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Carrboro BoA Member: Rogers Rd Sewer Plans Depend On CH ETJ

By Rachel Nash Posted September 18, 2013 at 1:00 am

CHAPEL HILL – Carrboro Aldermen member Michelle Johnson said to the Board Tuesday that providing sewer services to the Historic Rogers Road community depends on the Town of Chapel Hill taking in parts of the neighborhood as an ETJ, or Extraterritorial jurisdiction.

“You all need to know that if Chapel Hill doesn’t create the ETJ, then they can’t contribute, and we asked for that,” Johnson said.

Johnson and fellow Board Member Sammy Slade represented Carrboro on the Rogers Road Task Force, a group charged with designing a plan to provide much-needed sewer services to the community that has lived next to the landfill for four decades.

Johnson and Slade worked alongside representatives from the Chapel Hill Town Council, the Carrboro Board of Alderman, and the Board of Commissioners, in addition to representatives from the neighborhood.

The task force, which has been working for more than a year and a half, preferenced a $5.8 million plan to extend sewer services at its final meeting in August.

Officials from the municipalities also recommended a cost-sharing plan that would have Carrboro paying 14 percent while Chapel Hill and Orange County would pay 43 percent each.

Carrboro’s share would equal $900,000.

The Board of Alderman heard a presentation of the final report  written by the task force Tuesday night.

Johnson said that she and Slade pushed for the Town of Chapel Hill to follow through on ETJ proposal during the meetings of the task force.

“It’s the only way that they have figured out that they can contribute to the sewer improvements,” Johnson said.

Chapel Hill Town Council will discuss plans to hold a public hearing on the matter this month.

Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton said that he stands by the Town’s commitment to contribute $900,000. The projected cost of Carrboro’s section of the project is estimated to be $848,919. Chilton criticized those who would have a problem with the cost difference.

“The concept that anyone would have a problem with that is, what is the word I am looking for? Galling. We’re putting in $900,000, and we’ve said from the beginning that we were going to spend $900,000,” Chilton said.  “My intuition told me at that time, and this report confirms that what that would have amounted to is segment 6. The part that is built in for Carrboro costs slightly less than what Carrboro is putting in. Finish your thought, Chapel Hill.”

Another issue which all three municipalities will have to answer will be how to fund the connections from the houses to the sewer systems, if they are ever installed.

Alderman member Lydia Lavelle pointed out that the Board made a commitment in 2005 to address that problem for soon-to-be annexed residents in the Rogers Road community.

“We have an obligation that we made back before the annexation happened in 2006 that whenever any homes in the annexed property did ultimately connect, that the Town would put $2,000 toward any connection fee,” Lavelle said.

Carrboro’s jurisdiction for providing sewer services encompasses about 30 houses. Town Attorney Michael Brough warned that the price tag for that commitment would be of a significant cost.

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