Joint Subcommittee Studying Greater Richmond Area Regionalism
December 19, 1997, Richmond
The joint subcommittee held its second meeting of the
year and received the consultant's final report regarding
the regionalization of certain services. The report covered the
areas of transportation (including public transit), water and
wastewater treatment, and human services (including social
services/housing and health/mental health).
The most significant findings were summarized as follows:
Regionalization could enhance Richmond's ability to
maintain its road infrastructure.
Several low-capacity functions (e.g., traffic signal
maintenance) could benefit from regionalization.
Joint procurement in transportation could reduce costs
without structural change.
A comprehensive public transit system could reduce the
need for more road capacity and promote the region's economic goals.
The Metropolitan Planning Organization's (MPO)
short-term public transit vision could be achieved with an
annual investment of $5.2 million, plus $2.1 million in capital costs.
Expansion of the transit system would contribute to
welfare reform success in the region.
Water and Wastewater
Wastewater regionalization could be a viable approach
to Richmond's separation problem.
Consolidation would reduce some administrative
Several low-capacity functions (e.g., lab services and
line televising) could benefit from regionalization.
Consolidation of social services would result in some
cost savings, but local service delivery would be affected.
A regionalized and privatized approach to welfare
reform would provide a prototype approach in the area.
A regional intergovernmental Comprehensive Services
Act (CSA) agreement to establish a joint contract management
system could reduce costs and improve services.
A consolidated Mental Health/Mental
Retardation/Substance Abuse Services Authority could serve as a model for
A consolidated public health operation could reduce
administrative costs, but current efforts like sharing medical
personnel are more feasible.
Joint Subcommittee Actions
The joint subcommittee focused on the public transit
recommendation dealing with the MPO's short-term public
transit vision. A budget amendment for the $7.3 million total
will be drafted prior to the subcommittee's next meeting. Also,
the representatives from the City of Richmond and the Counties
of Chesterfield and Henrico will meet and review the other
recommendations before the next meeting in order to advise
the remaining members of the subcommittee.
January 16, 1998, was set tentatively as the next
meeting date, in Richmond, at which time the subcommittee will
decide on any recommendations it will make to the 1998 General
The Honorable Henry L. Marsh III, Chairman
Legislative Services contact: Joan E. Putney