RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Leaders in the City of Virginia Beach were hoping a $10-million boost from the state budget for a road project would help free up some money for renovations at the Municipal Center, but that funding was removed from the budget on Monday.
On Monday, the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates met to vote on Gov. Ralph Northam’s latest changes to the biennial budget.
The budget initially included $10 million for a Nimmo Parkway road project in Virginia Beach — which would have freed up that $10 million to go toward the Municipal Center — but Northam’s proposed amendments to the budget nixed that project.
The House of Delegates on Monday disagreed with Northam’s revision, voting to keep the Nimmo Parkway project in the budget, but Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax cast a tie-breaking vote in the Senate, resulting in the money being officially cut.
“These projects need to go through Virginia’s existing review processes that allocate funding to transportation projects. These public reviews allow for full transparency by weighing different transportation projects against each other, but these projects instead aim to ‘jump the line,'” Northam wrote about the Nimmo Parkway project in a letter to legislators Thursday, Nov. 5.
Despite the development Monday, Virginia Beach City Council is set to meet Tuesday and consider releasing $30 million for the $133-million Municipal Center renovation.
The renovation covers Building 2, where a mass shooting left 12 people dead in May 2019, as well as buildings 1 and 11.
The overall plan calls for Virginia Beach Police Department headquarters to move into a remodeled Building 2, while all departments in Building 2 will move to the current police space in Building 11 and Building 1, which is the current City Hall. Everyone in the current City Hall will move to a new building behind Building 1.
The renovations would help unify employees of departments that have been separated and scattered throughout the city following the shooting. The plan relocates employees who worked in Building 2 at the time of the mass shooting.
Northam proposed putting $1 million toward an independent investigation into the culture at the Virginia Military Institute following claims of racist treatment of some students.
The Virginia Beach Nimmo Parkway money wasn’t the only item on the chopping block.
Northam also asked to eliminate capital spending for a new airport hangar in Accomack.
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