Thursday, October 11, 2012

City Street Paving Projects Continue

~Paving Projects Totaling $1.4 Million Begin This Month~

The City of Richmond Department of Public Works announced the continuation of city paving projects to take place throughout the month of October and into November.  Paving work totaling $1.4 million, which begins on Tuesday, October 16, is in accord with the City Administration’s commitment to improving the city’s infrastructure. Mayor Dwight C. Jones announced an aggressive infrastructure improvement effort in 2010 to repave 25 percent of neighborhood streets over a five year period. The following projects should be completed by the end of November. The project areas are: 

  • October 16, Williamsburg Road between Hatcher Street and the eastern City limits
  • October 20, East Richmond Road between Oakwood Avenue and the eastern City limits
  • October 22, Belt Boulevard between Hull Street and Broad Rock Boulevard
  • October 24, Cowardin Avenue between Riverside Drive and Decatur Street
  • November 1, Hull Street between Jefferson Davis Highway and Belt Boulevard

There may be intermittent lane closures in the work zones and motorists are encouraged to use caution when driving through these areas.  

The above scheduled dates may change during inclement weather. To learn more about City services and programs, please visit,

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Mayor Announces Clean Sweep Program in Residential Parking Districts

~Fan Permit Parking Zones 1-2 and Carver Permit Parking Zone~

Residents and visitors in parts of the Fan and Carver districts will soon see clean-up crews in their neighborhoods on a routine basis.  On Monday, October 15 the City’s Special Residential Parking District Clean Sweep Program goes into effect.  

The initiative is designed to enhance the cleanliness of designated areas by cleaning the sidewalks and tree wells; picking up litter; removing posters and advertisements from utility poles, street signs, and other areas located on public property; reporting graffiti, environmental issues, missing or broken street signs/lights; providing weed abatement and limited maintenance and pruning of existing vegetation in tree wells and planters.

Local Minority Business Enterprise, Community Business Group (CBG) won a contract for $250,000 to perform the service, following adoption of a resolution by City Council authorizing the use of certain increased parking ticket fines in the three impacted permitted parking zones. Mayor Dwight C. Jones, who recently displayed new equipment for the Downtown Clean and Safe Program said, “Maintaining clean, attractive and orderly neighborhoods is important to the overall vibrancy of our city.” “I’m pleased that CBG will now be offering these services in the Fan and Carver districts with the new Clean Sweep Program as well.”  CBG has operated the Downtown Clean and Safe Program, administered by Venture Richmond, for approximately 14 years. 

The following areas are included in the program:

(1) Fan Permit Parking Zone (1): Linden and Harrison Streets on the East, Franklin Street and Monument Avenue on the North, Lombardy Avenue on the West and Main Street on the South. This area covers approximately 26 city blocks.      

(2) Fan Permit Parking Zone (2): Lombardy on the East, Franklin Street and Monument Avenue on the North, Meadow Street on the West and Floyd Street on the South. This area covers approximately 22 city blocks.       

(3) Carver Permit Parking Zone: Munford Street on the East, West Leigh Street on the North, Bowe Street on the West and West Marshall Street on the South. This area covers approximately 16 city blocks.       

The Clean Sweep Program will be administered by the Department of Public Works. 

For more information on City services, please visit

Monday, October 8, 2012

City’s Finance Department Announces Changes in Leadership and Revenue Collection Strategies

The City of Richmond’s Finance Department is filling five key positions in the month of October while also enhancing its revenue collection strategies. A number of technology upgrades are expected to improve customer service and heighten customer outreach.

Sharon Judkins, the deputy chief administrative officer for Finance and Administration, stated, “For the past six months, I’ve been focused on rebuilding and restructuring the city’s finance operation. With these appointments, we are well on our way to making necessary improvements.” Positions being filled include Deputy Director II (10/22), Marlo Von Kemp; Deputy Director I (10/15), Paul Jez; Controller (10/8), Alvin Cannon; Economist (10/15), Michael Gilbert; and Business Management Officer (10/8) Muhammed Owusu.

A focus has been placed on revenue collection strategies and improving data integrity.  Steps being taken include (1) pre-billing notices to taxpayers, affording an opportunity to verify and clarify data, (2) more frequent file comparisons with the State Department of Motor Vehicles files, (3) address verification with third party databases, (4) timelier processing of returned mail and posting of credit balances. An upgrade of the billing systems software is expected to enhance timeliness of the billing process. The Department has retained the services of two new outside collection agencies to assist with the collection of delinquent accounts while continuing to use the services of collection attorneys.

“Ms. Judkins is proving to be the tremendous resource and showing the leadership that I envisioned when she was brought on board in March. Aside from getting key positions filled, I’m also looking for improved customer service and customer outreach,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones.

More than 70 new computers have been installed to improve the response time of desktop equipment, and new software has been installed in the customer billing system to improve functionality. Finance related calls to the city’s 311 Call Center are being realigned with the goal of improving customer care.

Judkins explained, “We still have more to do in the customer care area and plan to create a number of informational brochures and resources to assist taxpayers with information related to city taxes and other finance matters. We also plan to do a great deal of direct outreach in each council district as well as through all public communications mediums available for our use.”

Key upcoming dates that city taxpayers should be aware of include:

Motor Vehicles Pre-billing                                                  11/1/12

Admission, Lodging & Meals Tax                                       20th of each month

Real Estate billing (1st half)                                               11/30/12

Business, Professional & Occupational License                3/1/13

Business Property Returns                                                3/1/13

Tax Relief Applications                                                       3/30/13

Motor Vehicle Tax                                                               5/1/13

Business Property Billings                                                 5/1/13

Real Estate Billing (2nd Half)                                             6/14/13

Delinquent billings on all tax types will take place throughout the year when original due dates are missed.