Council Compass / News

E-Cigs and Populating Downtown

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 9.39.07 PMBy Carolyn Carlson

— The City Council approved millions in affordable housing funds to build several projects at its Monday, Jan. 6 meeting. One project at Second and Silver SW includes a grocery store along with 74 mixed-income units. A little more than a mile north at Fourth and Summer NW, a 55-unit development for low-income elderly will get $2.4 million in funds. Another $2.2 million will go towards a 56-unit multi-family development in the Sawmill Community Trust area at 1751 Bellamah NW. Along the East Central corridor area, $1.8 million in funds were approved for a 76-unit apartment complex for low-income residents.

A number of items were pulled from the agenda, including Councilor Isaac Benton’s measure calling for round-the-clock police patrolling of the Downtown corridor. The Council also deferred establishing the city’s Legislative priorities for the 30-day session that begins on Jan. 21. Those items are set to be heard at the next meeting.

City councilors approved:

  • An ordinance banning the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors. E-cigs are battery-powered devices that deliver nicotine as a vapor. Solutions come in flavors such as cola, cherry and gummy bear. The ordinance carries a fine of up to $500 and / or 90 days in jail—the same as the penalty for selling cigarettes to a minor.
  • A resolution endorsing the recommendations for a new police chief from the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Center Task Force for Public Safety. They include requiring an empathetic social perspective and an understanding of having a low income, being a person of color, homelessness and addiction struggles. The recommendations also ask that the next chief be trained in nonviolent conflict resolution.

You can check out the agenda, and access webcasts of meetings at the City Council website. Or you can watch it live on Channel 16 GOV TV. The Council will meet again at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, in the basement of City Hall.

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