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Showing posts from 2017

City to Implement New Electronic Content Management System Software

The city’s Finance Information Services Team today announced the implementation of a new Electronic Content Management Software, Onbase by Hyland. This new software will be integrated with existing City of Richmond software tools to create an intelligent business workflow management platform. Over the next several months the system will be implemented with both the Accounts Payables and Revenue Administration groups. The implementation of this technology will allow for expedited invoice processing to vendors as well as interactive tools for our constituents to track tax information and payments. 
“This project represents a commitment by the City of Richmond to meet the goals set forth by Mayor Stoney’s Richmond 300 plan by working to open all lines of communication and data transfer between all city departments and the people of the city,”  said Mimi Terry, Deputy Director/Controller and Acting Director of Procurement.
For questions and more information, contactCORECMS@Richmondgov.com

Bond Refunding Saves City of Richmond Approximately $13 Million

On Monday, December 4, 2017, the City of Richmond successfully sold its $119 million tax-exempt General Obligation Public Improvement Refunding Bonds in order to refund existing debt service and achieve interest rate savings.

The cost of funds for the city’s 2017D Refunding Bonds was approximately 2.4%, which is near the lowest cost of funds in several decades. The city took advantage of the historic low interest rate environment to refund two outstanding bond issues, which will result in the city reducing its existing debt service by roughly $13 million over the next 15 years.

Moody’s and Fitch reaffirmed their strong ratings on the city’s 2017D Bonds at Aa2 and AA+, respectively. S&P is expected to reaffirm its AA+ rating of the city’s 2017D Bonds later this week.

“These savings have the potential to accelerate funding for our priorities, such as school-related capital projects,” said Mayor Stoney. “The credit ratings additionally underscore Wall Street’s confidence in Richmond and…

City to Implement Steps to Improve Customer Interaction for City Permitting

Mayor Levar M. Stoney today announced the city is implementing a series of steps to improve customer interaction with permitting in the City of Richmond. In a letter sent to stakeholders on November 28, the mayor addressed changes coming to the city’s permit center located in Room 110 at City Hall.

“After hearing from many relating to their experience applying for and receiving permits from Room 110, we are changing how these matters are handled here at City Hall,” said Mayor Stoney. “We are committed to making the process of getting a permit less time-consuming, and more customer-friendly and efficient, and will take full advantage of the technology we have available to make it easier to conduct business with the City of Richmond.”
The following steps will be implemented on December 1, 2017:
Better office hours
The Permit Center will now be open 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Monday - ­Friday), which previously operated from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. This will allow customers to come in earlier and get their…

Mayor Stoney Begins Series of Teacher Recruitment Visits for Richmond Public Schools

Mayor Levar M. Stoney has begun a series of recruitment visits to Virginia’s colleges and universities as part of an effort to encourage students and prospective graduates to begin their careers by teaching in Richmond Public Schools.


On Tuesday, the mayor visited Virginia State University, where he spoke with more than 200 students on the benefits of a teaching career and living in Richmond. 
The Mayor’s outreach is a joint effort in collaboration with RPS to help close the teacher vacancy gap in RPS by tapping the talent of the state’s higher education system. 
“Good students are the product of good teachers, and we want the very best for our schools,” said Mayor Stoney. “Our students deserve nothing less, and our top-rated colleges and universities have the talent that can make a difference in the lives of our children and take our city to the next level.”
Over the next five months, the mayor will make recruiting visits to college campuses throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. His n…

Mayor Stoney Releases Update on Recommendations of the VCU Performance Review

Mayor Levar Stoney today released a detailed update on steps his Administration has taken to address the findings and recommendations of the VCU Performance Review, conducted in May 2017.

The update is contained in the 25-page report foundhere. The report provides a summary of the Administration’s efforts both to reform and improve the functioning of government and to build One Richmond. The report also contains summary recommendations developed by an interagency Cross Functional Team, consisting of employees from numerous different departments who examined issues concerning improving communications and processes within the organization. Finally, the report summarizes progress on key priorities of the Stoney Administration and identifies an action plan for the next three months leading into presentation of the FY 2019 and FY 2020 budget in March 2018.

As part of that action plan, Mayor Stoney today announced his intention to create a Performance Management and Change unit based within t…

City of Richmond Designated “SolSmart Silver” for Advancing Solar Energy Growth

The City of Richmond received a silver designation from the nationalSolSmartprogram for taking bold steps to remove obstacles to solar development and encourage solar energy growth during the 2017 National League of Cities (NLC) City Summit which took place Nov. 15 - 18 in Charlotte, NC.
SolSmart is led by the Solar Foundation and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). It is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative. More than 100 cities, counties and small towns have achieved SolSmart designation since the program launched in 2016.
To receive designation, cities and counties make changes to their local permitting processes, as well as planning and zoning procedures, to reduce the time and money it takes to install a solar energy system. SolSmart designees may also develop innovations in areas such as market development and finance.
“SolSmart designation is part of our RVAgreen 2050 initiative to reduce community greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050…

Nearly 1,600 Richmond Alleys Already Repaired in 2017

Click here to view the video from the press conference.
Mayor Levar M. Stoney today recognized Department of Public Works (DPW) crews for making repairs to nearly 1,600 alleys in the City of Richmond.

What started as an ambitious endeavor to repair, re-grade and re-gravel 1,300 alleys by the end of September has turned into a far greater DPW success. Mayor Stoney joined DPW crews in the recently-repaired alley of North Nansemond Street (between Ellwood Avenue and Floyd Avenue) to thank city crews for their hard work and for exceeding the yearly goal by nearly 300 alleys.

“This is a great accomplishment,” said Mayor Stoney. “I thank DPW Director Bobby Vincent and his team for answering the call of citizens to do more, and to step up these repairs so desperately needed in our alleyways.”

DPW began an ally repair blitz in late June, expecting to complete the 1,300 alleys goal by the end of September. But crews have repaired 1,580 alleys to date, and repair work will continue as weather condi…

Monument Avenue Commission Announces Expanded Engagement

The Monument Avenue Commission announced a wide-ranging plan for community engagement at its organizational work session meeting on Tuesday.
From January through April of 2018, the Commission will conduct outreach with stakeholders, community and other interested groups designed to facilitate constructive dialogue that will allow more direct contact with residents through varying meeting formats.
Starting in December, interested groups will be able to submit a request for a delegation of Commission members to attend a meeting to discuss the monuments. The commission will endeavor to meet all reasonable requests to engage on the issue during this time period.   “The next phase of the Commission’s work will focus on productive working sessions with engaged groups and residents and facilitated though different categories such as artistic and creative design, historic preservation and social justice,” said Commission Co-Chair Christy Coleman. 
“We feel the new format and focus will help best …

Richmond Completes 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report Nearly Three Weeks Early

Mayor Levar M. Stoney this evening announced Richmond has completed the 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), which is due to the Virginia Auditor of Public Accounts November 30.

This is the first time in four years the city has filed the report on time or before the state-imposed deadline. The 2015 and 2016 CAFRs were filed nearly a year and five months late respectively, causing consternation among members of City Council and the public. Mayor Stoney made a campaign promise and inaugural commitment that the 2017 CAFR would be completed on time, and the city’s Finance Department delivered. 

“Your government is now working better and more efficiently,” said Mayor Stoney. “We made this a top priority this year, and the Finance Department did a tremendous job. I am pleased to provide the state’s Auditor of Public Accounts and our City Council with timely audited financial statements that show Richmond is moving in the right direction.”

The CAFR consists of financial audit stat…

Mayor Levar M. Stoney Announces Land Purchase Agreement in Larus Park Water Project with Chesterfield

Mayor Levar M. Stoney today announced the City of Richmond’s Department of Public Utilities has entered into a contract to purchase 18.2 acres of forested land adjoiningLarusPark, where 1.2 acres will be used to locate a pump station and ground storage tank as part of an agreement to provide an additional 5 million gallons of drinking water a day to Chesterfield County. Pending the approval of City Council, the acquisition from the Redford Land Trust will enlarge the footprint of the existing park by 25 percent, and dramatically increase the forested canopy that will be lost as part of the public works project. “This is a better outcome and a win-win for our residents,” said Mayor Stoney. “Residents will get acres of additional, undisturbed, undeveloped park land which can be used for hiking trails and other passive uses. Our successful water utility will upgrade its infrastructure and return an additional $4.1 million in additional revenue over the next five years to help offset operat…

City Issues Request for Proposals for Major Downtown Redevelopment Project

Mayor Levar M. Stoney today formally announced that the city has posted a Request for Proposals (RFP) to spur redevelopment of a significant portion of real estate located in the neighborhood north of Broad Street in downtown Richmond.

The RFP addresses a project area that is generally bounded on the west by North 5thStreet, on the north by East Leigh Street, on the east by North 10thStreet and on the south by East Marshall Street. The project area consists of properties that have been identified as an economic opportunity area in the Pulse Corridor Plan, which was recently adopted by City Council as part of the City’s Master Plan. The North of Broad/Downtown Neighborhood Redevelopment Project will include a number of economic development components aimed at revitalizing underutilized city assets and improving the quality of life for Richmond residents in the areas of employment, housing and transportation. Components to be addressed by potential respondents include: * A replacement for t…

Mayor Stoney, Governor McAuliffe announce Vision To Learn to Provide Free Eye Exams and Free Glasses to Students in Richmond Public Schools

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and are proud to announce an initiative to provide thousands of Richmond public school students with free vision care, through a collaboration between nonprofits Vision To Learn and Conexus. The effort, which began October 26that Elizabeth D. Redd Elementary School, will provide free vision screenings to over 20,000 students, and eye exams and glasses to over 7,000 students in Richmond.
“If you can’t see, you can’t read. And if you can’t read, you can’t succeed,” said Mayor Stoney. “Richmond is grateful for this partnership and proud to be the first Virginia community in which every child, K-12, will be provided the glasses they need to achieve inside and outside of the classroom.”
Over 7,000 kids in Richmond go to school every day without the glasses they need to see the board, read a book or participate in the classroom. Conexus will provide vision screenings to every child in Richmond Public Schools. Vision To Learn w…

City of Richmond Partnering with OpenGov to Improve Budget Management Capabilities and Financial Reporting

Today, the City of Richmond announced it is partnering with OpenGov, a leading data management vendor specializing in government budgeting, reporting and operational performance technologies. The partnership was established to further increase budgetary effectiveness, transparency and accountability.

OpenGov will be integrated with the city’s existing financial system and provide a cloud-based platform featuring uses for budgeting and both budget and Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) reporting.

“This partnership provides our city government with a means to improve services and build public trust,” said Jay Brown, the Director of Budget and Strategic Planning. “This improved technology will allow us to streamline our budget development process, make numerous enhancements in terms of innovation and improve collaboration across city departments.”

On average, the more than 1,600 city, county and state governments using OpenGov have cut the time spent building their budgets by half…

Richmond’s Tax Amnesty Program Results in Over $2.79 Million in Signed Commitments and Payments for Delinquent Taxes

Mayor Levar M. Stoney today declared Richmond’s 2017 tax amnesty initiative an overwhelming success, resulting in signed commitments or payments for delinquent taxes in an amount totaling nearly $2.8 million (over $2.79 million).

“We chose to offer an incentive before initiating more aggressive collection measures for delinquent taxes,” said Mayor Stoney. “Taxes pay for our schools, public safety and other critical needs; we took this initiative to increase our revenues now, and it worked.”

Those owing real estate, business personal property (excluding vehicles), business license, admissions, meals and/or lodging taxes, as of February 1, 2017, had an opportunity to pay the original tax amount owed, with all penalties and interest waived. The amnesty program lasted two months, from August 15 through October 16. Vehicle personal property taxes and vehicle license taxes and fees were not eligible for the program.

The full balance due (less penalties and interest) had to either be paid i…

Mayor Stoney, Sprint and Richmond Public Schools Announce Free Device and Wireless Service Program

Today at George Wythe High School, Mayor Levar M. Stoney joined Sprint Regional President Brian Hedlund, Richmond Public Schools (RPS) Interim Superintendent Thomas Kranz and RPS School Board Chair Dawn Page to announce RPS participation in the first year of the Sprint and the Sprint Foundation’s 1Million Project. The program will provide participating RPS high school students will receive free devices with free wireless service.

“Through the 1Million Project, we will begin to bridge the technology divide that puts our kids at a disadvantage when they go home to do their school work and don’t have access to the online resources they need,” said Mayor Stoney. “If we want our children to succeed, if we want them to compete and build a brighter future, we need to give them the tools to do so, and we must connect them to opportunity.”


Nationwide, about 70 percent of high school teachers assign homework to be completed online, yet more than 5 million families with kids do not have internet …

Mayor Stoney Announces Administration Appointments

Mayor Levar M. Stoney is pleased to announce the City of Richmond’s Department of Public Utilities (DPU) Director Robert Steidel will now serve as the city’s Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Operations.
Steidel has served as the city’s DPU director since March of 2011, after serving as interim director starting in July of 2010. He oversaw five utilities:  gas, water, wastewater, stormwater, electric street lighting and both the utility and non-utility call centers serving more than 500,000 residential and commercial customers in the surrounding metropolitan area. In his new role, Steidel will maintain control over DPU and add the Department of Public Works (DPW) and Richmond Animal Care and Control (RACC) to his management portfolio.
“Bob’s experience and commitment to the city make him the right person for the job,” said Mayor Stoney. “I know he will continue to serve Richmond’s residents well.”
Mayor Stoney is also pleased to announce Christopher Frelke will serve as the new dir…