Mayor Levar M. Stoney this evening applauded the passage of the FY2019 and FY2020 biennial budget by Richmond City Council.
“This is a values-based, fiscally responsible plan that invests in and improves upon our targeted priorities: core services, public safety, poverty mitigation and education,” said Mayor Stoney.
“I am particularly proud of the roughly $40 million we have dedicated in this spending plan toward meeting the needs of the whole child through investments in our Office of Community Wealth Building, Human Resources, Social Services, Parks and Recreation and the Richmond Public Library System.
“I thank Richmond City Council for their hard work and due diligence in meeting our shared responsibility to provide our residents with the strong financial management they expect and deserve, and for approving a plan that sets us on a sound fiscal path for continued growth and future success,” the mayor added.
Mayor Stoney further expressed gratitude to council members for not making a single cut to his budget priorities. “We proposed a thoughtful but lean budget – many of our departments will have to do more with less, but I am confident they will be up to the task,” said the mayor.
“I now look forward to working with our public, private and non-profit communities to leverage these investments for the benefit of all our residents.”
The FY2019 budget takes effect July 1 this year. The following are a few of the highlights from the adopted budget:
- $150 million for Richmond Public Schools construction
- More than $1.2 million for after school programs and student support services at Richmond elementary and middle schools
- $1 million to pave an additional 20 lane miles of neighborhood streets
- More than $630,000 to extend hours of operation at six Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facility sites throughout the city
- Free bus passes for every Richmond public high school student
- More than a $250,000 increase in the Affordable Housing Trust Fund
- A reduction in the water rate for single family residential customers
- A $733,000 increase for the Richmond Behavioral Health Authority
- Four weeks of paid maternity leave for birth mothers and four weeks of paid parental bonding leave for the birth/adoption of a child (City of Richmond employees) and 2 weeks of leave to care for a sick parent
- A one percent salary increase for non-sworn, non-constitutional officer employees effective January of 2019
- Reinvestment of $12.5 million in Richmond Public Schools
- $3.4 million to further the FY2018 step based, pay raises for both sworn police and firefighters
- New Richmond Police Department positions to serve public housing communities