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CH Mayor Looks At Library, Affordable Housing For 2013

By Anne Brenner Posted January 1, 2013 at 2:26 pm
CHAPEL HILL- Now that 2012 is officially in the books, Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt is looking ahead to the projects that the town will see in the coming 12 months.

“It’s going to be some busy year, and Town Council will jump immediately into some difficult issues.”

The first order of business will be to select a replacement for former Chapel Hill Town Council member Penny Rich. After that, the council will begin work on the 2013-2014 budget.

Kleinschmidt says the council will also focus on the goals of Chapel Hill 2020—especially when it comes to building and infrastructure.

“We just recently sat the steering committee for the central west planning area,” he says. “I had the pleasure of meeting with them, and they’re all very enthusiastic. Hopefully we’ll settle questions about what kinds of change the MLK and Estes corridors will be able to sustain over the coming years.

But Kleinschmidt adds that one of his biggest goals is to address funding shortfalls in Chapel Hill’s affordable housing program.

“I’ve been talking with members of the affordable housing nonprofit community about ways to provide a revenue stream, and whether or not we’re willing to do that as a community,” he says.

This year will also mark the opening of Chapel Hill’s newly renovated public library—and Kleinschmidt says that will create new opportunities, as well as new challenges, for the town.

“I’m so looking forward to the opening of that library, but a larger library will cost more to maintain,” he says.

Another major obstacle will be the closure of the Orange County public landfill, which is set to happen in June.

We’ll stop taking solid waste to the landfill around April, and begin moving it to a transfer station in Durham. And before we even do that, we’re contemplating how we’re going to not take our trash to Durham.”

Next year also marks an election year for several local positions, including the mayoral seat—but Kleinschmidt says he hasn’t determined whether he’ll once again be tossing his hat into the ring.

“I think I’ll figure that out really early in 2013,” he says.

Kleinschmidt says he plans to make his decision during the month of January.

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