The Agenda: Local government briefs for 8.10.20

Petersburg accepting applications for small businesses grants

Petersburg City Council has approved a COVID-19 small business grant program funded with federal CARES Act dollars. The program aims to energize business collaboration and provide direct financial relief to businesses impacted by COVID-19.

The city will distribute grants ranging from $500 to $5,000 based on need. A business is eligible if it pays taxes to the city, has been operational for at least 12 months as of July 1, has a gross annual revenue of at least $25,000, and employs 30 or fewer full-time employees. Business owners with multiple businesses can only receive one grant.

Applications are accepted online and can be accessed here. The application deadline for the first round of grant funding is 5 p.m. Aug. 14.

Goochland launches grant program for local businesses

The Goochland County Board of Supervisors allocated $150,000 for the Goochland Back to Business Grant program, which is intended to reimburse expenses tied to compliance with state government guidelines on reopening businesses during the pandemic.

Grant funding can be used to recoup costs of protective equipment, sanitation supplies, structural or operational redesigns to adhere to social distancing requirements, and technological purchases like e-commerce platforms, among other expenses.

Grants range from $5,000 to $10,000 and are subject to number of employees and documented expenses. The grant program is funded through federal CARES Act funding the county has received. For-profit businesses with up to 150 employees that have been in operation more than year within the county may apply.

The application portal is expected to open Aug. 20. More information and a full list of eligibility requirements can be found here.

Business recovery grants, CARE program changes on city agenda

Richmond City Council meets in special session Monday at 4 p.m. Agenda available here. Business includes an ordinance amending the city’s Commercial Area Revitalization Effort (CARE) program and establishing a onetime business recovery grant program.

The $500,000 grant program is tailored to helping businesses and property owners that sustained financial losses from recent civil unrest. The program would award up to $10,000 per property, with the grants to be paid on a reimbursement basis to approved businesses, property owners and nonprofits.

The ordinance also would reassign two revitalization areas to bring them in line with 12 other areas included in the CARE program, which provides incentives and funding to commercial corridors identified as revitalization priorities. Those two areas, currently labeled “ExtraCARE” corridors, include the Belt Boulevard area between Hull Street and Midlothian Turnpike, and the Hull Street Road area between Warwick Road and Chippenham Parkway.

The other 12 areas eligible for loans and rebates through the CARE program include: Jackson Ward; North 25th Street; Brookland Park Boulevard; Hull Street; Midlothian Turnpike; Fulton Hill; Lombardy Street/Chamberlyane Avenue area; Meadowbridge Road; North Avenue; Shockoe Bottom; Swansboro; and Jefferson Davis Highway.

Property owners in those areas can apply for loans of up to $50,000 per project and up to $100,000 per applicant to make improvements to their properties, among other incentives provided through CARE.

Richmond absentee voting, polling location changes proposed

Other business on council’s agenda includes code amendments changing the location for absentee voting in the city and establishing new polling places for various precincts. The absentee voting district location would be changed from City Hall to 2134 W. Laburnum Ave., reflecting the city registrar office’s recent move.

The building at 2143 W. Laburnum Ave., where the city’s registrar office is relocating. (BizSense file photo by Jonathan Spiers)

In the Second Voter District, precincts 203 would change from the Hermitage Methodist Home at 1601 Palmyra Ave. to the Arthur Ashe Center at 3017 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd.; 207 would change from Retreat Hospital at 2621 Grove Ave. to the Virginia Museum of History and Culture at 428 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd.; and 206 would change from Dominion Place at 1025 W. Grace St. to the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU at 601 W. Broad St.

Precinct 412 in the Fourth District would change from Heritage Oaks Retirement Community at 1100 German School Road to Lucille M. Brown Middle School at 6300 Jahnke Road, and Precinct 702 in the Seventh District would change from Fairmount Place at 1501 N. 21st St. to Sarah Garland Jones Center at 2600 Nine Mile Road.

The changes also would establish two satellite polling places for in-person absentee voting at City Hall and at Hickory Hill Community Center at 3000 Belt Blvd.

New Kent supervisors to consider retail and mini-storage facility in Bottoms Bridge

The New Kent County Board of Supervisors will consider approval of a conditional use permit to allow the construction of a retail development of more than 30,000 square feet and a mini-storage facility on Pocahontas Trail in Bottoms Bridge on Monday. The center would include a grocery store, retail and restaurant space. Mark Daniel of Joamark Gloucester is the applicant.

100-acre Varina development, Stanley Martin project on Henrico agenda

Henrico supervisors meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. Full agenda here. Business includes a request from Kain Road Investors LLC to rezone 6 acres on the north side of Kain Road west of Pouncey Tract Road for a zero-lot-line residential development totaling up to six units per acre.

Stanley Martin Homes and Wilton Acquisition LLC seek rezoning and permit approvals for a residential development with townhomes and houses on 32 acres north of Scott Road between Interstate 95 and Aberdeen Street. The land is just south of the site of Stanley Martin’s approved ReTreat at One development, totaling 500 homes east of Brook Road.

Also on the agenda, Godsey Properties seeks final zoning approval for a nearly 100-acre mixed-use development with townhouse and business uses along East Williamsburg Road north of its intersection with Dry Bridge Road. The zoning involves land near the Interstate 64 and 295 interchange that was sold in 2018 and Godsey is under contract to purchase.

Tom Tokarz

Henrico names new county attorney, public works director

Joseph “Tom” Tokarz II was appointed county attorney for Henrico effective Aug. 15. Tokarz has worked in the county attorney’s office since 1980, serving as an assistant county attorney and since 2011 as deputy county attorney.

A William & Mary graduate with a law degree from UVA, Tokarz was named acting county attorney in June following the retirement of Joseph Rapisarda Jr., who had served as county attorney since 1982.

Terrell Hughes

Terrell Hughes was named public works director for Henrico effective Aug. 31. He currently works as an assistant planning director and assistant division administrator with the Virginia Department of Transportation. A Virginia Tech grad, Hughes previously worked for Kimley-Horn & Associates, Davenport Transportation Consulting and Timmons Group.

Chesterfield awarded additional CARES funding, seeks input on use

Chesterfield has set a public hearing to gather feedback from businesses and residents on the usage of almost $50 million the county has received through the CARES Act, a federal coronavirus relief program.

The county has received a total of about $60 million in CARES Act funding, and has allocated $10 million of that so far to regional partnerships and initiatives aimed at helping residents and businesses during the pandemic.

The hearing will take place at 6 p.m. Aug. 26 during a regularly scheduled Board of Supervisors meeting at 10001 Iron Bridge Road. It will be possible to submit comments in person, but seating will be limited. Masks and temperature checks will be required for entry. Comments can also be submitted online here starting Aug. 20, or submitted by phone message at 804-748-1808.

City, Venture Richmond awarded $25,000 grant for Jackson Ward project

Locations of planned enhancements at the intersection of Marshall Street and Brook Road in Jackson Ward. (Venture Richmond)

A $25,000 grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Asphalt Art Initiative will be used for planned enhancements and public art at the intersection of West Marshall Street and Brook Road in Jackson Ward.

Venture Richmond and the City of Richmond Public Art Commission were jointly awarded the grant, one of 16 recipients of 200 cities that applied. The initiative awards the grants to support cities using art and community engagement to improve street safety and revitalize public space.

Richmond’s project will add a pedestrian plaza, a mural and a parklet at the intersection. The additions will be further defined through public engagement and design processes starting in August, with a goal of installing the project in about a year. A community survey is available here through the end of the month.

Others contributing to the project include Art180, Big Secret, Gallery 5, Vanderbilt Properties and Walter Parks Architects. More about the project is available here.

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