- As part of National Drinking Water Week, May 4-8th, the City will host its annual WaterFest at the Neuse River Wastewater Treatment Plant. Thousands of Wake County students will participate in educational programs at the plant throughout the week to encourage awareness and understanding about water as a precious resource.
- The City of Raleigh joins many other municipalities in the USA and abroad in declaring May Breast Cancer Early Detection Month. It is important to note that breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women, and the outcome strongly affected by the stage at which it is detected.
- May 10-16 is declared Raleigh Fashion Week. The main event of the week is Strut09 which will highlight the work of national fashion designers, many with roots and local connections right in the Triangle, and featuring the latest offerings of area boutiques and stores. The event will be held at the Raleigh Convention Center and the 3-day show will include many emerging local artists and designers.
- A total of six Parks & Recreation employees have completed a 6-month diploma program in Energy Management at NCSU. The cost of their training was covered by a grant from the state. The Mayor proclaimed that strengthening our City employees is the nuts & bolts of assuring that Raleigh becomes a truly pioneering green city.
- The Council and those attendance held a moment of silence to honor the late Senator Vernon Malone. He was an outstanding public servant for over 35 years, with his roots in the Wake County School Board and County Commissioners. His presence will be missed by the entire NC community.
Z-8-09 - Request to rezone a 9.5 acre section of Blue Ridge Road from Office & Institution 6/ Residential-6 to Office & Institution 2. The recommendation from the Planning Commission was to approve this rezoning because it is consistent with the current CompPlan. However the concern was raised about the possibility for increased traffic at Crabtree Valley. We heard from traffic engineer Krista Green that the "worst-case scenario" for the Leadmine Rd. intersection was an additional 6 seconds of delay during peak morning hours, and 12 seconds of delay during peak afternoon. Councillor McFarlane noted that the City recently commissioned a new traffic study for Crabtree Valley since it has become an incredibly crowded intersection, and that this rezoning can not be considered realistically considered without that study. The zoning case is referred to the Comprehensive Planning Committee, which Councillor McFarlane is the chair of.
The City Council authorized the Moore Square Design Public Process Concept, and its Phase I, II, III activities. Phase I & II (May-September 2009) consists of an Open Call to the public for ideas, and Phase III (January 2010) will be a juried Design Competition for professional designers to submit plans. Councillor Stephenson expressed desire for the competition to be publicized and strongly encouraged amongst local Raleigh and NC designers. This project will be a joint effort of Parks & Rec Department, Downtown Raleigh Alliance, the City and the State. More information.
The Arts Commission presented their 2009-2010 Arts Grants Allocations and recommendation for the Public Art & Design Board to manage the new "Percent for Arts Ordinance". This is the most competitive year the Commission has experienced, marked by the highest ever dollar request in their 22 year history. Requests for funding in the respective areas of projects, operations and management was over $1.6 million and actual grants awarded at about $1.4 million. They have also helped to assemble an excellent and diverse team of art advocates to organize the inclusion of public art into the Raleigh community. Thomas Sayre will be the Chair. For final review this item has been referred as a special item in the Budget Work Session on Monday April 27th at 4pm.
The Substance Abuse Advisory Committee notified that through their conversations with DEA and Police officials that prescription drug abuse has increased dramatically in our community. Prescription drug abuse has becoming an increasing problem amongst young teenagers and the easiest source for them is often their own home. So on Saturday May 30th from 10am-4pm the SAAC will host Prescription Drug Drop-off events at various Food Lions around the City. People are encouraged to bring expired or unfinished prescriptions to be disposed of properly by the Police Department. Councillor McFarlane also offered the services of her company MedPro Rx, Inc. to help with the proper disposal of medications. To take care of disposal in your home please do not flush down the toilet because this affects our water supply, but rather crush up the pills and mix with something like coffee grounds or kitty litter.
The issue of water & sewer rates is moved to the Budget Work Session on Monday April 27th at 4pm.