Thursday, February 12, 2009

Richmond Mayor Addresses Chesterfield County

Announces "New Beginning" Toward Regional Cooperation

Mayor Dwight C. Jones, in a strategic effort to generate regional cooperation, made his first county visit today, meeting with the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors. "I have made several announcements in my first few weeks in office about New Beginnings for the City and for my administration, and I want this visit to serve as a representation of my commitment to a New Beginning of closer working relationships with the City's regional partners," said Mayor Jones.

Education was underscored as a priority. Mayor Jones is particularly interested in working together to address common challenges that all school districts face, like how to teach children in their tumultuous middle-school years.

The aging infrastructure that the area must deal with was highlighted and the suggestion was made that perhaps there are ways the region can work together on projects that are eligible for the President's economic stimulus package.

Transportation is a high priority with the mayor noting that there must be collaboration in order to improve the region's transportation network. The mayor called on the group to look at certain corridors for seamless development as there are economic development and community development opportunities that transcend local boundaries.

The River was also emphasized and the mayor shared that he is focused on the James River in downtown Richmond; but he noted that this great asset is both west and south of the City and that the entire region shares an interest in the River's upkeep and progress.

Mayor Jones has plans to visit other neighboring counties including Henrico and Hanover. "Today I just want to say to our neighboring counties that we extend the hand of cooperation, and we look forward to Richmond being not just a great city, but to Richmond being a great region. People often focus on the differences in the region. I want to focus on the similarities," said Mayor Jones.

Contact: Tammy Hawley, (804) 646-3110

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

City Prepares for Stimulus Funding

The City of Richmond is preparing for the onset of anticipated federal funds as the economic stimulus legislation, known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, has been approved in both chambers of the United States Congress. Now that a version of the plan has passed both the House and Senate, a final compromise can be crafted and is expected to become law early next week.

The plan is designed to create jobs, jumpstart growth and lay the foundation for future economic growth. Cities and localities across the country have begun to identify "shovel-ready" projects that can qualify for the funds when they become available. Mayor Dwight Jones and city officials have identified as many as 38 projects that may be eligible for such funding. The city also plans to submit its list of projects to the newly launched website being hosted by Governor Timothy M. Kaine, which is designed to collect potential funding ideas.

"We're ready to move forward on many projects that will put people to work," said Mayor Jones. "It's unclear which funds will come directly to the city and which will come through the state channels, but we are covering all bases," he continued. For transportation alone, Mayor Jones has identified over $75 million in shovel ready projects that could move forward quickly. Transportation projects include: paving programs, road and bridge projects and resurfacing and widening improvements. Green initiatives identified for possible funding total
more than $35 million and parks improvements total almost $10 million. Housing infrastructure projects that would be eligible for the stimulus funds total over $6 million. Water improvement projects could total as much as $138 million, including work on main water lines to provide wholesale water service to other localities; an ongoing revenue generator for the City of Richmond.

"We are ready to act quickly and will be aggressive in securing these funds when they become available to cities," said Mayor Jones.

Contact: Tammy Hawley, (804) 646-3110

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mayor to Officially Open Hilton Garden Inn Richmond Downtown in Historic Miller & Rhoads Building

WHO: Mayor Dwight C. Jones
City Council President Kathy Graziano
Pres Kabacoff, co-founder and co-chairman of HRI Properties
Brian McGhee, general manager, Hilton Garden Inn Richmond

WHAT: Ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the Hilton Garden Inn
Richmond Downtown hotel in the historic Miller & Rhoads building

WHEN: 10:30 a.m., Thursday, February 12, 2009

WHERE: 501 East Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23219

The opening of the 250-room Hilton Garden Inn Richmond Downtown is a part of the restoration of the historic Miller & Rhoads building that also includes 133 condominium units and 20,000 square feet of retail space.

Contact: Tammy Hawley, (804) 646-3110