Category Archives: Budget – Charlottesville

Charlottesville budget staff continues to warn Council of approaching debt limit

Charlottesville City Council will have a public hearing on the proposed fiscal year on Monday, April 5. On March 25 they held a work session on the proposed capital improvement program as well as what to do with some additional revenue that budget staff now anticipates receiving during the year that begins on July 1. 

For months, budget staff have been telling Council that the city is close to its capacity to raise additional debt. (link to presentation) (watch on city website)

“With the proposed CIP we are projecting a five year debt financing of roughly $121 million,” said senior budget management analyst Krissy Hammill. “WIth the bonds that we’ve previously committed but not issued, and the CIP before you, we are committing to a debt capacity of about $195 million.” 

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Ridge Street CDBG projects move forward

One item on Charlottesville City Council’s consent agenda for the March 15, 2021 meeting were the recommendations of a task force for how a small pool of federal funding should be spent in the Ridge Street Neighborhood.

The group is suggesting that $25,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) money be spent on traffic calming and another $220,000 be spent on three sidewalk projects. As part of the traffic calming, speed limit signs would be installed on the old section of Ridge Street. 

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Council begins review of FY22 Charlottesville budget

Charlottesville City Council began their review of City Manager Chip Boyles’ recommended fiscal budget for fiscal year 2022. (review the budget)

“We’ll provide a recommended balanced budget of $190,689,839,” Boyles said. “Included in this recommended budget are several identified Council priorities of affordable housing, racial equity, safety and security, workforce development, as well as investment in our employees.” 

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Boyles to introduce $190.7 million FY22 budget for Charlottesville

Council will also be presented with a $190.7 million operating and capital budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1. During a press briefing today, City Manager Chip Boyles said preparing a budget during a time of economic uncertainty has been a challenge for staff.

“Known decreased revenues in the current year and unknown revenue and expense projections for fiscal year 2022 make this a difficult task at best,” Boyles said. “Staff has taken a very conservative approach to go into FY22 and is hoping for the best.”

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Council seeks additional information on West Main Streetscape

The prospect of the West Main Streetscape being implemented is still alive as City Council still wants more information about how the project could be salvaged. The project was split into four phases in order to secure funding from the Virginia Department of Transportation, but staff has recommended not fully funding the project. 

Council has not made several final decisions about the proposed $160 million Capital Improvement Program for the next fiscal year and the four years that come after it. That amount also includes $8 million for a 300-space parking deck as well as a $50 million placeholder for reconfiguration of the city’s middle schools. 

“There certainly is a lot of unknowns when we think about going into the future of the CIP especially when we think about schools and not knowing the scope of what they’re going to be [doing],” said City Councilor Heather Hill. “And also thinking about the parking deck situation and what options we may have.” 

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Council receives update on city’s finances

Charlottesville City Council received several reports yesterday afternoon, beginning with an update on the city’s financial forecast. Senior Budget Analyst Ryan Davidson said nothing much has changed since the last one in January. (forecast)

“We’re still looking at projecting our revenues to come in approximately $9.9 million lower than the FY21 adopted budget amount,” Davidson said. 

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City Council to get update on affordable housing plan; PC got briefing last week on $10M annual funding request

This afternoon, Charlottesville City Council will get an update on the creation of an affordable housing plan that is at the heart of the ongoing Comprehensive Plan review. Last week, the Planning Commission was presented with a revised plan from officials with Rhodeside & Harwell and subcontractor HR&A Advisors. (revised plan)

“We had the draft plan that was available for public input,” said Sarah Kirk with HR&A. “We conducted a lot of engagement around that.”

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Charlottesville PC recommends adjustments to FY22 capital budget, including defunding parking garage

The Charlottesville Planning Commission has weighed in on cuts and other amendments they would like to see made to the city’s proposed capital improvement program. Hosea Mitchell is the chair of the body. 

“There are at least four hot potatoes,” Mitchell said.

One of these hot potatoes is an additional $8 million in funding in FY22 for a parking structure on land purchased by the city in January 2017 at 9th and Market Street to support the joint courts complex with Albemarle County. Others are $50 million as a placeholder for middle school reconfiguration and the of previously-approved millions in city funding for the West Main Street.  All told, the draft five-year plan totals $160 million, or about double what the CIP was ten years ago. (draft CIP)

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Charlottesville Council discusses capital budget at Feb. 3 work session

Later on today, the Charlottesville Planning Commission will meet with the Charlottesville Planning Commission to discuss the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for the next fiscal year which begins on July 1, 2021. Last week, Council discussed the proposed $160 million CIP for the next five years. When they adopt a budget in April, Council will only approve actual funding for FY22 but looking ahead to the full five-year period helps give budget planners perspective about what capacity the city has incur more debt to cover capital projects. 

“If you look at sort of a ten year history, you will see that in 2012 our CIP was at $80 million,” said Krissy Hammill, a senior budget analyst with the city. “It ebbed and flowed until about 2017 but we still hovered around the $80 million mark. Since 2018, the CIP from 2017 to now, this draft, our five-year CIP has basically doubled.” 

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Council briefed on status of multimillion West Main Streetscape before budget work session

Planning got underway in 2013

At a budget work session later today, City Council is expected to take a final decision on the fate of the West Main Streetscape. The multimillion project stems from a planning study that began in 2013. The project has been split into four phases in order to secure funding from the Virginia Department of Transportation. You may ask: how’s it going?

Staff has recommended not putting additional dollars into the second phase,  which would call into question the future of state funding awarded to that portion of the project, which has a multimillion dollar cost estimate for all four phases. 

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