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


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

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News Releases

March/April 2009

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Past News Releases

BOCC 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: April 24, 2009

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

Special Meeting Notice

The scheduled Joint Planning (JPA) meeting with the Orange County Board of Commissioners and municipal governments for Thursday, April 30, 2009 has been canceled. 

The Orange County Board of Commissioners will hold a special meeting on Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. at the Link Government Services Center, 200 South Cameron Street, Hillsborough, for the purpose of going into closed session “to consider the qualifications, competence, character, fitness, conditions of appointment, or conditions of initial employment of an individual public officer or employee or prospective public officer or employee,” NCGS 143-318.11(a)(6).

The Orange County Board of Commissioners will hold a special meeting on Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at the Link Government Services Center, 200 South Cameron Street, Hillsborough, for the purpose of going into closed session “to consider the qualifications, competence, character, fitness, conditions of appointment, or conditions of initial employment of an individual public officer or employee or prospective public officer or employee,” NCGS 143-318.11(a)(6).

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Agriculture 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: April 16, 2009

Contact: Noah Ranells, Orange County Agricultural Economic Development Coordinator, (919) 245-2330

Farm to Fork Processing Center Awarded Critical Funding

Farmers and local food entrepreneurs in the Piedmont of North Carolina will have access to a new processing center to help them compete in the emerging BUY LOCAL, EAT SEASONAL, and FARM to FORK economy.  The planned Piedmont Food and Agricultural Processing Center in Hillsborough will be within a 1.5 hour drive of 15,865 farms in a 22–county area, nearly one-third of all farms in North Carolina, according to 2007 USDA statistics. 

Included in the 22 counties are 15 counties designated “Rural” by the NC Rural Center and 2,721 tobacco farms based on the 2002 USDA data.  The service area represents 35% of tobacco farms and 40% of tobacco production, statewide.  Farmers and food entrepreneurs will benefit from an FDA-inspected food processing facility and 3.3 million consumers in the service area will benefit from safe farm products produced locally, often with enhanced nutritional and health benefits.

During the past 6 months, the center had been awarded a total of $1,098,500 from 3 granting agencies and a federal appropriation.  Grants include $469,000 from the NC Tobacco Trust Fund, $250,000 from the Golden Leaf Foundation, and the $132,000 from the NC Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund.  The federal appropriation was a member sponsored project through the Congressional Office of Representative David Price.

“It is critical that entrepreneurs get support creating small business and this should continue to be a major focus in today’s economy, said Brad Broadwell, Orange County Economic Development Director. “This effort represents healthy living, increased capacities for our farmers, creates tax revenues, and keeps jobs and business here in the Piedmont Region.”

The Center will open in 2010 and will provide a wide range of food processing equipment in addition to business development support and education, especially training to start a food-based business, developing business plans, and meeting food safety requirements.  The processing center is expected to 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.

This project represents a strong collaboration between Alamance, Chatham, Durham, and Orange Counties, as well as Weaver Street Market and Whole Foods that jointly funded the 2007 feasibility study.  Strong support from Alamance County Commissioner Dan Ingle, Chatham County Commissioner Tom Vanderbeck, Durham County Commissioner Becky Heron, and Orange County Commissioner Barry Jacobs helped move the project from feasibility stage to implementation. 

A stakeholder group was involved from the inception of the feasibility study and includes farmers, county commissioners, chefs, grocers, and consumers with representatives from chambers of commerce, community colleges, farmers markets, Cooperative Extension, Soil & Water Conservation District Boards, Voluntary Agricultural Districts Boards, economic development and small business specialists, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, and North Carolina Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

While the Food and Agricultural Processing Center will serve one third of the state’s farmers, collaborations with the existing Blue Ridge Food Ventures in western NC and emerging processing facilities in eastern NC allow magnified statewide impact.  Preliminary discussions are underway to develop a network of processing centers that enhances the overall capability of North Carolina to produce a greater proportion of the food that is consumed within the state.

“This new processing center provides the crucial missing link in our local food chain,” said Chatham County Commissioner Tom Vanderbeck. “Now our small farmers will have a place to process, package and distribute food to consumers close to where it was produced on the farm. That lowers transportation costs and our carbon footprint, while keeping the dollars in our local economy and supporting sustainable agriculture. It's a win for everyone."

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Library 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: April 8, 2009

Contact: Lucinda Munger, Orange County Library Director, (919) 245-2525

Food for Fines at the Orange County Public Library

In honor of National Library Week, Orange County Public Libraries, in cooperation with the Orange County Department of Social Services, will accept food for fines between April 13th and 19th, 2009. 

One non-perishable food item will be accepted as payment for each individual library fine on an account.  Food items will not be accepted as payment for the replacement cost of materials.  Come to the circulation desk at any Orange County Library with your non-perishable food items and library card to have your fines waived.

Come in during National Library Week and you can also replace a lost library card for free!

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BOCC 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: April 3, 2009

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

Special Meeting Notice

 The Orange County Board of Commissioners will hold a special meeting on Monday, April 13, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at the Southern Human Services Center in Chapel Hill (ROOM D) to discuss with a representative of The Mercer Group a  process for the County to select a new County Manager and to discuss an amendment to the County’s current contract with the Mercer Group that will be applicable to the County’s search for a new County Manager.

The Board of County Commissioners will host an in-house reception for the new County Attorney and the retiring County Attorney on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 from 6:00-7:00 p.m. at the Link Government Services Center, 200 South Cameron Street, Hillsborough, N.C. (prior to the BOCC work session at 7:00 p.m.).

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BOCC 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: March 31, 2009

Contact: Valerie Foushee, Chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners, (919) 942-2661

Roberts Named as New Attorney for Orange County

Valerie Foushee, Chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners, announced the selection of John L. Roberts as the new Attorney for Orange County starting April 23, 2009.

As County Attorney, Roberts will provide legal services for the Board of County Commissioners and county departments, reporting directly to the Board.  He will work in coordination with the Staff Attorney on all legal matters including ordinances, contracts and as necessary on litigation and other legal matters. 

Roberts comes to Orange County from Stanly County, where he served as County Attorney.  His experience providing a full range of legal services for the Stanly County Board of Commissioners includes advice on legal issues, policies and procedures for both the Board and all county departments.  Prior to work with Stanly County, Roberts served as a managing partner of Ferrell & Atwater, a law firm in Raleigh. 

His educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in Law Studies from Davenport College in Kalamazoo, Michigan and a Juris Doctorate Degree from North Carolina Central University.  He also has a Master of Public Administration degree from North Carolina State University and has completed a certificate program in Municipal and County Administration from the School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

“The Board looks forward to John serving as part of the Orange County team,” Foushee said.  “We have a lot of work ahead of us and hope he can hit the ground running.” 

Roberts is ready for the challenge.  “I am very excited about my future with Orange County.  I have heard many positive comments about both the community and future co-workers,” Roberts said. 

Roberts will be replacing Geof Gledhill who served as primary legal counsel to Orange County for over 30 years. 

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BOCC 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: March 25, 2009

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

Special Meeting Notice

The Orange County Board of Commissioners will meet in a special session at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, March 30, 2009 at the Link Government Services Center, 200 South Cameron Street, Hillsborough, NC.

The purpose of this meeting will be to for the Commissioners to discuss the search process for the county manager.

This meeting is open to the public.

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BOCC 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: March 23, 2009

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

Special Meeting Notice - Location Change

The Orange County Board of Commissioners and the other local municipalities will be meeting for an Assembly of Governments meeting on Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. and the new location for this meeting will be:

Extraordinary Ventures, 200 S. Elliott Road in Chapel Hill. N.C.

The purpose of this meeting is for elected officials throughout Orange County to have the opportunity to exchange ideas and information. 

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Aging 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: March 20, 2009

Contact: Jerry Passmore, Director - Orange County Department on Aging, (919) 423-1555

Aging Priorities for Legislative Update

“The Orange County Aging Advisory Board  along with other advocacy groups are sponsoring a Legislative Update Forum at the Seymour Center on Monday, March 23, 2009 from 1:30 p.m.- 3:00 p.m. followed with an afternoon tea,” according to Steve Lackey, Chair of the Aging Board. 

The forum is open to everyone and designed to fulfill a key adopted Master Aging Plan objective of “increasing awareness for older persons, local officials, legislators and the general public to legislative issues related to aging.”  Alice Gordon, County Commissioner, will moderate the program, and will be introducing Ann Johnson, Orange County’s Delegate to the NC Senior Tar Heel Legislature.  Ms. Johnson will touch on what older adults might do as legislative advocates.  Mary Edwards, Consumer Education Manager, with the North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services will cover state wide community-based legislative issues; and Jill Passmore, Lead Regional LTC Ombudsman, will focus on long term care support issues. 

Local and state representatives have been invited to share their perspectives on aging legislation and what is likely to be introduced in the current session of the General Assembly.  The Orange County Advisory Board will be sharing its recommended legislative priorities for 2009.

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Housing 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: March 16, 2009

Contact: Tara Fikes, Housing and Community Development Director, (919) 245-2490

Foreclosure Prevention Workshop

NC Housing Coalition is partnering with the Orange County Affordable Housing Advisory Board to sponsor a Foreclosure Prevention Seminar for homeowners and the general public on Saturday, March 28, 2009 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, at Southern Human Services Center, 2501 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill, NC.  Register online at www.nchousing.org or contact Regina Green by phone (919) 827-4494 or email rgreen@nchrousing.org

 

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BOCC 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: March 16, 2009

Contact: Donna Baker, Clerk to the Board, (919) 245-2130

BOCC Special Meeting Notice

The Orange County Board of Commissioners will hold a special meeting on Monday, March 23, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at the Link Government Services Center, 200 South Cameron Street, Hillsborough, for the purpose of going into closed session “to consider the qualifications, competence, character, fitness, conditions of appointment, or conditions of initial employment of an individual public officer or employee or prospective public officer or employee,” NCGS 143-318.11(a)(6).

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ERCD 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: March 13, 2009

Contact: Tina Moon, Cultural Resources Specialist, (919) 210-2595

Historic Preservation Photography Competition

MAY is National Historic Preservation Month, and for the third year in a row, the Orange County Historic Preservation Commission is partnering with the Historical Foundation of Hillsborough and Orange County to host a Photography Competition.  The theme for the contest this year is Old Barns, Sheds & Outbuildings.  Images should remind us of the past, and help bridge the past to the present and to the future.  Photographers should select subjects that highlight nostalgic old tool sheds, barns, garages, corn cribs and other interesting structures in the towns, crossroads and rural areas of Orange County. 

All photographers—juniors (youth), amateurs and professionals—are invited to submit up to two entries in film or digital format.  Photos must be ready to hang (matted or framed).  Entry forms will be available at several locations including local libraries, the Historical Museum on Churton Street in Hillsborough, the Orange County Planning & Agricultural Building, on Revere Road in Hillsborough, the Visitor Centers in Hillsborough and Chapel Hill.

Entries should be submitted to the Orange County Historical Museum in Hillsborough or the Orange County Environment & Resource Conservation Department office at 306 Revere Road in Hillsborough, from April 1st through April 30th 2009. 

Winners will be selected in three divisions: junior, amateur and professional, as well as best in show.  The winners will be announced on May 29, at the Hillsborough Last Fridays Event, and will receive cash awards.  All photographs will be on display during May at the Historical Museum as part of the 2009 Preservation Month celebration.

For more information: contact Darcie Beecroft, Executive Director, Orange County Historical Museum, at 919-732-2201, visit the Museum website www.orangeNChistory.org; or contact Tina Moon, Cultural Resources Specialist, ERCD, at 919-210-2595.

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BOCC 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: March 3, 2009

Contact: Donna Baker, Clerk to the Board, (919) 245-2130

BOCC Special Meeting Notice

The Orange County Board of Commissioners will hold a special meeting on Thursday, March 5, 2009 at 5:30 p.m. at the Southern Human Services Center, 2501 Homestead Road, in Chapel Hill, for the purpose of going into closed session “to consider the qualifications, competence, character, fitness, conditions of appointment, or conditions of initial employment of an individual public officer or employee or prospective public officer or employee,” NCGS 143-318.11(a)(6).

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