Fredericksburg City Beat

This blog includes news about City Hall, city schools and other 22401 news.

Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or

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What to look for next week

- We’ve had stories this week about how budget cuts in both Stafford and Spotsylvania counties could affect government and schools services there. Next week, look for some of this same discussion to happen in Fredericksburg. At a 6 p.m. work session before their 7:30 p.m. meeting, city budget officials will talk to council members about how to close the deficit in this year’s $76.5 million budget, estimated at between $1.2 million and $1.5 million.

- The courthouse question will be back on the agenda. I wouldn’t bet on the council voting on it Tuesday. I’ve heard from the mayor that there’s a desire on the part of some to have a sort of public informational meeting before moving forward. On the other hand, Councilman Matt Kelly would like the city abandon plans to buy the Post Office property and build what new court space it needs on the Juvenile and Domestic Relations and General District court sites.

- There will be a public hearing Tuesday on the plan to put four condos at 1200 Prince Edward St. The Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of this plan. If you really want to read more about this building, go here.

- If you’ve been following the arguments over Gov. Kaine’s proposal to stop letting retail merchants keep a small portion of the sales tax as a reimbursement for having to collect it, you might be interested in a budget-balancing measure that will come up Tuesday. The city is proposing to reduce the discount it gives to restaurants for filing their meals taxes on time from 3 percent to 2 percent (If you file your meals taxes late, you pay a 10 percent penalty, plus interest.). The Commissioner of the Revenue estimates that this would bring the city an additional $70,000 a year. The council could take the first of two required votes on the measure on Tuesday, but it has scheduled a public hearing on it for Feb. 10, before its final vote.