Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney presented his proposed budget to City Council this past Wednesday afternoon, and there is a lot to like for river lovers. Mayor Stoney’s budget funds projects that will make the James River and public spaces on its banks more inclusive and accessible to everybody. Many of the projects the James River Association and other organizations are supporting are fully funded in FY 2020.
Projects funded in FY 2020 in Mayor Stoney’s proposed FY 2020 – 2024 Capital Improvement Plan are listed below:
- $330,000 for universal access at Huguenot Flatwater
- $400,000 for Tredegar/Brown’s Island accessible walk improvements
- $205,400 for Canal Walk connector to Brown’s Island
- $210,000 for Gillies Creek Greenway
Additionally, $927,354 is proposed for the James River Park System. This important funding supports the operations and maintenance of Richmond’s beloved 600-acre James River Park System, which was visited nearly two million times last year.
Unfortunately, no new funding for the “Missing Link” trail or Lehigh is proposed in FY 2020. Implementing both of these Richmond Riverfront Plan projects has been a priority of the James River Association in recent years. While the lack of new funding for these riverfront projects is disappointing and could delay implementation of the Riverfront Plan, the James River Association commends Mayor Stoney for funding important projects in the James River Park System and on the riverfront.
City Council has an opportunity to amend the Mayor’s budget before approving it this spring. Budget work sessions are scheduled to begin on Monday, March 11, and the James River Association will be working to secure funding for projects that will contribute to a more inclusive and accessible James River. If you would like to help us secure funding for these projects, please join our Action Network.