Local News

Groups oppose proposed Raleigh safety center

Posted January 27, 2010

— Three local conservative groups on Wednesday criticized the design and cost of a planned downtown public safety center.

The 300,000-square-foot Clarence E. Lightner Public Safety Center, which is projected to cost $205 million, would house the city's police and fire departments, as well as its 911 operations center and other emergency services. The 16-story building would sit at the current site of the Raleigh Police Department at the corner of McDowell and Hargett streets.

City Council members have in recent weeks debated the cost of the project, which could require a tax increase. Some have suggested ways to cut costs, and others have called for renovating the existing police headquarters instead of constructing a new building.

The North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law, the Wake County Taxpayers Association and North Carolina Americans for Prosperity said the safety center costs twice as much as they believe it should and placing the emergency communications center above ground makes it vulnerable. They also called for putting the project to a public vote in a citywide referendum.

Mayor Charles Meeker and City Manager Russell Allen have said the city needs the new safety center and that delaying the project could cost the city if interest rates and construction costs increase.


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  • whatusay Jan 28, 2010

    scientisttjo...congress does not have to pass a bill for the president to sign. All they had to do was discuss at a committee hearing and authorize an investigation. You should know that.

  • ambidextrous cat Jan 28, 2010

    I don't need any comments from the peanut gallery on this one.

  • scientistjo Jan 28, 2010

    "When did this banking meltdown begin? It began in later part of 2007, and escalated in 2008. That means the DEMOCRATS were in control of congress."

    If you think the democrats' control in 2006 had anything to do with banks collapsing in 2007, I have a bridge to sell you. What bill could democrats in congress have passed with a republican president? It would have to get the President's approval!

  • whatusay Jan 28, 2010

    Mr Middle of the Road... When did this banking meltdown begin?
    It began in later part of 2007, and escalated in 2008. That means the DEMOCRATS were in control of congress.

  • Mr. Middle of the Road Jan 28, 2010

    Again whatusay, Congress was in Republican hands fopr for the first 6 years of President Bush's administration. Your question is good though. Why didn't they do a thing about the banking crisis, or our pathetic health care system?

  • whatusay Jan 28, 2010

    commonsense4.....again, read very carefully. Congress has oversite of the banking crisis. Bush could only make recommendations to congress but the democrat congress ignored them. What part of this do you not understand?

  • commonsense4 Jan 28, 2010

    In response to "Bush warned what was coming but no one listened. " and " The banks and the people put themselves in this situation! Not Bush!"

    Makes perfect sense. He warns everyone the collapse is coming but makes sure it comes quicker and with more devastation by allowing the big corps to increase their debt-capital ratios to levels where they had never been allowed to go before.

  • fkhaywood Jan 28, 2010

    A tax increase during a recession (the worst one since the Depression)for any purpose is sheer lunacy and very financially irresponsible. How can someone who is unemployed even pay their existing taxes, much less an increase!!!

  • jrfergerson Jan 28, 2010

    I feel a safety center would be beneficial to Raleigh - BUT not one so fancy that cost all that money. I think they should look at other builging plans that would be less costly

  • WHEEL Jan 28, 2010

    All Meaker and Allen want is a further monument to their gross mismanagement of the City's finances. The police should be out on the streets patroling, the firemen should be at their stations. 911 can be anywhere, and all the high paid managers don't need fancy offices with private toilets. Most could probably be let go.