Daniela Ocampo

Chapel Hill Approves Budget with 2-Cent Tax Increase

The Chapel Hill Town Council voted unanimously last week to adopt the budget for the next fiscal year, which begins on July 1. The budget includes a tax rate increase of 2 cents, down from the initially proposed 3 cents, for a combined property tax rate of 52.8 cents per $100 of assessed value. According to town manager Roger Stancil, the budget will continue to cover the town’s high level of services such as fare-free transit, competitive pay and benefits for town employees and funding for town infrastructure. “The FY19 budget includes a two penny total increase in the...

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Hillsborough Residents to See Water and Sewer Rate Increase Effective July 1

The Hillsborough Board of Commissioners approved a $22.6 million operating expenses budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year at Monday’s meeting. The budget, which becomes effective July 1, includes $10.8 million in the General Fund, $11.2 million in the water and sewer fund and $640,000 in the Stormwater Management Enterprise Fund. Although this year’s budget brings no change to the tax rate and the stormwater fee, the water rate will increase by 9.25 percent and the sewer rate by 7.5 percent in order to zero out the deficit. Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens said the town must raise rates in order...

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Hillsborough Commits to 100 Percent Renewable Energy Goal by 2050

Hillsborough leaders and renewable energy strategists recently held a town hall public information session on the town’s clean energy goals. Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens said it is just the beginning, and that there is not a plan right now but rather a commitment from the town. “We don’t know how we’re going to do this, but we know that it’s important; it’s important for the planet; it’s important for Hillsborough,” Stevens said. “If there’s a place where we can take some leadership, we want to see this outcome that we ultimately be 100 percent clean energy.” The long-term goal...

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Downtown Chapel Hill Area Street Resurfacing to Begin on Monday

Drivers may want to make plans for alternative routes around downtown Chapel Hill this summer. The NC Department of Transportation is scheduled begin street resurfacing in town on Monday, June 11. Areas affected will be East Franklin Street from South Columbia to Pickard Lane, South Columbia Street from Manning Drive to Franklin Street, Pittsboro Street from Manning Drive to Cameron Avenue and Cameron Avenue from Pittsboro Street to South Columbia Street. As a result of an agreement by the town and NCDOT staff to avoid daytime and nighttime weekend congestion downtown, work on East Franklin Street from Columbia Street...

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Portion of South Greensboro Street in Carrboro Closing for 2 Months

Beginning Monday, June 11, a portion of South Greensboro Street will be closed at Old Pittsboro Road and Two Hills Drive in Carrboro and will remain closed to through traffic until August 13. A detour has been set for Carrboro commuters travelling on South Greensboro Street this summer, available here, or commuters can consider alternate routes such as W. Main Street and Merritt Mill Road. According to the town, pedestrian and bike travel will be accommodated with a gravel walkway and safety fence through the work zone and access to residences and businesses in the immediate area will still be...

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CHCCS Receives $40,000 Grant from Duke Energy Foundation for STEM Program at Northside Elementary

Chapel Hill – Carrboro City Schools received a $40,000 check on Thursday to kick off a pilot STEM instruction program at Northside Elementary School. The grant, from the Duke Energy Foundation, will go toward the training and development of teachers for an Inquiry and Nature-Based STEM program for students from third to fifth grade. Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Sustainability Director Dan Schnitzer submitted the grant in collaboration with a team from CHCCS Instructional Services Department. Schnitzer said the program will give teachers the skill set and tools to follow a child’s natural curiosity and to allow them to help...

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Summer Bringing Chapel Hill High School Renovations

The Chapel Hill Town Council recently approved an application for a special use permit modification, which is the final step toward beginning construction projects at Chapel Hill High School. Chapel Hill – Carrboro City Schools assistant superintendent Todd LoFrese said the project, which will renovate and improve the school and transportation, will start as soon as school gets out. “Thank you again Town Council members for approval this evening. We are really, really excited to get this project started,” said Lofrese. Senior planner Aaron Frank presented at the town council meeting and said the renovations will result in an...

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Chapel Hill Debating Amount of Tax Increase in Upcoming Budget

The Chapel Hill Town Council is working to finalize how much taxes will increase in the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger said after a budget work session held last Wednesday there have been a number of things to happen over the last five years where there hasn’t been a tax increase incorporated into the budget. Hemminger added that there is no longer room to squeeze those things in. “One of them was transit,” Hemminger said. “We talked quite a deal about transit and the fact that the federal government has gone from supporting...

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Chapel Hill Library Hosting ‘A Conversation Worth Having’ Panel

The Campus and Community Coalition against High Risk Drinking is hosting a panel for parents this Saturday, June 2, at 1 p.m. at the Chapel Hill Public Library about how to have conversations with your kids surrounding high-risk behaviors like drinking and driving. Director of the coalition Elinor Landess said the panel is geared toward parents with middle to high school-aged kids but that it’s never too early to start thinking about to how to plant those seeds and have those conversations. “Summer is a time when young people have more freedom than during the academic year, and so...

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Chapel Hill Launches Free App to Report Non-Emergencies Around Town

A new free app called Chapel Hill Connect has launched that residents can use to report non-emergencies they see within town limits. Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue said the app will take some calls out of the Orange County Emergency Services system. “There are plenty of things that folks need to share with us, because they may see it and we don’t know about it, but they don’t feel like it rises to the level of a 911 call. This is a really cool way for people to get us information about a big pot hole or blocked...

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