Local Politics

Raleigh safety center stalemate continues

Posted June 15, 2010 3:23 p.m. EDT
Updated June 15, 2010 4:05 p.m. EDT

— After years of planning and months of debate, the Raleigh City Council again delayed a decision Tuesday to move forward with a public safety center.

The Clarence E. Lightner Public Safety Center, to be built at the corner of McDowell and Hargett streets, would house the city's fire and police departments and other emergency services. The Raleigh Police Department vacated its building on the site in March.

The City Council deadlocked in March on a plan to finance the center but agreed to revisit the plan with design changes that would cut the building's $205 million price tag.

The council heard several new options for the building, including some that would raise the cost by as much as $50 million.

Mayor Charles Meeker and City Manager Russell Allen have pushed to begin construction on the safety center, saying Raleigh could save millions by locking in lower labor and material prices before the economy picks up steam.

City council members opposed to the construction are hesitant to raise taxes to pay for it.

The council planned to discuss the center again Monday at the city budget session.