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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Council tables plans for Riverfront Park, approves funding for Hugh Mercer expansion

The Fredericksburg City Council’s work session Tuesday night covered two topics: the Unified Development Ordinance and plans for Riverfront Park.

The Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) combines the existing zoning and subdivision ordinances into a single plan.The existing regulations have not been updated in nearly 30 years.

The council has been dissecting the ordinance in work sessions and Tuesday discussed changes related to parking requirements for businesses and a part about housing. At the end of that part of the work session, the council did not come to a clear consensus to direct staff about the next steps to take. The ordinance is a draft and will likely come in front of the council again for more discussion.

The second part of the work session was a discussion about plans for Riverfront Park. In the regular meeting, the council was set to look at awarding a contract for the park’s design to a firm, but those plans were tabled.

Some council members got into  a very heated discussion — that continued, although less heated, in the regular session, over what would be the best next steps to take regarding the plans. You can read the full story in Wednesday’s FLS.

The council will discuss it again at its Dec. 11 work session and it should be back on the council’s agenda for action at the first meeting in January.

Here are some highlights from the regular meeting:

  • Tabled the plans to award a contract to design Riverfront Park (Council members George Solley and Kerry Devine voted against tabling it and the others voted in favor of tabling it.)
  • Approved funding that will go toward an expansion at Hugh Mercer Elementary School. (Here’s why they say they need it.) Here’s what else that funding will cover:

$700,000 for textbook replacement needs

$500,000 for student data management and integrated instructional systems

$22,500 for an facilities master plan update

$20,000 for a replacement motor vehicle

$126,261 for technology licensing and hardware needs

$50,000 for a compressor and a sprinkler system replacement

$184,937 for replacement school buses

$75,000 for school computer technology

$8,000 for improvements at Maury Field

$5,000 for various roof repairs

$61,182 for ongoing telecommunications work, which is the completion of an

encumbered contract

$5,084 in various maintenance equipment replacements

  • The council approved on second reading a legislative agenda for the 2013 General Assembly, with one addition. (look for more information on the addition soon.)
  • The council approved $1.7 million for among other things: 11 new FRED buses and IT projects, including a new FRED website.
  • Council member Fred Howe asked City Attorney Kathleen Dooley to brief the council on the dos and don’ts of the procurement process and how the city can use more local businesses in its projects.The council approved directing Dooley to do this at a future meeting.
  • The Council saw a presentation from Cultural Resources, Inc. – the firm that completed the excavation at the site of where the new courthouse will go.