RICHMOND (WRIC)—The proposal to revitalize Shockoe Bottom has always included both a new ballpark and a slavery museum, but that's no longer the case.
On Monday night, every single Richmond City Council member approved a plan that would dedicate millions of dollars to build a slavery museum in the Bottom.
Once again, the protestors and skeptics showed up at City Hall speaking out against a plan to build a heritage site and a ball park in Shockoe Bottom.
But the focus of Monday's City Council meeting was on the slavery museum.
In a unanimous decision, the council voted to dedicate $5 million to build a "Slavery and Freedom Heritage Site" in Shockoe Bottom at the Lumpkins Jail site.
"We would like to have $5 million allocated towards the project to build the Slavery Museum and Heritage Site down in Shockoe Bottom, regardless of the proposal to have a baseball diamond or not," said councilman Parker Agelasto.
Regardless of what happens to the plan to build a ballpark in the future, the council is putting its support behind the slavery museum site. A big part of that is because of money it could get from the state.
"I really don't want to take the risk of losing $11 million of state funding, if we don't let the General Assembly know that we are serious about the $5 million," said Councilman Jon Baliles.
Even Governor McAuliffe was in the meeting, applauding the council's big moves when it comes to redevelopment.
"I wanted to let you all know that I am all in to help the City of Richmond in the things you need to get done," McAuliffe said.
But as the governor walked out, he couldn't have missed signs against the plan build a stadium near a historic site.
Just because the council didn't vote on the ballpark in that resolution doesn't mean those plans are dead. Richmond City Council will pick it back up in the next few weeks.
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