Friday, May 16, 2008

Concerned about Leesville Rd? Take action NOW!

Thought it was important to share the below from Mark Kielty:

As you know, and as we have been discussing, in 2005 voters identified the section of Leesville Road from New Leesville Boulevard to the I-540 interchange for proposed funding as part of a $60 million Transportation Bond Referendum. Since January 2008, representatives of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church and Bethany Hills Baptist Church, along with residents of Harrington Grove, Harrington Meadows, Harrington Pointe, Dominion Park, Leesville Downs, Woodlawn, Barton’s Creek, Sedgefield, Farmridge, Wood Valley, Farless Drive, and other area residents, have met to discuss the issues surrounding the project, and our continued resolve to see the project funded and completed. Since that meeting in January, we have learned that the funds from the 2005 referendum have been diverted to other projects and that reportedly, there is currently no funding left for the Leesville Road Project.

During the last several weeks, Reverend Mark G. Reamer, the pastor of St. Francis of Assisi, and Marc Kielty, the Coordinator of Communications, have met with individual members of the Raleigh City Council to express the group’s concerns over this project, and to seek their assurance that the project will continue. Meetings were held with Mayor Charles Meeker; At Large Councilors Russ Stephenson and Mary-Ann Baldwin; District A Councilor Nancy McFarlane; and District E Councilor Philip Isley who represents the neighborhoods surrounding Leesville Road. Each indicated that they will thoughtfully consider our ongoing request to find funding in order to continue with the original plans to widen Leesville Road, but it is up to the community to bring continued attention to the issue. As we all have heard, and as one of the councilors actually mentioned, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”. Although we realize it is probably not possible for the City Council to find funding for the entire project without another referendum, we believe that the City can, and should, find funding to continue with the design phase of the project which, by itself, will take several years. We do not believe the entire project should be allowed to indefinitely stall.

In the next few weeks, the City Council will be deciding upon its FY 2008/ 2009 budget. We at St. Francis of Assisi will continue to do our part to keep the council focused on this issue. However, comments made by the city council members indicate that without the vocal support of the surrounding neighborhoods, the project will probably not move forward until after another bond referendum; possibly several years in the future.

Below is the contact information for the Raleigh City Council. Urge your neighbors to contact the Raleigh City Council as soon as possible to voice support for funding the Leesville Road Widening Project. Attached is a postcard that we will be using at St. Francis. Feel free to copy and distribute the postcard to those in your neighborhood. . Now is the time to have your voices heard. When it can be ascertained what day the council will actually be discussing their Capital Budget in an open meeting, we will forward that information to you. It will be imperative that neighborhood representatives attend that meeting to show support for the funding.


CONTACT THE RALEIGH CITY COUNCIL AND LET YOUR VOICES BE HEARD. IT IS OF PARTICULAR IMPORTANCE THAT YOU CONTACT MAYOR MEEKER; AT LARGE COUNCILORS BALDWIN AND STEPHENSON; AND THE LEESVILLE ROAD AREA COUNCILOR, PHILIP ISLEY.

Council Member Email Address

Mayor Charles Meeker: charles.meeker@ci.raleigh.nc.us
Councilor Mary Ann Baldwin: mary-ann.baldwin@ci.raleigh.nc.us
Councilor Russ Stephenson: russ.stephenson@ci.raleigh.nc.us
Councilor Nancy McFarlane: nancy.mcfarlane@ci.raleigh.nc.us
Councilor Rodger Koopman: rodger.koopman@ci.raleigh.nc.us
Councilor James West: james.west@ci.raleigh.nc.us
Councilor Thomas Crowder: thomas.crowder@ci.raleigh.nc.us
Councilor Philip Isley: pisley@boyceisley.com

The mailing address for the Mayor and all City Council Members is:
Post Office Box 590
Raleigh, NC 27602

Their phone number is 890-3050.

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