Mayor Jones Wants to Raise Utility Rates for City Residents

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RICHMOND (WRIC) – Mayor’s Dwight Jones’ budget proposal was released Thursday, but many are not happy with what they heard.

If the proposal is approved by city council, utility rates could on average rise by about $6 a month.

Many people are not happy with that proposal, but that isn’t the only think in the mayor’s budget that has people talking.

8News caught up with Richmond City resident Ivan Hinnant as he was walking inside City Hall to pay his current utility bill.

“Waste Water… Storm Water… Gas Tax… it’s already enough extra charges on there and this is outside of what I pay for just using the service,” he says.

The thought of adding new charges to that bill every month has him angry.

“I mean, I understand for paying for what we use, but what is all the extra coming from?”

He thinks an increase in money should only come with an increase in services.

“And what are we getting for it? The same services for more money.”

However, the mayor did reject a recommendation to increase the storm water fees. But the raise in utilities isn’t the only thing that has made folks mad in the Mayor’s budget.

“That’s not going to be able to provide the raises that we were trying to give.”

Richmond School Board member Kim Gray says aside from a small one percent raise last year, Richmond City School Staff have not had a raise in more than eight years.

“We asked for an additional $4.7 million in the budget in order to meet the salary increase expectation,” She says. “We are getting I think about a million dollars from the Mayor’s proposed budget.”

Despite the lack in funding for teacher raises, the Mayor’s budget does include $18.2 million, over five years, to help with school maintenance.

School Board members say they aren’t done fighting for their teachers just yet. They hope to begin a dialogue between themselves and City Council to reach something more than a million dollars.
 
Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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