City News

Press Releases and Announcements

Mayor Stoney founds Office of Equitable Transit and Mobility

 

Standing outside the Powhatan Community Center on the 4B GRTC bus line, Mayor Stoney announced that the city has launched a first-of-its-kind Office of Equitable Transit and Mobility.
 
Housed in the Department of Public Works, the office will design and implement a vision for a connected, safe and equitable transit and mobility infrastructure.
 
“The Office of Equitable Transit and Mobility will tackle the big and small issues that affect the bus commutes, walks and bike rides of our multimodal residents,” said Mayor Stoney. “This work is vital to building a connected city.”
 
The office’s portfolio will include:
Extending universal free bus fares, a measure with the full backing of Mayor Stoney;
Enhancing Richmond’s Complete Streets approach;
Designing a mobility action plan;
Expanding Vision Zero work;
Liaising with the Central Virginia Transportation Authority;
Evaluating and developing the city’s bus and paratransit system; and
Connecting existing walkways, bike lanes and other multimodal infrastructure to improve last mile connectivity for commuting Richmonders.
 
At this time, the creation of this office does not require any new funding or action by Richmond City Council. Current City of Richmond employees working on multimodal transportation will comprise the office. Housing the office in the Department of Public Works will minimize duplicative work while prioritizing multimodal transportation with an unprecedented amount of resources at the office’s disposal.
 
“The creation of this office will undoubtedly expand this city’s ability to enhance our multimodal infrastructure,” said Council President Cynthia Newbille. “I look forward to Richmond City Council collaborating with Ms. Clarke to complete streets all around the city.”

The office will be administered by fifteen-year transit professional and current City of Richmond Multimodal Transportation Manager Dironna Moore Clarke.
 
Ms. Clarke has served as the Multimodal Transportation Policy and Planning Manager for the Office of the Virginia Secretary of Transportation and Transit General Manager for the City of Petersburg. Before her work in the Commonwealth, she served Tennesseans in the Department of Transportation advising local and regional transportation bodies on public transportation options as alternatives to road and highway improvement.
 
Says Ms. Clarke: “I thank Mayor Stoney for the opportunity for this leadership role in the city. Relying on the principles of sustainable transportation, our office will develop strategies and tools to assist the city in maximizing transportation investments on behalf of the residents of Richmond.”
 
“I have confidence that Dironna’s experience with regional, state and federal partners will bolster this office’s ability to deliver equitable and multimodal transportation services well into the future,” said Mayor Stoney. “Dironna knows Richmond, and she’s ready to listen to the community.”
 
The Stoney administration has focused on ensuring transportation developments and improvements support a growing multimodal network. The city has funded GRTC route enhancements, funded a new GRTC route, launched the Pulse Bus Rapid Transit and provided free bus passes for high schoolers.
 
The administration has also marked over 30 miles of new bike lanes, including major projects on Williamsburg and Brook Roads in the East End and Northside, respectively.

 

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Mayor Stoney announces five new green spaces in Southside

Maps indicated where and why green spaces were chosen
The maps above indicate how the disparate impacts of climate change and lack of vehicular access combine to make communities of color ideal for green space investment.

At a press conference near Broad Rock Creek, Mayor Stoney announced that his administration has identified five unused parcels of city land that will be converted into public green spaces. 

 

The spaces are as listed below:

1.       Broad Rock Creek Parcels:            S0080418002, S0080276004 (Windsor Neighborhood)

2.       Hioaks Water Tower Parcel:         C0050879024 (Hioaks)

3.       Rear Ernest Road Parcel:                S0090417036 (Ampthill Heights is closest?)

4.       Reedy Creek Wetland Parcel:        C0050992011 (Beaufont)

5.       Rosemont Road Parcel:                 C0060659036 (Woodhaven)

 

“The benefits of green spaces are irrefutable and unmatched, and it’s clear that not everyone in this city has been afforded those benefits,” said the mayor. “It’s our job to intentionally correct that injustice.”

 

The parcels total over 36 acres of new green space. This is in addition to the 20 acres of new parks the Stoney administration has added and 287 additional parks acres that will be protected from development through conservation easement by the end of the year. 

 

In his most recent State of the City address, the mayor set a goal of ensuring every Richmonder had a green space within a ten-minute walk from their home. To that end, he convened the Green Team, a group of key stakeholders and experts, to drive policy decisions and lead parcel selection for new spaces.

 

The Mayor’s Green Team determined, using the city’s Climate Equity Index, that need for green space was highest in the city’s Southside, primarily in communities of largely Black and Hispanic representation. 

 

All five parcels are located in the Southside of Richmond: three in the Eighth Council District and two in the Ninth. In the areas surrounding the chosen parcels, the average walk to the nearest greenspace is the highest and heat islands are a more prevalent problem.

 

“Regardless of a child’s race, ethnicity, gender, family income or zip code, they should be able to walk down the street and spend a summer afternoon in a welcoming, verdant space,” asserted the mayor. “Due to systemic racism, that’s now how our city was designed. We have a chance to right that wrong, and we’re starting with these five green spaces.”

 

The green spaces will be designed using neighborhood input. Each community’s vision will be brought to life through the hard work of the participants in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities workforce development program. The program consists of formerly incarcerated individuals and Office of Community Wealth Building participants learning new skills to build a stronger community and improve their future professional outcomes.

 

The mayor will formally introduce the ordinance at the September 28 meeting of Richmond City Council. Councilmembers Trammell and Jones will copatron the legislation.

 

The City of Richmond currently uses six percent of its land for parks and recreation, compared to the nationwide median of 15 percent.

 

Quotes from the Mayor’s Green Team:

 

Frazier Armstrong, Executive Director, Capital Trees: “Now more than ever, greenspace matters. The pandemic has revealed the necessity of a robust, connected, equitable and nature-rich public realm, a vision the Green Team is dedicated to making a reality in Richmond. Capital Trees is proud to be a part of this transformational effort.”

 

Nissa Dean, Virginia State Director, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay: “The Alliance was honored to participate as a member of the Mayor's Green Team. We have been partnered with RVAH2O and DPU for over ten years to help create green spaces that will improve the health of our communities and the James River. We look forward to continuing to support this effort and are committed to helping Richmond reach environmental equity and sustainability goals.”

 

Dr. Jeremy Hoffman, Chief Scientist, Science Museum of Virginia: “We know that the shade of a deep green park can be up to 16°F cooler than the surrounding neighborhoods here in Richmond. Establishing new parks where they're needed most with community input will make those residents exposed to heat inequity more resilient now and into the future.”

 

Brianne Mullen, Office of Sustainability: “The RVAgreen 2050 Climate Equity Index shows that Richmonders who live in areas experiencing extreme heat, are more at risk to climate change impacts and lack a vehicle are often people of color. These new green spaces represent an important step toward addressing these inequities not only when it comes to access to green space, but also toward creating a healthier and more resilient Richmond for all.”

 

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Mayor Stoney hands over keys to three new schools in Richmond’s East End and Southside

After a tour of the new Cardinal Elementary School, Mayor Levar Stoney was joined by Superintendent Jason Kamras and members of the Richmond School Board and City Council to present keys to the principals of Cardinal Elementary, Henry Marsh Elementary and River City Middle.
 
The three new schools were funded using revenue from the 1.5 percent increase in the meals tax that the Stoney administration proposed to pay for badly needed school infrastructure improvement. That meals tax increased passed Richmond City Council with seven votes in 2018. The mayor thanked the Richmond community for eating at local restaurants, which ultimately paid for the new schools.
 
“This is a community investment,” said the mayor. “And it represents our shared belief that no matter their zip code, family income, race, religion, gender identity, ethnicity, first language or learning style, every single student in RPS deserves the same opportunity to learn in a healthy, safe environment.”
 
Once students return to school in person, the buildings will provide space for 3,250 students from Richmond’s East End and Southside to learn and grow. The total project cost for building all three new schools totals approximately $146 M.
 
All three buildings are LEED certified.
 

School

Square Footage

Student Capacity

Cost

Unique Features

Cardinal Elementary

116,460

1,000

$42 M

Classrooms with project-based learning areas, speech room, calm down room, dedicated art and music rooms, computer lab

Henry Marsh Elementary

99,967

750

$40.1 M

Dedicated science classrooms, laboratory, 750-person auditorium with balcony, dance studio, technology and continued education rooms, video production room, gymnasium with space for two basketball courts

River City Middle

183,759

1,500

$63.9 M

Classrooms with project-based learning areas, dedicated exceptional education classrooms, speech, day treatment and reflection rooms, dedicated art and music rooms, computer lab

The mayor thanked the members of Richmond City Council who supported the funding for schools, the Richmond School Board Members for their continued leadership, Superintendent Kamras and his administration for their tireless advocacy and partnership and the city administrative team.
 
The mayor also thanked AECOM, RRMM Architects, Branch Builds, SB Ballard and Howard Shockey and Son, among other contractors and subcontractors who, despite a global pandemic, worked hard to complete the schools on deadline.
 
In the context of this summer’s civil unrest and his decision to remove the confederate monuments on Monument Avenue, the mayor emphasized the progress these schools represent for Black and brown Richmonders.
 
“I am very proud we had the courage to take down the monuments to the confederate cause, but I am even prouder of what we have built here today. We have built a brighter future for our children,” said Mayor Stoney.

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Current City Services Status - COVID-19

Last Updated: Monday, June 29
- Social Services - new information on services
- Parks and Recreation - Phase 3 openings
- Planning and Development Review - permit center is open, but submissions must still be done electronically
- Library - Phase 3 opening include 50% capacity and modified hours at all branches
- General Registrar is operating under normal business hours

Aging and Persons with Disabilities

Use the following helpline for Older Adults 60 + and those 18+ with physical and sensory disabilities: (804) 646-1082. Hours are Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

The office provides the following services: 
-       Information and Referral
-       Delivered food items that will require preparation. (Based on availability of foods and volunteer drivers)
-       Financial Assistance i.e., Mortgage, Rent and Utilities
-       Social Services benefits SNAP, Medicaid, Adult Protective Services, Adult Services
-       Well-check calls to those who may be socially isolated.  If you know of someone or you could benefit from a well-check call, please provide individuals contact information by calling the Aging and Disability Helpline (804) 646-3054.

Senior Connections: The Area Agency on Aging also offers a helpline at (804) 343-3000. Hours are Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Senior Connections provides the following services:
-       Conducting assessments by telephone
-       Coordinating with Meals on Wheels to provide once a week delivery of meals to individuals enrolled in the Home Delivered Meals Program.  If you have questions, call (804) 343-3000
-       Individuals not enrolled in the Home Delivered Meals Program can receive food items once a week on a temporary basis.  Call (804) 343-3000 to register for food

Animal Care and Control

Richmond Animal Care and Control shelter is closed to the public and volunteers until further notice. Adoptions/fosters/redemptions are available by appointment only. 

RACC is hosting a human/pet food pantry for anyone in need. It is open seven days a week from 8-5 p.m.

Email christy.hemsworth@richmondgov.com if you are interested in adopting a pet. Email christie.peters@richmondgov.com if you are interested if fostering a pet. Email whytney.barnett@richmondgov.com if you found a pet, lost a pet or need to reclaim your pet from RACC. 

Dogs available for adoption can be viewed here: http://www.richmondgov.com/AnimalControl/Dogs.aspx
Available cats can be viewed here:
http://www.richmondgov.com/AnimalControl/Cats.aspx

RACC Animal Control Officers are responding to calls for service 24/7 and can be reached at 804-646-5573.

Behavioral Health Authority, Richmond

In an effort to prevent face to face contact, reduce exposure of staff and individuals receiving services or individuals in need of services, and to contribute to the community slowdown of the spread of COVID-19, RBHA is implementing the following service modifications effective 03/23/20.

RBHA will be closed to the public on Monday, March 23 and Tuesday, March 24. There will be no public access to the RBHA main building at 107 S. 5th Street without appointment.

RBHA asks that patrons call 804-819-4000 before coming into any RBHA facility. 

Here’s an updated list of services offered. 

-       Richmond City Crisis Response – If you are experiencing a psychiatric emergency, please call (804) 819-4100
-       Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) Services – Operating with limited admissions
-       REACH Crisis Response – 24/7 crisis and referral line operational at 1-855-282-1006, no face-to-face interventions in hospitals, utilizing telephone and electronic interventions
-       CReST Crisis Response - Referral line operational at 844-729-6954, no face-to-face interventions in hospitals, utilizing telephone and electronic interventions
-       Rapid Access (Same Day Access) – Rapid access is the process to start mental health and/or substance use disorder treatment services at RBHD, will continue to operate Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. throughout COVID-19 and building closures, patients should call 804-241-9621 to start the Rapid Access assessment process and get more information
-       Medication, Psychiatry, and Pharmacy Access (RICH Clinic and OBOT) – Closed to the public Monday, March 23 and Tuesday, March 24, and working to implement a Tele-Med protocol
-       Case Management and Service Coordination – No face-to-face services, utilizing telephone and electronic interventions
-       North Campus Residential Services – operating with limited admissions

Circuit Court

All persons entering the building we will be required to have a temperature check at the entrance and are strongly encouraged to wear a face mask throughout the building. 

As a result of the public health threat of COVID-19, the Richmond Circuit Court will follow a liberal continuation policy effective Monday, March 16, 2020. The Supreme Court of Virginia has suspended civil and criminal jury trials until further order of the court. Emergency cases will be heard, and other cases may be scheduled though the judges’ chambers, with a preference for video and telephone conferences.  

Persons summoned for jury duty or as a witness who are elderly, have underlying medical issues or have other compromising health issues and wish to be excused, are encouraged to notify the Court as soon as possible prior to the anticipated court date. Email, telephone and regular mail are the preferable means of notice. The circuit court judges will work to ensure a safe and appropriate environment for all jurors. 

The Richmond Circuit Court Clerk’s Office continues to operate normal business hours, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. The Clerk’s Office will close each day at noon for one hour. All regular services, including deed recording, marriage licenses and probate, continue. Appointments are required for many services. We recommend citizens contact the Clerk’s office at 804-646-6505 before coming to the courthouse.  Please see our website for more detail as to service availability: 

https://workspace.richmondgov.com/CircuitCourt/SitePages/Home.aspx

Attorneys are encouraged to use electronic filing options and remote access systems. Most court cases have been continued. Please contact the clerk’s office or visit the page on the city’s website for more information. 

Circuitcourtclerkinformation@richmondgov.com

Richmond Circuit Court, John Marshall Courts Building, 400 N 9th St., Richmond, VA 23219
Community Wealth Building
The Office of Community Wealth Building Career Station buildings are closed to the public. Workforce services are being provided to the public virtually. Participants who need services should call their career advisors directly. 

Residents who need services but do not yet have a career advisor can call (804) 646-6464.

Economic Development

The City of Richmond's Department of Economic Development is available to help connect businesses to resources to assist with their response to COVID-19.  

Visit RVAStrong.org/reopeningguidance to view guidance on Richmond's phased reopening.  RVAStrong also has a variety of resources for businesses under "For Businesses."

Email the office at econdev@richmondgov.com or call (804) 646-3792.

Emergency Communications

9-1-1 emergency communications services are fully operational. Call 9-1-1 in an emergency only.  

For non-emergency police and fire services, call 804-646-5100. Citizens with questions about COVID-19 can call the Virginia Health Department hotline: 1-877-ASK-VDH3.

Fire and Emergency Services, Management

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent related policies, Richmond Fire and Emergency Services continues to be guided by CDC, state and local health officials regarding best practices for protecting members and preventing the spread of the virus.

Emergency response will not change. The stations are fully staffed and able to respond to any emergencies that the community might face. First responders are utilizing enhanced personal protective ensemble when appropriate and modified select patient encounter procedures. Additionally, when possible, they maintain six feet of distance for initial assessment. As a standard practice in line with CDC guidelines, when encountering patients with respiratory complaints and flu like symptoms, personnel will place a surgical mask on the patient.

Fire stations will have limited access to the public. An exception will be made for any medical emergency that would require the public to enter a station for treatment. Notices will be posted on the front door of each station, directing visitors to call Fire Headquarters to conduct business.

Fire Headquarters will be closed to the public, but available for phone calls. All personnel, both in the stations and office positions, are practicing social distancing. 

Non-emergency and non-essential services are not being offered at this time.

Finance

Because many calls in the RVA311 Call Center in the past weeks have regarded finance, the department has created a full FAQ document for public use. Read it here.

The Finance Department will take customer payments of tax and utility bills in person through newly installed drop boxes and by walk in at City Hall. Customers are encouraged to take advantage of online and contactless payment methods.

General Registrar

The Office of the Richmond General Registrar is keeping regular business hours. All services are provided in room 105. Lobby capacity is limited to two residents.

Additional information about voter registration and absentee balloting can be found on at www.richmondgov.com under the Voter Registration department. 

Additional information can be found at www.elections.virginia.gov. Voters can also email the office at VoterRegistration@richmondgov.com or send a fax to (804) 646-7848.

General District Court

Visit the Richmond - John Marshall court location here. Visit the Richmond - Marsh location here.  

The Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court of the City of Richmond has issued an order extending the reduced docket that has been in place since March 13, 2020.  In compliance with the Supreme Court of Virginia’s order of May 6, this court will continue operations on a limited basis.  The court may entertain motions to conduct hearings on an individual basis beginning May 18, 2020 and a motion for remote hearings has been created and should be used as much as possible to assist the court while we continue to support and advance public safety concerns regarding COVID-19.  

Pursuant to the order of the Virginia Supreme Court, a transition team has been assembled and has convened "for the purpose of receiving input from representatives of all interested stakeholders" to plan transition to normal operating process and procedures. The court will be gradually augmenting dockets and plans to resume hearing all scheduled cases on June 8, 2020. The court will continue the practice of only attorneys, parties and necessary witnesses generally being permitted to enter the courthouse. Temperature scans are being conducted on all persons entering the courthouse, and masks or face coverings are strongly recommended. Attorneys please advise your clients and witnesses of these expectations. The courthouse will have a limited number of masks available, but we need your assistance in urging your clients and witnesses to wear their own masks/face coverings. Social distancing intervals will be strictly adhered to and enforced.

Health District, Richmond City

Health
The Richmond City Health Department continues to provide some limited services.  In order to protect the safety of the public and staff please see the following information regarding reduced services.  

The Richmond City and Henrico County Health Districts have set up a COVID-19 hotline to answer your questions – 804-205-3501. This hotline is for general questions regarding Coronavirus. If you have a medical emergency, please contact 911 instead. Hours of operation Monday-Friday (8:00 AM-6:00 PM).

Walk-in Naloxone dispensing at RCHD is suspended until Further notice, but individual no-contact training and dispensing can be arranged for anyone who may be in need by calling 804-592-8069.

Clinical Services
The following health department clinical services remain available. 
·       STI clinic is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm – 5:00 pm for patients who are currently experiencing STI symptoms and have an appointment. Appointments can be made by calling 804-205-3500, option 3.
·       Gilpin, Mosby, Whitcomb, and Southwood Resource Centers remain open with limited community and clinical services. 

Please call and make an appointment:
Gilpin - 804-786-1960
Mosby - 804-786-0204
Whitcomb - 804-786-0555
Southwood - 804-230-2077

Environmental Health

Environmental Health Services is still accepting food establishment, mobile food unit and plan review applications by U.S. Postal Mail and fax.  During this time, they will accept credit card payments over the phone.  Please contact the office to email the application and the administrative staff will help you.  

Environmental Health Specialists are still available for phone consultation, foodborne illness related complaints and acute public health related complaints.  

Please contact 804-205-3912 for more information or to make a credit card payment. Please mail applications and payments to Richmond City Health District Environmental Health, 400 E. Cary Street, Richmond, VA 23219.  Please fax applications to 804-786-9007 or 804-371-2208.    

Vital records
The vital records office remains open at 400 E. Cary Street.

Mail-in applications are also being processed through the state office. Please visit this section of the website for mail-in application information. Expedited mail-in service can be provided by VitalChek. 

WIC
WIC services remain available.  

Call 482-5446 (Cary St WIC Office), 786-3201 (Richmond Community Hospital WIC Office) or 205-9816 (Southside WIC Office) to receive direction on how to schedule your visit. You may be asked to have your physician fax in most recent heights and weights. Some normal labs will be deferred at this time to reduce exposure of your child and staff.  The offices ask if you or your child are currently sick you call the office prior to your visit.

Housing and Community Development

The City of Richmond's Department of Housing & Community Development is currently closed to the public. However, staff is still processing AHTF, CARE, Enterprise, City-wide, CAP, NiB, CIP-GF and all HUD grant programs’ invoices and contracts.  

Should you need to reach out and discuss a matter with staff, please use their City of Richmond email address. The following staff are available to assist you:

CDBG, NiB, HOME, and CIP-GF: Mary.Blow@richmondgov.com
LEAD, CDBG, ESG, HOPWA and Lead: Dan.Mouer@richmondgov.com
Sec108, Citywide, CAP loans: Rick.Winston@richmondgov.com
AHTF: Nacole.Mason@richmondgov.com
CARE and Enterprise Zones: Keisha.Birchett@richmondgov.com
HUD Grant Invoicing: Tyel.Banks@richmondgov.com, Cheryl.Stewart@richmondgov.com
Procurement & Sec3 Reporting: Kristen.Stell@richmondgov.com

Human Resources

Human resources is accepting applications jobs that are posted and still open.  

Visit the Human Resources page on the city’s website. 

Justice Services

The City of Richmond's Juvenile Detention Facility will accommodate all professional and parent contact/visitation by telephone only.  Please contact the Detention Facility at (804) 646.3461.

For information regarding the Department of Justice Services’ Adult Programs, please contact the office at (804) 646.8955.

For information regarding the Department of Justice Services’ Juvenile Programs, please contact the office at (804) 646.2902.
Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court
Read about a court order issued by the Domestic Relations Court here. The order continues all cases involving child support, civil custody and visitation, adult criminal cases where the defendant is not incarcerated, and juvenile delinquency cases where the juvenile is not held in detention.

That order is now extended in its duration until April 6, 2020. 

Library

In-person service in all branches of the Richmond Public Library has been paused until September 8. 

Overdue fines were eliminated in February-- past fines were forgiven and no new fines will accrue. Items will not go into “lost” status because due dates have been extended indefinitely.

The library will respond to requests for information through social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook), via Nextdoor and neighborhood association pages, through cyberlibrarian@richmondgov.com and "Ask a Librarian," an online chat platform that allows us to respond in real time, during normal business hours. This service is also available in Spanish,

Residents of the library’s borrowing area may sign up for an eCard for immediate access to the online library. Sign up here: https://rvalibrary.org/services/get-card/

The library offers many resources for education, information, entertainment and enrichment available through the online library at https://rvalibrary.org/services/online-resources/.

Sign up for the weekly eNewsletter with updates and information, "RPL @ Home." Tune in to digital story time with the Youth Service Associates, online book clubs, and video craft tutorials to keep people learning and engaged from home. 

Biblioboard: Ebooks and more – no waiting, no overdues!
Hoopla: Borrow up to 8 items/month. Music, comics, movies, and books.
Libby: Popular ebooks, including Kindle format. Check out up to 25 items at a time.
RbdDigital: Over 30,000 downloadable audiobooks - no holds for most items, check out as many as you like. That's right - no limits to how many you check out. New books added monthly. Find some classic ebooks, too.
RbdDigital Magazines: Over 80 full-color, full-text magazines. Read on your computer or through the RBDigital app.
Audiobook Cloud: a large collection of audiobooks for all ages. Unlimited streaming with no checkout limits. 
Romance Book Cloud: a collection of romance ebooks with no checkout limit. 
Teen Book Cloud: browse hundreds of free ebooks for teens with no checkout limit and no due dates.
Esequels: Online guide to series fiction
Novelist Plus: Find your next good read
Acorn TV: Acorn TV brings world-class mysteries, dramas, and comedies from Britain and beyond.
Indie Flix: IndieFlix is a streaming movie service that offers access to pop culture favorites, box office hits, award-winning feature films, documentaries, and shorts.
Pongalo Novela Club: Spanish language telenovelas and translated movies streamed on demand to all popular devices.
Stingray Qello: Stingray Qello is the world’s largest collection of full-length concerts and music documentaries streamed on-demand to just about any digital device.
FindItVA: Newspaper/magazine articles, ebooks, and more
The Great Courses: The Great Courses Library Collection - the world's most engaging professors provide you with an immersive learning experience, covering a wide variety of subjects
Learn it Live: Check out a 7-day pass for this premium Health & Wellness channel
Learning Express Library: Test prep and training
Method Test Prep: Prepare for or improve your ACT or SAT test scores
Rocket Languages: 15 languages to choose from, including American Sign Language.
Universal Class: Over 500 classes - learn something new today
Transparent Language Online: Over 100 languages and growing, including English for speakers of over 25 languages
World Book: The encyclopedia you know well including Early World of Learning, Kids version, and a Spanish-language version. You must have a 13-digit or permanent library card with RPL to be able to access this database.
Newsbank: Read the Richmond Times-Dispatch and other US daily newspapers. Database includes RTD archives. You must have a 13-digit or permanent library card with RPL to be able to access this database.
Gale Legal Forms: Source for divorce, wills, name change, and other legal forms.
Mergent Archives: Indexed collection of more than a century's worth of global corporate and industry-related documents.
Mergent Intellect: Locate company data and contact info, explore consumer data and demographic groups, or conduct residential searches
Mergent Online: Stock and financial on US and international companies. Access: Enter your Richmond Public Library card number.
A to Z Database: featuring business info and job seeker resources. 
Creativebug: browse thousands of award-winning art and craft video classes taught by recognized design experts and artists. 
Tumble Books Kids' Library: K-6 ebook collection offering hundreds of titles with no checkout limits and no due dates.
Tumble Math: K-6 collection offering hundreds of mathematics titles with no checkout limits and no due dates. 

The library is adding more resources during this time, so users should check back regularly for updates.

Minority Business Development

The OMBD will be offering online classes and workshops, including information on resources now available due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

OMBD will also offer business consulting and coaching via phone.

All interested parties should contact LaQuiana Bailey (804 718-8077 or laquiana.bailey@richmondgov.com) or Gale Jones (804 837-9434 or gale.jones@richmondgov.com)

Multicultural Affairs

The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA), is responding to customer calls through their main line 804-646-0145 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Customers’ calls include but are not limited to information about resources in Spanish or other languages, connecting and referring customers to partner agencies to receive services or follow up on pending cases.  

The appointments scheduled for the Legal Clinic, conducted every second and fourth Thursday of the month, will be done over the phone.

Customers are encouraged to follow OMA’s Facebook page @RichmondCityOMA, where information and updates about COVID-19 are posted in Spanish and English.

Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities

The department continues to phase in the use of public facilities.

Starting July 6, athletic Fields are available for rentals provided that practices are in line with the governor’s guidelines. There will no longer be any parking restrictions at Ancarrow’s Landing or Pony Pasture. 

Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities’ administrative offices were open by appointment only starting June 1. 

Tennis courts, basketball courts and public restrooms in public parks are now open. 

Starting Monday, June 15:
·      Rentals of picnic shelters will resume. Groups should be limited to 50% occupancy of the shelter space or 50 people, whichever is less.
·      Rentals of athletic fields for practice only. Interested groups will need to submit a plan of action to the department on how they intend to mitigate exposure, maintain at least ten feet between participants and instructors, and keep groups to 50 persons or less.
·      Limited parking will be available at Pony Pasture and Ancarrow’s Landing.
·      Parking lots at Texas Beach, Tredegar Green, 22nd Street, and 42nd Street will be open for use.
·      Entrance to the James River Park System at 21st Street will reopen.
·      BMX Bike Trail at Gillies Creek Park will be open for use.
·      Tennis courts and pickleball courts will be open for use. 
·      Playgrounds will be open for use.
·      Dog parks will be open for use.
·      Manchester Climbing Wall will be open for use.
·      Skate parks will be open for use.
·      Outdoor basketball courts will have the hoops reinstalled over the next two weeks.
·      Limited restrooms will be available. 

Please note that all parks remain open for recreational use. Social distancing in parks is required, and face-coverings are recommended in busier spaces where consistent social distancing is challenging. 

All permits, rentals, recreation programs and activities are canceled beyond renting athletic fields. Burials at city owned facilities will take place as scheduled. 

Staff at PRCF’s Administrative Office will be available to assist residents via phone at 804-646-5733 or email at AskParkRec@richmondgov.com. Staff from the Cemeteries Division can be reached at 804-646-1402.

Planning and Development Review

Permits and Inspections
July 6 Update: The department is accepting business at the Permit Center in City Hall. However, all permit submission must still be done electronically through the online permit portal or OneDrive. The Permit Center lobby will reopen to the public July 6 but will no longer accept walk-in applications or payment for services in order to limit interactions between staff and the public.

 

Payment for all fees in EnerGov can be made electronically.

 

Submit the following applications via the online permit portal: BLD-R, ELE-R, GAS-R, MEC-R, PLB-R, CZC and Plan of Development.

 

Submit the following applications via OneDrive: WISP, Encroachment, ESMP, Land Disturbance, ZCL, BLD-C, BZA, SUP, all commercial trade and miscellaneous construction permits, and any auxiliary forms that may be needed for these submission types.

 The department is attempting to make as many services available to you as possible while keeping the public and city staff safe from potential exposure. 

Permitting and Plan Review: 
Priority permit processing will be given to emergency permit applications pertaining to life safety and/or habitability concerns (e.g., water, sewer, power, and gas) as well essential facilities applications. Plan review services will continue by staff at remote telework locations. Communications with customers will be handled via e-mail or telephone. Plans will be reviewed in the order in which they are received. 

Mail and Fax Services: Drop off and fax related services are not available at this time. Mail-in services are limited to what can be sent via the United States Postal Service (USPS). The department is not able to receive mail from UPS, FedEx or Amazon until further notice. Any documents received by mail will be processed as staffing resources allow.

Residential Trade Applications: The on-line portal will continue to be available at the link below for Residential Trade Permits (Electrical, Gas Piping, Mechanical, Plumbing), Certificates of Zoning Compliance (CZCs) and Plan of Developments (PODs).
https://energov.richmondgov.com/EnerGov_Prod/selfservice#/home

Permits Requiring Plan Review: The office will be utilizing Microsoft OneDrive to receive commercial applications and plans electronically. Other services accepted through OneDrive are permit extensions, cancellations, modifications, contractor changes, amendments to the scope of work, responses to plan review comments and post permit revisions. Check back with the office soon for more detailed information and how to register.
https://products.office.com/en-us/onedrive/online-cloud-storage

Inspections:
Field inspections will resume for all unoccupied new commercial and residential construction projects. Inspections pertaining to life safety and/or habitability concerns (e.g., water, sewer, power, and gas) as well as essential facilities will be given priority status. Inspections within occupied dwelling units are suspended until further notice. Please limit the number of contractors or site representatives meeting an inspector on a jobsite to one.

Third Party Inspections
Limited: Customers may use the limited 48-hour third party inspection services for individual inspections when the building official is unable to perform a scheduled inspection within two working days of a request, an agreed upon date, or if authorized for other circumstances in the building official’s written policy. Third party inspections shall be requested, and the inspection reports submitted, in accordance with the City’s official policy. For more information contact david.alley@richmondgov.com
Full: Customers may use the third-party program in part or in full to obtain third party inspection and plan review services. This option may be a good option for new projects should the COVID-19 outbreak continue long term. Please see: http://www.richmondgov.com/PlanningAndDevelopmentReview/ThirdPartyProgr…
Verifying Business Licenses - Please be advised that during the closure of the City due to COVID-19 the below listed individuals are available outside of list of individuals within PDR who have access to MUNIS to verify if a business has a valid business license in the City of Richmond:

Annette Stokes
Customer Service Supervisor Business Unit
Annette.Stokes@richmondgov.com
646-6192

Eboni Iverson
Customer Service Supervisor Business Unit
Eboni.Iverson@Richmondgov.com
646-1629

The aforementioned individuals can be reached via E-mail and phone. Also, the door to Room 103 is open if you need to speak to either of the above name individuals, Please come in and ask for assistance.  Should you have additional questions or concerns please contact Ms. Weatherless at 804-646-5195.

Property Maintenance Code Enforcement
Citizens can continue to report code enforcement issue within their community by using RVA311 and inspections will be scheduled once the City of Richmond is operational.

Zoning Administration
The Zoning Administration Office is closed to the public.

Applications for a Certificate of Zoning Compliance may be submitted electronically using the Online Permit Portal and will be processed as staff resources allow.

Information about the Online Permit Portal can be found at http://www.richmondgov.com/planninganddevelopmentreview/OnlinePermitPor…

Any customer questions should be submitted to CSShelp@richmondgov.com

For any request for any Zoning Confirmation Letter, site-related inspection, or other zoning-related information, please e-mail: Zoning Division or William.Davidson@Richmondgov.com.

The office will attempt to respond to you and address your inquiry as soon as practical.

Be aware that there are Zoning Administration staff members working on existing submittals and related requests as health and emergency protocols allow.

For other general information or to access the Zoning Webpage, click here: ZoningDivision.aspx

Planning and Preservation
We encourage customers with questions or other needs to email Carey L. Jones at: carey.jones@richmondgov.com or call (804) 646-6335. 

A fillable PDF of an application for a certificate of appropriateness is available here: http://www.richmondgov.com/CommissionArchitecturalReview/forms/CARSubmi… and can be emailed to Ms. Jones. 

Application Submittal: All new Planning and Preservation applications can be submitted via email or via Microsoft OneDrive. The Online Permit Portal will continue to be available at the link below for Plans of Development (PODs): https://energov.richmondgov.com/EnerGov_Prod/selfservice#/home.

Land Use Administration
City Hall, including Rooms 510 and 511, is closed to the public until further notice, but communication withLand Use staff is possible via e-mail or telephone.

Limited plan review will continue by staff.

New Land Use Administration applications can be submitted via email or via Microsoft OneDrive. The Online Permit Portal will continue to be available for submitting Plan of Development (POD) applications: https://energov.richmondgov.com/EnerGov_Prod/selfservice#/home. 

Commission meetings for the month of March have been cancelled and future meetings are subject to cancellation due to COVID-19. Please refer to the city’s legislative calendar for information on meeting cancellations: https://richmondva.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx

Please contact Land Use Administration directly at 804-646-6304 for more information.

The department will continue to monitor and respond to the ongoing status of the COVID-19 outbreak.  Customers are asked to please follow the guidelines and precautions recommended by the CDC as outlined in this link:  
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Our staff will be taking common sense precautions to follow the CDC guidelines while delivering permitting and inspection services. This will include refusal to inspect buildings occupied by individuals that have either tested positive, been exposed to, or are symptomatic of the COVID-19 virus.  

Procurement Services

Because City of Richmond government offices are currently closed to the public and non-essential personnel due to COVID-19 mitigation efforts, the Department of Procurement Services has adjusted procedures for hand-delivery of bids and proposals.
Bidders and offerers are encouraged to frequently check the Department of Procurement Services webpage for updates and for any addenda issued by the City for pending solicitations. Bidders and offerers choosing to submit bids or proposals through hand-delivery should allow extra time for delivery of bids and proposals. There could be delays in accessing City Hall for delivery of bids or proposals over the coming weeks. Mail and carrier deliveries (such as UPS and FedEx) are still being accepted at City Hall.

Public Utilities

Beginning June 1, the Department of Public Utilities facilities and customer service stations will be open to customers, vendors and contractors by appointment only. 

If you have questions about Utilities customer service at this time, please read this FAQ document. 

DPU will continue to respond to all utility emergencies. Non-emergency work will be limited to protect the health and safety of the public and employees. 

All non-emergency work will be evaluated to reduce the impact to residents and rate payers. 

Note: DPU is now able to provide Utility GIS location maps to developers, contractors and other utility companies. 

The Water Resources Team will be providing construction inspections and limited plan reviews for both commercial and residential properties. 

Please continue to follow all CDC recommendations for personal and public safety. For natural gas emergencies, please leave the area, go to a place where the odor is no longer present and call 911 or 804-646-4646.

Customer Service:
For utility related questions residents and rate payers can reach DPU by:
Phone: 804-646-4646
Email:   dpucustserv@richmondgov.com

Residents and rate payers can make utility bill payments:
Pay by check:         Submit utility payment by mail using the enclosed envelope with your bill.
Pay by phone:        Please call (804) 646-4646 and select option 2
                                    Please have your account number and zip code available
Pay online:   Visit http://www.richmondgov.com/
                        Please have your account number and zip code available
                        Select “on-line services”
                        Select “Gas and Water”

Development Services and Richmond Gas Works
For utility permit applications 
Natural gas, water and sewer permit applications may be found at:
On-line:  www.Richmondgasworks.com   natural gas
  www.richmondgov.com  water and sewer and natural gas
  on the Public Utilities page under the “permits” tab

Permits may be submitted by:
Mail:  
City of Richmond – Department of Public Utilities
                       900 E. Broad St.
               Room 115
               Richmond, VA 23219     
Email: re-dpudevelop@richmondgov.com

Land disturbance permits and storm drainage permits can be found at:
On-line:  www.richmondgov.com   
under water resources information on the public utilities page
Permits may be submitted by mail to:
City of Richmond – Dept. Of Planning and Development Review
Bureau of Permits and Inspections
900 E. Broad Street, Room 110
Richmond, VA 23219

Public Works

Trash collection will continue. Construction projects and inspection processes for these projects are still on-going.

DPW facilities are open to the public by appointment only. 

The department will practice enhanced cleaning and security measures in City Hall. Enhanced security is intended to limit close personal contact and promote social distancing. For example, only the Ninth Street entrance to City Hall will be open in order to check for and distribute face coverings, and only three employees will be allowed in an elevator at one time. 

Parking enforcement within city limits is now limited to only illegal parking. Time violations will not be fined. Illegal parking is typically parking that obstructs the right of way or endangers public safety. Examples include: parking in front of fire hydrants, blocking accessibility ramps, and obstructing intersections, crosswalks, and bike lanes.

As of June 8, the Department of Public Works resumed residential parking district enforcement in the Fan, Carver, Randolph and South Mulberry Parking Districts. 

Public Works will resume street cleaning services in the city’s residential areas starting June 22. Click here for a link to the street cleaning schedule.  
RVA 311
RVA311 will continue to be open normal business hours to answer questions and take citizen requests for non-emergency services. Hour are Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday hours are 9 a.m to 5 p.m.

Social Services

DSS determines initial and continuing eligibility for various benefit programs, to include those that pertain to basic needs (i.e., food and emergency rental or utility payments). Click here to access the DSS FAQ document.   Click here to access the Virginia Social Services frequently asked questions resource. 

 

Benefits Programs

Cooling Assistance applications can be completed online at www.commonhelp.virginia.gov, by phone through the Enterprise Customer Service Center, 1-855-635-4370, or by using one of the DSS Boxes at Marshall Plaza (900 E. Marshall Street) or Southside Plaza (4100 Hull Street).  The maximum benefit for electricity payments is $300.  The maximum benefit will be approved for all households approved for payment of electric bill and will be issued at the time of the case approval.

 

Citizens can submit DSS inquiries and requests regarding services through the RVA311 webpage https://www.rva311.com/rvaone/Home/Index or call 804-646-7000. Benefit workers will contact citizens directly to conducted interviews by phone.

 

Emergency SNAP benefits will be issued in June and will be issued again on July 17th. Citizens can submit DSS inquiries and requests regarding services through the RVA311 webpage https://www.rva311.com/rvaone/Home/Index or call 804-646-7000.

 

Citizens who need to apply for benefits should call the Enterprise Call Center at 1-855-635-4370 or go https://commonhelp.virginia.gov/ . Pending applications, renewals or verifications can be faxed to 804-646-7018 or placed in the drop box at the front of the Marshall Plaza or Southside Community Service Center. Citizens who need to submit benefit case documentation (Required Verifications, Pending Renewals, SNAP Interim Reports and Change Forms only) can email them to dss-docs@richmondgov.com .

 

Citizens needing an EBT replacement card are encouraged to call 1-866-281-2448. If you have questions about your EBT card, call the 24-hour Virginia EBT Customer Service Help Line at 866-281-2448.

Clients that are approved for SNAP Benefits their EBT cards will be mailed and some clients will be notified, if they are eligible, to schedule an appointment to pick up their EBT card. (Appointments will be scheduled in 20 minute increments, for those eligible, on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9:00 am – 11:30 am and 1:00 pm -3:00pm.)

Citizens may continue to call the Fraud Hotline with questions at 804-646-5707.  Appointments will be scheduled by the Fraud Supervisor for forms that may require signature and notary.

Pandemic EBT

Virginia will issue Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits for children who are eligible for free and reduced lunch. How do I know if I am eligible? Schools will provide information for all eligible students directly to VDSS. Households do not have to apply for P-EBT. If you believe there are eligible students in your household but you do not receive P-EBT by the middle of June, call (804) 726-7000 or go online at https://www.connectebt.com/ .

 

 

Reporting Child Abuse/Neglect

To report a suspected child abuse or neglect, citizens are encouraged to call the Richmond Hotline (M-F 8:00am – 4:30pm) at 804-646-0438 or the VDSS 24/7 CPS Hotline at 1-800-552-7096.

 

 

Reporting Elder Abuse/Neglect/Exploitation

Adult Protective Services (APS) staff are available to respond to allegations of abuse and/or neglect involving the elderly or adults with a disability. To make a report, citizens are encouraged to call the Richmond City Hotline (M-F 8:00am – 5:00pm) at 804-646-7405 or the VDSS 24/7 APS Hotline at 1-888-832-3858.

Sustainability

The City of Richmond's Office of Sustainability is currently closed to the public. However, all staff are working and encourage residents with questions or other needs to email rvagreen@richmondgov.com. For updates on the city’s climate action and resilience initiatives, citizens are encouraged to follow @RVAgreen2050, the RVAgreen 2050 Facebook page, and check the RVAgreen 2050 website. Please check the RVAgreen 2050 Virtual Resilience Hub for resources to increase resilience in a sustainable and healthy way during COVID-19.

Treasurer's Office

The City Treasurer’s Office encourages customers with questions or other needs to call (804) 646-6474 or email Treasurer@richmondgov.com for the foreseeable future. 

The office will take visitors by appointment. Those who wish to receive notary services should make an appointment.  

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City launches RVA.gov, new web platform to replace richmondgov.com

The City of Richmond is in the third week of a soft launch of the new municipal web platform, RVA.gov, the first new official web presence in the city in more than 15 years.  
 
“In the 21st Century, a helpful, intuitive and innovative website is a key step in making sure local government is responsive to its citizens,” said Mayor Stoney of the site. 
 
With the launch of RVA.gov, Richmond is now one of only two cities in the country with a three-letter URL, alongside New York City with NYC.gov. The short URL is easier to remember and refer residents to, making the site more accessible. All content can be translated into 36 different languages.
 
The city’s new platform differs markedly from the current site, richmondgov.com, both in appearance, accessibility, capacity and functionality. RVA.gov features mobile compatibility, an automated content management system, Global Information System integration (GIS), video on demand and interactive social media.  
 
The site features Virtual City Hall, where residents can easily pay taxes or fines, apply for benefits or licenses and solicit frequently requested services. The Socials and RVA-TV pages provide an unprecedented level of social media and video content integration, centering the city’s public information effort in one accessible space.
 
News and announcements from City of Richmond departments scroll on a ticker on every page, ensuring residents stay up to date on new opportunities and important city deadlines. Content managers for each department will be able to update their information in real time.
 
Over the coming months, RVA.gov will phase in and eventually replace richmondgov.com as residents’ official online source of information on city services, news and other developments. In accordance with best practices, richmondgov.com will be available for the foreseeable future as residents familiarize themselves with the new site.
 
The city contracted with Tech Dynamism, a website development firm stationed in Charlottesville, to develop the site and Acquia, a web content management platform, to house web content on a cloud database to ensure increased capacity and speed on the new platform regardless of traffic.
 
“I want this platform to best serve the residents of this city and present an inviting digital welcome for those seeking to visit or interact with city government,” said the mayor. “Start exploring RVA.gov today and help us make this soft launch as thorough as possible.”
 
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