Thursday, September 29, 2011

City Pursues Full Repayment from RMA

~Approximately $62.3 million to be voted on by RMA Board~

In a new development related to the City's pursuit of monies owed from the Richmond Metropolitan Authority (RMA), the City Administration says it will pursue the full amount owed, rather than the initial arrangement which included an interest rate discount.

In June of this year, Mayor Jones announced a proposal in which the RMA would return funds to the city before the year's end. The amount owed is more than $60 million. The RMA had originally asked for some interest rate forgiveness and the city introduced a paper for City Council consideration that would have foregone about $2 million in debt. Today the Administration acknowledged that current financial market conditions make it likely that the RMA could repay the entire amount with no discount attached.

"Anticipating favorable action by the RMA Board, I am withdrawing Ordinance No. 2011-160," stated Mayor Jones. "I am hopeful that City Council shares my enthusiasm for not only the early repayment of the debt, but the full repayment of the debt."

The Mayor has previously said, "As we consider the use of these funds, there are some guidelines I feel we should be governed by. These funds can help to repair some of the issues caused by displacement of families and businesses, and can also help to move us closer to a AAA bond rating. We have the opportunity to invest wisely by taking actions like getting our undesignated fund balance to 10% and paying off some of our own outstanding debt."

The Administration provided financial data today showing that the return of these funds has no loss in future financial value. The transaction also presents no loss of property rights, and RMA will still transfer the property to the city in the future.

The RMA Board is expected to vote in October.

City Receives Excellence in Economic Development Award From International Economic Development Council

The City’s Department of Economic and Community Development received an Excellence in Economic Development Award for their marketing kit in the category of General Purpose Promotion for communities with populations of 200,000 – 500,000 from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). The award was presented during the IEDC Annual Conference in Charlotte, NC on September 20.

“I thank the International Economic Development Council for recognizing Richmond with this award as it underscores our efforts to attract and retain both large and small employers, create jobs and preserve our City’s neighborhoods,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “Effective marketing is a catalyst to leveraging the numerous attributes of the city and thereby enhancing our economic development activities.”

"We recognize the City of Richmond’s Department of Economic & Community Development for providing successful strategies to promote new standards in economic development in this period of global recovery,” said Dennis Coleman, IEDC chair. “Our awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in communities. They are showing that they are at the forefront of the economic development profession and are using innovative and effective practices that can be replicated in other communities."

In the Fall of 2009, Mayor Jones initiated the consolidation and reorganization of certain City agencies and divisions, to include Economic Development, Real Estate Services, Workforce Development and Community Development, into a single, more comprehensively aligned Department of Economic and Community Development in order to pursue economic growth in a more strategic and competitive manner. The new department did not have the appropriate marketing collateral, therefore an internal taskforce was created to design and produce cohesive marketing material that effectively communicated the City’s assets and programs.

The goal of the general purpose marketing kit is to be a versatile piece that can act as a business attraction kit or welcome kit, be tailored to the specific audience desired, and be of a style and quality that matches well with partner organizations’ marketing collateral that may be included. The pieces are tied together through a theme of “It’s Time”, and the use of the image of the historic Main Street Station clock tower within which the new department is now housed.

The Excellence in Economic Awards program annually recognizes the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. The program honors organizations and individuals in 28 categories for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities.

About the International Economic Development Council

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is the premier membership organization dedicated to helping economic development professionals create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities and improve the quality of life in their regions. Serving more than 4,500 members, IEDC represents the largest network of economic development professionals in the world. IEDC provides a diverse range of services, including conferences, certification, professional development, publications, research, advisory services and legislative tracking.