Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Budget Meetings: Hour 5

After shooting down a proposal for a $50,000 Neighborhood Traffic Management plan and $50,000 in pedestrian improvements for major streets sponsored by Alders Robbie Webber and Brenda Konkel, the Council is on to the flip side of the coin: the proposals to delay road improvement projects on the city's periphery.

It's already gotten personal. Alder Paul Skidmore accused some members of the council for attacking his and other residents' decisions to live on the outskirts of town, rather than the central city.

Meanwhile, City Engineer Larry Nelson made it very clear he felt the option of delaying the road projects was foolish. He said that decision would jeopardize federal funding already secured for the projects and gum up the works of "environmentally vetting" each project.

Webber, for her part, vehemently defended delaying the projects, calling them a "freight train" the council never had a chance to stop early in the process. She says, in light of the budget circumstances, this is the year "it's appropriate to delay these plans."

The latest manifestation of the age-old battle between downtown and outer neighborhoods continues...

...and goes to the outskirts at 10:18. The motion to delay the road projects failed, 5-15.

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