Wednesday, September 6, 2017

City of Richmond to use CodeRED Emergency Notification System


The City of Richmond is encouraging all residents, visitors and businesses to sign up for a new mass notification system known as CodeRED. This system will allow city officials to quickly deliver alert messages regarding emergency situations.

“Keeping our residents, visitors and businesses safe and informed at all times is important,” said Mayor Levar Stoney. “CodeRED is another tool the city is providing to help citizens stay safe and informed.”

Users can sign up for emergency alerts and weather warnings, and the notifications can be sent to a cell phones, landlines or email addresses. The CodeRED system also has the ability to use Geographical Information System (GIS) technology to target specific areas based on emergency situations.

"The CodeRED system will give residents, visitors and businesses the ability to add their own phone numbers directly into a database to receive emergency alerts” continued the mayor. “If your contact information is not in the database, you may not be able to receive alerts. No one should assume his or her phone number is automatically included.”

Mayor Stoney is urging all individuals and businesses to visit the city of Richmond’s website, richmondgov.com and click the CodeRED button at the top of the page to register, or click here.

As part of the roll out, CodeRED will be making an inaugural call to help calibrate the system in the next couple weeks.

Residents, visitors and people who work but do not live in City of Richmond are encouraged to register and download the free CodeRED Mobile Alert app.

For more information, please contact Derek.Andresen@richmondgov.com or call (804) 646-6140.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Mayor Stoney Announces Department of Public Works Milestone, Repairs 20,000th Pothole in City


Today Mayor Levar M. Stoney went to Highland Park to announce a milestone in the administration’s efforts to deliver improved services to the residents of Richmond, joining a crew from the Department of Public Works (DPW) to repair the 20,000th pothole in the city since he took office January 1.


During the entirety of 2016, work crews repaired 18,000 potholes. Reaching 20,000 potholes repaired in only eight months is an indication of the significant progress the administration and DPW have made toward addressing the city’s infrastructure needs.

Early in the year, three DPW crews (including both temporary workers and full-time city employees), began completing 50 potholes per crew daily on average. Currently, there are fewer than 50 open tickets in the system thanks to the department’s diligence. 

DPW has also made progress on repairing long-neglected city alleyways. In the first eight months of the new administration, work crews under DPW Director Bobby Vincent Jr. have graded over 1,000 alleys – the equivalent of more than 70 miles of alleys across the city. The goal is to reach 1,300 alleys (86+ miles) before the end of September.

City workers have also significantly reduced the backlog for bulk and brush pickup requests. In September, 2016, there were 2,630 “open” requests and nearly half of them were more than a month old. As of the end of August, 2017, there are 265 “open” requests and 96 percent are less than two weeks old.

“This kind of progress and improvement is what we work toward every day to make life better for our residents,” said Mayor Stoney. “I commend the efforts of DPW director, Bobby Vincent, and our hard-working DPW crews, who have taken on the challenge of literally taking the bumps out of the roads we travel. We still have work to do, but we’re are on the right path to a Richmond that works better.”

The Department of Public Works has been preparing for the upcoming winter and the toll it takes on city streets. Two pothole patching machines are being purchased which are capable of filling 50 potholes per day with one operator on board.

For more information about DPW operations, please contact DPW and Sharon North at Sharon.North@Richmondgov.com or call (804) 646-5607.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Richmond Launches New Investor Relations Website




Mayor Levar M. Stoney today announced Richmond has partnered with BondLink, a Boston-based financial technology company, and launched a new investor relations website to attract more investors and diversify the city’s investor base.

Now live, richmondvabonds.com will better communicate with current and potential bond investors who invest in the city’s public infrastructure projects. The website contains over 2,500 pages of data and documents and utilizes a corporate-style investor platform providing insight into the credit fundamentals behind Richmond’s AA+/Aa2/AA+ ratings.

“This is a tool to attract new investment in Richmond,” said Mayor Stoney. “At the same time, it furthers our commitment to being as transparent as possible.”

The website and new investor platform is available to citizens as well as bond investors. It now consolidates the city’s data and documents valuable to bond investors and rating agencies, providing quick and easy access to extensive financial information.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

RVA Bike Share Ready to Roll


Mayor Levar M. Stoney will launch the RVA Bike Share program on Tuesday, August 29 at 9 a.m. at Kanawha Plaza and lead cyclists on a 2-mile ride from across the Manchester Bridge to the T. Tyler Potterfield Bridge, ending at Browns Island.

“Bike sharing programs are a community transportation service and desired amenity provided by forward thinking and environmentally conscious cities,” said Mayor Stoney. “I am proud Richmond is now among those leading in this regard.”

Richmond has teamed up with Canada-based Bewegen Technologies Inc., an industry bike share leader, to supply the bicycles and docking stations. The equipment will be maintained by Corps Logistics, a Baltimore-based firm owned and operated by military veterans.

The initial phase includes 220 8-speed bikes and 20 docking stations located throughout the city. A second phase is expected to be implemented in the coming months, doubling the fleet and including electric assist PedElec bikes, making it easier to ride uphill. These hi-tech bicycles will be equipped with a color screen, live GPS and can be unlocked through a mobile app.

RVA Bike Share is a public-private initiative, and Mayor Stoney has written a letter to encourage Richmond’s corporate and business leaders to engage in sponsorship opportunities necessary to ensure the long-term sustainability of the program. Click here to read the mayor’s letter.

Plans for RVA Bike Share have been in the works since 2012. The city was awarded a $1,064,000 federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant in 2014 to start the program, supplementing $280,000 in capital improvement funds made available by the city.

One-way trip and daily passes will be available as well as weekly, monthly and yearly memberships. For more information about RVA Bike Share, pricing, membership and sponsorship opportunities, please visit rvabikes.com.





Monday, August 21, 2017

RVA Education Compact Passes Unanimously


Mayor Levar M. Stoney is pleased to announce the unanimous passage of resolutions by both the Richmond Public School Board and City Council establishing the RVA Education Compact.

Passage of the Compact marks the first time the RPS Board, City Council and administration have entered into a formal agreement to work together to develop collaborative solutions addressing the needs of our school children both inside and outside of the classroom.

“We took a significant step today toward improving public education in the City of Richmond,” said Mayor Stoney.

“I’d like to thank all the members of City Council and School Board for their commitment to this collaborative process, as well as the public who participated and offered their feedback and comment on previous drafts over the last several months.

“I look forward to working with the council and board on shared strategies to drive down child poverty while lifting up academic performance in our schools.”

Mayor Stoney has directed his senior policy advisor for opportunity, Dr. Thad Williamson, to work with Interim Superintendent Thomas Kranz to develop and finalize an operating plan for the Compact, including a detailed schedule of meeting dates and timeline for action. That plan will be made available to the City Council and School Board at each body’s next schedule meetings.

It is anticipated the first joint quarterly meeting between the mayor, council and board will take place in September, with the first formal meeting of the Richmond Children’s Cabinet also taking place then.
The Education Compact stakeholder team is expected to be finalized by the end of September as well, with its first meeting due to take place in October.

The mayor’s office will continue working over the next month to establish a dedicated website for the Compact to host all documents, data and relevant information.

Copies of the mayor’s remarks to the joint meeting of the City Council and School Board can be found here. Copies of the resolutions approved can be found here.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Mayor Levar M. Stoney Statement on Monument Avenue


When I spoke about the monuments earlier this summer, it was from an optimism that we can take the power away from these statues by telling their true story, for the first time.

As I said in June, it is my belief that, as they currently stand without explanation, the confederate statues on Monument Avenue are a default endorsement of a shameful period in our national and city history that do not reflect the values of inclusiveness, equality and diversity we celebrate in today’s Richmond. 

I wish they had never been built. 

Still, I believed that as a first step, there was a need to set the historical record straight. That is why I asked the Monument Avenue Commission to solicit public input and to suggest a complete and truthful narrative of these statues, who built them and why they were erected. 

When it comes to these complicated questions that involve history, slavery, Jim Crow and war, we all must have the humility to admit that our answers are inherently inadequate. These are challenges so fundamental to the history of our country, commonwealth, and city that reducing them to the question of whether or not a monument should remain is, by definition, an oversimplification. 

But context is important in both historical, and present day, perspectives. While we had hoped to use this process to educate Virginians about the history behind these monuments, the events of the last week may have fundamentally changed our ability to do so by revealing their power to serve as a rallying point for division and intolerance and violence. 

These monuments should be part of our dark past and not of our bright future. I personally believe they are offensive and need to be removed. But I believe more in the importance of dialogue and transparency by pursuing a responsible process to consider the full weight of this decision. 

Effective immediately, the Monument Avenue Commission will include an examination of the removal and/or relocation of some or all of the confederate statues.

Continuing this process will provide an opportunity for the public to be heard and the full weight of this decision to be considered in a proper forum where we can have a constructive and civil dialogue.

Let me be clear: we will not tolerate allowing these statues and their history to be used as a pretext for hate and violence, or to allow our city to be threatened by white supremacists and neo-Nazi thugs. We will protect our city and keep our residents safe.

As I said a few weeks ago, our conversation about these Monuments is important. But what is more important to our future is focusing on building higher-quality schools, alternatives to our current public housing that provide dignity and safety for all, and policies to provide opportunities for all Richmonders to succeed.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Richmond to Offer Amnesty to City Taxpayers


Mayor Levar M. Stoney today announced, for a limited time, Richmond will offer tax amnesty benefits to citizens owing certain back taxes. The program will begin next Tuesday, August 15 and run through October 16, 2017.

“This is the chance for citizens who owe to get right with the city,” said Mayor Stoney. “Our schools, police and other vital city services are paid for with tax revenues, and they’ve been shortchanged by millions of dollars in unpaid taxes.”

Taxpayers can benefit from this one-time opportunity to pay taxes without incurring or paying penalties and interest. Eligibility includes all individuals and businesses owing real estate taxes, business personal property taxes (excluding vehicles), business license taxes, admissions taxes, lodging taxes and meals taxes as of February 1, 2017. Vehicle personal property taxes and vehicle license taxes and fees are not eligible for this amnesty program.

“The city is owed tens of millions of dollars in back taxes,” said the city’s finance director John Wack. “The mayor has given us a mandate to collect these taxes, and we’re hoping our offer of amnesty will incentivize and compel citizens to step forward and satisfy these debts now.”

The full balance due (less penalties and interest) must either be paid in full by October 16, or a 6-month payment plan must be arranged for those deemed eligible, which include those with accounts that have been assigned to one of the city’s collection agencies.

Taxpayers must sign up in person at City Hall (900 E Broad Street) or at Southside Plaza (4100 Hull Street Rd). Extended hours will also be offered until 7 p.m. on Thursdays August 17, September 14 and October 12, and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on August 19, September 16 and October 14.

Citizens can call (804) 646-3954 with questions regarding real estate taxes. Call (804) 646-6662 for business personal property and business license tax questions. Call (804) 646-3631 to inquire about payment plans.

For more information, visit tinyurl.com/RVAtaxdeal. Questions can also be submitted via email: tax.amnesty@richmondgov.com.

Watch the Tax Amnesty video here.

To view this release in Spanish, click here. For the video with Spanish subtitles, click here.