Last Updated: Feb 2nd, 2017 - 15:39:22


Hopewell City Charter Change Approved
By LYNDON GERMAN
Feb 2, 2017, 15:37

With the commencement of 2017 Virginia General Assembly, Hopewell representatives hope to push through to amend the city’s charter to clarify language that’ll incentivize development. As of Jan. 30 the bill has made it out of committee and has passed the the floor of the House of Delegates.
Late in November, Hopewell City Council held a special meeting to approve the amended charter and then in December the Hopewell Legislative Committee met with its General Assembly representatives to explain the importance of these changes.
The city is requesting a change to Chapter 25 of the city’s charter sections one and three. The chapter addresses the renewal of Hopewell’s Water Renewal commission, the method of which its members are chosen and how Hopewell’s City Council and local manufactures contribute funds to the commission.
Initially the charter’s language states that the commission be made up eight members, five of whom are nominated by local manufactures, who act on behalf of the city on matters related to the city-owned wastewater treatment facility. Those matters include maintenance and expansion of the facility.
Previously new manufactures appointed to the commission give a capital contribution of 4% of the original cost of their facility.
The changes Hopewell wishes to makes expands the amount of commission members approved by City Council from eight to a undisclosed number, six of those members shall be made up of manufactures and the capital contribution for new manufactures shall be determined by City Council upon their recommendation.
The reason for the change is to incentivize manufacturer development. As construction cost go up the initial 4% request became a larger hurdle for manufactures to jump. With a negotiable contribution developers will be able to alleviate some of their contributing cost.
The proposed changes made it through Virginia House of Delegates subcommittees with unanimous votes though with one substitution which limits the commission membership to nine members. The bill was read for the third time on the house floor on Feb. 1 where it passed with a block vote.

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