Virginia Beach City Manager wants to address “public enemy number one” in budget proposal

Posted at 5:30 PM, Mar 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-28 18:38:15-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - City Manager Dave Hansen proposed a $300 million dollar plan to address flooding in the city during his budget presentation before city council on Tuesday afternoon.

"We are going to address public enemy number one and try to move forward with an aggressive program," Hansen said.

The 15-year plan includes money for areas that were hardest hit during Hurricane Matthew, including Windsor Woods and Princess Anne Plaza. "This is a tremendous effort that will put us on the leading edge of efforts to deal with the coastal threats that we have in Virginia Beach," he said.

Neighbors have been asking for the city to improve draining after the storm caused widespread flooding last fall.

Under the proposal, the city would use some money that was once meant for light rail.

Voters decided not to support expanding the Tide into the city during a referendum vote last fall.

The city would also increase the storm water utility fee by about $9 a year under the plan.

His nearly $2 billion budget proposal also includes expanding full-day kindergarten.

Earlier this month, the school board approved a budget that asks the city council to help pay for the expansion. The narrow 6-5 vote was "not a mandate," Hansen said.

His proposal would implement it over two years, requiring a smaller real estate tax increase of 1.25-cents, equating to about $90 more a year for the average family.

The proposal also calls for ten more police officers, and a 2% raise for all city employees. Ultimately, city council will have the final say on the budget proposal. They're expected to vote in May.