Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Mayor Levar Stoney's 2018 State of the City Address



Mayor Levar M. Stoney delivered his 2018 State of the City Address Tuesday, January 23 at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School. The mayor reviewed the administration's significant accomplishments in 2017 and reported the state of the city is "strong." Included in his remarks was the announcement of initiatives to fund school construction and address challenges in our public housing communities.

The mayor's State of the City Address as prepared can be found here.

Richmond Fire Department Receives ISO Class 1 Rating



The Insurance Services Office (ISO) has reclassified the City of Richmond Department of Fire and Emergency Services as an ISO Class 1, their highest awarded classification.
Of the nearly 45,000 Public Fire Protection Districts in the United States, only 270 are ISO Class 1 and only 7 are located in Virginia. This puts the Richmond Fire Department in the top 1% for fire protection in the nation. 


ISO collects and evaluates information on municipal fire-protection efforts in communities throughout the United States. ISO then assigns a Public Protection Classification from 1 to 10. Class 1 represents superior property fire protection, and Class 10 does not meet the minimum requirements of protection. 


ISO evaluates a community’s (1) Fire Protection, (2) Emergency Communications Center, (3) Municipal Water Supply System, and (4) Community Risk Reduction Efforts. 


Benefits to the Community:


A community’s investment in fire protection is a proven and reliable predictor of future fire losses. Insurance companies use ISO Classification information to help establish premiums for fire insurance – generally offering lower premiums in communities with better protection. By offering economic benefits for communities that invest in their firefighting services, the program provides an additional incentive for improving and maintaining public fire protection.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Mayor Levar Stoney Proposes Increase in City Meals Tax Rate to Fund Special Reserve Fund for School Construction



A presentation by the City’s financial advisors, Davenport & Company, at the December 11 Education Compact meeting indicated the city has approximately $66 million in debt capacity through FY2023 for City and Schools projects. A new funding source for Schools facilities is needed in order to increase debt capacity while not negatively impacting core city services and operations.

This afternoon, Mayor Levar Stoney introduced an ordinance increasing the meals tax 1.5% with the intent of making additional funds available for the renovation and replacement of public school facilities in the city.

This increase would generate an initial $9.1 million in new funding per year, which would allow the city to expand the current debt capacity and provide $150 million dollars in new capital funding over the next five years, dedicated to Richmond Public Schools. The Mayor is proposing these funds be placed in a special reserve, only available to fund school facilities.

Richmond’s strong credit ratings, the current low interest rate environment, coupled with the city’s vibrant economic development and growing population make this an ideal time to focus on the core priority of replacing aging school infrastructure with modern, state-of-the-art learning environments.


“For the last year, I’ve said that when it comes to meeting the critical needs of school facilities, the only option that’s off the table is doing nothing,” said Mayor Stoney. “It’s time for us to invest boldly in our most important resources – our children. We owe it to the children of our City to act.”