Monthly Archive for March, 2010

City May Cut McIntire Recycling Center Funding

The city is looking at eliminating funding for the McIntire Recycling Center, Rachana Dixit writes in today’s Daily Progress. Many of the materials that people can drop off there are collected curbside by the city, making the facility largely redundant. It’s jointly funded by the county, via the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority, since folks in the county need to drive their recyclables to McIntire. The catch is that it’s not clear that the facility could continue to exist without city funding, which would eliminate recycling for many Albemarle residents.

City Avoids Major Cuts, But the Worst is to Come

In the Daily Progress, Rachana Dixit has written a two-part series [1, 2] about Charlottesville’s proposed budget. While basically every municipality is cutting services pretty deeply, Charlottesville is cutting a bit more than 1% from spending while avoiding eliminating any services or laying anybody off. Outgoing City Manager Gary O’Connell says that the reason for this is simple: the city started preparing for the effects of an economic downturn three years ago. Mayor Dave Norris points out that the city has one of the lowest tax rates of any city in Virginia, at $0.95 per $100 of assessed value. But, city officials warn, things start to get bad with the 2012 budget. With the state continuing its decade-long trend of reducing local funding, and federal economic stimulus funds due to expire in a year and a half, the current arrangement may just be masking the underlying financial trouble.

Regional Transit Authority Shelved

The plan for a regional transit authority is apparently dead, Brian Wheeler writes for Charlottesville Tomorrow. The city and the county have been looking at consolidating their efforts by creating a single entity to oversee mass transit, and while they’ve got permission from the General Assembly to do so, there’s no funding to make it happen, nor is there likely to be any time soon. The result is that the city is reluctant to expand the bus lines to include more of the county (such as out to MHS and Mill Creek), since the county isn’t funding those lines.

BoS Agrees to Fully Fund Library

The Board of Supervisors has approved full funding for the Jefferson Madison Regional Library, Brandon Shulleeta reports for the Progress. After JMRL threatened to close their Crozet and Scottsville branches if they didn’t receive enough funding to keep them open, one supervisor threatened to withhold all funding and another claimed that they’d lose a whole bunch of funding if they closed down the Scottsville branch. There was even talk of leaving JMRL and starting an Albemarle-only system. Now the board has agreed to maintain the existing funding level for county’s contribution to the library system, leaving JMRL $85,000 short, which their board will likely try to make up on their own.

Judge Prohibits Snow-Shoveling Citations

Here’s some news that will give hope to opponents of the city’s snow removal ordinance: a judge has ruled that they lack the authority to ticket property owners for failing to shovel, The Daily Progress reports. The city can remove unshoveled snow, and then bill the property owner—which makes it a civil matter—but they can’t simply ticket citizens, says the judge. The city is already in the process of rewriting the ordinance, and police chief Timothy Longo says that he thinks it shouldn’t be a criminal matter, anyhow.



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