Thursday, February 26, 2015

City Snow Removal Efforts Continue

~ Property owners reminded to remove snow from sidewalks ~

Richmond City Public Works crews have continued work throughout the day to clear city streets. At this time, all primary routes are passable and crews continue snow removal work on secondary streets.  Crews expect to begin clearing neighborhood roads later this afternoon. Motorists are advised to use caution around snow plows and to be aware of potential slick spots if it becomes necessary to use the roadways during the overnight period.

The City reminds residents and businesses of the responsibility to remove snow from the sidewalks that are adjacent to their property. Snow left on sidewalks may cause pedestrians to slip, trip or fall which can result in injury. Removal of snow from sidewalks adjacent to private property is the responsibility of the property owner and addressing this issue before dusk may result in easier removal. 

City Government Offices Closed Thursday, February 26

Due to the winter storm, City of Richmond Government Offices are closed Thursday, February 26. Essential personnel are to report to work at their regularly scheduled time. Employees should contact their immediate supervisor if they have questions regarding the time they are to report to work.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Winter Storm Warning Issued for the City of Richmond

~ City Advises residents to prepare for winter weather ~

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the City of Richmond from 7 p.m. today, February 25 until 1 p.m. Thursday, February 26. As a result, the City of Richmond encourages residents to take precautions now in preparation for winter precipitation. To help residents prepare for winter weather, the City offers the following safety recommendations:
  • Stay inside if possible. If you need to go out, dress in several layers of lightweight clothing. Wear mittens or gloves and a hat, preferably one that covers your ears;
  • Seek medical attention immediately if you have symptoms of hypothermia or frostbite;
  • Avoid overloading electrical outlets;
  • Do not connect a generator directly to your home's wiring or house a generator inside your home. Connecting a portable electric generator directly to your household wiring can be deadly to you and others. A generator that is directly connected to your home's wiring may 'back feed' onto the power lines connected to your home;
  • If space heaters are being used, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to safely use the heater. Make sure your space heater is three feet from any flammable material. Turn the space heater off when you leave the room or go to sleep. Keep children and pets away from your space heater;
  • Stoves or ovens should not be used as an alternate source to heat your home.
  • Bring your pets indoors. If you are unable to bring pets inside, provide adequate shelter to keep them warm and make sure they can get to unfrozen water.

Residents are encouraged to always maintain an emergency supply kit to include essential supplies that will last at least three days. Supply kits should include a hand-cranked or battery-powered radio and extra batteries, non-perishable food and water, toiletries, flashlights, a first aid kit and medications. Also, include items needed for infants, seniors, and pets.

The City’s Cold Weather Overflow Shelter will open tonight, Feb. 25 through Friday, Feb. 27 as overnight temperatures are forecasted to remain at or below 40 degrees during this time period. The overflow shelter is located in the City’s Public Safety Building at 505 North 9th Street. The shelter entrance is the second entrance on the 9th Street side of the building closest to Leigh Street. The shelter opens at 7 p.m. and closes the following morning at 6 a.m. Shelter registration will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Food will not be provided and pets are not allowed.

The City’s Cold Weather Day Warming site is open today, Feb. 25 through Friday, Feb. 27 from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The day warming site is located in the Public Safety Building, 505 North 9th Street.

Residents in need of overnight shelter are asked to report to Commonwealth Catholic Charities Homeless Point of Entry by 5 p.m. each day for a comprehensive intake and referral to the appropriate shelter. Commonwealth Catholic Charities Homeless Point of Entry is located at 511 West Grace Street. A referral to the Cold Weather Overflow Shelter will be provided to individuals who are not eligible for an existing shelter or if all available beds have been filled. Individuals seeking access to the Overflow Shelter must have a referral.

The City’s Department of Social Services provides emergency assistance with gas and electric disconnection notices for residents who qualify. Residents can also call the Fuel Line at (804) 646-7046.

Elderly or residents with disabilities may also contact Senior Connections for assistance at (804) 343-3000, Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Businesses have a critical role in emergency preparedness. Putting such a plan in place now will improve the likelihood that your business or company will survive and recover from emergencies or disasters. Visit for more information.

For up-to-date information and additional instructions from the City of Richmond, please visit, follow the City on Twitter @CityRichmondVA, and stay tuned to local radio and television stations.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Mayor's Youth Academy Extends Kings Dominion Summer Youth Employment Application Period

The application deadline for the Mayor’s Youth Academy (MYA) summer youth employment with Kings Dominion has been extended to 5 p.m. Friday, February 27. Applications are available at or youth may apply in person at the MYA headquarters, 701 North 25th Street, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. No applications will be accepted after 5 p.m. on February 27. Applicants to this program are required to participate in pre-employment training sessions prior to being referred to Kings Dominion staff for interviews and placements.

The City of Richmond Mayor’s Youth Academy will partner with Kings Dominion for a third consecutive year in providing city youth ages 16-19 the opportunity to work at the amusement park this summer. Kings Dominion’s commitment to hiring MYA participants is significant in allowing Richmond youth an unprecedented opportunity for summer employment. Selected MYA participants will begin working varying schedules in June and continue throughout the summer months.

Transportation is essential to the success of this partnership in order for youth to access the employment opportunities with Kings Dominion. Mobility was noted as the top reason why Richmond youth have been unable to pursue summer employment with Kings Dominion in the past. GRTC has confirmed that it will again operate its Kings Dominion shuttle services that will allow MYA youth to have a reliable source of transportation. This collaboration has been very successful and has the potential of connecting more Richmond residents with the park for employment opportunities.

“I am pleased with our ongoing partnership with Kings Dominion as we continue to invest in the futures of our city’s youth. Kings Dominion’s commitment to again hire 100 MYA participants provides Richmond youth with a tremendous opportunity for summer employment,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “The collaboration between MYA, Kings Dominion and GRTC permits Richmond youth to develop relationships with international youth, gain valuable work experience while earning income to save or spend in the local economy. The experience can also lead to the potential for full-time careers with the park.”

Applications for all other MYA Summer Programs including; MYA Jr., Life Stage, CIT, and Work Experience Internships will be available on March 1.

Friday, February 20, 2015

City Passes Legislation to Incorporate Health Considerations Into Future Planning and Programs

The Richmond City Council has adopted two resolutions that will ensure the incorporation of health into future planning and programs. This legislation, unanimously adopted by City Council, serves to incorporate health considerations into decision-making processes across sectors that influence health.

The Health in All Policies (HiAP) and Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) Cities and Towns Resolutions are outgrowths of Mayor Dwight Jones’ Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Policy and fall under the auspices of the Mayor’s Healthy Richmond Campaign. The HiAP legislation calls for the City to incorporate “fair and just” principles into policymaking and to consider the health impacts of decisions made by all aspects of local government. A team of City departmental leaders will be formed to implement the HiAP framework across all departments, agencies, and offices, in order to promote health, and well-being and overall quality of life of all residents, regardless of whom they are or where they live.

“These are great additions to the things we are doing for our residents in conjunction with the Healthy Richmond Campaign,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones, who served as co-patron for both pieces of legislation. “Implementation of these policies will ensure sustained outcomes as we continue to address challenges and seek to improve health outcomes for all residents.”

 “I could not be more delighted about the adoption of the Health in All Policies Resolution,” said Council Vice President Chris Hilbert and co-patron of the HiAP Resolution. “Our residents will benefit tremendously from this process of incorporating considerations of health equity into all policy making decisions.”

The HEAL Cities and Towns Campaign champions local government policies that improve access to healthy foods and physical activity. The Campaign is one example of Health in all Policies, and offers a unique opportunity to incorporate healthy eating and active living policies into local projects and long-term planning processes.

“Through a variety of key collaborative initiatives, the 7th District strives to address the various health needs of our residents,” said Councilmember Cynthia Newbille, co-patron of the HEAL Resolution. “With the adoption of the HEAL Cities and Towns Resolution, we can continue to address such needs, not only in our district, but in every district across the city of Richmond.” 

The Institute for Public Health Innovation (IPHI), Virginia’s official public health institute and one of 44 members of the National Network of Public Health Institutes, provided technical assistance to Richmond City in the development and adoption of the HiAP and HEAL legislation. “What Richmond City has done is historic, as only a handful of localities across the country have passed HiAP legislation,” stated Dr. Michael Royster, Vice President of IPHI. “We are honored to assist the City, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact of the HiAP and HEAL legislation on all who live, work, learn, and plan in Richmond City.”

Thursday, February 19, 2015

City to Break Ground Next Week on Newest Roundabout

~Project component of East End Transformation Plan~

The intersection of 25th Street, Nine Mile Road and Fairmount Road will undergo major improvements with the installation of a roundabout. Construction is set to begin next week to re-design the intersection, which will include the removal of existing traffic lights. The $1.2 million project has received state and federal funding.

The roundabout is a component of the East End Transformation Plan, which includes major sidewalk and landscaping improvements, modernization of public housing and revitalization of blighted residential areas.

City transportation engineers say once the roundabout is in place, it will reduce the number of accidents in that area and increase traffic efficiency. The most recent traffic study at the intersection indicated 11 accidents occurred there during a three year time frame.

Currently the City operates five modern roundabouts and expects to begin construction on several more this year.

Experts say roundabouts can reduce fatal accidents by as much as 90 percent and have been proven to reduce the number of vehicle and pedestrian accidents.

For more information on City services, please visit

Monday, February 2, 2015

Mayor Jones Announces Appointment of New Chief of Police

Mayor Dwight C. Jones today announced the appointment of Richmond Police Department Deputy Chief Alfred Durham as the next Chief of Police.

When naming Alfred Durham, Mayor Jones acknowledged the wealth of experience at senior levels in Richmond’s police department, and the department’s success with community policing.

“When Chief Ray Tarasovic told me last fall that he wanted to retire, I decided then that I wanted the next Chief to continue two hallmarks of his tenure. First, I expect crime rates to stay low and I expect a continued commitment to community policing,” said Mayor Jones. “We’ve had five straight years of violent crime reduction, with rates the lowest in the 40 years I’ve been in Richmond, and that’s helping to fuel the Richmond Resurgence.”

Mayor Jones noted that Alfred Durham brings a wealth of experience to the position, having previously worked in Richmond serving on former Chief Rodney Monroe’s leadership team. Durham worked in Richmond from 2005 to 2007. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He holds an Associates’ degree in Corrections Administration from the University of the District of Columbia. He served in the Marine Corps for 17 years, and then retired from the Metropolitan Police Department in DC, after 25 years. In DC, he led several departments, and served as Boating Law Administrator for the District. He rose to Assistant Chief, serving as the Executive Officer in the Office of the Chief of Police, responsible for the day-to-day operations of the police force.

“As a veteran of the DC police force, Chief Durham knows how to handle major events. He planned the Presidential Inauguration in 2005, and he knows how to handle multiple major events at one time,” continued Jones. “This experience gives me great confidence as we prepare for the World Championships of Cycling in September. I know we’ll be ready for the biggest event Richmond has ever seen.”

Durham has maintained a home in Southern Barton Heights for a decade. He returned to the Richmond Police Department last November, becoming one of three Deputy Chiefs.

“I would like to thank Mayor Jones for the opportunity to lead what I feel is one of the finest police departments in the country,” said Durham. “Policing is a noble profession, a profession that I have dedicated my life to. Over the course of my career, I've realized incredible rewards, but being named Police Chief for the City of Richmond tops the list of those rewards. I'm humbled by this awesome responsibility that is being given to me and look forward to serving Richmond as Chief of Police.”

Durham’s appointment becomes effective Feb. 21, 2015, and his salary will be $165,000 annually.