 4 p.m.
7th St. closed between Main & Franklin Streets. Traffic detoured around work area.
No water service to customers will be impacted
Intersection of 5th and Cary Streets
Replacing water valves

Work will be completed by April 30. No specific dates as yet.  Once determined updates will be announced.
Specific closures will be determined

Number of customers impacted – not yet determined

Intersection of 6th and Cary Streets
Intersection of 7th and Cary Streets

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Mayor Jones Announces Appointment of New CAO



Mayor Dwight C. Jones today announced the appointment of Selena Cuffee-Glenn as the City’s Chief Administrative Officer.

When naming Cuffee-Glenn, Mayor Jones acknowledged her ties to the Richmond community and her wealth of experience, most recently as the City of Suffolk’s City Manager.

“I’m excited to bring Selena back to Richmond because she possesses the professional management and administrative skills we need right now,” said Jones. “Like most cities and most governments, we have too many needs and not enough money to meet them all. I’m not interested in raising taxes, or cutting back on the services our residents expect and deserve, so this means we have to be wise with our resources and we have to operate more efficiently and effectively. We have to make Richmond an easier place to do business with; a place that gets things done. I believe Selena can help strengthen and improve upon our operations.”

In the past, Cuffee-Glenn worked in planning and community development for the City of Richmond. She also led planning and community development for the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority and taught at Virginia Commonwealth University in the Urban Studies Department. She obtained a Masters Degree in Urban and City Planning from the University of Virginia.

“Selena has more than thirty years of experience with municipal government management and I’ve been impressed by her experience and her expertise in operating a government effectively,” said Jones. “She also assembled a strong management team that led to a Triple A bond rating for Suffolk during her tenure.”

Cuffee-Glenn’s appointment will become effective May 18, 2015, with a salary of $203,000 annually.



Monday, April 13, 2015

Mayor Comments on Budget Process and RPS Funding


Mayor Dwight C. Jones issued the following comment today regarding the ongoing consideration of the proposed Biennial Fiscal Plan for FY2016 and FY2017, as well as the five-year Capital Improvement Plan through 2020:

“As this discussion moves forward, I want to reiterate what I have proposed in my budget plan with respect to schools:

“Key specifics include: 

  • $13.1 million in School Maintenance funding (representing a 162% increase, and part of a $22.8 million five-year package).
  • Proposing the implementation of a performance contracting program, giving RPS the capability to increase their total resources by as much as another $20 million.
  • $136.9 million in local funding to Richmond Public Schools to meet existing operating budget revenue needs.
  • $425,000 to launch a network of “Future Centers” to prepare for the launch of a Richmond Promise Scholarship program to benefit graduates of Richmond Public Schools.
  • $18.3 million in capital funding for a new Dove elementary school to support the development of a high performing school that will serve pre-K through 5th graders in the Dove Street revitalization area.
  • Continued investment in numerous other programs to help educate children. These include Communities in Schools, Middle School Renaissance, and many more.
“Because I share a commitment to academic improvement I have proposed to authorize a special one-time bridge funding of $10 million from our reserve funds to jump-start RPS’s academic improvement plan, starting in the next school year.

“In a city with 21,000 students, we have 9,300 empty seats. For every two children, there’s another empty seat. This drives up the per-pupil costs, and forces Richmond to spend too much on buildings and not enough on students. I want to spend the money on children, not the empty seats.

“Finally, to address some of the questions about school funding, it is important to note the following facts:

  • Richmond Public Schools, individually, is the single largest expenditure in the City’s budget.
  • The City’s per public expense remains well above the regional average and other area jurisdictions.
  • Richmond Public Schools’ funding in my budget constitutes 23.5% of all general fund expenditures (or 20% if you exclude state tax contributions).
  • Since 2012, the City’s contribution to RPS has consistently increased.
  • The overall trend for budgeted non-departmental spending has been decreasing since 2011. (One-time RMA funding that was placed in the non-departmental accounted for the increase seen in 2013.)
  • Education constitutes the second-largest share of general fund expenditures (second to the public safety category).
  • Education and public safety were the only two categories in my budget to receive a substantial increase.
  • Public safety comprises several agencies and departments.
  • Richmond’s local expenditures for education were 90.3% above the required local effort, compared with 82% in Chesterfield and 70% in Henrico.
  • Current salaries for RPS employees exceed market rates across all experience levels.
  • RPS employees received a salary increase in FY15 when other city employees did not.