writes: Charlottesville’s City Council on Monday moved one step closer to approving a spending plan that now includes $1.5 million over the next three years for repairs to the Jefferson School, with half of that allocation planned for the coming fiscal year. This story, and other City budget news, are in Jake Mooney’s article in today’s Daily Progress.
17 thoughts on “City Council to fund Jefferson School Repairs”
By JAKE MOONEY
Daily Progress staff writer
Charlottesville’s City Council on Monday moved one step closer to approving a spending plan that now includes $1.5 million over the next three years for repairs to the Jefferson School, with half of that allocation planned for the coming fiscal year.
In a series of work sessions in recent weeks, the council also has allocated $116,667 for housing initiatives — including the proposed renovation of the Garrett Square Apartments — and the same amount for improvements to the Downtown Mall and McIntire Park.
The changes are part of a proposed $88.8 million budget for the 2002-2003 fiscal year to which the council gave preliminary approval Monday. Final votes on the budget, and on the city’s unchanged real estate tax rate of $1.11 per $100 of assessed value, are scheduled for the council’s April 15 meeting.
Councilor Maurice Cox praised the plan for new spending on the Jefferson School, one of the last remnants of the city’s Vinegar Hill neighborhood and a landmark for many black residents. “I hope that gives a very clear indication to the community of our desire to see something extraordinary happen” with the aging building, Cox said.
The Jefferson School, Downtown Mall and McIntire Park spending would be made possible by a $1.85 million transfer to the city’s capital improvements fund from its general fund.
Councilors also discussed proposed hikes to certain fees, including a $5 raise in court fees that City Manager Gary O’Connell said is designed to make up for cuts in proposed state support for the city sheriff’s office.
The latest version of the budget drops a proposed increase in auto decal fees from $20 to $25, but maintains a proposal to pay for increased garbage hauling costs by raising trash sticker fees 25 percent, from 80 cents to $1 per 32-gallon container.
The proposed increases drew the ire of city resident Scott Burns, one of only two people to speak at the night’s public hearing on the budget.
Referring to the city’s recent real estate reassessment and the resulting tax hikes it caused for many residents, Burns asked the council, “I’m giving you 10 percent more this year, and now you ask me for a fee increase?”
He also argued that the city should spend less, particularly on contractors from outside the area.
The other speaker at the hearing, Stuart Dopp, asked for more money for her organization, the anti-domestic violence Shelter for Help in Emergency. The current budget includes $82,381 for the shelter, a 2.5 percent increase over last year’s funding.
Summing up council feeling on the budget, Councilor Kevin Lynch remarked, “I’m not 100 percent happy with it. I’m not sure that any of us are 100 percent happy with it.”
In particular, Lynch said he would have put more into capital projects and the school system and less into strategic development projects. Councilor David J. Toscano, too, said he would have liked more spending on building repairs, and Mayor Blake Caravati pronounced himself “very disappointed” in the court and trash fee increases.
Public turnout for the meeting was low, as it has been for most city budget discussions this year. In an interview before the meeting, city resident Alma Mills said the apparent lack of public interest is more likely a reaction to a budget that is short on details about individual departments’spending.
Mills said she has spent weeks looking for such information, with little success.
“When they say they’re looking at big [spending] items, what about the small items that add up to millions of dollars?” she said. “You get their point of view that makes it look like none of us out here are interested, but then when you get interested, look at the walls they put up.”
In other business Monday, John Gaines, president of the neighborhood association for the area around 10th and Page streets, asked the council to enact anti-loitering laws. Gaines said such a move would help prevent violence like the double shooting in the neighborhood on Saturday that resulted in one death.
“The above is a drastic step,” he said, “but some drastic action must be taken to address neighborhoods that are under siege.”
does jake run this website now? all i ever see is his stories.
does jake run this website now? all i ever see is his stories.
I’d noticed that, too. As best as I can tell, this is primarily because Charlottesville is Jake’s beat, so odds are much greater that the stories that he writes will be cvillenews.com material than those of any other writer at the Progress. Additionally, WINA has been kind of slack about their site recently — it’s not that there have been less stories, it’s just that they’re not necessarily something that I want to carry on cvillenews.com, and those that are there have been shorter, like a sentence or two.
Anyhow, that’s what I chalk it up to, but y’all might see some other reasons.
Always me, me, me, me with that guy. Mr. Mooney this and Sir Jake that. I tell you what, I don’t believe I’ve ever before thought that a grown man needed a spanking, but this guy is out of control.
The guy is a glory-hound…
I thought Mooney rather preferred to lurk in the background.
Additionally, WINA has been kind of slack about their site recently.
Agreed. And their archives have vanished. And their streaming audio is in a glitch (or is that just on my machine?).
Speaking of things vanishing from WINA, has anyone else noticed that they’ve cut back even further on their local programming? Late afternoon news has been replaced by yet another nationally-syndicated talk show.
Several months ago, WINA pulled Nancy King off the air in the morning. She was wired into all segments of this community, like nobody else in local radio or television broadcasting is. She worked hard to prepare for thoughtful interviews. Now, WINA morning broadcasting consists mostly of blathering about “human interest” stories picked off the wire services, clearly without preparation.
I’m as worried about the effects of Clear Channel owing the radio waves as much as the next guy (probably more), but it doesn’t help much when our independent local broadcaster feeds us a nasty gruel of syndicated yap and bland, uninformed blab.
Several months ago, WINA pulled Nancy King off the air in the morning. She was wired into all segments of this community, like nobody else in local radio or television broadcasting is. She worked hard to prepare for thoughtful interviews.
She was GREAT.
Are you sure that she was “pulled off the air”? Or did she leave for greener pastures?
(And I do still spot her on this WINA webpage.)
Nancy King was great and was pulled off the air. She came back after a summer-long, pre-arranged vacation and prepared a month’s worth of new Charlottesville Live shows only to be told a day or so before coming back on the air that her show, like Bob Gibson’s 7-year political call-in show on Saturday mornings, was being dropped for lack of money. It’s a great shame for Charlottesville Live was the area’s best locally produced show for and about the community.
I’m told WINA is working with a “consultant,” which is usually not a good thing in the radio business. Apparently, Clear Channel hur them deeply when they pulled Rush Limbaugh. Like him or hate him, he generated a ton of revenues.
Nancy King was great and was pulled off the air . . .
She was GREAT.
I couldn’t agree more. She was the single best thing going on in local media.
Could King and/or Gibson find their way onto other local (non-profit?) radio?
Don’t be surprised to see them land at Clear Channel. They have the abundance of funding to do whatever they want, and they’re always coming under fire for ignoring local issues. Something like this would give them immediate credibility.
Very interesting. And is that one T. Austin Graham of the Daily Progress clearly visible in the background, throwing a Satan? Joined, it would appear, by a certain James Graham of The Hook?
Glory hounds, indeed.
It also appears that the Graham on the right is drinking “spirits” from a Solo cup! That combined with the thrown “Satan” leads me to believe that this photograph was taken at a loose and unholy social event, possibly involving horses. These boys’ antics reflect very badly on the publications they write for.
As a prominant local business owner, I plan to advertise only in the C-ville Weekly from now on. After all, they have that nice John Borgmeyer on staff.
Bob Gibson has a regular show on WVTF, though I’m afraid that I don’t know any details beyond that.
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