Create a Website Account - Manage notification subscriptions, save form progress and more.
City Council last night voted to add potential conflicts of interest as a consideration when evaluating competitive bid proposals. The change will protect the City from predatory bids on building demolitions.
In Virginia, a property owner has a legal duty to repair or demolish any unsafe building they own. If the owner does not demolish the structure, then the City may contract for the demolition and bill the owner for the cost.
A building owner who failed to repair or demolish the building could create a limited liability company and bid slightly below cost. Under a loophole that existed prior to last night’s vote, the City would have had to accept the bid, even though it amounts to paying public funds to demolish a building in which the owner is already under a legal obligation to demolish.
In other matters last night, City Council voted to extend the City’s obligation to back a $1.5 million loan from Virginia Community Capital and a $500,000 loan from the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority. The loans were taken five years ago by the Industrial Development Authority to purchase and up-fit a shell building in the Cane Creek Industrial Park. The building, located at 500 Cane Creek Parkway, was first used by GOK International, but now will be used by Unison. The 20-year loans were set up with five-year maturities and will mature on March 31.
In addition to these votes, City Council held a first reading on three matters:
A first reading is an introductory step required by City Code before certain matters can be voted upon by City Council. This step serves to provide public notice of pending action. Council could not vote last night. The earliest vote that can take place will be the April 3 City Council meeting.
Council's meeting last night included a business session followed by a work session. In work sessions, Council reviews non-routine matters that may be voted upon in future business meetings.
During last night’s work session, City Council reviewed monthly financial statements and scheduled votes for its April 3 meeting on the following items:
City Council also discussed, but delayed scheduling a vote on the purchase of the apartment building at 205 Jefferson Ave. The purchase would enable the City to find a developer to partner with the City, restore the property and bring it into compliance with both the Property Maintenance Code and the historic district requirements for the Old West End.
River City TV airs live all Council business sessions. The first rebroadcast will be at 8 p.m. Thursday. Watch it on cable (Comcast channel 10 and Gamewood channel 122). The taped broadcast is available now on River City TV’s Facebook page.
River City TV does not air work sessions, but they are open to the public.