Local News

Raleigh delays water projects

Posted January 6, 2009 2:40 p.m. EST

— The City Council voted Tuesday to delay two water projects that were much discussed during the 2007 drought.

The design phase of an expansion at the Neuse River Wastewater Treatment Plant has been put on hold after four members of the council expressed concern about spending $3.4 million on the design during a recession that is already straining government budgets. The council members also said the expansion might not be necessary based on projections that show Raleigh won't grow as fast as previously thought.

The economy also prompted the council to delay plans to create a system for recycling treated wastewater for use in outdoor irrigation and cooling.

Councilmen Russ Stephenson and Thomas Crowder also said they were concerned about the impact of the city imposing a 15 percent rate increase on water users. The city needs to pay off the bonds on water-related infrastructure, and lower consumption levels in recent months have left the municipal water system short of its projected revenue for the year, officials said.