I hope this email finds you well. It was a good month with lots of news to share.
Thankfully, Norfolk was awarded an additional $150 million from the federal government for flood walls, storm surge barriers, pump stations and other flood mitigation infrastructure. This money will be used to go towards the planned downtown flood wall from the Harbor Park area to the Hague. Norfolk received $249 million a little over a month ago for these same projects. Norfolk and/or non-federal dollars will still need to provide a 35% match to each of these awards. This will require local funding and we will certainly seek support from the Commonwealth as well. This is great news that this funding has come our way. We have our federal delegation to thank for their advocacy in securing this money for our city. During the course of this project we need to seek a balance between flood mitigation while preserving the beauty of our treasured waterfront.
We are now in the thick of discussing the proposed FY23 budget. City Manager Filer made his proposal to Council in March and we will have a public hearing and work sessions to determine the final budget. The total budget including operating, capital and grant funding totals a projected $1.658 billion. There is good investment proposed for Team Norfolk – 5% raise, minimum of $18/hour wage and more. There are no tax or fee increases. There is a $5000 stipend for those holding a commercial drivers license on an annual basis. Norfolk Public Schools will receive a $10.7 million increase in local support, which is the largest increase in local support in recent times. There is strong investment for enhanced resident services, flood mitigation, technology, fleet, arts and culture, homeless support and more. I will share more as the budget discussions progress.
I came out strong on safety in our downtown as a result of the horrible tragedies that took place on Granby Street in March. We need to reset the late night downtown playing field to make it safe for all – residents, businesses and customers. Already, Norfolk has significantly increased its police presence. The Fire Marshal’s Office and City Planning/Code Enforcement have made unannounced visits to restaurants, entertainment establishments and nightclubs to check on their compliance with the Condition Use Permits. Additionally, we will meet with the owner/operators/managers of the entertainment establishments to discuss their role in making downtown safe.
Welcome Tesla! There is a new Tesla car outlet located on Military Highway in Norfolk. And, please stop by the Ghent Farmers Market on Colley Avenue on the first and third Fridays through September – 4:00-7:00pm.
Have a wonderful April and enjoy the spring.
Shamrockin’ in Ghent for St. Patrick’s Day
Riverpoint Civic League hearing about the sale of the DePaul property