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

May/June 2007

Click on subject to read news release

 
Past News Releases

MANAGER 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 28, 2007

Contact: Laura Blackmon, Orange County Manager,  (919) 245-2300

Finance Director Announces Retirement

Ken Chavious, Orange County Finance Director, has announced his retirement effective December 1, 2007. 

Chavious began his career with Orange County in 1978 as an Accounting Clerk, advancing up to Finance Director, a position he has held since 1989. 

For each of the 18 years Chavious served as Director of Finance, the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada has awarded Orange County the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.  The award is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting. 

“With nearly 30 years in the Finance Department, Ken has witnessed and been part of significant changes in Orange County Government,” Moses Carey, Chair of Board of Commissioners said.  “His work expertise and sense of humor will be missed.”

At a state level, Chavious has served as President of the North Carolina Government Financial Officers Association and also as President of the North Carolina Association of County Finance Directors, the first African American to serve in this position.   The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners recognized Chavious as Outstanding County Finance Officer in 2003. 

“I am indeed grateful to have had a chance to serve the citizens of Orange County here in my home town,” Chavious said.  “I leave feeling that I truly have made a difference,” he added. 

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BOCC 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 27, 2007

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

Appointments to Volunteer Boards and Commissions

At its June 26, 2007 meeting, the Orange County Board of Commissioners appointed the following citizen volunteers to County Advisory Boards and Commissions.

Volunteer Name

Volunteer Board

Ida Ballard

Affordable Housing Advisory Board

Rashii Purefoy

Affordable Housing Advisory Board

Mark Brantley

Economic Development Commission

L. Eric Hallman

Economic Development Commission

Kathleen Yarbrough

Economic Development Commission

Jennifer Frye

Human Relations Commission

Maria de Bruyn

Human Relations Commission

James Harris

Human Services Advisory Commission

Jack S. Chestnut

Sportsplex Community Advisory Committee

At its June 26, 2007 meeting, the Orange County Board of Commissioners reappointed the following citizen volunteers to County Advisory Boards and Commissions.

Volunteer Name

Volunteer Board

Sandra Sanchez

Workforce Development Board

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PLANNING 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 26, 2007

Contact: Tom Altieri, Comprehensive Planning Supervisor,  (919) 245-2579

Comprehensive Plan Public Input Opportunity

Orange County will be holding public input meetings on the following two items to be completed during Phase I of the Comprehensive Plan Update Process:

1.      Draft goals for the entire Comprehensive Plan; and

2.      Draft County Profile (Data) Element text, the first of eight broad topics or “Elements” that will comprise the updated Comprehensive Plan (Additional Elements will include Economic Development; Housing; Land Use; Natural and Cultural Systems; Recreation and Parks; Services (Utilities) and Community Facilities; and Transportation).

Public input meetings during Phase I will be held as follows:

Open House - July 31, 2007, 3:00-7:00 PM at the Planning and Agricultural Center, 306-F Revere Rd., Hillsborough. Stop by anytime during the Open House to learn about the Comprehensive Plan Update Process as a whole and provide input on draft goals and data that can be used to guide the development of the Plan. Staff will be available to discuss the Plan and respond to questions in an informal setting. Material will be available to take home and light refreshments will be provided.

Public Information Meeting - August 7, 2007, 7:00-9:00 PM at New Hope Elementary Auditorium, 1900 New Hope Church Road, Chapel Hill. Another great opportunity to learn about the Comprehensive Plan Update Process as a whole and provide input on draft goals and data that can be used to guide the development of the Plan.  There will be a staff presentation, followed by questions and answers, and an exercise to determine the extent to which draft goals meet residents' needs.  Light refreshments will be provided.

A public hearing will be held on August 27, 2007 to formally hear public comments on the draft goals and County Profile Element.

The updated Comprehensive Plan will be an official public document that includes analysis of existing and predicted conditions and will serve to guide growth and development within the unincorporated areas of the County through the year 2030.  The adopted Plan also serves as the statutory basis for many of Orange County’s land use regulations as well as the application of zoning districts.

Phase II of the Update will include additional public input meetings and will be completed from October 2007 – August 2008.  For additional information visit www.co.orange.nc.us/planning/compre_cpupdate.asp or contact the Planning and Inspections Department at (919) 245-2575.  

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EMS 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 22, 2007

Contact: Laura Blackmon, Orange County Manager,  (919) 245-2300

Kent McKenzie Departs Orange County Government Service

Major C. Kent McKenzie, Orange County’s Deputy Emergency Services Director for Emergency Medical Services since 1998, has announced his plans to leave his post next month.  McKenzie will be assuming new duties as Emergency Management Coordinator for Lake County, IL in July 2007.

McKenzie, a Duke University graduate, has also been serving as Orange County’s Interim Emergency Management Director since November 2006, during the County’s search process for a permanent departmental director.

McKenzie remarked, “While I’ve enjoyed and appreciated the support of many people and organizations throughout Orange County, the professional and personal opportunity I’ve been offered in Lake County, Illinois is one I could not pass up.  I will truly miss the many wonderful professionals I’ve worked with over my years in Orange County.  Orange County Emergency Services has given me great opportunities to learn and grow, and I will always hold the people I’ve worked with here as some of my closest friends.”

County Manager Laura Blackmon noted “I wish Kent and his family the very best as they approach this new professional challenge.  He is an extremely bright and capable public servant whose dedication to providing outstanding emergency medical services to the people of Orange County has been much appreciated”.

As Deputy Director, McKenzie’s duties have included long-range planning and oversight of daily EMS operations.  He was instrumental in carrying out the smooth and effective assumption by Orange County EMS in 2003 of the ambulance transportation function that had previously been carried out by the County’s two volunteer rescue squads.

Blackmon indicated that upon McKenzie’s departure, the other two deputy directors of the department – 9-1-1/Telecommunications Director Gwen Snowden and Fire Marshal Mike Tapp – will share Emergency Services Director duties until a permanent director is appointed.   Blackmon said  “Between them, Gwen and Mike bring, quite literally, decades of experience in planning and supervising emergency services delivery.  I have great confidence that they and our outstanding Emergency Services staff will continue to ensure the best possible protection of our residents in times of emergency”.

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Solid Waste 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 22, 2007

Contact: Muriel Williman, Orange County Solid Waste Management,  (919) 968-2788

Independence Day (July 4th) Schedule for Solid Waste Services

There will be no interruption of curbside recycling on Independence Day.  Recycling will be collected on Wednesday, July 4th, 2007 as regularly scheduled. If this is your regularly scheduled recycling day, have your bins to the curb by 7:00 am or put them out the night before.

 

The Orange County Landfill will be closed on Wednesday July 4th in observance of the Independence Day holiday.  All services associated with the landfill such as Household Hazardous Waste Collection and mulch sales will also be closed. All landfill services will resume normal hours of operation on Thursday, July 5th.

 

The staffed Orange County Solid Waste Convenience Centers will be closed on Wednesday July 4th.  They will re-open for normal hours of operation on Thursday, July 5th.

 

Questions?  Contact the Orange County Solid Waste Management Department (919) 968-2788 or email recycling@co.orange.nc.us.

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Environment 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 21, 2007

Contact: David Stancil, Environment & Resource Conservation Director,  (919) 245-2590, Pam Jones, Orange County Purchasing Director (919) 245-2660 

Justice Facility Archaeological Excavation

On June 19, 2007 Legacy Research Associates, Inc., began excavating the remains of what appears to be a pottery kiln and well, two early features uncovered at the site of the new Orange County Justice Facilities expansion on Margaret Lane.  The purpose of the excavation is to document these features before any substantial grading occurs.  This effort will mark the fourth time that Legacy Research Associates has conducted cultural resource survey work on the site during the last year. 

Cultural resource (archaeology) surveys typically include the following components: background research, systematic surface and subsurface investigation (digging based on a grid system), field reconnaissance, and a reporting of the results.  Information from these surveys can be used to assist in the siting of future facilities and/or for identifying areas of historic and cultural interest for possible interpretation.  Orange County has conducted cultural and archaeological surveys as part of the master plan design process for new parks since the design of Little River Regional Park and Natural Area in 2001.  In October of 2006, the Board of County Commissioners adopted a new policy requiring surveys for all Orange County development projects involving ground disturbance. 

At the time that the new policy was adopted, the design for the justice facility was already largely complete.  The County hired Legacy Research Associates to conduct an initial survey of the project area, including subsurface excavation (shovel test pits) in locations where research indicated a strong likelihood of finding archaeological features.  Work focused on two locations the area behind the Gordon Battle Courtroom, and the grassy hillside between Margaret Lane and the parking lot.  It was in this grassy area, near the Sheriff’s office that the archaeologists found what appeared to be a chimney fall and building foundation.  The foundation may be the remains of a building footprint delineated on the 1768 Plan of the Town of Hillsborough by C. J. Sauthier.

County staff worked with the Town of Hillsborough and with the project architects, Corley Redfoot, Zack Inc., to modify the parking lot to protect the building foundation.  When the project boundaries staked, however, staff realized that it was possible that some features were still likely to be impacted by the construction.  Legacy excavated the overlap areas and uncovered the potential pottery kiln and well.  The kiln is of particular importance as it may be the only known feature of this type in Orange County, and, dating to this early period.  Legacy plans to work at the site for the rest of the week to record the kiln and well.  The kiln feature consists of layers of soil, interspersed with layers of a parged surface and layers of a charred surface as well as brick and pottery chards.  The lower portion of the well should survive intact under the concrete curbing for the enlarged entrance driveway.  Staff plans to save the top 20 inches of excavated brick courses of the well to be reassembled and memorialized at a later date within the outdoor portion of the Justice Facilities complex.

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BOCC 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 21, 2007

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

Special Meeting Notice

ORANGE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

SPECIAL MEETING NOTICE

FOR

June 25, 2007

The Orange County Board of Commissioners has been invited to attend the Historic Rogers Road Community

Enhancement Plan Development and Monitoring Task Force meeting on Monday, June 25, 2007 at 7:00 PM at the Homestead Community Center 600 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill.

This special meeting notice is being given because three or more of the Orange County Commissioners may attend this event.

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Economic Development 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 20, 2007

Contact: Smithson Mills, Researcher- Mars Hill College,  (828) 273-9119 

Food Processing Facility Survey for Alamance, Chatham, Durham, and Orange Counties

A group of economic development leaders and area grocers is researching the possibility of establishing a food-processing center to serve the needs of small farmers, food entrepreneurs and caterers. Farmers and business people are encouraged to fill out a survey indicating their interest in using a facility of this nature.

The study is funded by a consortium of interested local governments and food retailers, including Alamance, Chatham, Durham, and Orange county governments, as well as Weaver Street Market and Whole Foods.

A shared-use food-processing center is designed to help small farms and food businesses succeed in value-added food production and marketing. It serves as a food-business incubator, supplying processing equipment, storage, technical support in food manufacturing and business development services such as marketing support and business planning. Similar facilities have already been established in Asheville and West Jefferson.

“People have been discussing the possibility of a shared-use food processing center in this area for quite some time,” said Smithson Mills, a researcher at Mars Hill College hired to coordinate the feasibility study. “Now we are moving into the important stage of measuring demand from potential users.”

The study seeks to determine the level of demand from members of the community, identify lead agencies or organizations that can manage the project and identify suitable locations for the project’s development.

A shared-use facility can take on any number of forms and should be built to meet the measured needs of farms and businesses in the community. Depending on community survey responses, project leaders could develop agricultural processing such as vegetable washing and grading, meat processing and storage, specialty-foods production or catering.

Interested potential users are encouraged to visit http://www.orangecountyfarms.org/VASUPintro.asp. Fill out the survey by August 1, 2007 to ensure your information will be used for preliminary data analysis.  To get a survey mailed to you contact the Orange County Economic Development Commission for a survey: (919) 245-2330 or by emailing Mills at Smithson@smithsonmills.com. 

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EMS 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 6, 2007

Contact: Jamie Joseph, Fire Training Coordinator, Orange County Emergency Management, (919) 968-2050 

Safety Stand Down Week for Emergency Services

Orange County Emergency Management Services will participate in the Third International Fire and EMS Safety Stand Down, to be held during the week of June 17-23, 2007.

The annual event started by the International Association of Fire Chiefs calls for the “stand-down” of non-emergency activity to focus on fire and EMS safety.

The theme for the 2007 Stand Down, "Ready to Respond," reflects the many types of emergencies to which fire fighters and EMS personnel respond, and focuses on proper training, preparation and equipment required to answer the call and return safely.

Orange County EMS will focus on daily safety practices for emergency workers to reduce injuries and prevent line of duty deaths. 

“Our focus will be for a safe response to calls,” said Jamie Joseph, Fire Training Coordinator for Orange County Emergency Management.  “We will be emphasizing basic safety areas including using seat belts, backing emergency vehicles using spotters, placement of emergency vehicles at accident scenes and additional operational safety issues,” Joseph added. 

The Stand Down promotes the idea that all emergency personnel can respond to, work and return home safely from the emergency they are called to support.

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MANAGER 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 1, 2007

Contact: Laura Blackmon, Orange County Manager, (919) 245-2300 

Willie Best Appointed Assistant County Manager of Orange County

Orange County Manager Laura Blackmon has appointed Willie Best as Assistant County Manager.  Best will begin work on Monday, June 4, 2007.

Best will assist the County Manager in directing departments and programs in Orange County Government.  An immediate focus for Best as Assistant County Manager will be to oversee progress towards the County Commissioners’ adopted goal on economic development, particularly in implementing the Five-Year Strategic Plan “Investing in Innovation”.  Best will also provide leadership and guidance to a variety of County departments that provide either direct citizen service or internal support to service delivery departments.

Best hails from Northampton County, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from North Carolina Central University, and has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from American University in Washington, DC. 

Best has nearly two decades of local government management experience in North Carolina and Virginia.   Following five years of work at the outset of his career with regional and North Carolina State government, Best has had successive positions as assistant manager or manager with a number of county and city governments.  In 1987, he was appointed Assistant County Manager for Wilson County.  He served from 1995 into 1998 as Robeson County Manager.  Moving to the Washington DC area, he served for nearly four years as Assistant City Manager and Acting City Manager in Falls Church, Virginia.  He returned to North Carolina in 2003, with his most recent service in a three-year stint as Guilford County Manager.

The search process included national recruitment and yielded an applicant pool of more than 80 candidates.

Blackmon said:  “I am delighted to welcome someone of Willie Best’s caliber to Orange County Government.  Willie has lengthy management experience in multiple local government settings in North Carolina.  He has excellent connections with other local government managers and with State government officials.  Willie will be of great help to me, as a newcomer to North Carolina, with his understanding of local and State government interrelationships”.

Best said:  “I am very excited about my new position for Orange County Government.  I look forward to meeting and working with the staff.  I also anticipate a very good relationship with the citizens of this County”.

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PLANNING 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 1, 2007

Contact: Susan Mellott, Orange County Planning and Inspections Department, (919) 245-2600 

Buckhorn Road Flea Market Building Condemned

In April 2006, the Orange County Inspections Division and the Orange County Fire Marshal conducted inspections at the Buckhorn Flea Market located at 508 Buckhorn Road. The investigation found serious Building, electrical and fire code violations.  Some of the most dangerous conditions included overloaded and improperly installed electrical systems, extremely flammable finishes used on walls and ceilings, vendors improperly using propane and kerosene heaters, inadequate exits, no emergency lighting, no fire protection systems, no fire alarm systems, and no established fire lanes for emergency vehicle access. As a result the building was condemned.

Orange County Building Official, Susan Mellott, conducted a hearing on April 20, 2006 with Orange County Investors, owners of the property, resulting in an order to remedy the items that could be repaired without the requirement of permits. This site had been and is currently under appeal of the Orange County Board of Adjustment order, which confirmed zoning violations on site, and until this appeal is resolved a zoning approval is not possible. Without the proper zoning approvals a building permit cannot be issued to conduct the repairs required by the order. The Inspections Division has allowed the building to remain open until such time as the zoning is resolved; contingent upon a number of conditions one of which was the requirement to maintain a fire protection service contract with the Mebane Fire Department.

The Mebane Fire Department contracted to provided a fire pumper truck and two first responders to be onsite at all times that the flea market is open for business. This contract began in April 2006 and ended on May 31, 2007. Therefore, the conditions to remain open resulting from the 2006 Building Inspections hearing are not being met as of June 1, 2007. On June 1, 2007, the Inspections Division posted the building located on the Buckhorn Flea Market property as ‘Condemned’.

 “We are sensitive to the fact that many people from our community frequent this facility, we have made every attempt to work with the property owners to keep this building open while maintaining code compliance,” Mellott added.

For additional information please contact the Orange County Building Official, Susan Mellott at 919-245-2600 or Orange County Planning and Inspections Director, Craig N. Benedict at 919-245-2575.  

 - In Spanish - 

Clausura del edificio del mercado de las pulgas de Buckhorn Road

En abril de 2006, la División de Inspecciones del Condado de Orange (Orange County Inspections Division) y el Jefe de Bomberos del Condado de Orange (Orange County Fire Marshal) llevaron a cabo inspecciones en el Mercado de las Pulgas de Buckhorn ubicado en el 508 de Buckhorn Rd. La investigación reveló graves infracciones a los códigos de construcción, electricidad e incendios. Entre las condiciones más peligrosas había sistemas eléctricos sobrecargados e instalados incorrectamente, acabados extremadamente inflamables en paredes y techos, uso inapropiado de calentadores de keroseno y propano por parte de los vendedores, salidas inadecuadas y falta de alumbrado de emergencia, sistemas de protección, alarmas contra incendios y carriles establecidos para el acceso de vehículos de emergencia y de bomberos. Como resultado de esto, el edificio fue clausurado.

Susan Mellot, Oficial de Construcción del Condado de Orange (Orange County Building Official) llevó a cabo una audiencia el 20 de abril de 2006 con los inversionistas del condado de Orange, dueños de la propiedad. En esta audiencia se dio orden de resolver los problemas graves que se podían resolver sin tener que solicitar permisos. El sitio estaba, y actualmente continúa estando, bajo apelación de una orden de la Junta de Ajuste del Condado de Orange (Orange County Board of Adjustment) que confirma las infracciones de zonificación del lugar y, hasta que la apelación se resuelva, no es posible hacer una aprobación de zonificación. Sin las aprobaciones de zonificación apropiadas, no se puede emitir un permiso de construcción para hacer las reparaciones más extensas relacionadas con el permiso exigido por la orden. La División de Inspecciones (Inspections Division) ha permitido que el edificio permanezca abierto hasta que se resuelva el problema de zonificación a condición de que se cumplan una serie de requisitos, uno de los cuales es mantener un contrato de servicios de protección contra incendios con el Cuerpo de Bomberos de Mebane.

El Cuerpo de Bomberos de Mebane hizo un contrato para poner en el lugar un carro con bomba para incendios y dos respondedores en todo momento en que el mercado de las pulgas esté abierto al público. Este contrato comenzó en abril de 2006 y terminó el 31 de mayo de 2007. Por lo tanto, las condiciones establecidas en la audiencia de Inspecciones de Construcción de 2006 para mantener abierto el mercado han dejado de cumplirse a la fecha actual, 1° de junio de 2007. El 1° de junio de 2007, la División de Inspecciones pegará carteles en español e inglés en el edificio ubicado en la propiedad ocupada por el Mercado de las Pulgas de Buckhorn indicando que la propiedad queda clausurada.

"Estamos conscientes de que muchas personas de nuestra comunidad frecuentan este establecimiento y hemos hecho todo lo posible para colaborar con los dueños de la propiedad a fin de mantener este edificio abierto y al mismo tiempo cumplir con los códigos y garantizar la seguridad del público," agregó Mellott.

Para obtener más información, comuníquese con la Oficial de Construcciones del Condado de Orange, Susan Mellott, llamando al 919-245-2600 o con el Director de Inspecciones y Planificación del Condado de Orange (Orange County Planning and Inspections Director), Craig N. Benedict, llamando al 919-245-257.

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PARKS 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 31, 2007

Contact: David Stancil, Environment & Resource Conservation Director, (919) 245-2598; Lori Taft, Recreation and Parks Director, (919) 245-2673 

Orange County Awarded $500,000 Grant for Construction of Community Park in Cedar Grove

Orange County has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund for the construction a new community park in Cedar Grove township.  The County sought the grant to supplement the county funds needed for a planned expansion of existing facilities located behind the Northern Human Services Center, on NC 86 north of Hillsborough. The Northern Human Services Center is the former Cedar Grove School, an African-American school constructed ca 1952.

In 1998 Orange County purchased 39 acres adjacent to the Center with the intention of establishing a new park with greatly expanded recreation facilities.  Orange County citizens passed a Parks and Open Space Bond in 2001, which allocated $1.2 million for the construction of this new park.  Since then the County has taken many steps to plan and design the park, including a series of community meetings in 2004-05 to develop a park master plan.  In those meetings, Cedar Grove residents selected park facilities that were of specific interest to this community. The master plan was adopted by the board of commissioners in fall 2005. 

The grant funds will be used to develop Phase I of the park master plan, which is planned to include a new ball field, basketball courts, a multi-purpose field (for soccer, T-ball, and other ball games), picnic shelter, playground, hiking trails, and a paved walking path.  Existing recreational facilities at this site are one softball field (also used for soccer), a small playground, and a gravel walking track.  The playground is sorely outdated and will be completely renovated.  The walking track will be replaced with a new measured walking track at a new location within the park. 

In 2006 the County hired an engineering/design firm (Coulter-Jewell-Thames) to prepare a site plan, engineering drawings and cost estimates for Phase I of park construction.  The estimated cost for completing Phase I of the park is $1.8 million.  The requested PARTF grant of $500,000 will be matched with County bond funds approved in 2001 for this construction of this park (sometimes referred to as Northern Park, Northern Human Services Center Park, or Cedar Grove Park). 

Bids for construction of the park are currently being solicited.

Construction of the park is projected to begin in July and last approximately one year. The park is currently projected to be open in the summer or early fall of 2008.

The planned community park will complement the current services provided at the Northern Human Services Center.  The Center provides a variety of community services, including a branch library, senior center, pottery studio, child day care center, Head Start, and Work First Readiness Program. The planned new park facilities will also be available to the users of the community center.  Renovations to the building are planned in the future, but these are not part of the park project.

“We're gratified that the state continues to appreciate, and support, Orange County's efforts through the Lands Legacy program to serve our citizens by purchasing and developing parks and protecting open space,” Commissioner Barry Jacobs commented.  “Planning for the Cedar Grove park was very much a community effort, and this welcome assistance will make it easier for us to realize the vision articulated by residents.”

The N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund was created in 1994 by the NC General Assembly for the purposes of improving the quality of life in North Carolina through preserving natural resources and development of public parks and recreation facilities.  On May 11 the Parks and Recreation Authority, an 11-member board that oversees the grant decisions, selected 36 local government projects for funding from the total of 80 applications submitted for this grant cycle.   In all, about $13 million was awarded to local governments for parkland acquisition and development projects. 

For more information about the future park, go to http://www.co.orange.nc.us/ercd/future_parks_and_preserves.asp.

For additional information about the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, visit www.partf.net/.

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HRR 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 24, 2007

Contact: Jenny Galassi, Orange County Department of Human Rights and Relations (919) 960-3876 

Women's Advocacy Day at the State Legislature

On May 22, 2007, members of the Orange County Commission for Women, the Human Relations Commission, and county residents visited the North Carolina General Assembly in Raleigh to participate in Women’s Advocacy Day organized by North Carolina Women United.  These Orange County participants met with House Speaker Joe Hackney and Senator Eleanor Kinnaird to lobby for the North Carolina Women’s Legislative Agenda, which includes bills that address access to healthcare, economic self-sufficiency, violence against women, and civic participation and equality.  In particular, they lobbied on behalf of women in Orange County, who at the Women’s Agenda Assembly held in October 2006, expressed that issues of economic self-sufficiency and improved access to healthcare were of most concern to them. 

Representatives from thirty North Carolina agencies and organizations also were present at a press conference in which Lt. Governor Beverley Perdue spoke about pending legislation related to women’s issues.  Among legislators at the press conference were Senators Janet Coswell and Julia Boseman, as well as Representatives Alma Adams and Linda Coleman who advocated for the passage of bills that they support.  They also voiced their desire for the increased participation of women at all levels of government.

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SOLID WASTE 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 22, 2007

Contact: Muriel Williman, Orange County Solid Waste Management, (919) 968-2788 

Memorial Day Recycling, Landfill and Solid Waste Schedule

Curbside recycling will be collected on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28, 2007 as regularly scheduled. If this is your regularly scheduled recycling day, have your bin at the curb by 7:00 am or put it out the night before.

 

The Orange County Landfill will be closed on Monday May 28 in observance of the Memorial Day Holiday.  All services associated with the landfill such as the household hazardous waste collection and mulch sales will also be closed. All landfill services will resume normal hours of operation on Tuesday, May 29.

 

The staffed Orange County Solid Waste Convenience Centers will be closed on Monday May 28.  They will re-open for normal hours of operation on Tuesday, May 29.   

 

Questions?  Contact the Orange County Solid Waste Management Department (919)968-2788 or email recycling@co.orange.nc.us.

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DSS 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 18, 2007

Contact: Malinda Marsh, Orange County Skills Development Center (919) 969-3032 ext. 229 

Reception in Honor of Workforce Development Professionals

ORANGE COUNTY - May is Workforce Development Professionals Appreciation Month, a time to honor and celebrate those who have dedicated themselves to helping North Carolina develop and maintain a competitive work force.

Governor Mike Easley has issued a resolution honoring Workforce Development Professionals in which he notes that, “statistics show that one out of every two North Carolinians benefits from [these] services.” 

The Orange County Skills Development Center, located at 503 West Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, is hosting a reception on Tuesday, May 22, 2007, from 8:30 A.M. – 10:00 A.M. to celebrate.  On May 30, 2007, the Commission on Workforce Development will recognize local workforce development area professionals across the state.  The reception will be held at 12:45 P.M. at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh.

For more information on Workforce Development Professionals or related events, please contact Malinda Marsh at the Orange County Skills Development Center (919) 969-3032 ext. 229.

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BOCC 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 16, 2007

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

Meeting Changes for the Orange County Board of Commissioners

Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 153A-40, the Board of County Commissioners provides notice of the following changes in the 2007 meeting schedule.   

  • The Budget Public Hearing for the Orange County Board of Commissioners at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 31, 2007 has been moved from the F. Gordon Battle Courtroom to upstairs in the Superior Courtroom, 106 East Margaret Lane in Hillsborough.
  • The Budget Public Hearing for the Orange County Board of Commissioners at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, June 4, 2007 has been moved from the Southern Human Services Center to the Sonya Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History, 150 South Road on the UNC campus in Chapel Hill.
  • The Board of County Commissioners moved the Clerk’s evaluation (closed session) from Monday, June 4, 2007 to Monday, June 18 at 5:30 p.m. at the Link Government Services Center, 200 South Cameron Street in Hillsborough.
  • The Board of County Commissioners added a dinner meeting with the Affordable Housing Advisory Board on Thursday, August 30, 2007 at 5:30 p.m. at the Southern Human Services Center, 2501 Homestead Road in Chapel Hill. 
  • The Board of County Commissioners has added a placeholder for an Advisory Dinner Meeting on Thursday, October 18 at 5:30 p.m. at the Link Government Services Center, 200 South Cameron Street in Hillsborough.  The Social Services Board has requested to meet with the BOCC at this time. 

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LIBRARY 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 14, 2007

Contact: Pam Jones, Orange County Director of Purchasing and Central Services (919) 245-2652 or Brenda Stephens, Orange County Library Director (919) 245 2528 

Public Input Session for Design of New Orange County Library

Orange County will host a public input session for the design of the new Orange County Public Library under development at the new West Margaret Lane County Campus. 

The session will be held on Tuesday, May 22, 2007 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm in the conference room of the current library at 300 West Tryon Street in Hillsborough.  The discussion will be led by Phil Barton, a library planning consultant retained to design the interior space of the new library. 

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SENIORS 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 14, 2007

Contact: Jerry Passmore, Orange County Department on Aging (919) 245-2009 

Seymour Senior Center Ribbon Cutting

The Orange County Board of Commissioners and the Orange County Department on Aging will celebrate the opening of the new Robert & Pearl Seymour Center with a ribbon cutting on Thursday, May 24, 2007 at 10:00 a.m.  The new center is located at 2551 Homestead Road in Chapel Hill.  There will be a short program and recognition of those involved in making this dream a reality.  The public is invited to attend. 

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SOLID WASTE 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 7, 2007

Contact: Muriel Williman, Orange County Solid Waste Management, (919) 968-2788 

Grand Opening of Improved Solid Waste Convenience Center on Walnut Grove Church Road

There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony on May 14, 2007 at 12:00 noon to officially dedicate the newly expanded Walnut Grove Church Road Solid Waste Convenience Center.   It is expected that there will be several Orange County Commissioners present as well as Orange County Staff at this event.  The press and the public are invited to attend. 

 

The site expansion work that has been completed includes a larger footprint and improved traffic flow to access the center’s full service areas for the disposal of household garbage and bulky waste, recycling clean wood, scrap metal, yard waste, bottles, cans and jars, all types of paper, corrugated cardboard, motor oil, oil filters, antifreeze, batteries of all types, and electronics.  Concrete pads were poured for the additional containers for bulky waste, the newly located exit has been paved, and a  “Salvage Shed” for usable household items to be exchanged has been constructed at the center as well.

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ERCD 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 3, 2007

Contact: David Stancil, Environment & Resource Conservation Director, (919) 245-2598; Rich Shaw, Land Conservation Manager, (919) 245-2591

Orange County Lands Legacy Program Wins National Award, Runner-up for Another

In the last two months, Orange County’s Lands Legacy Program has received one national award and finished as runner-up for another. 

On April 17th, the National Association of County Planners (NACP), an affiliate of the National Association of Counties, presented a 2007 Excellence in County Planning Award to the Orange County Lands Legacy Program. 

“The National Association of County Planners is proud to recognize the Orange County Lands Legacy Program for their outstanding achievements in protecting the natural treasures of a rapidly growing area in central North Carolina,” said Judy Francis, chairperson of the NACP awards committee.

In April 2000, Orange County enacted a comprehensive program for the acquisition of priority natural and cultural resource lands. This program has resulted in the protection of 1,761 acres to date, through both fee-simple purchases and conservation easements. The program is guided by the County’s comprehensive plan, GIS resource database and two-year Action Plans that identify priorities within the categories of farmland preservation, natural areas and wildlife habitat, future parks and open spaces, watershed buffer lands and cultural sites of significance.

The program is also driven by a sophisticated planning and mapping component, as well as public involvement through citizen advisory committees. To date, over $10 million has been secured through bond referenda and other financing, with an additional $3.7 million in federal and State grants leveraged since the program’s inception. “In the last decade, with the help of funding made available by the Board of Commissioners and approved by voters, we’ve been fortunate to protect important Natural Heritage sites, land-bank future parklands and open space, and ensure that prime and threatened farmland will be here for future agriculture,” noted Environment and Resource Conservation Director David Stancil. “Just as importantly, we’ve built important partnerships with local land trusts and other governmental agencies to achieve mutual land conservation goals.” 

Francis also noted the significant public support and results-driven implementation and stated, “The success of this planning and implementation process is the direct result of the overwhelming commitment of Orange County citizens and elected officials and their work is worthy of recognition and congratulations.”

In March, the Lands Legacy Program was recognized for the second straight year by the Trust for Public Land and the National Association of Counties as one of two runners-up for the national “County Leadership in Conservation Award.” The Sonoma County (CA) Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District won the 2007 award. This award recognizes counties that make a strong commitment to conservation of important land resources.

Examples of acquisitions that Lands Legacy has completed or participated in over the last seven years include:

q       Little River Regional Park and Natural Area (with Durham County and two area land trusts),

q       The future New Hope Preserve, 70 acres of open space along New Hope Creek that borders open space in an adjoining jurisdiction, and

q       The Walters Farm conservation easement, a conservation easement on a 300-acre beef cattle and hay family farm in northwestern Orange County.

For more information about the Orange County Lands Legacy Program, go to http://www.co.orange.nc.us/ercd/lands_legacy.asp. For additional information about the National Association of County Planners, visit www.countyplanning.org . For information about the Trust for Public Land, go to www.tpl.org.

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