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

November/December 2004

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Solid Waste

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 31, 2004

Contact: Blair Pollock 
Orange County Solid Waste Management
(919)
968-2788

Tips on Managing Holiday Waste

Christmas Tree

- If you live within Town limits, handle the tree as you would any other brush, strip the tinsel off and set it at the curb before your designated brush collection day. Follow your Town's policy on length and diameter limits for brush. 

- Any Orange County resident can take a tree, along with up to ½ pickup truck load of brush, at no charge to any of the six solid waste convenience center during operating hours which are 7am to noon and 1pm to 7pm on M, T, Th, Fri and 7am to 5pm Sat (except January 1) and 1pm to 5pm Sunday.

- Take the tree to the landfill during operating hours from 7am to 4pm M-F or 7:30 am to noon for a fee of $7 as with any pickup load of brush.

- Orange County's Solid Waste Management Department encourages you to leave your tree in any wooded area on your property to decompose naturally.

Plastic packaging materials

- The various UPS mailing houses (formerly Mailboxes Etc) as well as Carolina Packaging at MidTown Market accept styrofoam peanuts and the various types of bubble wrap during their operating hours. These materials are not accepted at the recycling. 

Wrapping Paper

- If the paper is in tact, of course save it to wrap your next present. Otherwise, if it's not metallic or plastic coated, recycle it with mixed paper at any of the eleven drop-off locations. Do not recycle in the curbside bin with newspaper or in apartment roll carts.

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TAXES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 23, 2004

Contact: John Smith 
Orange County Tax Assessor
(919)
245-2100

Property Revaluation in Orange County

Your home may be worth more in 2005. 

Every four years, Orange County conducts a process of “revaluation” to ensure property values are up to date.  North Carolina law requires all counties to engage in this practice at least every eight years.  Since 1993, Orange County has been performing revaluations at four-year intervals to keep taxable property values more closely aligned with market values. 

Tax values of property, as required by North Carolina General Statutes, are based at market value.  Market value is determined by analyzing sales of similar property within the same or similar neighborhoods. 

This month, the Orange County Tax Assessor’s Office will mail 49,000 notices of updated real property values to owners of property in Orange County.  These notices are part of the revaluation process that takes effect January 1, 2005. 

It is important to note that these are notices of value – not tax bills.  Tax bills, based on the new values, will be mailed in August 2005, following adoption of the 2005-2006 Orange County budget by the Board of County Commissioners. 

Rod Visser, Assistant County Manager, explains that revaluations are designed to be "revenue neutral".  "It has been Orange County's longstanding practice to, and in 2003 became a provision of North Carolina law that local governments must, include in their budget documents, a calculation of the revenue neutral tax rate," he notes.  A recent Institute of Government publication describes the revenue neutral tax rate as "the rate for the fiscal year after revaluation that, taking into account expected rates of growth in the tax base and excluding increases in market value recognized by the revaluation, would produce revenue that equals the current year's tax levy".

According to Visser, "The taxes on any particular piece of property following a revaluation may increase, decrease, or stay about the same, depending on the relative change in that property's value, compared to the overall average increase in Orange County real property values." 

The practical effect of this is that in developing the 2005-06 Orange County budget, the Manager and Commissioners will start with a baseline tax rate that reflects the revenue neutral tax rate.  "Whether or not someone pays more in taxes after the 2005 revaluation than they did in 2004 will also be affected by the tax rate decisions the Commissioners make in June 2005", Visser points out.  The Commissioners will establish property tax rates at that time to ensure adequate revenue will be generated to pay for the 2005-06 Orange County program of services, as determined by the Board of Commissioners.

County Assessor John Smith notes, “For most of us, our home is our largest investment.  When most people receive their revaluation notices, they will see that their investment has appreciated in value an average of 10 – 25 percent in the past four years.  We hope that the higher property values will be good news.” 

The staff of the Orange County Tax Assessor’s Office is available to answer any questions citizens may have regarding their new values.  For citizen convenience, the Orange County website, http://www.co.orange.nc.us/assessor, contains answers to many of the most often asked tax questions.

If citizens feel their property has been appraised above or below market value, an appeals process may be pursued in accordance with North Carolina law.  The website includes the form for property owners to provide the Assessor’s Office with additional pertinent information that may help in determining a value adjustment for the property. 

Informal appeals, to be heard by the County Assessor and his staff, will begin on January 24, 2005.  Formal appeals to the Orange County Board of Equalization and Review will begin in April. 

For additional information, contact John Smith, Orange County Tax Assessor, at (919) 245-2100.

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BOCC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 20, 2004

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

Orange County Hosts Outreach Listening Sessions

Orange County Commissioners will host a series of “listening sessions” during 2005.

The sessions will provide an informal and relaxed opportunity for residents to share their concerns and thoughts related to county government. 

Residents who do not feel comfortable making a presentation to the Board in a public meeting may feel free to share their issues in a more casual setting near local neighborhoods.  Whether the topics are operations, programs, or services, here is a chance to share your thoughts with the Chair and one other Commissioner. 

There will be eight (8) listening sessions in different locations across Orange County during 2005.  Any county resident may attend any meeting. 

The first session will be on January 11, 2005, 7:00 pm, at the Southern Human Services Center, 2501 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill.   

Results of the sessions will be shared with members of the Board and Orange County Staff. 

 

2005 Orange County Listening Sessions

All meetings begin at 7:00 pm and last until 8:00 pm. 

January 11 – Southern Human Services Center

February 24 – Schley Community Center Building

March 21 – Orange Grove Community Center

April 18 – Pleasant Green Community Center

May 16 – Northern Orange Human Services

August 9 – Carrboro Century Center

September 15 – Efland Community Center

October 5 – Government Services Center

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Orange County

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 20, 2004

Contact: David Hunt 
Orange County Information Specialist
(919)
245-2126

Holiday Office Schedule for Orange County

Orange County offices will be closed for the holidays on Friday, December 24 and on Monday and Tuesday, December 27 and 28, 2004.

Offices will also be closed on Monday, January 3, 2005 for the New Year holiday. 

As always, emergency response services are available every day of the year.

Happy Holidays!

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Solid Waste

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 17, 2004

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

Holiday Recycling and Landfill Schedule

There is no change in the curbside recycling schedule for the week of Christmas 2004 or New Years Day 2005. 

Have your recycling bin to the curb by 7:00 a.m. or put it out the night before on your normal recycling day to help ensure prompt service.

The Orange County Landfill and all associated services including Household Hazardous Waste and mulch sales will close at 12:00 noon on Friday December 24 (Christmas Eve) and will be closed all day Saturday December 25, Christmas Day.  Normal hours will resume on Monday, December 27, 2004.

The Orange County Landfill and all associated services will be closed on January 1, 2004, New Year’s Day. Normal hours will resume on Monday, January 3, 2005.

Solid Waste Convenience Centers will close at 12:00 noon Friday, December 24 (Christmas Eve) and will be closed all day Saturday, December 25, Christmas Day.  Regular hours will resume Sunday, December 26 1:00 am – 5 pm.

Solid Waste Convenience Centers will be closed on Saturday, January 1, 2004, New Year’s Day. Normal hours will resume on Sunday, January 2, 2005.

Residents can recycle seven days a week, any time of day, at one of the County’s 24-hour Recycling Drop-off sites.  Locations are:

·         Carrboro Plaza, behind the ABC store, Carrboro

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

·         Meadowmont, behind the Harris Teeter, Chapel Hill

·         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 (such as non-metallic wrapping paper and junk mail), newspaper and phonebooks, corrugated cardboard, and glass bottles and jars at these locations.  Mixed paper cannot be recycled at the curbside, it should be recycled at Drop-off Sites.  Be sure to properly sort items into the labeled containers and always remove and discard plastic bags.  If the site is overflowing, do not leave your recycling on the ground! Bring to another site or wait a couple of days. 

Thank you Orange County for recycling right through the holidays and all year round. 

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BOCC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 16, 2004

Contact: David Hunt 
Orange County Information Specialist
(919)
245-2126

Donna Baker Awarded Certification

Donna Baker, Clerk to the Orange County Board of Commissioners has earned the designation of Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC), awarded by the International Institute of Municipal Clerks. 

IIMC grants the CMC designation only to those municipal clerks who complete demanding education requirements; and who have a record of significant contributions to their local government, their community and state. 

The International Institute of Municipal Clerks, founded in 1947, has 10,300 members throughout the United States, Canada, and 15 other countries.  The mission of this global non-profit corporation is to enhance the education opportunities and professional development of its diverse membership.    

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Human Rights and Relations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 10, 2004

Contact: Milan Pham 
Orange County Human Rights and Relations
(919)
960-3875

Where My Feet Have Taken Me - Essay Contest

The Commission for Women will hold an essay contest relating to the theme “Where My Feet Have Taken Me.” 

The Commission invites females nine years old and older, who live in Orange County to participate by writing a two-page, hand-written or typed, essay.  Judging will be based on five criteria; originality, human interest, adherence to the project theme, organization of the story and grammar.  Entries must be received by 5:00 pm on January 14, 2005, and must be mailed or hand-delivered to:

Attention: Where My Feet Have Taken Me
Orange County Commission for Women
501 West Franklin Street, Suite 104
Chapel Hill, N.C. 27514

In addition to a small prize, winners will be invited to read their entries at the Women’s History Month celebration on Saturday, March 19, 2005 from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm at the Carrboro Century Center. 

The Commission for Women consists of volunteers appointed by the Orange County Commissioners to serve as a resource to expand knowledge and understanding of women’s issues and to make recommendations to the Commissioners. 

For additional information or contest rules, contact the Orange County Human Rights and Relations office 960-3875. 

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Social Services

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 9, 2004

Contact: Suzanne Hitt 
APP Coordinator
(919)
245-2862

Adolescent Parenting Program - 20 Years of Service

Orange County Adolescent Parenting Program (APP) celebrates 20 years of service to Orange County teen parents.

APP provides service and support to reduce the many risk factors associated with teen pregnancy for both the parenting teens and their children. 

Orange County was one of the pilot counties when the program began in 1984.  APP now averages 20 participants a year and continues to provide services and support to first-time pregnant or parenting teens.  The Adolescent Parenting Program encourages and assists participants in completing their high school education and provides parenting skill training.  APP also provides support and education to help avoid or delay a second pregnancy.

Myrissa Garth, a 1999 APP graduate states, “APP was like another home to me.  I sit back and think how blessed we are to have so many people to care and encourage us to strive for our goals.  APP has let me know, life doesn’t stop because you’re young and have a child.”

Orange County had one of the lowest teen pregnancy rates in the state during 2003, according the State Center for Health Statistics, because of programs such as APP. 

If you are interested in more information or volunteering with APP, please contact Suzanne Hitt, APP Coordinator, 919-245-2862 or hitt@co.orange.nc.us.

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LIBRARY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 8, 2004

Contact: David Hunt 
Orange County Information Specialist
(919)
245-2126

Brenda Stephens, Library Director of the Year

The North Carolina Public Library Directors Association (NCPLDA) recognized Brenda Stephens, Director of the Hyconeechee Regional Library System, as the Library Director of the Year for 2004. 

Considered annually, this award is given to a current library director who has contributed to the growth and development of their library by providing leadership, inspiration, and creativity to staff, patrons, and trustees.  By their abilities, the public library, under the director’s leadership has succeeded in providing, excellent service to their library and/or the library community. 

Stephens, a native of Orange County has worked with the library for 28 years. She has been an active member of the NCPLDA since her appointment as regional library director 13 years ago.  She also served as the President of NCPLDA in 2001.   

Hyconeechee Regional Library was also recognized with, “Remodeled Facility Award – under 10,000 square feet” for the Cedar Grove Branch Library. 

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GIS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 2, 2004

Contact: Roscoe Reeve 
Orange County Land Records/GIS Manager
(919)
245-2501

Orange County Enhances Land Records Online Services

HILLSBOROUGH - Over the past year, the Orange County Land Records/GIS Department implemented significant improvements to the Geographical Information System (GIS) online services.

GIS offers an interactive mapping system with options for viewing all of Orange County or zooming down to specific parcels.  The search can start with an interactive county map or land record information with search criteria options such as street address.  Numerous layers of information can be selected to appear on a map including; street names, contour lines/elevation, orthophotos (aerial photos), and city/county boundaries.  

While the system is used on a regular basis by realtors, appraisers, surveyors, insurance companies, and other land professionals, it is also available for any citizen. 

To access Land Record information, select the “GIS Maps & Land Records” button from the main Orange County web site, www.co.orange.nc.us. 

Roscoe Reeve, Land Records/GIS Manager, has seen major improvements in providing public information over the years.  “Land maps that used to be available only on paper during normal office hours are now online and accessible with a few clicks of a computer,” Reeve said. 

The system is updated in real time by the Land Records staff to reflect new housing development, street changes, and contains aerial photographs as recent as 2003.  It also offers an advantage for fire and rescue personnel.  They can study the online mapping system prior to an emergency call, saving precious minutes in response time. 

Whether you are looking at contour lines around Gimghoul Castle or an aerial photo of the historic Occoneechee Speedway, check out the Orange County GIS Mapping system on-line. 

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BOCC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 1, 2004

Contact: Monica Evans 
Orange County Board of Commissioners' Office
(919)
245-2125

Orange County Volunteers Honored at North Carolina Outstanding Volunteer Service Award Ceremony

In November, Governor Mike Easley announced the recipients of the North Carolina Award for Outstanding Service in Central North Carolina.

The N.C. Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service recognized 115 recipients from 29 counties, including Orange County on Tuesday, November 9, 2004 at 3:00pm at Sunset Avenue Church of God in Asheboro.  The award honors individuals, groups, and businesses that have made a significant contribution to the community through volunteer service.

“Volunteers are the driving force behind programs and organizations that assist thousands of North Carolinians every day,” Easley said.  “They lend a helping hand to our children, adults, seniors, and at-risk and underserved populations, and give back so much to our communities.  This award honors and thanks our volunteers for their invaluable service to our state.”

The state wide volunteer recognition program, established in 1979, is an important part of the history and tradition of volunteerism and community service in North Carolina.  Since the program’s inception, more than 15,000 North Carolinians have received the award.

For more information on the Award for Outstanding Service, visit www.volunteernc.org.

Following are the North Carolina Outstanding Volunteer Service Award Winners from Orange County.

Leo AllisonFriends of the Senior Center for Central Orange

Leo was nominated in the Senior Citizen category for social services as a volunteer with Friends of the Senior Center for Central Orange. Over the past five years, Leo Allison has been one of those few special people to made things happen to improve the quality of life for senior citizens in Orange County.  He has taken action by advocating for an expanded senior center, identifying and raising funds for additional facility space and he has been instrumental in promoting the passage of a county bond for multipurpose senior centers.  Leo also served on multiple other boards that have reached out to meet the needs of the elderly.  “Dependability and reliability take on new meaning when describing Leo Allison,” said Jerry Passmore, Director of the Orange County Department on Aging.  “He has a can-do attitude and always gives 100%.”

Arthur Charles ClearyHabitat for Humanity

Art was nominated in the Senior Citizen category for social services for his work with Habitat for Humanity, Orange County.  He has been involved with Habitat since its inception in 1984.  As a licensed electrician and plumber, Art has worked on nearly every house built in the past 20 years.  Whether Art is supervising a work team or performing the work himself, he serves as a great example to other volunteers and Habitat homeowners as a steady and dependable pillar of the organization. 

“Although we have never really tallied the amount,” said Sam Hudson, Volunteer and Partnership Coordinator for Habitat, “Art has probably saved us a few hundred thousand dollars.”  According to Hudson, “No volunteer and maybe no staff person, has done more to build Habitat houses in Orange County than Art Cleary.”

Stacey RaderOrange County Rape Crisis Center

Stacey was nominated in the Individual category for her public safety support with the Orange County Rape Crisis Center.  Through conducting child sexual abuse prevention programs, Stacey has worked to raise awareness of this issue in Orange County.  She has allowed the Center to increase community understanding of victims of sexual violence by more than doubling the required programs for community educators throughout Orange County.  “Stacey approaches all of her work with the Rape Crisis Center with a high level of interest and enthusiasm,” said Cutler Andrews, Youth Education and Outreach Coordinator.  “Stacey has embraced the difficulty of the issue and has become a central part of our agency.” 

Dut and Pat StoyRonald McDonald House

Dut and Pat were nominated in the Senior Citizen category for social services for their work with the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill.  This husband and wife team has volunteered with the House for 15 years, starting when the project was in its conceptual stage.  From face to face interaction with the guests to chairing committees, the Stoys have shared their support and love with the Ronald McDonald House and the families who visit.  “They don’t just give of their time, they give of their hearts,” said Jill Platts, Director of Admissions.  “Dut and Pat have set a wonderful example through their long-term commitment and willingness to help in any areas that are needed.” 

Work First Family Partnership Team at University United Methodist Church 

This group was nominated for their social services support by Orange County Department of Social Services.  For six years, this team has continued to be involved with low-income families transitioning from welfare to work.  They have worked with the schools and tutored children to break the cycle of poverty.  The team pulls together professional skills including legal support, human resources, education and banking to carry some of the burden for less fortunate families in our community.  “They have truly walked hand-in-hand with families in need,” said Winnie Morgan, Faith Involvement Coordinator with DSS.  “The strengths of this team are amazing.” 

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Parks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 29, 2004

Contact: David Hunt 
Orange County Information Specialist
(919)
245-2126

Little River Regional Park and Natural Area Grand Opening

Little River Regional Park and Natural Area will officially open on Sunday, December 5, 2004.  The grand opening ceremony and ribbon cutting starts at 2:00 p.m.

Located off of Guess Road at the Durham/Orange County border, the land provides a natural habitat for land and water wildlife, a stable ecosystem featuring a diverse selection of native vegetation, and an area rich in American History. 

The park offers 391 acres open to the community, 15 of which are developed with picnic shelters, a playground, park office, visitor parking, and restrooms. 

Over seven miles of hiking trails and an additional seven miles of mountain bike trails weave through the property.  Portions of the trails have been developed to facilitate travel by members of the public with mobility challenges. 

Little River Park is a partnership in conservation among Orange County, Durham County, Triangle Land Conservancy and the Eno River Association.  A multitude of organizations and individuals have donated time and resources to make this park a reality. 

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Human Relations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 24, 2004

Contact: John Link 
Orange County Manager
(919)
245-2300

Milan Pham Appointed Orange County Human Rights and Relations Director

John Link, Orange County Manager, announced today that Milan Pham has been appointed as Human Rights and Relations Director.  Pham has been serving as Acting Director for the Department since November 2003 and, now will continue as the permanent Director.

As Human Rights and Relations Director, Pham plans, organizes and directs the County’s human relations work, including Civil Rights Ordinance enforcement.  Her responsibilities include directing response to issues of discrimination and human relations as well as supporting the work of the Human Relations Commission and the Commission for Women.  She develops and implements community education, training and outreach programs related to civil and human rights, including women’s issues and initiatives.

Pham has a law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law.  She began work as Civil Rights Specialist in the Orange County Human Rights and Relations Department in 1999.  In 2003 she promoted to Senior Civil Rights Specialist.  Pham began her career as a grassroots organizer and community activist.  She is responsible for the development of the first Asian Pacific American advocacy group in North Carolina and has worked extensively with the Latino community and other under-represented populations in the community. 

County Manager John Link said:  “Milan is an exceptional advocate of respect and equality for all citizens of Orange County.  Over the past year, she has demonstrated the strong skills and service orientation necessary to be successful in the position.  I am very pleased that she has accepted this appointment and anticipate significant achievements from her and the Department.”

Assistant County Manager Gwen Harvey said:  “Milan brings tremendous talent and tenacity to the role our County organization can play in achieving and preserving a community of access and opportunity.  She’s a natural leader and vital resource in helping pursue the Board of County Commissioners’ vision of  “social justice.”

Pham said:  “I am honored to be chosen to be the Director of the Department of Human Rights and Relations.  The County is giving me the opportunity to fulfill a long held dream of working for the civil rights movement during a time when the movement needs it most.  By accepting, I honor the efforts of my parents and my mentors at the law school by committing myself to public service and civil rights.”

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RECYCLE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 18, 2004

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

Thanksgiving Schedule for Landfill and Recycling Services

Curbside recycling will not be collected on Thursday November 25, 2004 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.  The make-up day for Thanksgiving is SATURDAY, November 27. 

Residents who would normally receive curbside recycling pick-up on Thursday, November 25 should have their recycling bin at the curb by 7:00 a.m. on Saturday November 27, or put it out the night before. 

The Orange County Landfill will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, but will resume normal hours of operation, 7:00 am-4:00 pm on Friday, November 26. 

The Orange County Household Hazardous Waste Program will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.  The program will resume normal collection hours from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on Friday November 26, and 7:30 am to noon on Saturday November 27. 

Solid Waste Convenience Centers will also be closed for the holiday, but will resume normal hours of operation on Friday, November 26.

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

- Meadowmont, behind the Harris Teeter, Chapel Hill

- Municipal Drive, near the Orange County Animal Shelter, Chapel Hill

- University Mall, off Estes Drive behind the Texaco Station, Chapel Hill

Residents can recycle all plastic bottles, aluminum, steel, and empty aerosol spray cans, corrugated cardboard, magazines, mixed paper, newspaper and phonebooks, and glass bottles and jars at these locations.  Be sure to properly sort items into the labeled containers and remove plastic bags.  Do not leave any garbage or other items around the containers.  The Department of Solid Waste Management goes to great effort to accommodate the extra volume of recyclables generated during the holidays.  If you happen to find a recycling site overflowing, please do not leave your recycling on the ground, but do notify our office of the problem.

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BOCC

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

November 16, 2004

Contact: Monica C. Evans 
Orange County Clerk's Office
(919)
245-2125

Recruiting for Orange-Person-Chatham Local Management Entity Governing Board

The Orange County Board of Commissioners is recruiting for the OPC LME Governing Board.

This committee will work with the Orange-Person-Chatham (OPC) Local Management Entity (LME) to ensure mental health, development disability and substance abuse services in Orange, Person and Chatham Counties.  Orange County is responsible for appointing one Orange County resident as an At-Large appointee to serve on this Board.  This appointee shall not be a close relative of any employee of the OPC LME.  Also, no employees, consultants, contract providers, or employees of contract providers are eligible for membership. 

Please visit the Orange County Web Site at http://www.co.orange.nc.us where you may complete an application online, or download one in Adobe.pdf format, by clicking on the “Volunteer Boards” icon.  You may also contact the office of the Clerk to the Board at (919) 245-2125 or email mevans@co.orange.nc.us to request an application, or for more information. We will send you an application immediately.

It is because of the generosity of its citizens that this community continues to be such an extraordinary place in which to live!

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Human Rights

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 15, 2004

Contact: James Spivey 
Orange County Human Rights and Relations
(919)
960-3874

Nomination Request for Pauli Murray Human Relations Award

The Orange County Human Relations Commission is inviting members of the Orange County Community to submit nominations for the 2004 Pauli Murray Human Relations Award.  The Commission is awarding the Pauli Murray Human Relations Award in three categories:  the youth category, the adult category, and the business category.  This award honors individuals who have a significant history of promoting and fostering better human relations among the diverse residents of Orange County.

Originally established in 1990, the Pauli Murray Human Relations Award commemorates the life and achievements of the late Reverend Dr. Pauli Murray.  Dr. Murray’s family had deep roots in Orange County, where her grandmother was a slave and her great-grandfather was a slaveowner.

Nomination forms and criteria information can be accessed by visiting the Orange County website at www.co.orange.nc.us  - click on the “Department and Services” icon; choose “Human Rights and Relations” from the list; click on the “Pauli Murray Human Relations Award” icon.  The nomination information is also available from the Department of Human Rights and Relations; Orange County public libraries; and the Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and Hillsborough town halls. 

The postmarked deadline date for submission of nominations is January 14, 2005.  If additional information is required, please feel free to contact James Spivey at (919) 960-3874.

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BOCC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 8, 2004

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

Special Meeting Notice - Orange County Board of Commissioners

Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 153A-40, the Board of County Commissioners provides notice of the following change in the 2004 meeting schedule.   

The Board of County Commissioners amended their regular meeting schedule by adding a Closed Session on Tuesday, November 16, 2004 at 5:30 p.m. at the Southern Human Services Center, 2501 Homestead Rd., Chapel Hill for the purposes of:

Pursuant to G.S. § 143-318.11(a)(3) "to consult with an attorney retained by the Board in order to preserve the attorney-client privilege between the attorney and the Board," and

“To discuss the County’s position and to instruct the County Manager and County Attorney on the negotiating position regarding the terms of a contract to purchase real property,” NCGS § 143-318.11(a)(5).

The Closed Session is scheduled to be from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., with dinner being between 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (prior to the 7:30 p.m. BOCC meeting).

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Flu Vaccine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 5, 2004

Contact: Donna King 
Orange County Health Department
(919)
245-2449

Additional Flu Vaccine Arrives in Orange County

HILLSBOROUGH- Flu vaccine is slowly making its way into the Orange County community through receipt of private purchase of vaccine and allocations by the State’s Immunization Branch. The Orange County Health Department has served as a central repository for some 3,020 doses of vaccine from the federal Vaccine for Children Program (VFC) and state reallocations from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Within the last week, some 620 doses of vaccine were re-distributed to practices that participate in the VFC program. The health department has begun to redistribute the other 2400 doses to local medical providers this week.

The redistribution plan was the result of a meeting held on October 27, 2004. The health department conducted a survey of local medical providers and long term care facilities to assess vaccine needs and set priorities. Over 25 providers representing the medical and long term care community completed the survey and met to jointly discuss how to best use vaccine as it trickled into the community. Some providers were expecting their private purchase vaccine shipments directly from Aventis within the month. Those facilities that ordered from Chiron were not expecting any vaccine and are relying on the work of the CDC to acquire vaccine in the near future. All were in agreement to assist facilities that were not expecting vaccine deliveries and for the health department to equitably redistribute any available vaccine.

Each agency was asked to look critically at their patients and provide the health department with firm vaccine requests based on the CDC’s eight high-risk criteria and their expectations of any vaccine delivery from other sources.

“We expect to meet a percentage of the expressed need from our medical providers. We have not received enough vaccine to fully cover all the requests, however will continue to monitor the situation for additional redistribution should more vaccine become available.” said Orange County Health Director Dr. Rosemary Summers.

Dr. Summers also stated, “Working together, private providers, UNC Health Care, and the health department can help cover more of our populations that are at high risk for complications from the flu."

All residents, regardless of vaccination, are encouraged to take simple precautions to prevent the spread of colds and flu.

* Wash hands with warm water and soap. Scrub hands for 15-20 seconds--the time it takes to sing the "A,B,C's" or the Birthday song. If no water is available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

* Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Keep your distance from others when you are sick.

* Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with 'germy' or contaminated hands.

* Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.

* Stay home from work, school and errands when you are sick.

For more information on flu prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/

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Lands Legacy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 3, 2004

Contact: David Stancil 
Orange County Environment and Resource Conservation
(919)
245-2598

Orange County to Acquire Land for New Park North of Chapel Hill

HILLSBOROUGH – On November 3rd, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners approved a contract to purchase 69 acres of land on Millhouse Road adjacent to Duke Forest from Mrs. Julia Blackwood, for a future park site that could feature several playing fields.

Over the past 12 months, Orange County’s Lands Legacy Program has been negotiating the purchase of this strategically-located land from Mrs. Blackwood. A portion of the original Blackwood tract was purchased by Duke University in early 2004 as an addition to Duke Forest. The 1000-acre Blackwood Division of Duke Forest abuts the western boundary of the property, and Duke and Orange County coordinated efforts to acquire and protect the property.

The Blackwood property is also adjacent, on the south, to the now-closed portion of the Orange County Landfill. Immediately to the east is the Town of Chapel Hill’s future Town Operations Center. The Blackwood parcel is also the southern-most boundary of the “Rural Buffer” portion of the Orange County-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Joint Planning Area.

The primary purpose for the acquisition is to provide for a mix of active and low-impact recreation facilities. Generally, the former Blackwood family farm fields nearest to Millhouse Road would be suitable for a series of playing fields. Areas to the west near Duke Forest contain areas of mature hardwood forest suitable for trails, and a portion of an identified Natural Heritage site. The property also lies along the route of the proposed Northern Chapel Hill Township Rustic Woodland Trail, which is envisioned to connect greenways and parks of Chapel Hill, Orange County and Carrboro to the New Hope open space and trail network.

"This purchase again demonstrates how our investment in the Lands Legacy Program continues to pay off for the residents of Orange County,” stated Board of Commissioners Chair Barry Jacobs. “Given its proximity to Duke Forest's Blackwood Division, the Greene Tract, and our new Twin Creeks Park, the Blackwood property allows us to assure an extensive bloc of open space at the northern edge of the most populous section of the county."

"The Blackwood property gives us the flexibility to provide both low-impact and active recreational opportunities, including much-needed soccer fields, close to Chapel Hill and Carrboro,” Jacobs added. “Those who questioned the commissioners' vision in siting facilities can see that we remain committed to providing services where they are needed, even if the process sometimes takes longer than any of us would like."

The property was part of a tract that contained the former farm of Eugene and Julia Blackwood. The property ceased to be farmed in 1996 after the death of Mr. Blackwood. The property is believed to be part of a 1755 land grant of 480 acres to William Blackwood.

The purchase price for the property, which includes a house and several outbuildings, is $1,260,500. The land value of the acquisition is $14,500 per acre, consistent with an appraisal of the property performed on behalf of both parties. Funds for the acquisition will come from voter-approved 2001 County Parks and Open Space bonds.

With this acquisition, the Orange County Lands Legacy Program has now acquired 1,229 acres of critical natural and cultural resource lands in the County, with another 249 acres pending closing. These acquisitions have been leveraged with Federal and State grants over $2.0 million to date. The Lands Legacy Program, founded in April 2000, is a voluntary program that seeks to conserve the County’s most critical natural and cultural resource lands for future generations. The program works with other conservation organizations to acquire lands in the areas of farmland preservation, natural areas and wildlife habitat, prime forests, acquisition of future park sites, historic/cultural sites, and watershed buffers.

For more information about the Lands Legacy Program, contact David Stancil at 245-2598 or Rich Shaw at 245-2591 or on the Internet at www.co.orange.nc.us/ercd .

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