This afternoon, the D.C. Council’s public works and environment committee voted to strip $2 million meant to reconstruct Klingle Road NW from Mayor Adrian M. Fenty‘s budget proposal. Furthermore, the committee voted to add language to budget legislation requiring the road to remain closed, effectively overturning a 2003 council vote to reopen the road.
For LL’s take on the whole sordid story and how it got to this point, read this.
Committee chair and Ward 1 councilmember Jim Graham supported spending the money, as did Ward 4’s Muriel Bowser. Ward 3’s Mary Cheh, Ward 7’s Yvette Alexander, and at-large member Kwame R. Brown opposed doing so. Ward 8’s Marion Barry, though not a committee member, also showed up to speak in support of keeping the road closed.
The full council is free to revisit the decision when the budget legislation moves forward next month.
Updates to come.
UPDATE, 3:50 P.M.: A subsequent amendment by Cheh moves the $2 million in local money to alley repairs and earmarks another $2 million out of the District’s federal funds for environmental remediation of Klingle Valley and construction of a recreation trail.
UPDATE, 4:17 P.M.: After the markup ended, Graham vowed to take the matter to the full council at the May 13 budget session. He also said he intends to hold a public “roundtable” on the Klingle issue in the two weeks interim. “I think there’s going to be a lot of discussion,” he says. During the hearing, Graham had proposed delaying any vote until such a roundtable could be held. Cheh & Co. voted it down; “The public had had ample time….I don’t know anything that’s been debated more than Klingle Road,” she said.
UPDATE, 7:30 P.M.: The Fenty response, from spokesperson Carrie Brooks: “The Mayor will defer to the judgment of the members of the Committee on Public Works and the Environment on this issue. Having served as a councilmember for six years, he certainly appreciates the legislature’s role in shaping the District’s budget.”