NOTE: THE MEETING HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL THURSDAY.
Preview for the January 20 city council meeting:
During the afternoon session, Jason Hibbets will give a petition on behalf of several community groups to extend the time for public comment on the city’s comprehensive plan. The public comment period is scheduled to wrap up at the end of the month, but some residents want that deadline extended by 30 days.
Council members will continue their water infrastructure debate, talking about two items that were held from their last meeting. Several council members expressed concern earlier this month about going ahead with a water reuse line and the Neuse River Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion during the current recession and slowing growth in the city. Councillors Russ Stephenson and Thomas Crowder said they weren’t sure the projects were a good idea as the city gets ready to develop a balanced budget for the next fiscal year. Mayor Charles Meeker said the city should be ready for growth, and increasing water infrastructure capacity is part of that preparation.
Nancy McFarlane asked for a report on animal tethering in Raleigh at an earlier meeting and the city manager will give that report tomorrow. Animal tethering has been a hot issue in the triangle, with Orange County passing a strong law late last year.
The city manager will also report to council on last year’s financial report. The company that audited the city cited one issue for controls over financial reporting.
Another item of note from the city manager’s report is the federal legislative agenda. The agenda includes federal funding requests to continue installing LED lighting systems across the city and for a pilot program to improve finger-print identification for the Raleigh Police Department.
Council will also talk about tobacco use in parks. The Parks, Recreation and Greenway Advisory Board wants council to ask the General Assembly for the authority to regulate smoking in city parks.