City Council reviews findings of 2017 Disparity Study, amends Cemeteries Ordinance

Jeremy Mills
jeremy.mills@charlottenc.gov
11/13/2017

​CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Nov. 13, 2017) – The Charlotte City Council received the results of a study that shows disparity in the amount of city contracts awarded to minority-owned  and women-owned businesses. Council members also approved an ordinance to update the city’s policies on cemeteries.

City presents 2017 Disparity Study

Findings of a new study show that Charlotte is making strides in addressing disparities that exist in its contracting practices. The study provided the city with an objective analysis of $1.8 billion in awarded bids between July 2011 and June 2016. While there is evidence of contract disparity for minority and women business enterprises, the data shows there has been greater utilization after the city set goals to reduce disparity.

The disparity study does not make recommendations on how to change the city’s contracting policies and programs. The study is only intended to verify whether or not disparity exists.
 
Based on the findings, the city will continue to use race and gender-conscious measures to remedy the disproportionality of awarded contracts. Addressing disparity is only one component of the city’s ongoing effort to promote transparency, accountability and equity in all aspects of municipal government.
   
Council is expected to formally adopt and accept the findings at its next business meeting on Nov. 27. City staff and community stakeholders will then begin work to review the study and make recommendations for policy and program enhancements.

City revises Cemetery Ordinance

City Council adopted an ordinance to modernize and update terminology in its cemeteries ordinance. The ordinance was last updated in 1985. The City of Charlotte owns and operates seven cemeteries.

The proposed draft for a revised cemeteries ordinance includes the following major changes:

• Allows the city manager and city staff to annually update “Cemetery Rules and Guidelines” without council approval.

• Describes current management of burials for indigent persons and unclaimed remains, authorizes the city manager to work with local agencies to fund these burials and to have discretion regarding type of burial provided.

• Deletes prescriptive formulas for setting after-hour and weekend burial fees.

• Changes the “waiting period” before a burial space can be deemed unused and available for resale to 100 years.

• Deletes language regarding the establishment and management of cemeteries in the city limits by other corporations or associations.

• Clarifies section on perpetual care, which is the ongoing maintenance of the cemetery properties provided by the city and donations to perpetual care fund.

• Clarifies hours of visitation to “between sunrise and sunset.”

The Environment Committee recommended the changes to the city code section on cemeteries, following a committee presentation on Oct. 23.

As part of the 2018 budget, city council approved $225,000 for completion of a Cemeteries Master Plan.

The city cemetery amendments will be effective Jan. 1, 2018.

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