Domino’s Pizza is coming to 911 Foster St. A new “theater concept” restaurant, where employees make pizzas right in front of customers, will be constructed. A representative said the company expects to sink more than $500,000 into the building.

A request to suspend the rules at the Nov. 24 City Council meeting to enact the special use ordinance that would allow the Domino’s immediately ran into the opposition of Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward. She said, “Suspension of the rules is appropriate when there is no citizen dissent.” In this case, she said, a number of citizens contacted her to complain about possible noise and late-night deliveries.

Her efforts to meet with residents and the restaurant before final passage Dec. 1 did not work out because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Foster Street location, however, is not in the First Ward but the Fifth.

“Where there is controversy about an item in another ward, let us know,” said Alderman Delores Holmes, 5th Ward. “People in my ward where it’s going to be are in support of it. We wanted to suspend the rules so they could bring more money into our community.”

At full Council meetings, the measure was introduced unanimously Nov. 2. It was approved 8-1 on its second reading Dec. 1, with Ald. Fiske casting the lone no vote.

Water Rates

City Council’s final vote on the 10% water rate increase was 5-4. Two weeks earlier, the measure had been introduced with a 6-2 vote.  An effort by Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, to reduce the increase to 5% failed narrowly.

Water rates are “the most regressive” revenue sources “because everyone has to pay it,” said Ald. Rainey. Water, sewer and solid waste are all regressive and all on the same bill. “It’s real money to real people and it hurts,” she added.

“I’m not in complete support of a 10% increase,” said Alderman Coleen Burrus, 9th Ward. She asked for more information as to the impact of a reduction from a 10% to a 5% increase.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz said the impact would be clear – a reduction in roughly $315,000 in revenue, all of which is earmarked for capital water projects, mostly for the replacement of aging water mains and pipes.

“We are way, way, way, way way behind on water capital improvements,” said Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward.

Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, agreed. “We are committed to our water infrastructure,” she said.

“We are living on borrowed time. Beyond borrowed time,” said Alderman Mark Tendam, 6th Ward, citing the ruptured water main along Central Street that snarled traffic and cost thousands of dollars for emergency repairs last summer.

Aldermen Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward, and Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, joined Ald. Rainey and Ald. Burrus in voting against the increase.