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Orange County, North Carolina

For additional information contact David Hunt, Information Specialist, (919) 245-2126. 

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July / August 2010

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Planning

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: August 16, 2010

Contact: Craig Benedict , Orange County Planning Director, (919) 245-2592

Orange County to Review UDO First Draft

ORANGE COUNTY, NC – The first draft of Orange County’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) is now available for public review. 

A UDO compiles property development ordinance and regulations into one cross-referenced document.  Examples of existing ordinances included in the UDO are: zoning, subdivision, flood damage, and erosion control. 

The primary purpose of establishing a UDO is to create a more user-friendly, understandable document by incorporating all land use development regulations into a central document and eliminate inconsistencies among ordinances.

The first draft UDO is just under 800 pages and can be found on the Planning Department’s website (www.co.orange.nc.us/planning/UDO.asp).  A CD copy can also be obtained at the Planning Department located on the second floor of the Orange County West Campus Office Building, 131 W. Margaret Ln. in Hillsborough.

Area residents are invited to attend a Public Input Session on Wednesday, September 8, 2010 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Orange County West Campus Office Bld., Lower Level, 131 W. Margaret Ln., Hillsborough.  Verbal and/or written comments may be submitted at the session. 

Written comments may be submitted to the Planning Department until 9:00 a.m. on Monday, September 20, 2010.  Additional instructions on submitting comments can be found at the UDO webpage above.

Following receipt of comments from the public on the first draft UDO, a second draft will be prepared for a formal public hearing on November 22, 2010.  Additional public notice will be forthcoming.

For questions or additional information please contact the Orange County Planning and Inspections Department at (919) 245-2575.  Additional information is also available on the Department’s website at: www.co.orange.nc.us/planning/  .

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Economic Development

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: August 12, 2010

Contact: Dottie Schmitt, Orange County Economic Development, (919) 245-2327

Orange County Commissioners Allocate Additional Funding for Small Business Loans

ORANGE COUNTY, NC – With final approval of the county’s 2010-2011 budget, the Orange County Commissioners made a decisive effort to support local businesses during these difficult economic times by committing an additional $200,000 to the county’s existing Small Business Loan Program.  The Commissioners’ timely approval of the additional funding will provide much needed capital for small businesses, which are widely thought to be a critical component of economic recovery. 

Small businesses are commonly considered to be the main jobs creation force in the economy – according to the SBA office of advocacy, small businesses have generated between 60 and 80% of net new jobs annually over the past 10 years, therefore one of the most effective means of creating jobs is to provide these small businesses with much needed capital.  Small businesses in particular, continue to find the credit market very challenging – a recent Wells Fargo/Gallup survey found that 42% of small businesses expect it to be ‘somewhat’ or ‘very difficult’ to obtain credit in the next twelve months. 

Orange County is fortunate to be home to a great number of entrepreneurs, and the County Commissioners have taken decisive action to support the growth of this very important component of our economy.

“Small businesses are the key to job creation in Orange County; over the past nine months we have seen an increase in the local business registry by more than 650 new businesses.  Providing access to capital in the current economy is an absolutely critical component of economic recovery.  By investing in the entrepreneurial spirit of our county, we can foster growth from the ground up,” commented Brad Broadwell, Director of Orange County Economic Development.

The Small Business Loan Fund was established several years ago by the County’s Economic Development department to support the growth of local businesses and is available to Orange County residents with an equity contribution of at least 15% in the business.  The loan fund is managed by a board of directors comprised of small business owners, bank representatives, and representatives from several County departments.  Additional information on eligibility requirements and application procedures are available through the Orange County Economic Development department (dschmitt@co.orange.nc.us , 919-245-2327) and on the County’s Economic Development website, www.co.orange.nc.us/ecodev .

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Cooperative Extension

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: August 3, 2010

Contact: Frank Clifton, Orange County Manager, (919) 245-2300 or

James Cowden, North Carolina Cooperative Extension, North Central District Director, 919-515-8439

Matyac Named Orange County Extension Director

ORANGE COUNTY, NC – A long-time Triangle North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service agent has been named to direct the Orange County Cooperative Extension program.

Dr. Carl Matyac, who has worked as a Cooperative Extension agent in Durham, Orange and Wake counties over a 21-year extension career, has been named Orange County director. Matyac’s appointment as Orange Extension director, effective Aug. 2, was announced by Dr. Joe Zublena, interim director of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service at North Carolina State University, and Frank Clifton, Orange County Manager. Matyac succeeds Dr. Fletcher Barber Jr., who retired in late 2009 after a more than 30-year extension career.

Matyac joined Cooperative Extension in 1989 as an agent in Durham County. He moved to Wake County in 1996, where he was responsible for commercial and consumer horticulture, ornamentals and turf, and urban forestry. In July 2008, Matyac left Wake County for Cooperative Extension in Orange County, where he has been responsible for horticulture programs.

During his time in Orange County, Matyac has developed 12 community gardens. He also serves as director of the farm enterprise training and incubator program at the W.C. Breeze Family Farm Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Hurdle Mills. The program teaches people with non-farm backgrounds how to farm.

The new Orange County director holds a Ph.D. degree in plant pathology from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degee, in plant pathology, and bachelor’s degree, in plant genetics, from the University of Arizona. In addition, he has a medical technologist certification from Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Capital University in Columbus Ohio.

“Dr. Carl Matyac has been an extension horticulture agent for 21 years, working the last two years in Orange County. He has supervised Master Gardener volunteers, served as pesticide training coordinator and directs the Breeze incubator farm,” said James C. Cowden, director of extension’s North Central District, which includes Guilford County. “Carl brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the county extension director position in Orange County.” 

The North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service is an educational agency supported by county governments, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, N.C. State University and North Carolina A&T State University. A staff of agents serves each county and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. Backed by specialists at the two land-grant universities, agents conduct educational programs related to agriculture and forestry, family and consumer sciences, 4-H, community and rural development, and other issues of concern to North Carolina citizens. The extension service is headquartered in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University.

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BOCC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: August 2, 2010

Contact: Frank Clifton, Orange County Manager, (919) 245-2300

Orange County Public Hearing on Potential Uses for Possible One-Quarter Cent Additional Sales Tax

ORANGE COUNTY, NC – The Orange County Board of Commissioners will hold a Public Hearing on Tuesday, August 17, 2010 during its regularly scheduled meeting.  The meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. at the Department of Social Services Office, 113 Mayo Street in Hillsborough.

The Public Hearing during the meeting will provide an opportunity for the public to comment on the potential uses for funds from a possible one-quarter cent (1/4¢) additional sales tax in Orange County, NC.

During the 2007 legislative session, the North Carolina General Assembly granted county boards of commissioners the authority to levy, subject to voter approval, an additional one-quarter cent county sales and use tax. 

On June 15, 2010, the Board of Commissioners approved a resolution calling for a special advisory referendum on November 2, 2010 on a potential one-quarter cent (1/4¢) additional sales tax in Orange County.   The November 2, 2010 ballot question will ask Orange County voters to vote either for or against a local sales and use tax at the rate of one-quarter cent in addition to all other state and local sales and use tax.

It is projected the one-quarter cent county sales and use tax would generate approximately $2,300,000 for Orange County on an annual basis.  If the voters approve the referendum on November 2, 2010, implementation would not start until April 1, 2011 and generate approximately $575,000 during the remainder of current fiscal year (FY 2010-11) that ends on June 30, 2011. 

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Library

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: July 30, 2010

Contact: Lucinda Munger, Orange County Library Director, (919) 245-2528

Orange County Main Library Dedicates Sculpture and Local History Collection

ORANGE COUNTY, NC – The Rebecca B. Wall Local History Collection and the Wayne Trapp sculpture, “Embrace the Moment” will be dedicated at a joint ceremony at the Orange County Main Library, 137 West Margaret Lane in Hillsborough at 10:00 am on Friday, August 6, 2010. The public is invited.

Ms. Rebecca Benehan Wall was a resident of Hillsborough and lived in and owned Heartsense from 1963 until the mid 1980’s.  She was a librarian at the Veterans Administration Hospital for 24 years until her retirement in 1964.  Ms. Wall was a member of St. Matthews’s Episcopal Church.  In April 1987, the Orange County Public Library received $50,000 from her estate, which has grown to over $100,000.  Beginning this fall, the funds from the bequest will assist individuals and organizations in pursuing digitization grants in order to preserve these materials or artifacts.

Mr. Trapp’s sculpture is sponsored by the Friends of the Orange County Library and the Orange County Arts Commission. Mr. Trapp, of Vilas, NC has worked in stone and steel for over 40 years creating lavish, even colossal outdoor pieces.

Mr. Trapp also created the sculpture “Wind Whisper” outside the Seymour Center in Chapel Hill.

Asked to describe his concept, Trapp offered: "two sweeping upward curves," before a burst of consciousness let loose." You hold your hands out in front of you and hold them up in the air . . . it's just a hopeful gesture for mankind's future," Trapp said. "What I do is offer hope. I'm just too positive to offer anything else."

The public art sculpture was paid for by a capitol improvement program from Orange County, designating $5,000 for this project. The Friends of the Orange County Public Library raised $5,400 in matching funds, including a $2,500 Hillsborough Tourism Grant.  Including installation and signage (paid for by a combination of funds from the Orange County Arts Commission and the NC Arts Council's Grassroots Arts Program), the total project cost was $12,526.

These dedications coincide with the library’s 100th anniversary celebration, which includes a special exhibit on the history of the library at the Orange County Museum, 201 N. Churton Street, Hillsborough. 

On Friday, August 6, at the Main Library there will be a children’s historical program featuring Storyteller Fred Motley at 10:30 a.m. On Saturday, August 7, there will be a lively jazz concert featuring pianist Audrey Smith with Joseph Dickey and Chris Gelb at 2:30 p.m. Both programs will be held in the Main Library meeting room on the first floor.

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Agriculture

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: July 6, 2010

Contact: Carl Matyac, Cooperative Extension - Orange County, (919) 245-2062

Master Gardener Class

ORANGE COUNTY, NC – A horticulture program, called Master Gardener, is being offered by the Cooperative Extension Service, Orange County Center to provide horticultural training for selected home gardeners.

Master Gardener training will be held at the Orange County Extension Center, 306 Revere Rd., Hillsborough.  The 15-week program will be held on Wednesdays from September 14, 2010 thru January 2011, with sessions running from 9:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

Master Gardener is a title given to individuals that receive 40 hours of in-depth horticultural training from County Extension Agents and in return, agree to give 40 hours of volunteer service helping their local county Extension program.

Training will include topics such as basic plant botany and physiology, entomology, plant pathology, vegetable gardening, fruit culture, annuals and perennials, woody ornamentals, turf management, interior plants, pest control, basic landscaping and identification and usage of common landscape plants.

Master Gardeners give their volunteer hours to county Extension offices in many ways.  In Orange County, Master Gardeners help by answering telephone calls in the Extension office, troubleshooting plant problems brought into the office, staffing plant clinics at farmers markets and working with youth in 4-H.

Applications for a limited number of openings in the class are now being taken in the county Extension office.  The program is open to anyone wishing to attend regardless of race, color, sex, handicap or national origin.

The deadline for receiving applications is August 1, 2010.

For further information about the Master Gardener program, contact Carl Matyac at 245 2062 or send an email to carl_matyac@ncsu.edu.

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BOCC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: July 6, 2010

Contact: Donna Baker, Clerk to the Orange County Board of Commissioners, (919) 245-2130

Piedmont Food and Agriculture Processing Center Steering Committee

ORANGE COUNTY, NC – One major way citizens can have a positive impact on the future of Orange County is to volunteer to serve on the various County advisory boards and commissions.

The Orange County Board of Commissioners is currently looking for an Orange County farmer to serve on the Piedmont Food and Agriculture Processing Center Steering Committee. 

The project is a multi-county effort involving Alamance, Chatham, Durham, and Orange Counties, as well as Weaver Street Market and Whole Foods and is an example of public-private collaboration in the Piedmont Region. 

The shared-use facility located at 500 Valley Forge Road in Hillsborough, NC will allow farmers and local food entrepreneurs in the Piedmont region to better compete in the emerging BUY LOCAL, EAT SEASONAL, FARM to FORK economy.  This value-added processing center in Hillsborough is within a 1.5 hour drive of 15,378 farms in a 22 county area, nearly one-third of all farms in North Carolina, according to 2007 USDA statistics.

Recently the center has been awarded $1,127,319 from five agencies, including the NC Tobacco Trust Fund, the Golden Leaf Foundation, NC Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund, US Housing & Urban Development – Economic Development Initiative, and the Rural Advancement Foundation International USA – Tobacco Communities Initiative. 

The Center is scheduled to open in March 2011 and will provide a wide range of food processing equipment in a commercial kitchen.  Planning includes business development education, especially for food-based businesses. The processing center should be financially sustainable in its third year of operation through the collection of user and program fees and from the fundraising effort of the nonprofit entity that will be formed to manage the center.

Apply online http://www.co.orange.nc.us/boards/apply.asp or contact Donna Baker, 919-245-2130. 

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