Richmond City Council wants $50,000 outside report on ballpark p - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Richmond City Council wants $50,000 outside report on ballpark plan

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Richmond City Council wants a third party to look at the Mayor's plan to build a ballpark in Shockoe Bottom.

Council voted Monday night to ask Mayor Dwight Jones to find more money in this year's budget for an outside consulting firm's help.

The firm, which hasn't yet been chosen, would then report back to council and tell them if the plan would work for Richmond.

In a 7-2 vote, City Council said they would be willing to pay up to $50,000 to hire an outside consulting firm. Members Reva Trammell and Chris Hilbert opposed the resolution.

Council president Charles Samuels pointed out that the Mayor wants shovels in the ground by August and to do that, council members need to know if the plan will even work for Richmond.

After the meeting, some expressed frustration that more taxpayer dollars are going into the Mayor's plan.

"It's a waste of money," said Phil Wilayto, the editor of the Virginia Defender. "The City Council feels pressure by the Mayor to approve the plan and pressure by the constituents to oppose it and this is an easy to way to say we'll pass it off to a third party and let them make a decision."

Others who are pro-stadium in Shockoe believe council is doing it's due diligence.

"It appears to me that the City is doing the right thing," said Richmond resident Jonathan Miller. "The Mayor's plan needs to be fact-checked. We need to know, are these new figures likely to happen? Hopefully this $50,000 will be used to do so."

The mayor still has to find $50,000 to give council, so this isn't a done deal. A decision should be made by the next council meeting in two weeks.

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