Council Approves Funding for Employee Raise

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In an effort to soften the blow of decreased benefits for city employees, the City Council Tuesday approved the transfer of $2 million from the capital improvement economic reserve fund to pay for a one-time $500 bonus.

In a 6-2 vote, the council approved borrowing money from the following projects:

  • Jamaica Drive Redevelopment
  • Fayetteville Street Renaissance
  • Sound End Master Development
  • North End Master Development
  • Downtown West Gateway
  • Cabarrus Streetscape
  • Public Realm Improvements
  • Downtown Directional Signage
  • Sidewalk Improvements

Money will be reimbursed to those projects after the city audit in November. Councilors Bonner Gaylord and John Odom voted against the plan.

The $500 bonus will be issued on Jan. 20, 2012 to employees who are full-time as of July 1. To qualify, the employee must continue to be on the city’s payroll until Jan. 13 unless on authorized leave.

EDP to Evaluate Small Business Initiative
The City’s Economic Development Partnership will evaluate a small business initiative proposed by Councilor Nancy McFarlane at the last city council meeting June 22.

The initiative would create a small business office, establish a small business commission and engage citizens and coordinate small business assistance.

The partnership — comprised of the city, the chamber of commerce, the Downtown Raleigh Alliance (DRA) and the Raleigh Area Development Authority (RADA) — will review the proposal as it relates to the adopted budget and the city’s current contracts with the DRA and RADA. The results will be presented at the Aug. 9 council meeting.

RCAC to Donate Unspent Funds for Tornado Victims
At the May 18 meeting of the Raleigh Citizens Advisory Council (RCAC), members agreed to donate $58,000 of unspent funds toward relief for victims of the April 16 tornado. The council Tuesday approved the donation. Due to recent council-approved changes to the CAC districts, $21,000 of that money will be spent on informational mailings.

The remaining $37,000 will be donated and evenly distributed among the Salvation Army of Wake County, Centro International de Raleigh, The Interfaith Food Shuttle and the Helping Hand Mission.

Councilor Mary-Ann Baldwin motioned to have a policy written that the redistribution of these funds be a one-time occurrence. The idea was pushed to committee to create such a policy.

Bylaw Changes for RCAC
The council approved new bylaws for the Raleigh Citizens Advisory Council after questions were raised in the Public Works Committee about how the RCAC brings issues and recommendations to the council.

Councilor John Odom suggested the RCAC bring its budget issues to the council for advice rather than the council backing a decision made by the RCAC members. He also suggested that the council bring issues to the RCAC for consideration rather than the other way around. He said the CACs are acting on their own agenda instead of at the direction of the council.

The new bylaws will formalize how RCAC to brings its recommendations to council and how it reviews its budgets.

Bond Application Filed
As part of the next step in official paperwork relating to the Transportation and Housing Bond, the council approved a motion that would allow the city clerk to file an application with the Local Government Commission. If approved by voter referendum on Oct. 11, the bond would not exceed $40 million for transportation and $16 million for housing.

Loan Approved for Crabtree Creek
To fund the construction of the Crabtree Creek North Bank Interceptor Rehabilitation Project, the City of Raleigh has accepted a loan of $15.2 million from the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources at a rate of 2.4 percent for 20 years.

The project will replace or fix about 28,000 linear feet of sewer pipe, replace or rehabilitate manholes and install service connection lines as part of the 2009 Capital Improvement Program. Meta Industries submitted the winning bid for the project.

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