May 15, 2024 - News

The major items inside Richmond's $2.9 billion budget for 2025

Illustration of Richmond City Hall with lines radiating from it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Richmond City Council unanimously decided Monday night to pass a $2.9 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Why it matters: The spending plan is funded, in large part, by Richmonders' taxpayer dollars.

The big picture: $1 billion of that is in the General Fund, the most flexible spending source. The rest is dedicated to specific projects.

The intrigue: City Council removed $2.5 million to demolish the Richmond Coliseum and transferred $2 million of that to RPS, increasing its total schools allocation to $239 million — slightly short of the School Board's ask of $246.5 million in city funds, but the largest contribution in city history.

  • The change happened after RPS employees called on council members to fully fund schools, reports VPM.
  • A new financing strategy for the Diamond District, which City Council adopted last week, also added $24 million back to the budget.

Where some of the $24 million went:

🏗️ $10 million for Southside Development Project.

🚔 $7.7 million to replace Richmond Police's First Precinct.

🚒 $1.4 million to replace a Bellemeade Fire Station.

What stayed the same:

🤑 The city's real estate tax of $1.20 per $100 per assessed real estate value.

⛑️ Richmond City Health Department's $4.6 million budget.

What increased:

📚 Richmond Public Schools' operating budget from last year, up $17.8 million.

📈 City employee pay, up 4% with a guaranteed $20 minimum wage.

👮‍♀️ Sworn police officers and firefighters salary, up about 7%.

Major projects

🚴‍♀️ $21 million in new bike lanes and street and sidewalk improvements.

👀 $13 million for the Shockoe Project.

ğŸ’Ž $7.9 million for the Diamond District project including park space.

🛣️ $5 million for the "redevelopment" of Creighton Court, including roads, curbs and stormwater management.

🏝️ $4 million in Brown's Island improvements

🌉 $1.2 million to replace Arthur Ashe Bridge.

Housing

🏘️ $10 million toward developing affordable housing.

💰 $4.1 million to support shelters and services for people experiencing homelessness

  • 👩‍💼 $500,000 Right to Counsel program for people facing eviction.

Schools

🏫 Up to $10 million from the construction budget to be used for school maintenance.

Police

🚨 $10 million for two fire trucks and 10 administrative vehicles, six garbage trucks and 85 police cars.

Other:

👩‍💻 $2.3 million for an online finance system to improve the city's meals tax payment issues.

🚧 $500,000 to create a Department of General Services to oversee maintenance and construction of city-owned buildings.

What's next: The budget goes into effect July 1.

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