Council members agreed on the need for more affordable housing, new youth initiatives, a sustainable funding model for Chapel Hill Transit and a long-term solid waste solution.
Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt said within 18 months the Council will be ready to decide what to do with the town’s trash.
“The staff really wants this decision made,” said Kleinschmidt. “There are on-going conversations with Orange County, with Carrboro and with the City of Durham about how we can cooperate. Now, maybe all those jurisdictions don’t come together, but there’s some secret match of jurisdictions that can come together to provide those solutions. We don’t know what that’s going to be yet.”
Currently the town pays to haul trash to Durham since the Orange County landfill has closed, but staffers say the town should explore the possibility of building and operating a waste transfer station on town-owned land, a project that could cost $5.1 million.
One of the biggest challenges facing the town is the need to replace or upgrade town facilities and infrastructure.
Business Management Director Ken Pennoyer laid out more than $100 million dollars in capital needs to be financed over the next two decades, including a new police station, four fire stations and completion of the parks master plan.
“We have a fairly significant wish list and needs list of projects that we need to accomplish within the next twenty years, so balancing that is a difficult challenge,” said Pennoyer.
The Council will consider planning for a $20 million bond referendum to go on the ballot in 2017.
In addition, Council members discussed the need for increased economic development, enhanced code enforcement and a town-wide stormwater master plan.
The new policy goals will guide the Town Manager as he crafts next year’s spending plan. Budget negotiations will begin later this spring.