Durham City Council tonight: budget, guns and more | News

Durham City Council tonight: budget, guns and more

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Empty your bottle of spare change and shake the couch cushions: Durham property taxes are increasing in the coming year.

The rate—bear with us if math isn't your thing—is increasing from $56.75 per $100 in assessed  value to $58.04. What you really need to know is that if your house is assessed at $150,000, you'll need to cough up an extra $19.35 to pay your property taxes.

This increase is part of the city's $386 million budget proposal for 2014–2015 that Durham City Council will vote on tonight. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

In other business before the summer break, Council will vote on changes to the city ordinance regarding the posting of signs that prohibit people from carrying concealed handguns on playgrounds.
Last year, Republican legislators led the passage of a new state law that allows people with valid conceal-carry permits to bring their handguns in those areas, and trumps any local ordinance to the contrary.

See related PDF handgun_amendment_Durham.PDF City of Durham

In addition, permit-holders can now bring handguns to athletic fields except when an “organized athletic event” has been scheduled with the city. An example of organized events would be league baseball and softball games; pickup games would not be included.

What possibly could go wrong?

If you've driven by the intersection of Kent and West Chapel Hill streets, you've likely seen the skeleton of Durham Co-op Market shaping up. Self-Help Ventures Fund is helping to develop what is known as Kent Corner, on Durham's West End which is likely to be the city's Next Cool Neighborhood. The city is proposing an agreement with the Self-Help to fund up to $220,000 in streetscape improvements along that stretch.

See related PDF kent_corner_streetscape.pdf City of Durham

The market is within walking distance of several neighborhoods; it is also on the No. 6 bus line. But we know how people love their cars, so we're wondering is how that odd Kent/Chapel Hill Street intersection will handle the additional traffic.

And Council will vote whether to appropriate $160,000 to Downtown Durham, Inc. for economic development programs in the city center. Would it be too much to ask for a small grocery in this neighborhood?

See related PDF Downtown_Durham_Inc_funding.PDF City of Durham

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for July 24.


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