Thursday, October 31, 2019

City to hold series of community town halls to discuss Navy Hill project



Throughout November, the city will hold a series of town hall meetings on the Navy Hill redevelopment proposal. Each of the four meetings will consist of a presentation by the mayor and city officials as well as an opportunity for the public to ask questions. 

Additionally, the mayor will join Navy Hill Development Corporation and Spectra representatives for a brief presentation and meet and greet after the November 2 Navy Hill Advisory Commission meeting. 

Mayor Stoney to host meet and greet with NHDC and Spectra representatives:

Saturday, November 2
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Hickory Hill Community Center
3000 E. Belt Blvd.

Mayor Stoney and city officials to host Navy Hill town halls:

Thursday, November 14
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Carver Elementary School 
1110 W. Leigh St.

Sunday, November 17
4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Peter Paul Development Center
1708 N. 22nd St.

Monday, November 18
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Hickory Hill Community Center
3000 E. Belt Blvd.

Tuesday, November 26
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Albert Hill Middle School
3400 Patterson Ave.

For more information on the Navy Hill development project, click here.

##

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Mayor appoints Mona Adkins-Easley to serve as Interim Director of Human Resources



Mayor Stoney today announced the appointment of Mona Adkins-Easley to serve as Interim Director of the City of Richmond’s Department of Human Resources.

Ms. Adkins-Easley is an experienced human resources executive who has spent more than 34 years in public service, including serving as the Associate Vice President for Human Resources at Virginia State University for 17 years and in the same title at Norfolk State University for four years, until her retirement in 2018.

Ms. Adkins-Easley also worked for nearly four years at the United States Department of Agriculture as the Director of Higher Education Initiatives, overseeing three national scholarship programs and working with minority and women farmers.  She also worked for five years in various HR roles at Southside Virginia Training Center and served as the second director of the Virginia Council on Human Rights, from 1990 to 1994.

“We’re grateful to have Mona Adkins-Easley come out of retirement to join our team,” said Mayor Stoney. “She has spent her career in public service and has extensive experience in human resources management. Mona has right skill set to oversee the City of Richmond workforce, implement needed reforms and make sure we are prepared every day to serve the residents of our great city.”

Ms. Adkins-Easley will serve in the Interim Human Resources Director role and oversee department reform while the city recruits a permanent director.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Norfolk State University and a master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in human resources from Virginia Commonwealth University.


“It’s exciting to be a part of the positive change happening in the City of Richmond,” said Ms. Adkins-Easley. “I am grateful for this opportunity to serve, and I look forward to interacting with the employees and citizens and hope that my varied experiences will be an asset to the city.”
 
##

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

City, GRTC to provide free rides on Election Day, recognize Election Day as a city holiday

Click here to watch a video about rides to the polls

For the second consecutive year, the City of Richmond, in partnership with the Greater Richmond Transit Corporation, will provide free rides within the city’s GRTC transit network on November 5, 2019 in order to encourage participation in the state and local election. Richmond residents will be able to use any GRTC bus route within the limits of the city, including the GRTC Pulse and CARE, to reach their polling location, free of charge.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport,” said Mayor Stoney. “This measure removes lack of transportation as an obstacle to civic participation. Regardless of your politics, I encourage you to get in the game. And now it’s as easy as hopping on the bus to get to the polls.”

GRTC Chief Executive Officer Julie Timm said, “GRTC connects with nearly every single polling location in the City of Richmond, with more than 400 bus stops within a short walk. We are pleased to partner again this year with the city on fare-free Election Day rides.”

The City of Richmond will also be closed on November 5 to allow city employees ample time to vote and care for their families, many of which include children who will have the day off from school. While city offices will be closed, city-owned buildings hosting polling locations will be accessible during voting hours, including the General Registrar’s office on the first floor of City Hall, 900 E. Broad Street. 

For more information on riding a bus to the polls, use this map to explore your transit options, visit ridegrtc.com or contact Carrie Rose Pace at carrie.rosepace@grtc.com or 804-474-9354.

##



Monday, October 28, 2019

City of Richmond sells bonds at lowest rate in history, avoids over $40 million in interest costs



On Wednesday, October 22, 2019, the City of Richmond successfully closed on its $150 million tax-exempt general obligation (GO) bonds, Series 2019A in order to issue new debt for city and schools projects and refund existing debt service for interest rate savings. Through this bond sale, the City is avoiding over $40 million in additional interest payments over the next 20 years, compared to previous borrowing assumptions.

The overall true interest cost of funds for the city’s 2019A bonds was approximately 2.22 percent, which is believed to be the lowest cost of long-term GO bonds for city and schools projects in Richmond’s history other than federally subsidized Build America bonds issued many years ago.

The bond sale follows Mayor Stoney’s meetings with all three credit rating agencies in New York in July. Each firm affirmed the city’s strong bond ratings, attesting to the city’s strong financial management. Fitch and S&P reaffirmed their strong ratings on the city’s 2019A Bonds at AA+, while Moody’s listed the city as Aa2 with a positive outlook. 

The city’s FY2020 general fund debt service budget presumed 4.0 percent interest on the $45 million portion of the bonds for City CIP projects. Based on the 2.2 percent pricing, the annual debt service savings in future years is estimated as $482 thousand. The FY2020 savings will be less, with the first principal payment in FY2021. The $14 million refunding component also achieved debt service savings for the general fund. The measure will save $676 thousand over four fiscal years, including $172 thousand in FY2020.

In terms of funding for the three new schools, $90 million, the majority of the $150 million funding plan for Richmond Public Schools, is now locked in for 20 years. That portion will be paid off in 2040, rather than in 2046. Previous projections presumed a 5.0 percent long term rate as opposed to the 2.2 percent rate. To provide some context for cost avoidance, annual debt service for $90 million over 20 years is $1.55 million less at the 2.2 percent interest rate, compared to 5.0 percent.

Mayor Levar M. Stoney noted, “These savings have the potential to pay off the schools’ debt early and accelerate our capacity to fund city- and school-related capital projects, and the credit ratings underscore Wall Street’s confidence in the city and its financial outlook.”

Lenora Reid, Acting Chief Administrative Officer, added, “Selling these bonds at a historically-low rate really helps position the City well for addressing our capital spending needs and will benefit our citizens for years to come.”

##