May 2013 Message and meeting info

The May 2013 civic league meeting will be held on the 20th at 6:45pm at the Fitness and Wellness Center.

We will have a candidates forum. Invited:  Sharon McDonald, Commissioner of Revenue, Robert McCabe, Sheriff, Greg Underwood, Commonwealth’s Attorney, Anthony Burfoot, City Treasurer.

Here is President Jim English’s message for May 2013:



Dear Neighbors,
For over 15 years now, many of us have been working to revitalize the Greater Wards Corner area. For the past three to four years we have been making very good progress in that effort. However this year the City Manager has proposed cutting the funding for Wards Corner. The below two articles were in the Virginian Pilot in April. Many of you may already know about this but I bring it to your attention in case you do not. While we hope our City Council representatives will be able to convince the City Manager to restore funding to Wards Corner at the 2013 level, it may mean slower progress if we do not see those funds. If that happens then we will have to fight city hall again for more funding. While the city budget will most likely be approved prior to your receiving this newsletter or before the next civic league meeting, please keep your attention tuned for the latest developments in the city funding of Wards Corner. I will do my best to keep you informed as I hear of those developments. Please also visit us on and and get the latest news about this as well as other civic league and Wards Corner issues.

“City Manager proposes less money for Wards Corner Neighborhood Plan

April 17, 2013
The City of Norfolk has posted its proposed 2014 fiscal year budget to the City of Norfolk website.  Disappointingly the City Manager has only proposed allocating $750,000 to the Wards Corner Neighborhood Plan. That is the least amount of funding allocated to the Wards Corner Plan since 2007. Year Allocation for Implementation of the W. C. Plan
2014 750,000 (proposed)
2013 2,000,000
2012 1,000,000
2011 1,767,500
2010 1,010,000
2009 2,121,000
2008 1,010,000
2007 505,000
Wards Corner Now, the Wards Corner Task Force, and the various civic leagues in the Wards Corner area have
been resolute in their request that neighborhood plan funding be used to purchase and demolish the blighted
and crime inducing properties in the Texas streets section of Denby Park. In recent years the City has been
successful in purchasing 37 units in 2013 and 68 units in 2011/2012.
Additionally, the proposed 2014 budget includes $500,000 to provide for the design and construction of
improvements to the Granby Street and Louisiana Drive intersection. This is a part of the intersection
improvements required by Harris Teeter for the new shopping center in the business district.
NORFOLK — For years the City of Norfolk would allocate millions of dollars to revitalizing the Wards Corner area, but this year the funds are getting slashed.

City spokeswoman Lori Crouch says the City Manager was able to scrape and provide $750,000 for the proposed FY 2014 budget.

“The city is fiscally stressed,” said Crouch. Here’s how the numbers break down:
Year Allocation for Implementation of the Wards
Corner Plan
2014 $750,000 (proposed)
2013 $2,000,000
2012 $1,000,000
2011 $1,767,500
Less money being allocated to the neighborhood isn’t sitting well with residents, businesses owners or patrons
of Wards Corner.  Martin Thomas Jr. says less money coming in now could jeopardize overall progress.
Previous funds were used to purchase and demolish blighted and crime-inducing properties in sections of
Denby Park. The City purchased 68 units in 2011 and demolished them in 2012. In addition, 37 apartment
units were bought in 2013. Once the tenants are relocated the units will be demolished.

Next year, a new shopping plaza featuring Harris Teeter is scheduled to open in Wards Corner.  Thomas is concerned if there is no effort in ridding blighted properties around the shopping center, it will have a negative impression on investors.
“If we can show those businesses that this is a nice place to open and you are going to get a good clientele,
that effect will cause more and more redevelopment in the Wards Corner area,” Thomas said.
Finally, as we close out the first half of our civic league year, please join us at our May and June meetings. The
program is announced in this newsletter as it will be in the June newsletter.

Sincerely, Jim English


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