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Fayetteville Street Mall Bricks To Be Topic At Next Raleigh City Council Meeting

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RALEIGH, N.C. — As the Fayetteville Street Renaissance Project continues, dozens of people have called City of Raleigh officials asking if they can have the brick that's being ripped from the ground as the street is being converted to make way for vehicular traffic. And the answer from city officials? "No."

Now, at least four members of the Raleigh City Council have said the decision to dump thousands of bricks from Fayetteville Street Mall into a landfill needs another look.

Philip Isely, a Raleigh City Council member, said there's has to be a way to recyle history, just as benches and chess tables from the mall are being relocated to public parks throughout the city.

Others agree.

"I do think that it is unfortunate," said Jean Davis, who works in downtown Raleigh. "I think there could be a lot of different uses for these."

Some Raleigh residents said since they paid for the bricks through taxes, they should get a crack at them. Citizens could use them for home projects, they said, or in other ways.

"I think we should find a way to donate them to Habitat for Humanity or another organization in Raleigh to build a community," Raleigh resident Jasmine Wilson said.

But city officials said it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to salvage the bricks. There's a liability issue, too.

"Legally, it's challenging," Isley said.

Under state law, the city cannot give away its property for free. It can prevent a public bidding process if the price stays under $5,000. So Isley suggests offering the bricks at a minimal cost.

"I think what's going to have to happen is people are going to have to come to the city and say, 'I want to buy some bricks and how do I do it,'" Isley said.

Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker and other council members may be willing to mend fences with constituents. They plan on discussing alternatives for the brick at their next council meeting.

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