City Council sessions on February 2 — 1 p.m. for its regular meeting and 7 p.m. for its evening session.
City council agendas follow a very traditional format. First, there is the consent agenda, for routine items that can be approved in just one motion. Second, there’s the report and recommendation of the planning commission, where public hearings are set for rezoning cases. There’s the report and recommendation for the City Manager, and then for City departments. Finally, the committees — public works or law and public safety for instance — make their reports.
These agenda previews will highlight the most important, engaging, and interesting items that we feel the public needs to know about. As many of these items are not discussed in detail in the council’s public sessions, we hope this can provide a little more insight into the business of Raleigh’s government.
The consent agenda is a set of routine items that can be approved by a roll-call vote.
Consent Agenda: Contracts & Finance
- Oak City Sessions Music Show: Conceived during the Councilors’ retreat in Charlotte last month, the Oak City Sessions Music show is a half-hour program that would highlight local musicians. As part of the consent agenda, Council is being asked to authorize staff to move forward with development of the show, which is estimated to cost $25,000 for the remainder of this current fiscal year. Staff will issue a Request for Proposals in order to find a production partner.
- Stormwater Quality Cost Share Program: In November 2013, we reported that the City’s Stormwater Quality Cost Share program was largely underutilized; since its inception in 2009, 11 projects have been completed. Now, Council is being asked to approve $4,043 in funding for a cistern project on Oneida Court. The total cost of the installing the 1,050-gallon cistern is estimated at $5,390; under the cost-share program, the city is paying 75 percent of this.
- Visual website Search Service Grant: Councilors are being asked to accept a $35,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation that will enable visitors to the City’s website to receive “visual, structured and intuitive” search results when scouring the sites for data. Project development is expected to run for six months.
- New Hope Church Road Improvements Design Award: Staff last year issued a request for proposals from engineering firms for the design portion of the New Hope Church Road Improvements project. These improvements will include widening the existing roadway from Green Road to Deana Lane and will include a three-lane curb and gutter section with bike lanes and sidewalk on both sides. 22 proposals were received; staff is recommending that Council authorize a $353,495 contract with Ramey Kemp & Associates. The total cost of the project, including construction, is estimated at $3.65 million.
- 911 Backup Center Technology Migration: In order to relocate the backup 911 call center from Fire Station 26 on Barwell Road to the Raleigh Municipal Building, the City needs to extend its contract with its technology management consultant, Federal IT, LLC. This amendment will cost $250,000, and the relocation will take place after the move to the new Central Communications Center. The original contract with Federal IT, authorized in March 2014, was in the amount of $1,189,420.
- Technology Equipment Lease Extension: ePlus Group Inc. leases to the City a variety of tech equipment, including computers, projectors and networking equipment. Council is being asked to approve Lease 162, a four-year agreement that would cost the City $417,265.
- Print Program Contract Extension: In October 2015, City Council authorized a new five-year lease and service agreement with Ricoch for printers and multifunction printing devices at a cost not to exceed $4,045,000. Negotiations between Ricoch and staff for this agreement t are still ongoing, and are not expected to wrap up by February 28, when the current contract expires. Staff is asking that Council authorize a six-month extension on the current contract, which should allow for sufficient time to negotiate a new contract. Hopefully staff has been reading The Art of the Deal.
- Wastewater Pump Station Odor and Corrosion Control Services: Staff is asking that Council approve a two-year contract in the amount of $701,300 with Evoqua Water Technologies, LLC for odor and corrosion control services. This will entail the delivery and use of a hydrogen peroxide dosing system to help control corrosive gases generated during wastewater pumping operations. Evoqua was one of two companies to submit a proposal for the work in November 2015.
- Duke Energy Performing Arts Center Change Order No. 2: An additional $484,797 is being requested by contractor TA Loving for its work at the Duke Energy Performing Arts Center. This will include fireproofing and life safety building code requirements along with new ticketing booth and kiosks. The original contract, approved in June 2015, was in the amount of $5,902,000. If this change order is approved, the contract will total $6,876,997. The original CIP budget for the project was $9.1 million.
- Urban Search and Rescue Task Force: A budget amendment in the amount of $180,000 is being requested to help fund the Urban Search and Rescue Task Force Eight, a group made up of firefighters from Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. This funding would go toward purchasing replacement vehicles. Urban Search and rescue teams work to locate and rescue people trapped in collapsed buildings.
- Capital Boulevard Pedestrian Improvement Project: Councilors are being asked to approve a $849,535 contract with White Oak Construction Corporation for the Capital Boulevard Pedestrian Improvement Project. White Oak was the low-bid contractor in December 2015 for the job. Work will include sidewalk improvements along a 1.1 mile stretch on Capital from Spring Forest to Old Wake Forest Road, along with the consolidation and upgrade of transit stops along that corridor and the installation of high-visibility crosswalks with pedestrian refuges in the medians at the intervening intersections. 80 percent of the project funding for this job is coming from the Federal Highway Administration.
- Forest Ridge Park Phase I: In December 2015, the City bid out phase I of the Forest Ridge Park construction project; when bids were opened on January 20, 2016, Harrod and Associates was the lowest bidder by about $500,000. Council is now being asked to approve a $3,658,000 contract with Harrod, which will entail the construction of a 3,423 square-foot welcome center building, a 490 square-foot restroom building and two picnic shelters, along with the installation of an access road, sidewalks and trails.
- Lower Longview Lake Eastern Tributary Streambank Repair Project: Staff is requesting a $300,000 budget transfer to fund a streambank repair project on the “unnamed eastern tributary to Lower Longview Lake.” This job is separate from a dredging project at Lower Longview Lake for which surrounding property owners will be assessed 30 percent of the construction cost.
- Performing Arts Center/Red Hat Amphitheater Budget Transfer: Staff is requesting that Council approve a transfer of $552,000 to cover accounts that are currently in deficit. This transfer will come from existing accounts for the Performing Arts Center/Red Hat Amphitheater. For a semi-breakdown of which accounts the money is coming from, and where it’s going, click here.
- Express Bus Route Contract: A three-year, $6,435,000 has been negotiated with GoTriangle for the continued operation of express transit routes owned by GoTriangle that terminate outside of its service area. GoTriangle will pay GoRaleigh $82.50/hour for an estimated 26,000 hours per year over the contract’s three-year period.
Consent Agenda: Streets, Traffic & Engineering
- Utility Easement at Fire Station 28: Duke Energy Progress is requesting an easement at 3500 Forestville Road, a city-owned property and currently home to Fire Station 28. The easement will allow for the relocation of electrical facilities as part of the Mitchell Mill Road Widening project. The fire department has no objections to this request.
- Encroachment Request — Beryl Road: NC State has asked to install a brick sidewalk in the right of way near the JC Raulston Arboretum at 4405 Beryl Road.
- Encroachment Request — Faircloth Street et. all: Celito CLEC LLC (a local Internet service provider) is looking to install 4,545 feet of conduit and 12 access vaults in the right of way on Faircloth Street, Annapolis Drive, St. Mary’s and South Salisbury Streets.
- Encroachment Request — Pullen Road: NC State has asked to install 150 feet of conduit in the right of way on Pullen Road.
- Encroachment Request — Wadford Drive: The NC Electric Membership Corporation is asking to install 96 feet of fiber optic cable in the right of way on Wadford Drive.
- Right of Way Condemnation — Industrial Drive: Staff is asking for approval of a condemnation for a property at 2910 Industrial Drive in order to allow for a 331 square-foot construction easement for the Industrial Drive Stormwater Drainage Project.
- Right of Way Condemnation — East Martin Street: In June 2013, the City purchased 12 parcels of land from Wood Pile LLC located on the southeastern quadrant of the East Martin Street/South Bloodworth
Street/East Hargett Street/South Person Street block. In order to qualify for a Brownfields grant, the city must possess “clear title” to all the properties in question, and there are two six-foot-wide access parcels adjacent to the property purchased in 2013 that the city would need to take possession of. The owners of these parcels, which do not have a street address, rejected the city’s offer of $4,000. So now the City is seeking to have the properties condemned.
- Temporary Bus Zones: As part of the GoRaleigh Moore Square Transit Station renovation project, some of the bus bays will have to be closed. To make up for this, staff proposes creating a temporary bus zone on Martin Street between Blount and Person. 31 metered spaces from the block’s north side will be permanently removed. The space will first provide home to a temporary bus zone, and later incorporated into the Moore Square Park restoration. Two other temporary bus zones will be established: the east side of Wilmington between Martin and Hargett, which will encumber two metered spaces, and the south side of Hargett Street across from Marbles. This final zone will encumber four metered spaces.
Consent Agenda: Other Business
- Only one other item on the consent agenda, but it didn’t fit into the other categories. It involved four amendments to the City’s strategic plan. They included an effort to increase the cleanliness and overall aesthetic of Downtown Raleigh, the development of a plan for Dorothea Dix Park, establishing a broader coalition for local labor force analysis and setting up regular summits on “transportation and other relevant topics.”
Planning Commission Reports and Recommendations
Z-44-15: This case was covered in-depth back in a December edition of the Development Beat, which can be accessed here. Essentially, it will allow for the expansion of the Triangle Orthopaedics Surgery Center in Brier Creek. Planning Commission has recommended approval and staff is requesting that Council schedule a public hearing for February 16.
- Z-45-15: We don’t appear to have covered this one before, but it involves a housing development on Poole Road near Raleigh Boulevard. From the rezoning application: “The requested zoning district permits higher-density housing on a corridor served by transit. The proposal also provides the opportunity for a local nonprofit housing developer to add affordable housing units for low-income, disabled, or homeless citizens. ” The maximum number of units allowed on the property is 101. Planning Commission has recommended approval and staff is requesting that Council schedule a public hearing for February 16.
- Safelight Interlocal Agreement: This was initially a consent agenda item for the January 19 meeting. At the request of Councilor Thompson, it was held for further review. Here’s how we summed it up before: An interlocal agreement whereby the City of Raleigh transfers to the Wake County School System proceeds from its Safelight red light camera program is expiring, and the City is planning to renew it, likely because it’s required by state statute. In 2007, the City paid out $8,689. In 2015, it paid out $828,142. This was not a gradual increase, however, as the amount fluctuated from year to year: in 2010 it was $214,441,
- Two-Hour Parking on Toxey Drive: Another matter discussed at the January 19 Council meeting, Councilors voted 5-3 in favor of approving a two-hour parking zone on Toxey Drive, per the request of the residents. As it was the first hearing of this ordinance, it would have required six votes to pass. It will only require a majority vote this time.
- Z-15-15: This case would rezone a property on Spring Forest and Atlantic Avenue to allow for the development of two buildings on the land, rather than the current cap of one. The public hearing for the case was heard at the January 19 meeting. Councilors closed the hearing and granted the applicant permission to submit revised conditions. Councilors will now vote to approve or deny the case.
City Manager Reports and Recommendations
- Municipal Service District Service Selection Process: The Council will receive as information a report of the request for proposals process for a service provider for the City’s municipal service districts. According to the agenda, the “proposed next steps for the process include a hearing for public input and, potentially, a City survey of residents and businesses located within the respective districts.” Staff will request Council to approve a draft RFP Scope of Work at its February 16 meeting.
- Compensation System Study — Phase One: In September 2015, the city contracted with Gallagher Benefits Services to begin work on an exhaustive analysis of and plan for compensating the City’s employees. This phase was completed in December 2015, and staff is asking that Council approve the recommendations, such as “Develop a formal Compensation Philosophy statement for the City of Raleigh” and “Recommend a pay structure to support the objective of recruiting, rewarding, and retaining a diverse workforce that performs at a high level.” Phase Two will include “development and reassessment of job descriptions as well as the collection of salary survey data for benchmarking analysis and recommendation.”
- Smart Cities Grant Competition: Staff is seeking permission to submit an application for the $40 million US Department of Transportation Smart Cities Grant. Council had previously granted staff permission to move forward with the application at its January 19 meeting.
- Six Forks Corridor Study: The council will receive as information an overview of the Six Forks Corridor Study, which contains “recommendations for street and streetscape improvements to Six Forks Road, from Interstate 440 to Lynn Road based on public input.” The full study can be found here.
- Revised City Council and Council Committee Meeting Schedule: During its retreat last month, Council discussed replacing committee meetings scheduled for the second week of each month with one 4 p.m. work session. Staff requested that the Growth and Natural Resources Committee have standing meetings on the second and fourth weeks of each month on Wednesdays at 2 p.m. This request is due to UDO time frames. Additionally, all other committee meetings will only be scheduled for the fourth week of the month, although special meetings can be called as needed. The shake-up of the committees also means that real estate matters previously brought before Budget and Economic Development will now come directly to Council, which may lead to closed sessions. Council is being asked to adopt these measures, along with revisions to the delivery and procurement of necessary meeting documents.
Raleigh Arts Commission Recommendations
- Raleigh Arts Plan: Staff will present to Council for approval the 10-year master Raleigh Arts Plan, Creative Life. It seeks to ” strengthen arts and culture throughout the City.” According to the agenda, staff has worked closely with the community on this plan, which has been shaped by their participation. Both the Arts Commission and the Public Art and Design Board have recommended it for approval.
Raleigh Historic Development Commission Recommendations
- Two owner initiated Historic Landmark Designation Cases: The Anna Riddick House at 1028 Cowper Drive and the Horton-Beckham-Bretsch House at 11 South Blount Street.
- One staff-initiated technical boundary change to the Wilmont Apartments at 3200 Hillsborough Street, which are currently designated as a landmark.
- The recommendations for both these cases are quite extensive, so I’ll just paste them here: Refer the applications and boundary change to the Department of Cultural Resources, Office of Archives and History for analysis and recommendations concerning the report; authorize a joint public hearing before the City Council and the City Council Agenda February 2, 2016 17 Raleigh Historic Development Commission on the evening of April 5, 2016 to receive public comment on the historic landmark reports and proposed landmark designations and modification.
Requests and Petitions of Citizens
We’ll just list these as they appear on the agenda.
- David Simonton, 1218 Lorimer Road, would like to present concerns about the validity
of the petition and support of street improvements on Lorimer Road, and requests that the
Council suspend the project until the allegations of misconduct and misrepresentation can
- Harold Dover, 10 Seawell Avenue, would like to see taxi fees rescinded and see equal
parity for taxi drivers to be able to compete with Uber and Lyft.
- Margaret “Peggy” Seymore, 3125 Stanhope Avenue, would like to request a do not block
intersection sign on the inbound southwest corner at Rosemary and Hillsborough.
- Margaret “Peggy” Seymore, 3125 Stanhope Avenue, would like to request a stop sign to
be installed on Concord at Stanhope to help get cars coming out of Stanhope parking lot
to reduce their speed before entering the roundabout and protect oncoming cars.
- Margaret “Peggy” Seymore, 3125 Stanhope Avenue, would like the Council to
investigate adding an amendment to the UDO so that trash dumpsters and recycling bins
would be restricted from being placed in any street is approved by the City Council no
matter whether it is public, private, or a connector street and the dumpsters and bins be
required on property, but should be accessible for pickup.
- Orleans Place Sidewalk Petition: Request for the installation of 160 feet of sidewalk on the south side of Orleans Place from Quail Hollow to the cul-de-sac. Staff recommends a five-foot sidewalk with a 3.5 foot setback from the curb.
- STC-11-15: A hearing that will close a currently “unimproved portion of an unnamed alleyway off Woodland Avenue.”
- Paving Wakefield Crossing Drive: The Council will consider paving Wakefield Crossing Drive, according to Resolution 2015-214. If Council affirms its assessment role, the city will be responsible for the $5,760 assessment fee.
- Annexation Petitions: The Holden Ridge Subdivision in District B and the Sycamore Run Apartments in District C.
- TC-1-16: A text change regarding story height measurement, this amendment was previously discussed at the January 19 City Council meeting. Staff has proposed that the current language defining height as from “top of the finished floor to the ceiling above” to the updated “top of the finished floor to the bottom of the floor above.” Councilor Stephenson had noted that this new language may not be precise enough, and it is likely some tweaks could be made during tomorrow’s Council meeting.