Municipography is a summary of current issues going through the Raleigh City Council and other municipal departments in the city. The point is to try to deliver any video, photos, and text associated with the discussions happening at City Hall or elsewhere. Since this is a downtown Raleigh blog, the focus is on the center of the city.
The first Raleigh City Council meeting of 2012 was held yesterday. The proposed Union Station was discussed and the agenda describes it just as well as I can. From the January 3, 2012 agenda packet:
F. REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE PASSENGER RAIL TASK FORCE
1. NCDOT Concept for Raleigh Rail Station
At their December 12, 2011 meeting, the Passenger Rail Task Force discussed proposed improvements to the Dillon Viaduct Building by NCDOT to convert the facility to a passenger rail station. The new station would replace the existing train station on West Cabarrus Street and would accommodate existing Amtrak service, proposed future high-speed rail service, and the proposed future Triangle Transit commuter rail service. The passenger rail station would be the first phase of a larger Union Station multimodal facility that would also provide service to local bus, regional bus, and light rail services. City staff will continue to work on conceptual designs for future phases of the Union Station multimodal facility.
After reviewing draft concept plans presented by the NCDOT Rail Division, the Task Force voted unanimously to recommend endorsing the proposed Viaduct Building rail station retrofit concept. A complete copy of their evaluation is included in the agenda packet. $3 million has been appropriated for City participation in the cost of this facility
as part of the 2011 Transportation Bond and will be available in FY13 in the draft Capital Improvement Program.
Recommendation: Endorse the findings of the Passenger Rail Task Force to retrofit the
Dillon Viaduct Building for use as the rail station of Union Station.
The council voted unanimously to endorse this site and the plans recommended by the Passenger Rail Task Force. Watch the video below for more discussion about it during the meeting.
A great pdf document that goes over the concept of turning the Dillon Viaduct building into a train station is “NCDOT Viaduct Building Assessment”, taken from the Passenger Rail Task Force webpage on the city’s website. You can download it here. In this document, you can see the phased approach to adding new platforms for Amtrak, commuter rail, and high-speed rail to the Boylan Wye as well as other additions to accommodate the station.
Downtown Loan Program
The Downtown Loan Program was created for properties along Fayetteville Street, typically older structures, to be brought up to proper code for owners and potential tenants. This was an effort to help bring businesses to the Fayetteville Street area after it’s renovation a few years ago. The loan program is now being expanded to more streets in downtown Raleigh. From the City of Raleigh’s press release, the streets include:
The program will include portions of Dawson Street, Glenwood Avenue, Hargett Street, Martin Street, Davie Street, Fayetteville Street, Blount Street, Person Street and designated at primary retail Street in the Comprehensive Plan. Designated secondary retail streets include portions of Harrington Street, West Street, McDowell Street, Dawson Street, Salisbury Street, Wilmington Street, West Morgan Street, Hillsborough Street and Peace Street.
And finally more about the program:
The program is designed to create an incentive to new and/or expanding Downtown businesses and commercial property owners seeking to improve properties. To be eligible for the loan program commercial property owners and business owners must demonstrate management ability and experience. Qualified applicants must show they are unable to secure financing from financial institutions for the amount being requested from this program. To date the program has made three loans to area businesses. One of the loans has been fully repaid. Currently $200,000 is available.
The expansion was approved by the council during the consent agenda.