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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 pgould@freelancestar.com. Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or rsidersky@freelancestar.com.

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Morning Buzz – Jan. 26, 2010

A daily digest of what’s going on in Fredericksburg, and what news from elsewhere is relevant here. Send suggestions to ebattle@freelancestar.com.

Building courts in bad times. The debate over building a modern courts complex in Hampton continues, with the Daily Press weighing in today with an editorial saying now is not the time for the city to embark on $30 million in discretionary capital spending. In Fredericksburg, proponents of a plan to build a $40 million new courts complex argue that it is not discretionary, and that the safety shortcomings and inadequacy of the current courts’ space to meet today’s growing caseloads make it mandatory to act now. Still, anyone who thinks the courts project might become a election issue this spring (if anyone runs, that is) ought to pay attention to the debate in Hampton, which includes arguments like this from the Daily Press:

"The old courthouse doesn’t offer what a new facility can, especially better security. But the argument that it will benefit all citizens isn’t convincing, as few of them actually have dealings with the courthouse. Will it make justice better? No. Will it make streets safer? No. Will it make the city more attractive to business and investment? No. It will make life more convenient and safe for court workers, for people caught up in civil suits or criminal cases and for witnesses and juries, but the city hasn’t made a convincing case that the outcomes of justice are suffering enough to claim $30 million when necessities are having to compete for funding."

City Council meets tonight at 7:30 p.m. Council members will hear the staff’s after-action report on snow removal from the December storm. Council members have also been invited to a 6 p.m. reception at the Fredericksburg Area Museum. If you want to see how nonprofit groups lobby for your tax dollars, then stop by, it’s a public meeting.

 

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