Council passed the new tiered water rate structure today after asking Garner, which uses Raleigh’s water system, for comment.
Today’s vote on the Tiered Water Conservation Rate Structure elicited concerns from council members Roger Koopman (District B) and Russ Stephenson (At-large). Koopman was reticent to approve the structure before council examined the rate structure’s potential unfair impact on large families. Similarly, Stephenson expressed reservations with regard to how businesses would be billed. Businesses are not currently included in the tiered rate structure.
Rather than push the structure forward, Councillor Philip Isley (District E) proposed implementing a pilot program so as to determine potential areas of concern before applying the tiered rates to the entire city. While no motion was made to move forward with a pilot program, all members agreed that measures would be taken to investigate an equitable program, determine a way to formally identify large families, and provide water conservation devices to large and low income households.
Council voted in favor of the rate structure, provided that the issue of large families be moved to the top of the agenda.
Percent for Arts
Council voted 6-2 in favor of the proposed resolution for the interim Percent for Arts program; however, some members still expressed reticence to go forward at this juncture. Isley expressed particular concern over taxing Raleigh residents during a recession. Other members countered that such a program would create jobs, acting as an economic generator, and encourage participants to use materials and space in creative, inexpensive ways. Russ Stephenson remarked that members ought to look at communities like Chavis Heights as an excellent example of using public art to create community pride.
The Percent for Arts program will use half a percent of capital expenditures for public art. The interim program approved today clears the way for the Arts Commission to start considering projects. The city manager and the city attorney will draft an ordinance to create a permanent public arts program.
City Council, in a vote of 6-2, revised the list of zoning districts that permit the new pawn shops. Under this ordinance, new pawn shops are allowed only in Business, Thoroughfare, and Industrial zoning districts. The city hopes to reduce the likelihood of new pawn shops opening their doors in close proximity to existing neighborhoods.
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