The following highlights from the April 18, 2011 Durham City Council meeting and other topics of interest will be featured in this episode of "City Hall This Week." The show is also available to watch on demand at www.DurhamNC.gov/DTV8/CityHallThisWeek.cfm.
City Leaders Continue Public Hearing on Proposed Annual Action Plan to May 2 The City Council continued a public hearing on the proposed Annual Action Plan to the May 2nd meeting. The plan serves as the City's application for federal housing funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This year's proposed plan would give partial or full funding to some of the organizations requesting money, while using approximately a third of the money to support various aspects of the Southside redevelopment project. The Annual Action Plan specifies how Community Development Block Grant, Home Investment Partnership, Emergency Shelter Grant, and General Funds from the federal government will be spent.
City Council Considering Creation of Business Improvement District for Downtown The City Council is considering whether it should approve the establishment of a Municipal Services District -- or Business Improvement District -- in downtown. Such a designation would allow both commercial and residential property in downtown to be taxed an extra $0.07 per $100 of assessed value. The money generated by the tax would go toward providing specialized services for downtown, such as for appearance and maintenance. Council members received input from dozens of residents during a public hearing on the proposed district. Downtown Durham, Inc. says the creation of the district is needed to help revitalize downtown and ensure its long-term economic viability.
Several Small Businesses Receive Financial Support from the City Several small businesses in and around downtown are receiving financial support from the City in the form of building improvement grants. The Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina will receive $75,000 for a building renovation project at 1201 N. Roxboro St. ClearSense Properties will receive $75,000 for a building renovation project at 502 Rigsbee Ave. A $75,000 grant will help 300 East Main Street, LLC to turn the vacant designated historic building at 300 E. Main St. into 21,000 square-feet of retail and office space.
City Adopts New Approach in Dealing with Struggling or Failed Developments The City Council approved a recommendation from the City's Public Works Department on how to handle the increasing number of struggling and failed developments in Durham. The number of developments falling into these categories has gone up over the past couple of years because of the recent economic downturn. Engineering and Stormwater Manager Ed Venable with the City's Public Works Department explains how the City will now work with these developments to address the problem on the upcoming episode of "City Hall This Week."
Other interviews featured on upcoming episode of "City Hall This Week": • Assistant Director Larry Jarvis with the City's Community Development Department -- Offers an update on the Southside redevelopment project and a look at what happens next. • Deputy City Manager Ted Voorhees -- Explains what so-called "donut holes" are within the city and what Durham is doing to address them. • Engineering and Stormwater Manager Ed Venable with the City's Public Works Department -- Explains what the City is doing to fix the lighting problems with the R. Kelly Bryant, Jr. Pedestrian Bridge.
"City Hall This Week" is a news program dedicated to informing Durham residents about what is going on inside Durham's City Hall. Each edition is taped on the first and third Tuesday of the month -- the day after City Council meetings. It airs three times a day on DTV8 (Time Warner Cable channel 8) through the week of the next City Council meeting. For more information, call the City's Office of Public Affairs at (919) 560-4123 or visit www.DurhamNC.gov/DTV8.