Monday, July 20, 2015

Mayor Jones' Statement Concerning a Freestanding Children’s Hospital, Minor League Baseball, and Regional Cooperation


Mayor Dwight C. Jones today issued the following statement concerning a freestanding children’s hospital, minor league baseball, and regional cooperation:

“The conversation around a freestanding children’s hospital has driven a renewed commitment to regional cooperation among the City of Richmond, Henrico County, and Chesterfield County.

“Advocates for the hospital asked each locality for potential locations, and we each presented options. They have indicated the Boulevard is their preferred site.

“In recent days, I have met with Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas and Chesterfield County Administrator Jay Stegmaier to advance this important regional priority. This includes agreeing to a process to identify alternative locations in the region to ensure that the Richmond Flying Squirrels have a permanent home.

“Today, we met with representatives of the Squirrels and the President of the Eastern League. We agreed that the Squirrels should meet with all localities in the Richmond area to explore potential locations that have easy access and visibility for Squirrels fans.

“The Squirrels agreed to work with each locality to identify a site by the end of this year. To demonstrate the region’s commitment to the Squirrels, I propose to extend their current lease on the Diamond through the end of 2017.

“We agreed on an exploration process that will consider site selection options, financing opportunities including private investment, potential construction schedules, and that recognizes the financial constraints our localities are facing. We committed, together with our regional partners, to work with the Squirrels. Ultimately, the Squirrels will identify a site that best fits their needs.

“The Squirrels are a great asset for our region, and they are woven into the fabric of our community. When they came to town six years ago, they changed how our region experiences minor league baseball. They showed us that it’s about having fun, enjoying family time, and celebrating our community. We all know the community wants them to stay here forever.

“I believe this renews our commitment to an open and comprehensive approach to advancing regional priorities, starting with the children’s hospital.”