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

Contact: Buck Tredway
Communications Specialist
(919) 245-2126
Fax: (919) 644-0246

News Releases

November/December 2001

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September/October, 2001 | July/August, 2001
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January/February 2001 | November/December 2000
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March/April 2000 | January/February 2000 | December 1999

Public Comment Period for Draft Transportation Improvement Program Priority List is Dec. 27 through Feb. 13


December 27, 2001

For more information: Karen Lincoln, (919) 245-2575,

The Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization (DCHC MPO) hereby announces the availability of the Draft 2004-2010 Transportation Improvement program (TIP) Regional Priority List and requests comments on the draft list. 

Copies of the Regional Priority List are available for review at the City of Durham Department of Transportation, the Durham City-County Planning Department, the Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough, Chatham County, and Orange County Planning Departments, as well as at the Durham, Orange, and Chatham County Public Libraries.

The public comment period will be open from Thursday, December 27, 2001, through Wednesday, February 13, 2002.  Comments should be sent to: Dept. of Transportation, City of Durham, Attn: Phil Conrad, 101 City Hall Plaza, Durham, NC 27701; 560-4366 (phone); 560-4561 (fax);

A public hearing on the Draft Regional Priority List has been scheduled for Wednesday, February 13, 2002, at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Committee Room on the 2nd floor of Durham City Hall, 101 City Hall Plaza.

** Persons with disabilities will be accommodated.  Provisions will be made if notified within 48 hours in advance of the meeting. **

Draft 2004-2010 Transportation Improvement program (TIP) Regional Priority List

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Holiday Schedule for Orange County Landfill and Recycling Program


Date: December 14, 2001

For more information: Orange County Solid Waste Management, (919) 968-2788,

Curbside Recycling (both urban and rural routes) will be cancelled for Christmas Day.  There are no make up days scheduled.  Those who would normally receive recycling services on Tuesdays will not have a recycling pick-up on Tuesday, December 25, 2001.

There will be no curbside recycling services on New Year’s Day, however service shifts forward one day. Make-up days are scheduled for the rest of the week with an additional collection day on Saturday. The make up days are as follows:

§         Tuesday 1/1 routes will be collected Wednesday1/2

§         Wednesday 1/2 routes will be collected Thursday 1/3                

§         Thursday 1/3 routes will be collected Friday 1/4

§         Friday 1/4 routes will be collected Saturday 1/5

Be sure to have your recycling bin at the curb by 7:00 a.m., as recycling trucks will be out early.

The Orange County Landfill will be open 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve, and closed on Christmas Day.  Normal hours of operation will resume on December 26, 2001.  The Orange County Landfill will also be closed on New Year’s Day, but will reopen January 2, 2002.

Orange County Staffed Solid Waste Convenience Centers will be closed both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. The centers will be closed on the following Wednesdays, as usual.

Orange County 24 Hour Municipal Drop-Off Sites will be open throughout the holidays, but due to increased holiday volumes, Solid Waste staff holidays, the convenience centers being closed, and the interruption in usual curbside service these sites may be overburdened.

Orange County Solid Waste Management urges residents to not overstuff the drop-off sites.  If you can possibly wait till after the holidays to dispose of your recycling, please do so.  If you do go to a drop-off site and see that the bins are overflowing, or there are items left on the ground PLEASE DO NOT FOLLOW SUIT!  Leave your recyclables in the trunk and come back when Solid Waste staff has had time to pick up the centers.  Do not leave any trash or bulky items at the drop-off sites.  Doing so constitutes illegal dumping as the drop-off sites are for recycling ONLY!


Holiday recycling tips: non-metallic wrapping paper can be recycled with mixed paper. Christmas trees may be recycled at the curb, at staffed convenience centers, and at the Orange County Landfill, just like other yard waste. Please make sure to remove all tinsel and decorations.


Thank you for helping our programs work smoothly through out the holidays, and for recycling all year long!


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County Commissioners Approve Purchase of Historic Blackwood Farmstead for Future Park Site


December 14, 2001

Contact:  David Stancil 245-2590   

On December 11, the Board of Commissioners approved a contract to purchase a historic farm property for a new County park. The land is owned by the Blackwood family,  one of the County’s oldest families – dating back to pre-Revolutionary War days in south-central Orange County.

With the acquisition, the County will own 152 acres located near the intersection of New Hope Church Road and NC 86 near the center of the County. The property is owned by David Blackwood (Trustee) of Cary, and Nannie Blackwood and Mary Blackwood who are currently in residence.  Nannie and Mary are the youngest of eight children of Herbert and Alice Blackwood, who purchased the farm in 1906. The farm is strategically located between Hillsborough and Chapel Hill-Carrboro, and is easily accessible from I-40.

Most of the original farm is intact, including the old farmhouse (portions of which date back to 1827), a complex of well-preserved farm structures, and a portion of the old “Stagecoach Road” running between Hillsborough and Chapel Hill.  The property also contains a portion of a county Natural Heritage site – significant for the plants growing in combination with greenstone rock outcrops.  There are also a three-acre pond and two streams that flow through the land and into New Hope Creek, which runs less than one mile to the southwest.

A small portion of the property was sold in 1988 for the construction of Interstate 40.  Another small portion was sold for New Hope Elementary School, located directly across NC 86.

Approval of the contract to purchase comes after a year-long process of site identification, evaluation and the negotiation of terms of purchase through the County’s Lands Legacy program. The following is a selection from staff’s evaluation of the property:

“The land would be suitable for a large park with a combination of active and low-impact recreational uses. Some of the current and former agricultural fields could support a various playing fields without compromising the more historic features of the property (farmstead, old roadway and vistas).  Other open lands could accommodate picnic areas and children’s play areas.  The riparian areas might accommodate natural walking trails.  Portions of the property could remain entirely natural including the County identified natural area (Site N09). Stewardship and maintenance would be focused on playing fields, trail development and maintenance.

The historic house and farm structures might be turned into a museum (similar to Duke Homestead in Durham), a caretaker’s residence, or perhaps a park superintendent/ranger residence. The farm buildings might include exhibits and demonstration areas showing traditional farming practices. Interpretive signs could describe the old stagecoach road, the farmstead, and traditional farming that has occurred on this site (and the surrounding lands) by the Blackwoods, Strayhorns and Craigs since the 1700s.  Such facilities might attract the general public as well groups from the nearby schools and from other parts of the county. New Hope Elementary School is located across the road and A.L. Stanback Middle School is just up the road.”

“Acquisition of the historic Blackwood property is another great coup for Orange County and its Lands Legacy program,” noted Commission Chair Barry Jacobs. “This property is perfectly situated to provide easy access for citizens from both the northern and southern parts of the County, and is well suited to active and low-impact recreation. What’s more, we’ve managed to preserve a valuable part of our natural and rural heritage, and one of the County’s loveliest vistas to boot.”

“This is one of the most significant land purchases made by Orange County,” added Vice-Chair Steve Halkiotis, “one  that will serve all the citizens of Orange County for many, many years to come. The willingness of Orange County Citizens who supported 1997 and 2001 bond issues for open space and recreational opportunities made all of this possible. Thank you."

“This purchase is another triumph for our award-winning Lands Legacy program,” added Commissioner Alice Gordon, “especially since the Blackwood property contains so many elements of that program within its boundaries: natural areas, park and recreation sites, farmland and a historic location. We are very pleased that Orange County citizens will be able to enjoy this magnificent park for years to come.

Commissioner Margaret Brown noted, “Thanks to the citizen support for the 1997 and 2001 Parks and Open Space bonds, the County will be able to pursue this acquisition. This lovely site is conveniently located between Chapel Hill, Carrboro and northern Orange County, and its proximity to two nearby schools is also a plus.”

“We greatly appreciate the Blackwood family’s willingness to help retain a part of Orange County history,” added ERC Director David Stancil. “ Without the family’s civic-minded interest in seeing their farm conserved as a public park, this truly remarkable purchase would not have been possible.”

The purchase price for the property is $2,064,000, or $13,609 per acre.


For additional information, contact:

Orange County:

David Stancil, 245-2590; Rich Shaw, 245-2591


Blackwood family:

David Blackwood, trustee for Blackwood heirs estate:

(919) 851-9114

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Orange County Librarian "Passes the Gavel"


December 5, 2001

CONTACT: Brenda Stephens  (919) 245-2525 ,

After serving her term as President of the North Carolina Public Library Director’s Association (NCPLDA), Brenda Stephens, Orange County Library Director, will “pass the gavel” at the organization’s Annual Awards Banquet to be held on Thursday, December 6th at the Siena Hotel in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

The NCPLDA is a highly recognized statewide organization of library directors employed throughout state and local government.  With membership in excess of 75 professionals, this organization advocates and supports legislation for library services. 

Each year the NCPLDA reviews the contributions of numerous library supporters and honors those individuals and organizations that have sought to champion public library services.  This year’s recipient’s are:

Library Champion Award
Senator Kay Hagan (Guilford) and
Senator Stan Bingham (Davidson)

Benefactor’s Award
Gates Foundation

Distinguished Service Award
Michael Wilkins

While serving as the first African-American president in the 30-year history of the NCPLDA, Stephens has presided over all Association business meetings and led this year’s efforts to enhance library services in North Carolina. 

Stephens, a native of Orange County, has 25 years of government experience and has served as Orange County Library Director for 10 years.  She is the daughter of Lucy Wilson and the late Leroy Wilson.

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“Tons of Toys” Day in Hillsborough is this Saturday

Toys for Tots Responds to Growing Need in Orange County


December 5, 2001

Contacts: Darrell Renfroe, Family Home Visiting Service Supervisor, 919-245-2445; Jeff Schmitt, US Marine Corps, at 919-732-9852

WHAT: The United States Marine Corps Reserve and the Orange County Health Department are co-sponsoring a “Tons of Toys” Day in Hillsborough, NC. The goal is to completely fill a 5-ton truck with toy donations for the ever-growing needy children of Orange County.

WHEN: Saturday, December 8, 2001 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m


WHERE: Wal-Mart Parking Lot, Churton Street, Hillsborough

(The Hillsborough Wal-Mart is located off Interstate 40 at exit 261 or Interstate 85 at exit 164.  From these exits, go north on Churton Street and the Wal-Mart is approximately ½ mile from Interstate 85 on the left in the Hillsborough Commons Shopping Center next to Burger King.)


WHO: Everyone is encouraged to bring new unwrapped toys for children age’s birth to 17. The USMC Reserve and Orange County employees and volunteers will be there to accept the donations.


WHY: The need for toys this year is far greater than in the past few years due to the downturn in the economy and the high unemployment rate among Orange County citizens. Last year, Orange County Toys for Tots served slightly over 400 children. But this year, we’ve already received over 600 referrals – provided by helping agencies, schools and churches -- with needy children numbering near 800. There are still 14 days left to receive referrals so this number will continue to climb. On the other hand, donations at collection boxes across the county are not as full as in year’s past. Please participate and help to make the holiday a bit brighter for a child in Orange County.

For toy referral information, contact Anna Kenion at 245-2467. 

For volunteer information, contact Cathy Ferniany at 245-2414. 

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“Welcome to the World” Child Safety Program to Provide Home Visits


November 30, 2001

CONTACT:  Anna Kenion  (919) 245-2467

The “Welcome to the World” program offers a safety-focused home visit to the families of newborns in Orange County.  Orange County families of newborns will receive a letter and a pre-stamped invitation card through the mail explaining the program.  Home visits are conducted either by the “Welcome to the World” Coordinator with the Orange County Health Department or by paramedics with Emergency Management Services.

Specific home safety checks include the presence of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, hot water temperature setting, location and security of household poisons, crib location and rail spacing, cord locations for window blinds or draperies, car-seat installation, etc.  If needed, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers may be provided.  Families are also presented with a “Welcome to the World” bag that includes a first aid kit, electrical outlet covers, a child development video, toddler book, parenting and child literature plus Orange County resource contact information.

This free public service of the Orange County Health Department and Emergency Management Services is primarily funded by the Orange County Partnership for Young Children, (our local Smart Start Agency). 

For more information, please contact Anna Kenion, “Welcome to the World” Coordinator at (919) 245-2467.

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Health Department, Marine Corps Reserve, Seek "Tons of Toys for Toys for Tots"


Date: November 26, 2001

For more information: Darrell Renfroe, (919) 245-2445,

The Orange County Health Department, in cooperation with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, is prepared to do some heavy lifting for disadvantaged children this Christmas.

On Saturday, December 8, the Marines Corps Reserve will be on hand at the Hillsborough Wal-Mart parking lot with a five-ton military truck they hope to fill with toys to help make Christmas a little brighter for needy children.

The “Stuff the Truck” event will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The sponsors are seeking new, unwrapped toys for children ages from birth to 17 years old.

The Health Department has already set up collection boxes in Orange County Government buildings to collect toys for the holidays. These collection boxes are located at the Health Department, Department of Social Services and Recreation and Parks Department offices at the Whitted Human Services Center, 300 W. Tryon St., in Hillsborough, and the Health Department and DSS offices at the Southern Human Services Center, 2501 Homestead Rd., in Chapel Hill.

Collection boxes are also located at the Government Services Center, 200 S. Cameron St., and Cooperative Extension offices, 306 Revere Rd., in Hillsborough.

The Orange County Toys for Tots programs accepts referrals from local agencies, schools and churches. To refer a child for the Toys for Tots program, contact Anna Kenion, (919) 245-2467, by December 12.

Volunteers are also needed to help with the December 8 event, and sorting and bagging toys. For more information, contact Cathy Ferniany, (919) 245-2414.

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Public Invited to "A Conversation About the Greene Tract"


Date: November 14, 2001

For more information: Rod Visser, Assistant County Manager, (919) 245-2300,; Moses Carey, Jr., (919) 933-8494

The Greene Tract Work Group will hold a public forum on future uses of the Greene Tract on Thursday, November 15, 2001 at 7:00pm at the Southern Human Services Center on Homestead Road in Chapel Hill.  The Greene Tract Work Group is comprised of two members each from the governing boards of Orange County (Moses Carey and Margaret Brown), the Town of Carrboro (Jacquelyn Gist and Alex Zaffron), and the Town of Chapel Hill (Kevin Foy and Bill Strom). 

The group is charged with developing recommendations to the three governing boards on how the 109 acres of the Greene Tract that remain in joint ownership should be used.  Under a 1999 interlocal agreement between the three local governments, 60 acres of that 169 acre property that was acquired in 1984 was transferred to sole ownership by Orange County, which assumed overall responsibility for solid waste management throughout the County in April 2000.

The Work Group has met twice and has reached consensus that the 109 acres should be used for three general purposes: Open Space, Recreation, and Affordable Housing.

All three governing boards had previously reached consensus that the 109 acres will NOT be used for any solid waste management purposes.

Following introductions by Work Group Chair Moses Carey and brief presentations by County and Chapel Hill staff about characteristics of the property and surrounding land uses, Andy Sachs of the Orange County Dispute Settlement Center will facilitate a dialogue among interested citizens about the proposed general uses of the property. 

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Recycling Phone Books in Orange County is Easier than Ever


Date: November 12, 2001

For more information: Orange Community Recycling, (919) 968-2885,

Phone book recycling now happens year round in Orange County.  If you are a BellSouth customer, you can expect your new 2002 phonebooks to be arriving any day.  Don’t forget to recycle your old phonebooks when the new one arrives!  If you receive curbside recycling services, just throw the old phonebook in your curbside container with your newspapers and magazines.  Phone books can also be recycled with newspapers at 24-hour drop-off sites and Solid Waste Convenience Centers located throughout Orange County.

In 1999, the final year that Orange County held its annual phone book drive, Orange County residents recycled a tremendous 33.85 tons of phone books.  Now that phone books are collected year round with newspapers, it is difficult to measure how many tons of phone books are being diverted from landfill disposal.  Of course, recycling newspapers and phone books saves more than just landfill space.

Recycling one ton of paper saves:

  • 3,700 pounds of lumber

  • 24,000 gallons of water

  • 3 barrels of oil

The next step in the recycling cycle is to make products out of the recycled material.  Manufacturing one ton of paper from recycled versus virgin fiber saves:

  • 4,200 kilo-watt hours of electricity

  • 7,000 gallons of water

  • 100 gallons of gasoline

  • 60 pounds of air pollution from being released

BellSouth does its part to “close the recycling loop” by buying directory paper with 43 percent recycled content.  They have assisted in making recycling work in communities like ours by manufacturing their directories to be 100 percent recyclable, including water-soluble glue for the spines, soybean based inks, and environmentally friendly dyes and coatings.

Even better than recycling is to reduce waste in the first place.  If your home or office receives more phone books than are needed, call the distribution company and have your order adjusted.

BellSouth/ The Real Yellow Pages: 780-2800 (Businesses); 780-2355 (Residences); GTE Phone Book:1-800-888-8448 .

If you have any questions regarding phone book recycling, drop-off site locations,  or other Solid Waste Management questions, please call 968-2788, email, or visit

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Public Hearing on Mandatory Recycling Ordinance for Construction Waste is November 7


Date: November 1, 2001

For more information: Solid Waste Management, (919) 968-2885,

The Orange County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on a proposed ordinance to regulate recyclable materials. The public hearing will be held Wednesday November 7, 7:00 p.m. at the Southern Human Services Center, 2501 Homestead Road in Chapel Hill. The proposed draft ordinance specifies materials that must be recycled in Orange County.

Regulated recyclable materials are now proposed to include unpainted, untreated lumber and plywood, pallets, clean corrugated cardboard and scrap metal. Drywall was initially considered, but because market conditions are uncertain it was removed from the list.   Recycling facilities are planned at the landfill to handle the regulated materials.

Other aspects of the proposed ordinance include:

  • Annual licensing of some haulers of waste in Orange County

  • Requiring the issuing of a Recyclable Material Permits before development (Building and Zoning) permits, estimating the amount of waste anticipated from a project and explaining how the waste is to be disposed, Turnaround time for these will fit within the current development permit application process.

  • Burning of solid waste, which includes land-clearing debris, but excludes yard waste, is prohibited (yard waste cannot now be burned inside municipal limits, per Town ordinances).

  • Possible delay of demolition projects by up to 60 days in order to conduct assessments of the recyclability of the materials in the structure.

The Solid Waste Management Department has prepared a “Frequently Asked Questions” primer about the ordinance. Call 968-2800 x 163 to get a copy.  Background information and the whole text of the draft ordinance are also available on line at the County’s web site: Item #3.

The purposes of the proposed ordinance are to reduce use of the construction and demolition landfill and save resources.  A second goal is safe and expedient landfilling of unrecyclable materials. Orange County solid waste staff projects that Orange County’s permitted construction and demolition (C&D) disposal area will be filled by June 2002 at the current rate of landfilling. In February 2001 the Board of County Commissioners agreed to proceed with the development of a new construction and demolition landfill in Orange County.  The process to develop the new facility is currently underway.


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Regulated Recycling Ordinance Information
Draft Regulated Recycling Ordinance