County likely to donate to 2015 cycling event

Henrico County officials are proposing that the county contribute direct and indirect funding and support totaling no more than $1.4 million to Richmond 2015, the organization that will host the nine-day UCI World Road Cycling Championships in the Greater Richmond region in three years.

That's the same amount requested of the county by Richmond 2015 officials in September, although they sought the total amount in cash donations spread evenly over the next three years.

Instead, County Manager Virgil Hazelett has proposed a $300,000 cash donation in 2015 only and the application of other associated costs, such as security, traffic control and overtime police pay, toward the $1.4 million total. Henrico's share of contributions made to Richmond 2015 by the Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau and Greater Richmond Convention Center also would be included in that amount.

Only one event – a time trial for men and women on the first day – is proposed to occur in Henrico. Organizers originally wanted to begin the 17-mile event at Short Pump Town Center and conclude it in Richmond, but Henrico officials determined that such a route would require that 62 intersections be closed for more than 10 hours.

That inconvenience – and the associated cost of overtime pay for police officers along the route – wouldn't make sense for the county, Hazelett said. So, county officials are working with Richmond 2015 to identify another route that is a better fit, he said.

Henrico Director of Management and Budget Brandon Hinton told the Board of Supervisors during a work session Oct. 23 that the county could not justify a cash contribution of $1.4 million when its anticipated direct tax benefit would be just $1.063 million, according to an estimate provided by Richmond 2015.

And, Hinton and Hazelett told the board, that estimate is aggressive because it includes anticipated hotel tax revenue that county officials believe is impossible to achieve.

"Clearly, the event will have a positive impact on the Richmond region," Hinton said. "[But] we don't want to pay out more than we think we're going to get in return."

The nine-day event will feature cyclists from more than 70 countries and an anticipated crowd of about 450,000.
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Democrat VanValkenburg kicks off Gen. Assembly campaign


Senior students at Glen Allen High School will get a personal touch when studying elections with their AP government teacher.

That teacher, Schuyler VanValkenburg, recently announced his intention to seek the Democratic nomination for the 72nd District seat in the House of Delegates. If he earns the nomination, he will run against Del. Jimmie Massie, R-Henrico, who has been unopposed for 10 years.

VanValkenburg, a 2004 University of Richmond alumnus who majored in history, is running for office for the first time. Although he has lived in Richmond since he began his undergraduate studies, aside from one year spent in Seattle, he said he never felt it was his time to run. > Read more.

Construction begins on JA Finance Park at Libbie Mill


School and business leaders from around the region, including (pictured, from left) Simon Hodges of Dominion Resources, Daphne Swanso(president of Junior Achievement of Central Virginia) and Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas, gathered at Libbie Mill Library Feb. 23 for the Junior Achievement Finance Park construction kickoff. > Read more.

Assembly poised to OK state budget on Friday


Finishing a day early, House and Senate negotiators agreed on a budget Wednesday that includes employee pay raises and more money for K-12 education and mental health.

The negotiators presented their budget to their fellow lawmakers in time for the required 48-hour review, which could be completed by Friday night with a chance to adjourn their 2017 session before Saturday’s target date.

Republican leaders in the House and Senate praised the spending plan’s conservative fiscal policies. > Read more.

Section of Charles City Road to close beginning Feb. 26


A section of Charles City Road, from Lewis Road to South Airport Drive, will be closed beginning Sunday, Feb. 26 as part of a project to widen and improve the road.

The Henrico County Department of Public Works expects the closure to last for a few weeks.

Westbound traffic on Charles City will be detoured around the work zone by way of South Airport, Seven Hills Boulevard and Laburnum Avenue. > Read more.

ACLU urges McAuliffe to veto anti-immigration bills


Officials with the American Civil Liberties Union called on Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Wednesday to veto Republican-backed legislation banning local governments in Virginia from designating themselves as sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants. They also said they plan to fight federal and state policies that they believe violate immigrants’ rights.

At a news conference, representatives of the ACLU of Virginia and other civil rights organizations criticized anti-immigrant measures passed by the General Assembly. They also condemned the recent spike in deportation raids on immigrant communities in Virginia by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as President Donald Trump’s recent executive order banning immigrants from seven mostly Muslim countries. > Read more.
Community

Villa’s Flagler Housing wins national NAEH award


St. Joseph's Villa’s Flagler Housing & Homeless Services was one of three entities to earn the National Alliance to End Homelessness' Champion of Change Award. The awards were presented Nov. 17 during a ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

NAEH annually recognizes proven programs and significant achievements in ending child and family homelessness.

Flagler completed its transition from an on-campus shelter to the community-based model of rapid rehousing in 2013, and it was one of the nation's first rapid re-housing service providers to be certified by NAEH. > Read more.

RIR’s Christmas tree lighting rescheduled for Dec. 12


Richmond International Raceway's 13th annual Community Christmas tree lighting has been rescheduled from Dec. 6 to Monday, Dec. 12, at 6:30 p.m., due to inclement weather expected on the original date.

Entertainment Dec. 12 will be provided by the Laburnum Elementary School choir and the Henrico High School Mighty Marching Warriors band. Tree decorations crafted by students from Laburnum Elementary School and L. Douglas Wilder Middle School will be on display. Hot chocolate and cookies will be supplied by the Henrico High School football boosters. > Read more.
Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Given the warm weather lately, Saturday’s RVA Polar Plunge Winter Fest, benefiting Special Olympics Virginia, might actually be enjoyable! Other weekend events you’re sure to enjoy include the 14th annual Richmond Kids Expo at the Richmond Raceway Complex, the Richmond Symphony and The Taters in concert at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, and the Richmond Ballet Minds in Motion Team XXL performing at the Henrico Theatre. This is also the last weekend to check out HATTheatre’s production of “Bill W. and Dr. Bob.” For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

 

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Rhett Miller will perform at 8 p.m. at The Tin Pan, 8982 Quioccasin Rd. Lead singer of The Old 97’s, Miller released his new solo album, “The Traveler,” in 2015. The album features the instrumentation of Black Prairie (members of The Decemberists), Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey (members of REM) and is Miller’s seventh solo effort. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. For details, call 447-8189 or visit http://www.tinpanrva.com. Full text

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