The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Council approves court permits
BY ROBYN SIDERSKY
The Fredericksburg City Council voted Tuesday night to approve four permits that will move the $35.4 million courthouse project forward, with the condition that city staff provide an analysis of the cost to maintain the building for five years.
The vote came with strong opposition from council members Fred Howe and Matt Kelly, who voted against all four permits.
Councilwoman Bea Paolucci joined Howe and Kelly in voting against a permit that would grant a special exception for the city to have off-site parking for the new courthouse instead of on-site parking.
Vice Mayor Brad Ellis suggested the condition that City Manager Beverly Cameron provide the council with the cost analysis in time for the council’s retreat on Oct. 19 and 20.
The council had a lengthy discussion about the direction of the project.
Kelly and Howe both repeatedly reminded the council that they would stand firm in their positions against the courthouse project.
Howe said that the council left priorities out of the contract. Among those, he said, were having a consolidated courthouse, parking, and plans to renovate the Renwick building, where the Circuit Court is currently located.
Councilwoman Kerry Devine said it was a long, well-debated public process.
The council approved a resolution from City Attorney Kathleen Dooley that identified priorities for the city to consider during the project: downtown parking, renovations for the Renwick building, and capital projects for the city’s schools.
However, the council tabled a resolution assigning approximately $4 million from the city’s reserves as “down payments” on those issues. Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw cast the sole vote against tabling the resolution.
Robyn Sidersky: 540/374-5413