Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Cue the music.

If Raleigh was putting forward a bond package for this spring, would any of this make the list? Of course Mayor Meeker could put the Public Safety Center up for a vote, but that would be out of fashion for him. Meeks is at least smart enough to know that City Plazas, Convention Centers and Fayetteville Street makeovers would all be resoundingly rejected in light of real needs for Raleigh.

Go ahead and throw the
Ferris Wheel in as well. It's all a waste of money.


Prepared by and for more information: Jayne Kirkpatrick, Director, Public Affairs Department, 996-3000

December 16, 2008


The City of Raleigh has real projects that could be addressed immediately to create jobs with aid from the financial stimulus plan being crafted by President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team.

At a press conference today in City Hall, Mayor Charles Meeker said that the City of Raleigh is actively seeking its share of the stimulus package to improve its infrastructure, environment and economy. He said that 44 projects have been identified as designed, permitted and ready to implement in six to 12 months.

While the Mayor said the amount of the new administration’s proposed stimulus package has not been announced, it must be significant if it is to improve the severe economic situation. “Raleigh has one-tenth of one percent of the nation’s population,” he said. “Given that, our portion of the stimulus package should be significant.”

What is known is that the Obama transition team is seeking to mold a package that tracks the incoming administration’s policy ideas, puts people to work immediately, enhances sustainability and includes long-term benefits to the nation.

Mayor Meeker pointed out that, not only will these projects bring immediate economic stimulus and benefit to the residents, they fill the Obama Administration’s priorities.

Mayor Meeker featured four sustainability projects plus the $226 million Clarence E. Lightner Public Safety Center project that is being designed for LEED gold certification. The energy savings designed into the 16-story, 305,000- square-foot facility come to 15 percent or $600,000 annually. The facility will be designed in the fall of 2009.

The four sustainability projects total $4,725,179. A solar LED lighting project would upgrade the illumination in seven City facilities, including the Avery Upchurch Government Complex Parking Deck and perimeter, the Performing Arts Center Deck and perimeter, Cedar Hills Park, Lions Park, Walnut Creek Softball Complex, Millbrook Exchange Park and Marsh Creek lower lot. The project can be implemented in the next six to 12 months at a total cost $1,258,300.

Another of the sustainability initiatives would put solar thermal water heating into 11 City facilities at a cost of $466,879. The project could be started in the first quarter of 2009 and completed within four to six months.

The third sustainable offering is the Photo Voltaic Solar Array Project at the Neuse River Wastewater Treatment Plant that would generate renewable energy at a cost of $2.5 million. The City is evaluating three separate proposals from private developers that have been submitted to Progress Energy and the City for renewable energy. The project would produce from one to three megawatts of renewable energy. It would be located on City-owned land at the wastewater treatment plant and would be in support of Progress Energy’s efforts to meet its Renewable Energy and Efficiency Portfolio requirements through a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement.

The fourth sustainable project featured by Mayor Meeker was a green house gases inventory and emissions reduction strategy for a cost of up to $500,000.

Mayor Meeker said that the City of Raleigh has been placing the highest priority on sustainability for the past several years and these projects would further its effort to be the South’s most sustainable city. The Mayor referred to being the world’s first LED city, silver LEED certification for the training building at the Neuse River Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Raleigh Convention Center, and the conversion of the City’s fleet to hybrids, plug-ins or alternative fuel vehicles as but a few examples of Raleigh’s abiding commitment to sustainability.

The 39 other projects listed are more traditional such as the construction of facilities, greenway extensions, and park, transportation, sewer, stormwater and technology improvements.

For a listing and descriptions of all of the proposed projects, visit the City of Raleigh website at www.raleighnc.gov.