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
e-mail:
btredway@co.orange.nc.us


News Releases

November/December 2002

Click on subject to read news release

More News Releases


Missed Recycling Collections Rescheduled

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: December 30, 2002

For more information: Orange Community Recycling, (919) 968-2788; recycling@co.orange.nc.us

Residents of the Towns of Hillsborough and Chapel Hill whose normal recycling day is Wednesday should have received curbside collection on Saturday, December 28 to make up for the Christmas and New Year’s holiday collection cancellations.

Due to error on the part of the recycling collection contractor, recycling was not picked up on Saturday for these routes.  It will be collected today, Monday, December 30, instead. 

In the attempt to make up missed collections from Saturday, some routes that are usually collected on Monday may be delayed.  If you normal collection day is Monday, and you are not serviced today, please leave your bin out and it will be collected tomorrow, Tuesday, December 31, 2002.

Recycling Routes scheduled for Wednesday January 1, 2003, are cancelled due to the New Year’s Day holiday.  The next regularly scheduled day for those routes will be January 8, 2003.

Curbside recycling should be back on regular schedule effective Thursday, January 2, 2003.

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County Reviews Emergency Energy Assistance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: December 20, 2002

For more information: John Link, County Manager, (919) 245-2300; jlink@co.orange.nc.us

On December 17, 2002, the Orange County Emergency Energy Assistance Committee met to discuss efforts to help persons in need of financial assistance with their home heating.  First convened in November 2001, the committee is charged with reviewing and assessing the practices and policies associated with interrupted service as well as promoting partnerships between the utility providers and local human services agencies.

The group is comprised of representatives from the County Manager’s Office, Department of Social Services, Orange Congregations in Mission (OCIM), Inter-Faith Council (IFC), Joint Orange Chatham Community Action (JOCCA), Orange Water & Sewer Authority (OWASA), Duke Power, Piedmont Electric and PSNC Energy.  From its initial work, the committee prepared a draft report outlining the current relationships between financial assistance programs and utility providers.  This report was shared with the Board of County Commissioners in early 2002.

Since its last meeting in March 2002, the Department of Social Services has initiated a Guarantor Program to assist eligible residents establish service delivery with utility providers.  Additionally, and most notably, the DSS has also instituted a financial education and counseling component to help families address their overall economic situation.

According to Nancy Coston, Director, Department of Social Services, “The financial counseling serves to empower people.  The goal is to motivate and help families to develop strategies for financial freedom.”  “This is especially important now in light of our current economy.  With the increased numbers in unemployment and underemployment, our staff is faced with a real need to help folks get through this,” stressed Coston.  A small task group from this committee, chaired by Coston, will look at other options for expanding the financial education component.

The committee plans to finalize its report and present it to the Board of County Commissioners at their regularly scheduled January 21 meeting.

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NEW Holiday Recycling Schedule for Christmas and New Years Holidays

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: December 19, 2002

For more information: Orange Community Recycling, (919) 968-2788, recycling@co.orange.nc.us

There will be no curbside recycling collection on Wednesday December 25, 2002 or Wednesday January 1, 2003 in observance of Christmas Day and New Years Day.  The make-up day for BOTH holidays is SATURDAY, December 28, 2002.  Residents should have their recycling bin to the curb by 7:00 a.m. or put it out the night before to ensure collection on the make-up day. 

The Orange County landfill will be closed on Christmas Day and New Years Day, but will resume normal hours of operation on the day following the holidays.

Solid waste convenience centers are usually closed on Wednesdays, so their schedule is not affected by the holiday schedule.

Residents can recycle any day of the week, any time of day, at one of the County’s 24-hour recycling drop-off sites.  They are located at:

  • Carrboro Plaza, behind the ABC store, Carrboro

  • Cedar Falls Park, off of Weaver Dairy Road, Chapel Hill

  • Hillsborough Commons, Wal-Mart parking lot, Hillsborough

  • Municipal Drive, past the Orange County Animal Shelter, Chapel Hill

  • University Mall, Estes Drive, behind Texaco Station, Chapel Hill

Residents can recycle all plastic bottles, aluminum, steel, and empty aerosol spray cans, magazines, mixed paper, newspaper and phonebooks, corrugated cardboard, and glass bottles and jars at these locations.  Be sure to properly sort items into the labeled containers.  Do not leave any garbage or other items around the containers.

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Clean Up Efforts Bring Big Lines to the Orange County Landfill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 16, 2002

For more information: Orange County Solid Waste Management, (919) 968-2788, recycling@co.orange.nc.us

As more and more people start the process of picking up debris left from last week’s ice storm, the Orange County Landfill is seeing a huge increase in daily attendance and disposal.  Customers can expect longer lines than usual, both at the scale house and at the drop off points for materials they bring.  It is imperative that anyone coming to the landfill separate the types of waste they have.  Yard waste and tree debris should be kept separate from any construction debris even if the construction material is wood. Scrap metal from out-buildings or appliances should be kept separate from wood items.  Keeping materials separate for disposal will help the lines move faster.

Household garbage (NOT storm related debris) should be kept separate and brought to one of the six solid waste convenience centers located throughout the county, not the landfill. 

To help speed the cleaning process, the landfill has extended the hours on Saturday from 12-4 and Sunday 10-4 to accept yard waste, tree debris, and brush only.  The landfill will also be open it’s normal hours of operation, Monday-Friday 7:00a.m.-4:00p.m., and 7:00a.m.-12:00p.m. on Saturday to accept all other materials usually brought to the landfill.

Any questions should be directed to 968-2788 or emailed to recycling@co.orange.nc.us.

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County Responds to Winter Storm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 11, 2002

For more information: John Link, County Manager, (919) 245-2300; jlink@co.orange.nc.us

As last week’s winter storm approached, Orange County mobilized all its resources to battle the effects of the icy winter blast.

From Emergency Management Services and Public Works to the Health and Social Services departments, from the Department on Aging to the County Manager’s Office, County employees and area human services agencies and volunteers mustered their strength to face what would become the area’s worst weather event since Hurricane Fran.

Storm Preparation

Prior to the beginning of the winter storm on Wednesday December 4, Emergency Management began preparations based on weather reports. Emergency Management notified the towns of Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough to begin their preparations for the winter storm, and alerted the county’s volunteer fire departments to prepare for the worst.

The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated at 3 p.m. on Wednesday December 4. Later that afternoon, the towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro activated their emergency operations centers. Emergency Management began holding briefings and sharing information with the municipalities, the state Department of Emergency Management, the National Weather Service, the Red Cross and County departments that would be involved in shelter preparation, including the Health Department, Department of Social Services and Orange Public Transportation.

The Public Works Department checked all power generators at County facilities to ensure they were in proper and safe working order, and inspected the emergency generator at the County’s communications site on Eno Mountain. The EOC contacted a generator supplier and had a generator in place at the Red Cross shelter at Stanford Middle School before the storm hit.

Storm Recovery

At 8 a.m. on Thursday December 5, the Orange County Radio Amateurs (OCRA) activated its ham radio network at the EOC to help provide communications. OCRA members staffed the EOC 24 hours per day, along with one member each at the two Red Cross shelters and one liaison at the American Red Cross Chapter Office. OCRA stayed on the air until 8 a.m. on Monday December 9.

Also Thursday morning, the 10 county fire departments – eight volunteer fire departments and the departments in Chapel Hill and Carrboro – began removing storm debris in the roadway in coordination with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). The N.C. Forestry Service provided 10, two-man chainsaw crews, along with liaison and support personnel to assist NCDOT in debris removal.

Emergency Management held meetings with County staff, municipalities, OWASA, and representatives of Duke Power and Piedmont EMC to receive and provide updates on the needs of municipalities for generators at their water and sewer pumping stations, timelines for power restoration and the deployment of repair crews.

The County requested and received the deployment of the North Carolina National Guard.  Troops were used to supplement the human services mission of the Departments of Aging, Health, and Social Services, along with the Orange Congregations in Mission (OCIM).  Teams were dispatched to all known frail, elderly, or disabled citizens to check on their well-being, provide food, water, and blankets, and to offer transportation to a shelter. These teams made more than 260 contacts with residents. Some of the crews deployed in National Guard vehicles and some in OPT buses, which provided transportation to the Red Cross emergency shelters for residents who needed it. The National Guard demobilized Sunday December 8 at 5 p.m.  The Sheriff and other county departments are continuing this effort.

Sheriff’s deputies moved cots from central receiving to the shelters and moved food, water, and blankets in support of the field teams checking on the well-being of county residents.  The Sheriff’s office also stationed a deputy at the Stanford shelter for security and assigned deputies to the EOC to help in prioritizing calls.

Human Services Storm Response and Citizen Assistance

Emergency Management

  • Emergency Management cancelled all vacation leave for personnel and assigned extra staff to all shifts in the communications center and the EMS division.  Emergency Management also provided personnel to staff the county Emergency Operating Center 24 hours per day throughout the event.

  • All Emergency Management staff (including administrative personnel) were assigned to rotating day and night 12-hour shifts to ensure coordination and availability to the citizens and other agencies.

  • EMS Division paramedics and the Fire Marshal’s office responded to 45 calls related to carbon monoxide poisoning between Wednesday and Sunday.

  • The EOC remained open 24 hours a day throughout the continuing storm recovery and will remain open as long as a need exists.

  • Emergency Management Paramedics distributed Spanish-Language information flyers to locations in the community with concentrations of Spanish-speaking citizens.

  • Red Cross emergency shelters housed 83 residents Thursday night in Hillsborough, 103 residents in Hillsborough and 135 in Chapel Hill Friday night, 113 residents in Hillsborough and 190 in Chapel Hill Saturday night and 35 residents in Hillsborough and 108 in Chapel Hill Sunday night.

Department of Social Services

  • Both the Hillsborough and Chapel Hill locations are open.

  • Presently receiving requests for emergency assistance; especially food.

  • Due to the lack of electricity, clients may experience problems with the card used for food stamps – the benefits are electronically loaded on the cards; without electricity, the benefits cannot be identified when the card is swiped. 

  • The state has asked for federal approval for automatic replacement of food loss for current food stamp recipients.  An answer from USDA is expected within the next 24 hours.

  • Received translation assistance from El Centro Latino volunteers. *

  • The Special Needs Shelter, which was located at C.W. Stanford, has been closed.  The residents have been moved to area rest and nursing homes.

  • DSS staff went door to door in the community to check on individuals identified as “high-risk.”

    Cooperative Extension

  • Agricultural agents are meeting with farmers to identify and assist with needs. They are distributing “Disaster Preparedness Handbooks” and offering tips on food safety.

Recreation and Parks

  • Staff checked the park sites and buildings; minimal damage was reported.

  • Efland-Cheeks Community Center is operational and open.

  • Northern Human Services Center has electricity and heat.

  • Electricity and heat have been restored to Homestead Community Center.

Department on Aging

  • Orange Public Transportation (OPT) transported over 100 residents to and from emergency shelters.

  • Several staff worked 24-hour shifts and others were on call during the evenings.

  • Staff distributed: 153 gallons of water; 74 blankets and provided food to 39 persons – all of which was provided by OCIM. *

  • Eight social workers worked throughout the event. Six were stationed at the shelter and two at Emergency Management to assist with telephone counseling.

  • Staff called more than 300 people to check on their status.  For those that were unreachable by phone, staff went out with National Guard troops to conduct home visits. These home checks are continuing.

  • Senior citizens that participate in the JOCCA nutritional meal program at the Northern Human Services Center were transferred to the Central Orange Senior Center.  Due to a power outage, the participants from the Northside Center were transferred to the Chapel Hill Senior Center.

  • The Chapel Hill Senior Center was open Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to offer snacks, coffee and warmth.

  • Distributed Spanish language literature to specific locations within the county.

  • Distribution of food, water and blankets is still continuing.

Library

  • Patrons continued to visit the library for books, checking email and as a refuge from the cold.

  • The Carrboro Branch, McDougle, was without heat until yesterday.  However, it remained open until 6 p.m. or 7 p.m. each day.

Child Support Enforcement

  • 130 cases were originally scheduled for court on Friday. These cases have been rescheduled for January.

  • The private agency contracted to administer child support checks worked throughout the weekend to minimize any delay in check distribution.  Few complaints have been received thus far.

Health Department

  • All locations are open for business.

  • A staff of 20 nurses (out of 23) worked at the shelters in teams of two for 12-hour shifts.  (The remaining three nurses were either sick or out of town.)

  • Nine school nurses, from both districts, also worked at the shelters.

  • Two environmental health specialists provided transportation for nurses to and from shelters.

  • Animal Control officers transported 20 animals that owners brought to the emergency shelters to the APS animal shelter. Two officers were stationed at each shelter to shuttle animals.

  • Animal foster caregivers took animals housed at the animal shelter to make room for the animals displaced by the storm.  All but 10 dogs were placed for the duration of the storm.  The remaining cats were moved to the wildlife sanctuary located on Nicks Road.  

  • Individuals originally housed at the Interfaith Council homeless shelter were moved to the shelters opened for those affected by the storm.

  • Spanish language handouts regarding food safety and carbon monoxide poisoning were developed and distributed to area churches and the Hispanic community.

  • Environmental Health staff provided fliers about safe food handling after power outages to all restaurants and other food service facilities.

  • Press releases and public service announcements were distributed regarding chlorinating wells and minimizing disturbances to septic fields due to fallen trees.

OPC Mental Health

  • Case managers conducted home visits to check on patients.

  • Electricity has been restored to the Northside building. The crisis phone number is 1-800-511-3850.

Landfill and Recycling Services Affected

Currently, the Orange County landfill is operating during its normal hours from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7:30 a.m. to noon Saturday. Hours have been extended for drop off of yard waste, brush and tree limbs only from noon until 4 p.m. Saturday. Loads must be tarped or properly secured for acceptance. No telephone service is available to contact the landfill due to a power outage there.

No fees will be charged for brush, yard waste and limbs delivered to the landfill from any residents or businesses of Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Hillsborough and unincorporated Orange County. No out-of-county yard waste is accepted.

Of the six Orange County solid waste convenience centers, those at Bradshaw Quarry, High Rock Road, Highway 57 and Walnut Grove Church Road are operating regular hours. Centers at Eubanks Road and Ferguson Road are open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. until electricity is restored. They are now closing at 5 p.m. due to lack of electricity and will resume regular hours once power is restored.

All centers will be closed as usual on Wednesdays.  Residents may take household waste and recyclables to the centers, but should deliver all brush, yard waste and tree limbs to the landfill as centers have limited storage capacity. 

Curbside recycling resumed Monday and will continue on a regular schedule. There will be no make up collections for those missed last week. All excess recycling should be taken to the recycling drop-off sites or solid waste convenience centers.

Household hazardous waste collection for Saturday December 7 was canceled due to the winter storm. The next household hazardous waste collection for Orange hazardous waste will be collected in Durham Saturday December 14 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Durham transfer station, 1900 East Club Blvd. and again on Saturday January 11, 2003. 

All types of batteries may be recycled at any of the six Orange County solid waste convenience centers.  

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*Special thanks go to:

Orange Congregations in Mission (OCIM) and El Centro Latino whose staff and volunteers worked diligently to provide assistance and resources to the residents of Orange County. 

Rev. Sharon Freeland, OCIM Executive Director, and her staff contacted all churches in northern Orange County to compare their lists of individuals who are “sick and shut-in” to the County’s high-risk list.  They coordinated their Meals on Wheels list with the County’s effort.  They opened their office early (9 a.m. instead of 1 p.m.) to serve residents.  They provided the food, blankets and water distributed by the County staff and National Guardsmen.  Their efforts served residents countywide, both in the northern area and Chapel Hill/Carrboro area.

Hector Perez and Christina Acostas from El Centro Latino provided assistance in translating an outreach flyer and identifying locations for distribution.


Orange County Landfill and Recycling Update

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 10, 2002
Update: December 13, 2002

For more information: Orange County Solid Waste Management, (919) 968-2788, recycling@co.orange.nc.us

The Orange County Landfill on Eubanks Road in Chapel Hill has extended its hours of operation to accommodate storm debris cleanup.  The Landfill will be open Monday-Saturday 7:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. and Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Saturday hours from 12 noon- 4:00 and Sunday hours are for the disposal of tree branches, brush, and yard waste ONLY.

Tree branches, brush, and yard waste will be accepted at NO CHARGE from residents and businesses of Orange County and the Towns of Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and Hillsborough.  Loads brought to the landfill must be tarped or otherwise secured in order to be accepted.  No out-of-county waste will be accepted.

Orange County Solid Waste Convenience Centers located at Bradshaw Quarry, Eubanks Road, Ferguson Rd., High Rock Road, Highway 57, and Walnut Grove Church Rd. have all resumed normal hours of operation.  Residents may take household trash and recyclables to the centers, but should deliver all brush, yard waste, and tree limbs to the landfill as the centers have limited capacity.  All types of household batteries can be recycled at any of the six Orange County Solid Waste Convenience Centers.

Curbside Recycling resumed its normal schedule on Monday, December 9, 2002.  Residents should have their bin at the curb by 7:00 a.m. on their regular recycling day, or put it out the night before.  There will be no make up collections for those missed last week due to the storm.  Recycling can also be brought to one of the County’s Solid Waste Convenience Centers or 24-hour drop-off sites.

The last Household Hazardous Waste Collection of the year for Saturday, December 7 was canceled.  The next collection in Orange County Will be held the first Saturday of February, 2003.  Orange County residents may also  bring their household hazardous wastes to the Durham County collections which will be held on Saturday, December 14 and January 11, 2003 from 9:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. at the Durham Transfer Station, 1900 East Club Blvd.

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Orange County Offices to Close at 4 p.m. Today
Cable TV Advisory Board and Planning Board Meetings Canceled for Tonight

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: December 4, 2002

For more information: John Link, (919) 245-2300, jlink@co.orange.nc.us; Gwen Harvey, (919) 245-2300, gharvey@co.orange.nc.us; Craig Benedict, (919) 245-2575, cbenedict@co.orange.nc.us

Due to inclement weather, Orange County offices will close at 4 p.m. today.

 The Cable TV Advisory Board and Planning Board meetings scheduled for 7:30 this evening also have been canceled.

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Orange County Initiates New Bank Draft Program

November 21, 2002

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Jo Roberson (919) 245-2730; jrober@co.orange.nc.us

Orange County Revenue Director, Jo Roberson announces a new program to assist taxpayers.  The Bank Draft Program, effective January 15, 2003 to November 2, 2003, provides taxpayers with the option of paying their tax bills through an automatic monthly bank draft. 

According to Roberson, “By participating in this program, taxpayers will have a convenient and easier way to pay their taxes. They can make sure their tax bill is paid in regular, and often smaller installments, without having to remember to submit them on a timely basis. Taxpayers have the option of selecting either the 1st or 15th of each month as draft dates, whichever is personally better for them,” said Roberson.

The program is available for real, personal and business taxes for the current year.  Motor vehicle taxes are not permitted for payment through the Bank Draft Program. 

The program uses the previous year’s taxes to determine the total amount to be drafted.  This figure is subsequently divided by 10 – which represents the monthly draft amount.  If there is a balance due after the final draft in October, a notice reflecting all payments received will be mailed in November to the taxpayer, and the remaining payment will be due by January 5, 2004.  Persons interested in participating in the program must submit an eligibility application each year. 

Monthly statements will not be mailed; however, the tax bills mailed to all property owners in August of each year will reflect all payments received to date.

Applications for this program may be obtained from the County’s website at www.co.orange.nc.us/revenue and at the revenue office located at the Government Services Center, 200 South Cameron Street, in Hillsborough.  Applications must be in writing and accompanied with a copy of a voided check representing the account from which the funds are to be drafted. 

Because staff has to calculate the data, applications will not be accepted through the mail but should be delivered to the Hillsborough office.  Applications must be received no later than January 24, 2003.

For more information, please contact Jo Roberson at (919) 245-2730 or jrober@co.orange.nc.us

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Don’t Miss the LAST Household Hazardous Waste Collection of the Year, Saturday, December 7!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 20, 2002

For more information: Orange Community Recycling, (919) 968-2788; recycling@co.orange.nc.us

For the first time in household hazardous waste collection history, Orange County will be holding a collection in December.  The collection will occur on Saturday, December 7 from 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. at the Orange County Landfill on Eubanks Rd. in Chapel Hill.  Residents of Chatham, Durham, Orange and Wake Counties may bring paint, pesticides, cleaning chemicals, garden chemicals, automotive fluids, items containing mercury (such as thermostats or fluorescent lights), or anything else from their home that is hazardous to this collection.  Please, no medical, radioactive, explosive, or business wastes.

This will also be the last opportunity in 2002 for the public to pick up FREE latex paint in good condition at the paint exchange, open during the household hazardous waste collection.

The household hazardous waste collection will be closed during the month of January.

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Recycling Schedule for Thanksgiving Holiday

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 20, 2002

For more information: Orange Community Recycling, (919) 968-2788
recycling@co.orange.nc.us

There will be no curbside recycling collection on Thursday November 28, 2002 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. The make-up day for Thanksgiving is SATURDAY, November 30. Residents who would normally receive recycling pick-up on Thursday, November 28 should have their recycling bin to the curb by 7:00 a.m. on Saturday November 30, or put it out the night before.

The Orange County Landfill will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, but will resume normal hours of operation on Friday, November 29.

Solid Waste Convenience Centers will also be closed for the holiday, but will re-open at 7:00 a.m. on Friday, November 29.

Residents can recycle any day of the week, any time of day, at one of the County's 24-hour Recycling Drop-off sites. They are located:

  • Carrboro Plaza, behind the ABC store, Carrboro
  • Cedar Falls Park, off of Weaver Dairy Road, Chapel Hill
  • Hillsborough Commons, Wal-Mart parking lot, Hillsborough
  • Municipal Drive, past the Orange County Animal Selter, Chapel Hill

Residents can recycle all plastic bottles, aluminum, steel, and empty aerosol spray cans, magazines, mixed paper, newspaper and phonebooks, corrugated cardboard, and glass bottles and jars at these locations. Be sure to properly sort items into the labeled containers. Do not leave any garbage or other items around the containers.

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Open House for Senior Center

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 15, 2002

For more information: Steve Reda (919) 245-2009

The Orange County Department on Aging is sponsoring an Open House to celebrate the completion of the Central Orange Adult Day Health Center. Located at 515 Meadowlands Drive #400, (behind the Sportsplex) in Hillsborough, the new senior center is the first adult day health center in Orange County.

The Open House will be held on Wednesday, November 20, 2002 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Participants will have an opportunity to tour the facility, learn about available programs, and meet the staff. There will also be a recognition ceremony, beginning at 6:00pm to acknowledge the individuals and organizations that helped to develop the center.

For those who cannot attend this event, another open house is planned for Sunday, November 24th, from 2:00p.m. to 4:00p.m.

For additional information, directions or questions, please contact Steve Reda at (919) 245-2017.

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Orange County Develops New Web Site for Local Farms and Agricultural Products

OR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 14, 2002

CONTACT: Michael Lanier, (919) 245-2330, or mlanier@co.orange.nc.us

Orange County announces a new web site promoting local farms and farm products.  The site www.orangecountyfarms.org     features information for consumers on the products and services available from Orange County farmers as well as resources for farmers.

At the site, consumers can determine where farmers sell their products; which farms have “pick your own” operations; which farms provide Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares; and which farms are certified organic or use sustainable farming practices.  Contact names, addresses, and phone numbers are provided, along with e-mail addresses and links to the farms’ websites, if available.

In addition, the web site features resources that can help farmers manage their operations, explore new ideas, and obtain current farm news.  Farmers can also talk with each other in a forum, buy and sell at the Trading Post, and learn about upcoming farming events and classes.

The web site also features Farmer Portraits, photographs of farmers engaged in farming activities, along with profiles of themselves and their farms.  Other features, including recipes from local chefs, are planned for the future.

Development of the web site is an outgrowth of Orange County’s continuing commitment to help local farmers.  With partial funding from North Carolina A&T State University, the county has hired an Agricultural Economic Development Coordinator, Michael Lanier, who works with both the county’s Cooperative Extension Service and the Economic Development Commission.

In addition to Lanier, staff of the county’s Information Systems Department and Rodney Recor, a member of the county’s Agricultural Preservation Board, worked to develop www.orangecountyfarms.org. 

For more information about the web site or other local Agricultural Economic Development initiatives, contact Michael Lanier at (919) 245-2330.

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Water Restrictions Rescinded

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 8, 2002

For more information: Paul Thames, Orange County Engineer
(919) 245-2303

PUBLIC PROCLAMATION RESCINDING STAGE II MANDATORY WATER USE RESTRICTIONS IN THE UNINCORPORATED ORANGE COUNTY AREAS IN ACCORD WITH THE COUNTY'S WATER SHORTAGE ORDINANCE

WHEREAS, during the past year, the worst drought on record caused a decline in the total water stored in the Cane Creek Reservoir and University Lake to a level lower than in any previously recorded; and

WHEREAS, on June 6, 2002, the County of Orange adopted "An Interim Ordinance Providing for the Year-Round Conservation of Water and for Temporary Restrictions During Water Shortages and Emergencies Related to all Orange Water and Sewer Authority Customers Located in the Unincorporated Part of Orange County," which ordinance is referenced in this Public Proclamation as the "Water Shortage Ordinance"; and

WHEREAS, on July 12, 2002, the County of Orange issued a "Proclamation of a Stage I Water Shortage Affecting Customers in the Unincorporated Orange County Areas Within the Orange Water and Sewer Authority's Service Area"; and

WHEREAS, on August 23, 2002, Orange County issued a "Public Proclamation of a Stage II Water Shortage in the Unincorporated Orange County Areas in Accord with the County's Water Shortage Ordinance; and

WHEREAS, on September 9, 2002, Orange County issued a "Public Proclamation of a Water Supply Emergency in the Unincorporated Orange County Areas in Accord with the County's Water Shortage Ordinance"; and

WHEREAS, in October 2002, the Cane Creek Reservoir and University Lake received substantial rainfall resulting in an increase in the available water supply in OWASA's reservoirs from 34% of full supply on October 9, 2002 to 66% of full supply on October 17, 2002; and

WHEREAS, on October 18, 2002, Orange County issued a "Public Proclamation Rescinding Water Supply Emergency Restrictions" in accord with the County's Water Shortage Ordinance; and

WHEREAS, since October 17, 2002, the available water supply in OWASA's reservoir has increased to 75% of full capacity and customer demand has remained low; and

WHEREAS, the Executive Director of Orange Water and Sewer Authority has determined that it is appropriate at this time to recommend rescission of all Mandatory Water Use Restrictions; and

WHEREAS, on November 7, 2002, the OWASA Board of Directors met in Special Session and approved a resolution supporting the Executive Director's determination that water supply conditions have improved, and no longer justify declaration of a Water Shortage.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Barry Jacobs, Chairman of the Orange County Board of Commissioners, do hereby:

I. Proclaim that a Water Shortage no longer exists.

II. Proclaim that all Mandatory Water Use Restrictions are rescinded.

III. Encourage all customers and users of OWASA water in the unincorporated Orange County areas to continue to use water wisely and practice effective conservation measures year-round.

IV. That the County of Orange appreciates the efforts by its citizens to conserve water during the worst drought on record.

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