City Council to decide whether to place Coliseum funding question on ballot

Richmond Council to decide whether to place Coliseum funding question on Nov. ballot

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - When it comes to Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney’s Coliseum and Navy Hill re-development project, which would receive funding from tax dollars under the current proposal, some City Council members say taxpayers should decide on the ballot, whether that should actually happen.

"It’s time to give our city and its residents a venue they deserve and the economic opportunities that come with it,” Stoney has said about the $1.5 billion project.

Under the plan, neighbors within an 80-block radius of the area would help foot the bill for a portion of the project through real estate and meals taxes.

"It’s some people that believe that area is so large that it’s taking money that could potentially help pay for other needs, like our schools, like our paving projects,” said council member Kimberly Gray.

She wants to see the issue put on the ballot for residents to decide. Come November, the question would ask residents if they think tax dollars should be used to fund the project. Gray is asking council to approve placing that question on the ballot, and members will meet in a special session Tuesday.

“I think it’s a good idea because it’s just sitting there empty,” Kathy Stokes said.

"I think they should have to pay for it to a certain extent,” Felicia Etienne added.

Councilwoman isn’t completely sold on the re-development project, not as of now.

"Schools are always my main focus, and I question how we can possibly build these brand new shiny objects and have schools that are still in deplorable conditions,” Gray said.

Richmond City Council has four days to get that question over to the courts in order to have it printed on the Nov. 5 ballot.

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