Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Kanawha Plaza Reopened

Early on Tuesday, September 20, Mayor Dwight C. Jones, along with the City's Department of Parks, Recreation & Community Facilities, in association with Enrichmond, helped kick off the Grand Reopening Celebration for Kanawha Plaza. The renovation process of the public space began in July of 2015, and the ribbon cutting event marked the completion of the first phase of the renovations.

The City invested $2.9 million in the renovations. Kelso & Easter, Inc., of Richmond was the contracted designer and the Contractor was Southwood Building Systems, Inc. of Virginia. The renovations that were undertaken include the retention and repair of the plaza's fountain, the parks most prominent feature. There were also landscaping improvements, a new food truck area, and improved lighting.

The City welcomes this improved public green space and thanks everyone that helped achieve the enhancements.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Construction to Begin on Belmont Road Roundabout

On Tuesday, September 6, the Department of Public Works will begin construction of the Belmont Road Roundabout at the intersection of Belmont, South Belmont and West Belmont roads. The roundabout will enhance the gateway corridor into the city of Richmond. 

The project will include landscaped islands, pedestrian crosswalk markings, handicap ramps and new signage. The $700,000 project has received state and City funding. Work is expected to last three to four months, depending on weather.

The improvements will decrease operating speeds for motorists and shorten the crossing distance for pedestrians. In addition to reducing the number of vehicle and pedestrian accidents, experts say roundabouts can reduce fatal accidents by as much as 90 percent.

There will be occasional lane closures during construction. Motorists are encouraged to follow work zone signage. 

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

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Newly Constructed Six Points Roundabout to Help Make Area Safer for Highland Park Community

On August 23, at the corner of East Brookland Park Avenue and Dill Avenue, Mayor Jones, Councilwoman Ellen Robertson and others celebrated the newly constructed Six Points Roundabout with a ribbon cutting.

“As we stand here today at this roundabout, I want our residents to know that getting to this point took a lot of hard work, championed by Ellen Robertson along with the Department of Public Works Transportation Engineering Division, who initially applied for the federal grant back in 2009,” said Mayor Jones. “Together, they demonstrated true perseverance with this project, staying in it for the long-haul to make sure this got done.”

“Mayor Jones has been a strong supporter of what goes on in Highland Park in a huge way ever since he became Mayor, and we would like to thank you for that,” said Councilwoman Ellen Robertson, 6th District. “This roundabout is such a wonderful addition to our community in providing safety for both drivers and pedestrians.”

The newly devloped traffic control design is located at the intersections of Brookland Park Boulevard, Meadowbridge Road, 2nd Avenue and Dill Avenue. It includes landscaped islands, pedestrian crosswalk markings, handicap ramps and new signage at each intersection. These enhancements were developed to improve vehicular and pedestrian interaction through slower operating speeds for motorists, and shorter crossing distances for pedestrians.

The Six Points Roundabout installation project cost $1.2 million, 90 percent coming from federal funding and 10 percent from the state.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Fire Station 20 Undergoing Renovations

Fire Station 20, 4715 Forest Hill Avenue, is currently closed for extensive building renovations. As a result, all station operations have moved to Fire Station 17, 2211 Semmes Avenue. This action will have minimal effect on service delivery to the fire district serviced. The building renovations are projected for completion in April 2017 at which time normal operations will resume.

A few of the Fire Station 20 renovation highlights include:

  • Exterior wall, window and concrete ramp repair

  • Addition of public access area and bathroom

  • Safety storage area for firefighter turnout gear

  • Employee health and fitness area

  • Added privacy in employee bathrooms

  • New fire alarm notification system

The total renovation budget for Fire Station 20 is $1,309,169.  This fire station renovation will be the third undertaken during Mayor Dwight Jones’ Administration, as part of the multiyear station renovation and replacement plan. The renovation of Fire Station 13 was completed in December 2013 at a cost of $1,502,701 and the Fire Station 10 renovation was completed in April 2015 at a cost of $1,700,440.

In addition to the three fire station renovations, the Jones Administration also completed construction of the new LEED Silver Fire Station 17 in 2012 at a cost of $5,170,109.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Mayor Jones and RPD Chief Durham Provide Mid-Year Crime Report

Mayor Dwight C. Jones and Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham held a media briefing today to report to the community on crime in the city and the Richmond Police Department’s public-safety efforts during 2016. The Mayor and Chief noted the recent uptick in crime and provided updates on several initiatives designed to curb gun violence and ongoing efforts to remove illegal weapons from City streets.

The following are some of the remarks made by Mayor Jones during this briefing:

 “Our city has so much to be proud of – a growing population, national and global recognition as a hot spot, a destination. People are choosing to come to Richmond, companies are choosing to come to Richmond.

“But I’ve always kept at the forefront the issues that we need to be mindful of, the issues that we need to be sure to address. And all of you know that I’ve talked about our communities that need strengthening and transformation. 

“We’ve set up new programs and new initiatives to address our poverty rate, our educational needs, jobs. All the things we need to attend to in order to have a truly vibrant city, where no one is left behind. And we are working on all of these things – these same things that do contribute to the social ills that most urban areas experience to some degree.

“But whenever I receive news of a homicide in our city, it concerns me, like it concerns all of you.

"We have had success in reducing crime over the past few years, and that always comes about with community support and only with community support.  As the Chief is always telling you, we can’t do it alone.

“I want to thank all of the residents of Richmond that work with us and that assist our police force when needed. Earlier this week we had one of my favorite events of the year, National Night Out. As usual, the Chief and I visited many parts of the City, and I’m very pleased with our community policing model and the community support that our force enjoys and receives.

“But I know these officers’ hearts break, just like mine, when our public safety updates include news of ongoing homicides in our city, or when violence occurs against children. 

“So today, it’s clear that we have to keep working together. And when it gets tough, we’ve got to double down on our joint efforts. And to keep our crime rates down, and our city safe, we need everyone to do their part – that includes the judicial system – lawyers, judges, and lawmakers too. 

“And let us also remember to keep working together to create strong neighborhoods and strong communities overall. We’ve got to understand and find out what the needs of people are and then give people a different path to take a different option, another road other than a life of crime.”

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

ICMA-RC Retirement Planners to Add 200 Jobs in Richmond

The city of Richmond and the Greater Richmond Partnership (GRP) are pleased to announce that ICMA-RC, one of the top financial service corporations, has chosen to expand into Richmond. The non-profit individual financial services corporation, headquartered in Washington D.C., provides retirement plans and related services to more than a million participants in the U.S. The company plans to hire roughly 100 new employees and bring more than 100 employees from their Washington, D.C., headquarters to Riverfront Plaza, in the city of Richmond’s Central Business District.

“We are so pleased to have worked closely with GRP on this great project for the city and are thrilled that ICMA-RC has chosen the city's vibrant and growing downtown as its new location,” said Mayor Jones. “They will be a valuable addition to the vibrant and growing downtown business community.”

ICMA-RC conducted an extensive search for their second location, narrowing the list of prospective cities to seven, including Dallas and Atlanta. Bob Schultze, President and CEO of ICMA-RC explains, “After reviewing the results of our extensive search, it became clear that the city of Richmond met our needs of a low cost, high quality business environment, as well as a location close enough for our home office to continue a productive work flow. The synergy between our Washington, D.C., HQ and Richmond made the most sense for our operational needs.”

Barry Matherly, President and CEO of the Greater Richmond Partnership, added, “With plans to add anywhere from 200-250 net new employees to the City of Richmond and the Commonwealth of Virginia, and make more than $10 million in capital investment, ICMA-RC’s entry to the market is another excellent return on the economic development investment of the region.”

Founded in 1972 through the assistance of a Ford Foundation grant, ICMA-RC’s mission is to help public sector employees build retirement security. Today, ICMA-RC serves more than a million participant accounts and about 9,000 plans across the country.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

City Electoral Board to Offer Classes for Election Officers

The City’s Electoral Board voted on July 20 to offer 97 different classes, representing almost 300 hours of training, this fall for its officers of election. The first classes for new election officer training begin August 20 and September 19. The majority of the classes will begin the week of September 22, and conclude the week of October 31.

Residents must be an officer of election in order to enroll in any of the offered classes. Persons interested in becoming an officer of election for the City of Richmond can apply online at www.elections.virginia.gov or call (804) 646-5950 to request an application. 

The Electoral Board is planning to recruit 200 more individuals in the coming weeks, bringing the total amount of sworn officers close to 1,200. Once accepted as an officer, individuals will be informed of the basic training calendar. Upon completion of basic training, the full calendar of training options will be made available.