JMRL name change requires support from all five localities
The Board of Trustees of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library met yesterday at the Northside Library on Rio Road for the usual things such as a five year plan and a budget. But the main item throughout the meeting was whether the system’s name should be changed.
“I don’t expect that we will have a vote on the issue of the library’s name change today,” said Thomas Unsworth, the chair of the JMRL Board. “In fact the Board would be able to call a public hearing if need be to collect further feedback from commentary on that issue.”
A series of speakers at Monday’s City Council meeting asked the elected officials to weigh in on a decision by Charlottesville Area Transit to relocate the bus stop at Crescent Halls, a public housing site that is currently undergoing renovations. The homes are currently served in both directions by Route 6 and the agency is making the change to help speed up the route.
That had not been the plan, according to one resident.
“We were told that they would pick up one side and when they come back they would let people off in front of the door,” said Alice Washington. “We need that. Crescent Halls is a senior and disability building.”
A former University of Virginia basketball player who also played in the National Basketball Association is part of a development team that seeks to build eleven townhouses in downtown Charlottesville.
“Just excited to be back in town and on about the progress with this project,” said Sean Singletary, who played for UVA in the mid 2000’s. “Ever since I graduated from school here, I’ve always wanted to move back here and just give back to the community. Charlottesville and UVA have done so much for me.”
There are eight days left until Charlottesville City Council will adopt a budget for the next fiscal year, and many remaining decisions have yet to be made on tax rates.
Will there be an increase in the city’s real estate tax increase? Council can increase to as high as $1.05 per $100 of assessed value.
Will the city lower the personal property tax rate on vehicles to provide relief in the face of climbing values? The Commissioner of Revenue has recommended doing so, but leaving it at $4.20 per $100 of assessed value would bring in $2 million in additional revenue.
Will Council agree to a half percentage point in the meals tax? There’s a public hearing on this tonight.
The Affordable Housing Plan adopted by Charlottesville City Council in March 2021 established a moral commitment for the city to spend $10 million each year on affordable housing projects and administration. But how have previous funds for that purpose been spent since 2010?
“In summary, you’ve administered $46.7 million in funding [and] this is broken down into operating, program, development, and city administration,” said Callahan Seltzer, a principal with HR&A Advisors. “And when we see development here, we’re talking about new construction and rehab, so specific hard costs related to construction and rehab of affordable housing.”
The Rivanna Solid Waste Authority’s Board of Directors most recently met on March 22, 2022 and got an introduction to the budget for fiscal year 2023. The RSWA’s Board is made up of one Charlottesville City Councilor, one Albemarle Supervisors, two city staffers, two county staffers, and a citizen appointed by both elected bodies.
This year’s winter storms wreaked havoc on many trees across the region, and there was much debris for government crews and property owners. In January, the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority waived fees to drop off downed limbs and trees at the Ivy Materials Utilization Center where it was turned into mulch.
“We had so much mulch available after the free vegetative debris disposal program from the storm in January that we had so much mulch, we were giving away the first two tons and then charging people after that,” said Bill Mawyer, the executive director of the RWSA and the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority.
There was a slightly different vote this month when the Charlottesville Planning Commission once again recommended approval of a rezoning that would allow 28 units to be built on just under two thirds of an acre on a cul-de-sac in the Fry’s Spring neighborhood.
In October, the Charlottesville Planning Commission voted 4-2 for the rezoning, a vote at which Commissioner Taneia Dowell was not present. However, Dowell joined Commissioners Hosea Mitchell and Liz Russell in voting against the proposal, which also required a special use permit for additional density and a critical slopes waiver.
Virginia State Code assigns the task of overseeing the Comprehensive Plan to the Planning Commission. Earlier this month, members of the Tree Commission urged Planning Commissioners to consider the importance of woody perennial plants.
“Our tree canopy is declining at an increasing rate,” said Jeffrey Aten, the vice chair of the Tree Commission. “We have good intentions and are planning for a robust urban canopy in our Comprehensive Plan. But we believe more needs to be done to ensure this is the case as we build for more affordable housing and adjust streets to be more friendly for pedestrians and cyclists.”
There are a lot of numbers involved in this next story so grab a pencil or open up a spreadsheet to follow along.
There’s less than a month left before the Charlottesville City Council will adopt a budget for FY2023 and four days away before the first public hearing. The five elected officials began their detailed review of the budget.
“We’re presenting a balanced budget of $216,171,432,” said interim City Manager Michael C. Rogers. “This represents a 12.46 percent increase over 2022.”
It has now been a month since the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce held its first ever State of the Community to allow officials from Albemarle County and Charlottesville to present themselves to members of the business community.
Ryan attended UVA’s School of Law and served on its faculty in 1998. He returned to Charlottesville as UVA President in 2018 after serving as Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
“Since he returned to returned to UVA in 2018 to serve as President, Jim has continued to emphasize the important of educational opportunity, especially for underrepresented students and first generation college students,” said Collette Sheehy, the senior vice president for operations and state government relations.