Wednesday, March 17, 2010

City to Apply for Google Fiber for Communities Project

Mayor Dwight C. Jones announced today the city of Richmond's intent to apply for the Google Fiber for Communities Project on March 26 and urges all of the Richmond community and region to support the city's efforts.

"The city that wins this project will be recognized globally and the impact it will have is the technological equivalent of being awarded the Olympics," said Mayor Jones. "It will be an enormous economic development engine and further expand the creative and technological industries in our city, in addition to helping bridge the digital divide. This would be a major stride in making Richmond a Tier One city."

The Google Fiber for Communities Project is an experiment to build an ultra-high speed broadband network that will deliver internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today. The planned network will offer speeds over one gigabit per second in the fiber-to-the-home connections. Google plans to offer service at a competitive price and an open network.

The city is responding to Google's Request for Information (RFI) and asking for community support from the business, educational, and creative community.

"One of the deciding factors in Google's decision will be community support and it is imperative that we enlist everyone we can to join our application effort. Residents can join us on our social media sites and show Google that Richmond is the city that will embrace their project and help make it a success," said Mayor Jones.

For more information on the city's Google High Speed Fiber RFI application, visit: .

Community support can be registered on the following social media sites:

There is no application fee for submitting Google's RFI and the network will be built by Google. The city's role, if selected, will be to help facilitate the installation of the network through existing city departments and infrastructure.


Hull Street Library to Close for Inventory on March 18

The city's Hull Street Library, located at 1400 Hull Street, will be closed on Thursday, March 18, 2010, to prepare for substantial renovations. This one-day closure will allow for an inventory of library books and materials to be conducted.

Mayor Dwight C. Jones first announced the library renovations in March 2009 during his biennial budget proposal to City Council. More than $9 million, over the term of the project, has been set aside to complete renovations to all city libraries. Renovation funding is being provided through the "Building a Better Richmond" fund of the city's Capital Improvement Plan.

The Hull Street Library renovation will be in phase two, which is scheduled to start in the winter of 2010.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

City Names Sustainability Manager

The City administration announced today that Alicia Zatcoff has been named the first Sustainability Manager for the city of Richmond. In this role, Zatcoff will help the city develop and implement sustainable green and eco-friendly policies and practices that support Mayor Dwight C. Jones’ objectives for the residents of Richmond to enjoy an improved quality of life, healthy environment and enhanced economic development and job creation opportunities.

"As we have already initiated several initiatives to become a greener city by reducing our carbon footprint, this is the right time to appoint a Sustainability Manager," Mayor Jones said. “Alicia Zatcoff’s experience and commitment for an eco-friendly government will be of great benefit to the city of Richmond.”

The city’s sustainability manager will report to Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Operations Chris Beschler. Zatcoff will work cooperatively with all city agencies to find ways to reduce resource use such as water, electricity, and gasoline and develop long-term policies to conserve resources in order to create costs savings for the city and taxpayers.

Zatcoff is an attorney and LEED Accredited Professional. She received her bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Virginia and her Juris Doctor from the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond. She has over 12 years of experience with the city of Richmond in areas including, governmental process, municipal law, real estate, community development, public safety and sustainability. Her background also includes positions in private practice and academia.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Urban Forestry Division to Plant New Trees on West Cary Street

The Department of Public Works Division of Urban Forestry has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Forestry to plant new trees on West Cary Street through the city's newly established Virginia Municipal Tree Restoration Program project (MTRP).

On March 15, city Arborists will begin placing removal notifications on 11 trees in the 12-hundred block, 13-hundred block and 21-hundred block of West Cary Street. The trees were selected primarily because they have been aggressively pruned to prevent them from interfering with power lines. Under the MTRP project they will be cut down, the stumps ground and new trees will replace them.

"We want to plant the right tree in the right place," said DPW Director Dexter White. "We want to enhance the appearance of West Cary Street, but at the same time make certain the trees we put in will not come in contact with the power lines."

The city will plant redbuds, Yoshino cherry and serviceberry trees at the 11 sites. The total cost for the project is $11,459. The city will contribute $6,459 in funding for the creation of the restoration program.

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