Axios Richmond

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🐫 Hooray! It's Hump Day.

🌧️ Today's weather: Showers and possibly thunderstorms with a high near 69.

ğŸŽ§ Sounds like: "Umbrella" by Rihanna.

Today's newsletter is 899 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Breaking down Richmond's $2.9 billion budget

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.

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.

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.

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

Keep reading for how much is going toward police cars

2. 📺 The South spends the least on streaming

Bar chart showing that people from the Northeast say they spend $57.04 on streaming per month on average. Respondents from the western U.S. said $52.56, followed by $48.32 in the Midwest and $47.76 in the South.
Data: Tubi; Note: Includes people who stream video at least one hour a week; Chart: Axios Visuals

Southerners are spending about $573 per year on streaming services.

Why it matters: That's less than any other region in the U.S., according to The Harris Poll on behalf of Tubi, a free ad-supported streaming service.

The big picture: Virginians (and residents in the 15 other states in the South) are saving $111 annually compared to people in the Northeast, who spend the most at nearly $685 per year, or $57 a month.

Yes, but: The Northeast might be at the top of the list because of higher household incomes, Morgan Rentko, research manager for The Harris Poll, told Axios.

  • That potentially means more streaming subscriptions.
  • 50% of Northeast respondents had a household income of $100,000 or more compared to 42% in the South.

Fun fact: Four of the top five TV shows Richmonders searched last year, per Google Trends, can only be seen on streaming services.

  • "The Last of Us": Max.
  • "The Golden Bachelor": Live on ABC, streamed on Hulu.
  • "The Night Agent": Netflix.
  • "Daisy Jones & the Six": Prime Video.
  • "The Fall of the House of Usher": Netflix.

Keep reading for how many Gen Zers and millenials think they're overspending

3. 🌊 The Current: Lawmakers to study campus protest response

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

🏛️ The House of Delegates formed a committee to study how Virginia universities responded to recent Pro-Palestinian protests on campus and how schools can uphold students' First Amendment rights and maintain safety policies. (Virginia Mercury)

  • The Senate is expected to form its own committee.

ğŸšŽ GRTC is installing 50 shelters at its more popular stops to protect riders from bad weather and adding 30 more benches for people to sit while waiting for the bus. (NBC12)

ğŸ¦ž Red Lobster abruptly closed more than 80 locations nationwide on Monday, including the Colonial Heights, Williamsburg and Newport News stores in Virginia. (Fox)

4. 🌉 VDOT survey: How do you use the Mayo Bridge?

This version of The Mayo Bridge was built in 1913. Image: Courtesy of VDOT

Richmond's oldest bridge will soon be replaced, and officials want locals weigh in the new one.

Why it matters: The Mayo Bridge is one of around 3.5% of Virginia bridges rated in poor condition and in need of upgrades.

State of play: Initial plans called for only part of the 111-year-old bridge to be replaced, but further structural review indicated it wouldn't be cost-effective to keep the existing arched piers, per VDOT.

Zoom in: VDOT launched a survey last week asking locals to share their priorities for a new bridge as part of the design phase of the yearslong project.

  • Locals are invited to weigh in on how often they use the bridge, pedestrian and bicycle safety, traffic concerns, access to trails and transit, ability to continue to fish from it and architectural significance, among other factors.

Fun facts: Mayo Bridge was originally built in 1788, but was destroyed and rebuilt eight times in its history, according to the Richmond Tour Guys.

Share with your bridge-crossing friends

Sponsored event listings

Future events

📆 Start planning your days ahead.

Positively Delicious at Faison Center's Guzman Community Center on May 18: Join them for an evening steeped in community spirit and elevated by culinary mastery.

  • The list of wonderful restaurants representing Richmond and beyond has been handpicked by the visionary restaurateur and community advocate, Jason Alley, in collaboration with Positive Vibe's Executive Director Michele Jones.

Hosting an event? Email [email protected] for 50% off your first event feature!

5. 🍦 1 local scoop to go: Chesterfield Honey Bear Tracks

Gelati Celesti created an official Chesterfield County Ice Cream. Image: Courtesy of Chesterfield County

The Richmond region's most populous county has its own ice cream flavor: Chesterfield Honey Bear Tracks, a special blend crafted by local ice cream chain Gelati Celesti.

Why it matters: Locals can taste it for themselves at Gelati Celesti stores beginning May 25 through summer.

Catch up quick: Chesterfield announced in March it was teaming with Gelati Celesti to create a unique flavor in celebration of the county's 275th anniversary.

  • The ice cream pros created four flavors. A team of six residents were selected out of more than 800 applicants to pick the winning flavor.

But none could beat Chesterfield Honey Bear Tracks, a smooth honey ice cream with bits of Butterfinger mixed in, for the tasters.

Zoom in: We got to try an advance scoop this week.

Go deeper to see the losing flavors and what we thought of Honey Bear Tracks

😤 Sabrina is still not over Netflix's password sharing crackdown, which forced her to buy a $20 subscription and lose the hard-earned algorithm of the family account established over 10+ years.

  • But she wouldn't be able to watch Bridgerton Season 3 tomorrow if she hadn't, so she'll survive.

🤔 Karri is not sure if she should tell Sabrina that her family had the option of making her an add-on member for $8 a month, as Karri did for her brother, or just applaud Sabrina's parents for forcing some tough love, financial independence.

Thanks to Fadel Allassan for editing and Carlin Becker for copy editing today's edition.