Board of County Commissioners
200 South Cameron St.
P.O. Box 8181
North Carolina 27278
(919) 245-2130
Fax: (919) 644-0246

Contact: David Hunt
Information Specialist
(919) 245-2126
Fax: (919) 644-0246

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News Releases

July/August 2005

Click on subject to read news release

Past News Releases



August 31, 2005

Contact: Brenda Stephens 
Library Director 


Orange County Library Expands Services

During the upcoming months, Orange County residents can expect to see several enhancements at the main library in Hillsborough and the three branch libraries located in Cedar Grove, McDougle Middle School, and the Carrboro Cybrary. 

In response to the October 2004 Library Services Task Force Report, Orange County Commissioners allocated an additional $50,000, in the FY 2005-06 budget, to simultaneously expand services in both the northern and southern ends of the county.  Patrons will be able to receive increased assistance from trained librarians as well as benefiting from the purchase of:

(a)   Additional children’s books for the Hillsborough library;

(b)  Patron Access Software (designed for libraries to queue, track and monitor Public Internet terminal usage);

(c)   An LCD Projector (for computer classes held at the Cedar Grove location – approximately 4 classes per month, averaging 10 persons per class); and

(d)  Shelving and storage materials - for all library branches.

“We are so excited to have this opportunity to further address the needs of our community,” said Brenda Stephens, Orange County Library Director.  “The task force members were diligent in their review of our library services and adamant about having comparable services throughout the county.  With the support of the commissioners, this department will make every effort to ensure that happens,” said Stephens.

For additional information, please contact Brenda Stephens, Director, Orange County Public Library, at (919) 245-2525.




August 29, 2005

Contact: Muriel Williman 
Orange County Solid Waste Management 


Orange County Landfill Closed Labor Day, Curbside Recycling will Continue Normal Schedule

The Orange County Landfill will be closed Monday September 5th in honor of Labor Day.  All services at the landfill, including mulch sales and electronics recycling collections will also be closed.  The landfill and all other services will resume normal hours of operation on Tuesday September 6th.

Curbside recycling will be collected as normally scheduled on Labor Day. If your recycling day falls on Monday, September 5th be sure to have your bin to the curb by 7:00am that day or put it out the night before.

The Orange County Solid Waste Convenience Centers will be closed Monday September 5th and will resume normal hours of operation on Tuesday September 6th.




August 24, 2005

Contact: John Link 
Orange County Manager 


Laurie Paolicelli Appointed Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau Drector

Orange County Manager John Link has appointed Laurie Paolicelli as Visitors Bureau Director.  Paolicelli will begin work Monday, October 10, 2005.

As Director, Paolicelli will oversee the operation of the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau.  She will implement plans to promote and enhance visitor services in Orange County.  Among other things, she will manage a comprehensive communications program for visitors which include visitor services publications and directories of activities, facilities and services.

Paolicelli has over eleven years experience in visitor services.  She began her career with the Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau and then became the Director of Communications for the Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. 


Paolicelli has spent the past seven years as Marketing Director for Aerial (T Mobile) Communications and most recently, as Senior Director for Corporate Communications for the American Heart Association.


County Manager John Link named an Assessment Panel to assist in the selection process.  The Panel was made up of Orange County Commissioner Moses Carey, Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau Board Chair Lee Pavao, Economic Development Director Dianne Reid and General Manager of the Siena Hotel and Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau Board Member Mark Sherburne.  The search process included national recruitment.  It yielded 42 candidates.

Link said:  “We are very excited about Laurie’s acceptance of the position of Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau Director.  She brings a wealth of diverse experience from positions in California and Texas and will be a great fit for the Visitors Bureau.”

Pavao said:  “I was very pleased that the search for the Visitor's Bureau Director's position attracted such a strong, diverse group of applicants from across the country.  Laurie Paolicelli fielded the Assessment Panel’s questions knowledgeably, demonstrating a clear understanding of the job requirements and the goals of the Bureau.  I feel she's a good fit and will handle the Visitors Bureau effectively and creatively.

Reid said:  “All members of the Assessment Panel were impressed with Laurie's creativity and marketing skills.  We believe she will provide leadership in communicating the unique qualities of each Orange County community and attracting additional visitors.”

Paolicelli said:  “I am honored and excited to begin my new post with the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau.  I believe my background in framing and promoting visitor amenities for the greater Palm Springs region, as well as Houston, will lend a unique perspective to my new role.  I was immediately enamored with the Orange County region, its people and the strong visitor appeal.  I look forward to making a positive contribution.”




August 19, 2005

Contact: Donna Baker 
Clerk to the Orange County Board of Commissioners 


On May 17, 2005 the Orange County Board of Commissioners voted to add two public hearings to their meeting calendar.  This is a reminder of the News Release sent on May 18, 2005 announcing the public hearings.

Public Hearings on Election of Commissioners

The Orange County Board of Commissioners will hold two public hearings to receive comment from the public on the method of electing Orange County Commissioners, including the concept of district representation.

The public hearings will be held on Wednesday, August 24, 2005 at 7:30 p.m. at the Southern Human Services Center, 2501 Homestead Rd in Chapel Hill and Wednesday, August 31, 2005 at 7:30 p.m. at the F. Gordon Battle Courtroom, 106 East Margaret Lane in Hillsborough.  

The public hearings were scheduled after the Commissioners received the “Orange County Staff Report on the Structure of Boards of County Commissioners” presented on May 5, 2005. 

The report may be referenced at the web link below.




August 17, 2005

Contact: Jo Roberson 
Orange County Director of Revenue 


Revenue Collection Rate In Top %5 of State

The Orange County Department of Revenue ranks in the top 5% in the State of North Carolina for tax collection rate. 

For the fiscal year July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2005, Orange County had a grand total of $140,512,795.51 in tax levies.  In addition to Orange County, this total included three municipalities, fire districts, and a special district.  At the end of the fiscal year, $138,959,325.15 was collected by the Revenue Department.  This is a collection rate of 98.89%, making Orange County one of the top five counties in the State in revenue collection. 

Services such as schools, emergency medical, and law enforcement cannot be financially supported until the funds have been received by the County.  The higher the collection rate, the better the funding for services provided to the public. 




August 17, 2005

Contact: Kevin Lindley 
Orange County Manager's Office 


Stage II Water Shortage Alert









            Pursuant to the provisions of the ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE CONSERVATION OF WATER DURING A WATER SHORTAGE, RESTRICTING THE USE OF WATER AND WATER WITHDRAWALS, AND ALLOCATING AUGMENTED STREAMFLOW FROM RESERVOIRS, I, Moses Carey, Jr., Chair of the Board of County Commissioners, having been provided with information that the water level of Lake Orange is more than two feet below full, do hereby issue this PUBLIC PROCLAMATION declaring to all persons that a stage II water shortage ALERT is now in effect applicable to users of water from the public water system supplied by the Orange Alamance Water System, Inc. and Town of Hillsborough and from any raw water supply within Orange County used by the Orange-Alamance Water System, Inc. and the Town of Hillsborough.  The following voluntary water conservation measures are now applicable:

1.  Use shower for bathing rather than bathtub and limit shower to no more than four (4) minutes.

2.  Limit flushing of toilets by multiple usage.

3.  Do not leave faucets running while shaving or rinsing dishes.

4.  Limit use of clothes washers and dishwashers and when used, operate fully loaded.

5.  Limit lawn watering to that which is necessary for plants to survive.

6.   Water shrubbery the minimum required, reusing household water when possible.          

7.  Limit car washing to the minimum.

8.  Do not wash down outside areas such as sidewalks, patios, etc.

9.  Install water flow restrictive devices in shower heads.

10.  Use disposable and biodegradable dishes.

11.  Install water saving devices such as bricks, plastic bottles or commercial units in toilet tanks.

12.  Limit hours of operation of water-cooled air conditioners.

            This proclamation, and the voluntary conservation restrictions imposed pursuant to it, shall be in effect until the Ordinance entitled "AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE CONSERVATION OF WATER DURING A WATER SHORTAGE, RESTRICTING THE USE OF WATER WITHDRAWALS, AND ALLOCATING AUGMENTED STREAMFLOW FROM RESERVOIRS" is amended or repealed or until the Chair by Public Proclamation, declares that the Stage II Water Shortage ALERT is over.

            By order of Moses Carey, Jr., Chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners, issued this 16th day of August 2005.




August 16, 2005

Contact: Monica C. Evans 
Orange County Board of Commissioners' Office 


The Orange County Board of Commissioners is recruiting volunteers for the Orange County Master Aging Plan Taskforce

The Orange County Board of Commissioners is currently recruiting citizen volunteers for the Master Aging Plan (MAP) Taskforce.  In the past, the MAP has provided a road map for the improvement of community services and opportunities for older citizens, who have different levels of functional capacity.  It is now time to review the MAP accomplishments and begin updating the plan for the years 2006-2010. 

Interested participants have the option of serving on the following sub-committees:  Steering Committee, Well/Fit Older Adult Subcommittee, Disabled /Moderately Impaired Older Adult Subcommittee and the Severely Impaired /Institutionalized Older Adult Subcommittee.  

The MAP Steering Committee is responsible for analyzing, clarifying and expanding on functional status subcommittee reports and preparing the strategic plan for submission to the County Commissioners.   The Well/Fit Older Adult Subcommittee will focus on wellness and prevention.  Disabled/Moderately Impaired Older Adult Subcommittee will focus on supportive home and community based long-term care.  The Severely Impaired/Institutionalized Older Adult Subcommittee will focus on continual and protective care in the home or residential facility.

The Board of Commissioners encourage all Orange County residents who are interested transportation needs and services to apply for this Board. For more information on this and other Orange County Volunteer opportunities, visit the Orange County website, or Contact the Office of the Clerk at 245-2125 or for more information.




August 8, 2005

Contact: Muriel Williman 
Orange County Solid Waste Management 


Recycle Old Telephone Books as New Ones Are Delivered

New phonebooks are being distributed to households and businesses.  Old telephone books may be recycled in any of Orange County's recycling programs.  Place them with newspaper and glossy magazines in curbside recycling bins and apartment recycling carts or mix them with newspaper at the drop-off sites.  Phone books are converted to newspaper.  About 60 tons of paper would be recovered if every household in Orange County recycled a phone book.


Animal Services


August 2, 2005

Contact: Robert A. Marotto 
Orange County Animal Services Director


Positive Rabies Test for Stay Dog

Hillsborough—On Monday, August 1st, 2005, Orange County Animal Services received positive rabies lab results for a stray dog impounded by Animal Control.  This is the first occurrence of rabies this year for a domestic animal in Orange County. 

The brown boxer mix stray was impounded Thursday, July 28, near the Penecost Road and McDade Store Road intersection in the Cedar Grove area by an Animal Control Officer responding to a stray dog complaint.  The dog was brought to the Orange County Animal Shelter where it was kept in an area isolated from the public.  

The Animal Shelter staff observed the increasing distress of the dog combined with its loss of balance and inability to eat and drink.  A decision was made to euthanize the animal.  Given the dog’s central nervous system functions did not appear normal, the dog was tested on Monday, August 1 for rabies in an expedited manner to ensure that results were available as soon as possible.

As a result of the positive test, the person who contacted Animal Control about the stray dog is initiating the post-exposure series on the basis of consultation with a Communicable Disease Nurse from the County’s Health Department.  The person elected to do so, not because of being bitten, but because it was not possible to rule out an indirect exposure.  Also, because the household dogs were not current on their rabies vaccinations, they are being released to be euthanized as is required by state statute (unless a six-month quarantine is conducted).

Staff from the Department of Animal Services who had or may have had direct or indirect physical contact with the dog are going through a thorough process of assessment to determine what, if any, treatment is needed.  This process is being done in concert with personnel from the County’s Health Department with expertise in the area of communicable diseases.  While there are no known exposures involving the breakage of skin, every step is being taken to ensure the well-being of staff in Animal Control and Animal Sheltering Divisions given the health risks posed by rabies.

As it involves a domestic animal with rabies, this case underscores the importance of effective rabies control to ensure the health of the public and their animal companions.  Animal Services Director Bob Marotto stresses the importance of prevention in our communities and the County as a whole.  “Prevention is the best measure for effective rabies control.  Ensuring that dogs and cats do not have contact with wildlife is basic to protecting them and ourselves from rabies.  Ensuring that cats as well as dogs are current on their rabies vaccinations is one of the most important responsibilities of a pet owner,” Marotto said. 

Raccoons are the host species to rabies in our area.  But other animals may become rabid as well.  Any other animals that become rabid in this area are likely the victims of the “spillover effect.”  This occurs when a member of one species gets rabies from a member of the species that is the primary host to the endemic disease.  The other species that are most susceptible to getting rabies from raccoons are fox, skunks—and dogs and cats.

This is the thirteenth (13) positive rabies test so far this year for Orange County and the first one involving a domestic animal.

- supplemental information


*Keep rabies vaccinations for dogs and cats up to date.

*Keep pets confined to ensure that they do not encounter wild or stray animals.

*Monitor pets for wounds of unknown origin.

*Do not touch pets that may have been bitten or exposed to a potentially rabid animals with bare hands and isolate the animal away from the family and other animals. 

*Wounded pets should be handled with gloves and other protective clothing and taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

*Pets with current rabies vaccinations that may have been exposed to rabies must be vaccinated within 72 hours.

*If the rabies suspect is alive, do not attempt to capture the animal.  Keep visual contact with the animal until Animal Control arrives.

*If the rabies suspect is dead, cover the animal with a bucket or item to prevent contact by pets, people or other wildlife.

*If you feed your dog or cat outside, remove extra food after meals and do not throw out scraps.

*Be aware that bird feeders attract raccoons and other wildlife that may carry rabies.

*Call the County’s Animal Control Program (919-245-2075) to report any possible rabies incident or exposure.



The County’s Animal Services Department offers rabies clinics to ensure that cats and dogs are current on their vaccinations.  Last week more than one-hundred and fifty pet owners took advantage of two of these clinics.  Upcoming clinics include:

*Thursday, September 8th, 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.—Efland Cheeks Elementary School

*Thursday, September 8th, 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.—Caldwell Community Center

*Saturday, September 10th, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.—Orange County Animal Shelter

The vaccination fee is $5, which must be paid in cash.  If possible, be sure to bring your cat or dog’s most recent vaccination certificate.  Dogs must be on leashes and cats must be in carriers.  Animals that may be fractious should be kept in a vehicle where a veterinarian will vaccinate them.


Human Rights and Relations


August 2, 2005

Contact: Milan T. Pham 
Human Rights and Relations Director


Limited English Proficiency Coordinator Will Work to Improve Access to Government Services for the Latino, Asian, and other Limited English Proficient Communities

Marlyn Valeiko began work on August 1st as the new Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Coordinator in the Orange County Department of Human Rights and Relations.  Ms. Valeiko will be responsible for improving access to government services for LEP communities by working with government and community-based agencies to increase their capacity to serve LEP communities.  In addition, she is charged with educating LEP populations on issues of concern for their communities such as fair housing, wage and hour, labor, health and safety, immigration, health and human services issues. 

            The LEP population is a rapidly growing population and consists primarily of the Hispanic and Asian immigrant communities.  These communities are expected to grow by more than 300% in the next decade and access to government services will become a critical issue for them.  States and Counties across the United States have, in an effort to better serve growing LEP communities, hired individuals to coordinate services to those communities.  North Carolina has few of those individuals despite rapidly growing LEP populations.  Orange County is one of the first county’s to hire a permanent employee to assist emerging immigrant communities. 

            Milan Pham, Director for the Department of Human Rights believes that working with LEP communities is an integral part of a social justice and human rights agenda.  “Having Marlyn Valeiko as part of the Human Rights and Relations team is an important step to increasing access to LEP communities in Orange County.  Marlyn has a depth and breadth of experience working with LEP communities, people of color communities, and other underrepresented communities and has proven through her work and volunteer activities that she has a firm commitment to social justice.  She will be important in moving a social justice agenda forward,” Pham said. 

            Marlyn Valeiko, who worked as a grassroots, community-based organizer before coming to the County believes that government has been and should continue to be at the forefront of the movement for social justice. “Government has been at the center of the movement identifying the needs of people and seeking creative ways to meet those needs.  LEP communities are communities of many needs and it is appropriate that government should be stepping in to help.  I am happy to be part of that effort and am looking forward to working as a part of the Human Rights Department in Orange County,” Valeiko stated. 


Social Services


July 28, 2005

Contact: Felicia McLean-Torry 
Department of Social Services

Orange County Updating Special Needs Registry

ORANGE COUNTY-The Orange County Department of Social Services is currently accepting applications for inclusion in the Disaster Special Needs Registry.

The registry is a confidential database maintained by the Department of Social Services and used to contact individuals with special needs who may need assistance in the event of a disaster such as a hurricane or ice storm. 

The program will assist county staff in providing information vital to the safety and well being of registered individuals prior to or during a disaster.  Items in the database include contact information and health requirements.  Registered participants may be directed toward a facility or shelter that is most suited to meet their needs or provided with other arrangements for their care and safety.  The program will assist emergency services personnel and volunteers in providing support when time could be critical. 

Eligibility for the registry is determined on a case-by-case basis, and is not guaranteed.  Generally, those eligible do not require hospital care but may need assistance beyond what is provided in a standard Red Cross Shelter.  This may also include individuals who are homebound. 

Individuals with any of the following should consider submitting an application:

§         Minor health or medical conditions which require observation or monitoring ordered by a physician

§         Contagious health conditions requiring minimal precautions or isolation

§         Chronic conditions requiring assistance with activities of daily living, but not hospitalization

§         Medication and vital sign monitoring with professional assistance

§         Mental health or developmental problems that could not be handled by Red Cross Shelter Staff

Participation in the Disaster Special Needs Registry is voluntary and individuals will only be included with their permission.  Individuals on the registry decide whether to accept assistance and/or remain responsible for themselves in the event of a disaster.

For more information, please contact Felicia McLean-Torry at the Orange County Department of Social Services (919) 245-2884.




July 28, 2005

Contact: Jo Roberson 
Director of Revenue

Orange County Offers Assistance with Tax Payments

Orange County tax bills will be mailed out early in August. 

Every four years, Orange County conducts a process of  “revaluation” to ensure property values are aligned with market values.  North Carolina law requires all counties to engage in this practice at least every eight years.  This is a revaluation year and the tax billing will reflect the new appraised value. 

The Orange County Department of Revenue recognizes some area residents may face challenges with their personal finances.  “We want to make it as easy as possible for Orange County citizens to pay their taxes,” said Jo Roberson, Director of Revenue. 

Individuals may make several smaller payments toward their taxes or even set-up a monthly payment plan to make sure the full statement is paid by January 5, 2006.  Receipts will be provided after each payment showing the payment amount and the balance remaining. 

The Orange County Revenue Department is available to discuss options.  Please contact 919-245-2725 and select option 5 for assistance.




July 28, 2005

Contact: Donna Baker 
Clerk to the Board of Commissioners

Orange County Hosts Outreach Listening Sessions

Only three “listening sessions”, hosted by the Orange County Board of Commissioners, are left. 

The next session will be on Wednesday, August 10, 2005 at 7:00 pm, at the Carrboro Century Center, 100 North Greensboro St., Carrboro.      

The sessions provide an informal and relaxed opportunity for residents to share their concerns and thoughts related to county government. 

Residents who do not feel comfortable making a presentation to the Board in a public meeting may feel free to share their issues in a more casual setting near local neighborhoods.  Whether the topics are operations, programs, or services, here is a chance to share your thoughts with the Chair and one other Commissioner. 

Any county resident may attend any meeting. 

Results of the sessions will be shared with members of the Board and Orange County Staff. 

Remaining 2005 Orange County Listening Sessions

All meetings begin at 7:00 pm and last until 8:00 pm. 

August 10 – Carrboro Century Center

September 15 – Efland Community Center

October 5 – Government Services Center


Manager's Office


July 26, 2005

Contact: John Link 
County Manager

Orange County Appoints Steve Averett as Director of Land Records/GIS

Orange County Manager John Link has appointed Steve Averett as Land Records/GIS Director. Averett will begin work Monday, August 22, 2005.

As Director, Averett will develop and manage Orange County’s computerized Land Records System, Geographic Information System (GIS) and Master Address Database. He also will design and supervise system modifications and enhancements.

Averett has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and History from Elon University and a Master’s in Public Affairs from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.

Averett has 9 years experience in Land Records/GIS. He has spent the past 5 years developing a countywide GIS enterprise system for Gaston County. He initially served as the County’s Tax GIS Coordinator and most recently, since October 2003, as GIS Manager.

Averett began his career as GIS Specialist for the City of Burlington. He also has served as GIS Coordinator for the City of Sanford.

County Manager John Link named an Assessment Panel to assist in the selection process. The Panel was made up of Assistant County Manager Rod Visser, Tax Assessor John Smith, Revenue Director Jo Roberson, Register of Deeds Joyce Pearson and Chief Information Officer Todd Jones. The search process included national recruitment. It yielded 31 candidates.

Link said: “We are impressed with Steve Averett’s breadth of experience and knowledge. He will be a welcome addition to the County’s Land Records and Geographic Information System’s team ”.

Visser said: “Steve brings a great deal of technical knowledge and a record of demonstrated achievement to build on Orange County’s well-established GIS offerings. He comes very highly recommended for his skills, work ethic, and team orientation. His problem-solving ability and engaging personality will be well-received by citizens as he assumes leadership of Orange County’s excellent Land Records staff.”

Averett said: “It is an honor and a pleasure to join the staff of Orange County. I look forward to assisting in the continued development of Land Records and GIS and to forging a strong relationship with the citizens and customers of Orange County government. ”


Human Services


July 26, 2005

Contact: Gwen Harvey 
Assistant County Manager

Orange County Responds to Challenges of Triple Digit Temperatures

Orange County Human Services and Emergency Management Departments work together to help area residents during the hottest days of the summer. 

The Department of Social Services team has been checking on their registry of frail and elderly and ensuring that they either have access to air conditioning or a window fan.  Fans have been donated to support this effort. DSS is providing vouchers for window fans - redeemable at Wal-Mart - for homes with young children, disabled adults, and others at high health risk during critical weather conditions.

The Department on Aging is also coordinating distribution of free window fans (grant dollars helped provide this service) and all Senior Center locations are of course open for business for seniors who wish to escape the heat. Orange Public Transit is assisting in the effort by delivering fans to those unable to retrieve them personally.  Aging staff has also been checking on their registry of clients and making reassurance calls. 

“By keeping cool heads and feverishly organizing, we hope to help residents and staff know how to withstand this extreme weather situation,” said Gwen Harvey, Assistant County Manager. 

The Department of Social Services, Emergency Management, and the Orange County Chapter of the Red Cross are working together on risk evaluation and coordination of efforts.

The Orange County Health Department sent out an advisory to every County employee on what precautions they should take to avoid heat exhaustion or stroke and how to recognize symptoms in others. A particular concern is for those whose jobs take them out and about and into the field, such as building inspectors and social workers.  




July 21, 2005

Contact: Lt. Steve Newton 
Emergency Management Wireless E9-1-1 Coordinator

Orange County Begins Emergency 9-1-1 Address Verification Project

(Hillsborough) Orange County is performing a 9-1-1 address verification project involving the entire county, including the municipalities. The purpose of this project is to provide the 9-1-1 Center with accurate address and street coordinates for use in its Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD), Geographic Information System (GIS), and other mapping software.  These systems are used hundreds of times each day to assist 9-1-1 telecommunicators in locating callers in need of police, fire, and emergency medical services.

Geographic Technologies Group (GTG) is conducting the address verification project.  McKim & Creed is performing the field collection of street and address data for GTG.  Residents should be aware that the contractor might come onto their driveway if the home or business is not visible from the roadway in order to take coordinates.  Survey vehicles are all clearly marked with McKim & Creed.

The field verification portion of the project will begin July 25th and is expected to be complete by January 2006.

If residents have any questions regarding the field verification process, they may call McKim & Creed at (800) 829-4559.

Interested parties may check the progress of the project via the Internet at

All other questions may be directed to the project manager, Lieutenant Steve Newton at 919-968-2050, extension 239.