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City Council approves $690 million budget, oversight on spending

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RICHMOND, Va. – A divided Richmond City Council approved a new $690 million budget Monday night and passed an amendment for oversight on day-to-day spending.

The new budget requires the Stoney administration to seek City Council approval to move funds between major city programs.

The budget was approved in a 6-3 vote. Council members Cynthia Newbille (7th district), Ellen Robertson (6th district) and Andreas Addison (1st district) voted against the budget.

Mayor Levar Stoney expressed disappointment in council’s decision to approve the budget with the amendment adoption.

“Tonight’s vote takes micromanaging to a new level,” Stoney said in a statement. “It will make city government less efficient and make it harder to deliver the services our residents deserve.”

Stoney had previously said the amendment was dangerous to public safety. He went on the say City Council did not consider his proposal to increase transparency in City Hall.

“There is a reason no other locality in the Commonwealth of Virginia follows this type of budgeting practice – it’s bad policy,” he continued. “Richmond deserved better tonight.”

The new budget includes $2.7 million for raises for city police and firefighters, a $1.8 increase in funding for school maintenance, and more than $300,000 for alley repairs, among others.

The budget approved budget is for the 2017-18 fiscal year that begins in July.