The Chapel Hill Town Council approved the allocation of funds to add sewer lines to neighborhoods and houses off of Rogers Road at its meeting Monday night.
The Orange County landfill was located in the historically black community for over 40 years before shutting down in 2013, under pressure from environmental justice advocates. Bringing in a new sewer system has been in the works for over two years.
Town Manager Roger Stancil presented the plan to the council with a breakdown of the sewer lines.
“There are 19,000 linear feet of sewer, 3.5 miles of main line,” Stancil said. “Sixty-eight percent of this area is within the Chapel Hill extraterritorial jurisdiction.”
Stancil said the cost of the system will be split between Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Orange County. Chapel Hill and Orange County are set to each pay 43 percent, with Carrboro footing the remaining 14 percent.
“All of the discussions so far have landed on this particular percentage which was based on the 1972 landfill agreement that created the landfill,” Stancil said, “which is part of what we’re trying to correct.”
Chapel Hill’s share equates to about $3.1 million. The council voted unanimously to move forward with the town’s portion of the funding, and Mayor Pam Hemminger said she’s eager to get the project up and running.
“I’m very excited and very pleased that our town is moving forward to correct something that was promised many, many years ago and I’m very, very pleased that we found a way to do it and that we are moving forward.”
Stancil said community members are also excited for the project to begin. The Historic Rogers Road Task Force formed in 2012 to make recommendations to the town and county about ways to improve the neighborhood. Stancil said because community members were involved in the planning process, they’re that much more supportive.
“One of the exciting things that’s come out of the engagement process with the community is the discussion about community-first planning,” Stancil said, “and designing a community that will happen in this area that meets some of the interests and needs expressed by the people that live there.”
Hemminger says the town and county also have to discuss the potential construction disruptions with community members and hopes that building the system will start this year.