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 2008

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Past News Releases

Tax Assessor 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: December 31, 2008

Contact: John Smith, Tax Assessor  (919) 245-2101

Orange County Revaluation Notices

Under the North Carolina General Statues, local governments are required to perform a revaluation of property on a regular basis.  Orange County engages in four-year intervals to keep taxable property values more equitable and aligned with market values.

The Orange County Tax Assessor’s Office will soon mail the 2009 official revaluation notices to all property owners.  The notices, effective January 1, 2009, should begin arriving around January 6, 2009. These letters are not tax bills but simply notices of each property’s new value. 

Assigning property value involves research recognizing monetary trends between buyers and sellers and reflecting that on similar property.  The office of the Tax Assessor maintains extensive databases of countywide sales activities incorporating the knowledge and expertise of local real estate professionals and members of the banking industry.  The Orange County Revaluation Team has worked diligently to confirm the accuracy of county data.

Since January 1, 2005 (the effective date of the last revaluation) the market value of Orange County properties has increased 20 to 30 percent on average. Over the last four years, Orange County residents have seen their investments appreciate in value compared to the downturn of property values in some parts of the nation.

The tax rate is set by the Board of County Commissioners when the budget is adopted each June. A similar process is completed for each of the local municipalities who set their own tax rates.  Historically, the commissioners and town councils have been able to lower tax rates in revaluation years and these efforts have offset some of the increases in values.  

There are two new tax reduction programs as of 2009.  One is for the elderly (65 and older) or those 100% disabled whose 2008 household income did not exceed $38,400.  The second is for honorably discharged veterans with a 100% disability that is service related.

For additional information visit the Orange County Tax Assessor’s website http://www.co.orange.nc.us/assessor or call (919) 245-2100. 

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BOCC 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: December 29, 2008

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

BOCC Special Meeting Notice

The Orange County Board of Commissioners will hold a special meeting on Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 6:30 p.m. at the Link Government Services Center, 200 South Cameron Street in Hillsborough for the purpose of going into a closed session “to consider the qualifications, competence, character, fitness, conditions of appointment, or condition of initial employment of an individual public officer or employee or prospective public officer or employee,” NCGS 143-318.11(a)(6). 

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Library 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: December 23, 2008

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

Munger Named New Library Services Director for Orange County

Lucinda Munger has been hired as the new Library Services Director for Orange County starting January 12, 2009.

As Library Director, Ms. Munger will be responsible for coordinating and directing the activities of the main Orange County Library in Hillsborough, as well as the three branch libraries; Carrboro at McDougle Middle School, Cedar Grove and the Carrboro Cybrary. 

Ms. Munger has twelve years of library services experience in both state and local government library systems.  Work history includes director positions with the State of South Carolina and York County in Virginia. 

“Ms. Munger has demonstrated exceptional abilities in leadership, employee development and working with diverse groups to successfully accomplish common goals,” said Orange County Manager Laura Blackmon.  “She is smart, professional, energetic and a good addition to our management team,” Blackmon added. 

Munger’s educational background includes a bachelor’s degree from George Mason University and a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of South Carolina.  She has also served on a number of boards, committees and professional organizations which advance library services for all members of the community.    

Munger is excited about the new challenge.  “During my visits to the area I have found wonderful and energetic people that want to be successful and give the citizens of Orange County the library system they want and deserve,” Munger said.  “I am very proud and happy to be able to work with all of them on making that a reality.” 

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Human Rights 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: December 16, 2008

Contact: James Spivey, Department of Human Rights and Relations (919) 968-2288

Nominations Sought for the 2008 Pauli Murray Human Relations Award

The Orange County Human Relations Commission is currently soliciting nominations for the 2008 Pauli Murray Human Relations Awards.  The Pauli Murray Award is presented annually by the Orange County Human Relations Commission to an Orange County youth, an Orange County adult, and an Orange County business that have served the community with distinction in the pursuit of equality, justice, and human rights for all citizens.

Deadline for submitting nominations is Friday, January 23, 2009. For applications or more information please visit website address: http://www.co.orange.nc.us/hrr/events.asp or contact the Orange County Office of Human Rights & Relations at 919 960-3875.

The awards will be made during the Annual Pauli Murray Awards Ceremony on Sunday, February 22, 2009. 

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Social Services 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: December 15, 2008

Contact: Nancy Coston, Department of Social Services Director (919) 245-2802

Children in Orange County Need Your Help for the Holidays

ORANGE COUNTY- The Orange County Department of Social Services is in serious need of donations for the Orange County Toy Chest.  A crowd of more than two hundred was gathered two hours before the Toy Chest was scheduled to open on the first day of service.  The demand is expected to be high throughout the eight-day run of the Toy Chest, and sponsors anticipate that the supply of toys might not be enough to serve all those in need.  The Toy Chest is a program, sponsored by the Orange County Department of Social Services in partnership with Toys for Tots and Balloons and Tunes, that provides a few new toys and clothing for low-income, at-risk Orange County children during the holidays.    

Due to the current economic climate, more families than ever are in need of help and support during the holiday season.  The economic conditions have also adversely impacted the number of toys donated and the amount of monetary support received by the Orange County Department of Social Services for this program.  Fewer people are able to be as generous as in year’s past and, as a result, the program is in serious jeopardy of running out of toys for the more than 3,000 children in need.  Social Services Director, Nancy Coston, stated, “We are seeing many families that would never have considered coming to pick up toys last year.  This community has historically stepped up to help neighbors in need and we are really hoping to see some of that generosity.”   

While parents of older kids may be able to explain that layoffs or high costs will make the holiday season leaner this year, parents of young children have more difficulty explaining why Santa Clause was stingy or forgot a child altogether.

In 2007 the Orange County Department of Social Services was able to provide gifts to more than 1,800 families through the Toy Chest program.  After the first day of the program this year, parents picked up toys for approximately 1,200 children.  The agency is asking the community for help by making donations of toys or money to help provide the additional toys that it is now believed will be needed to meet the increased demand. 

To make a monetary donation, please contact Donna Hall at the Orange County Department of Social Services (919) 245-2800.  Checks or toys can be dropped off at either building location, Southern Human Services on 2501 Homestead Road in Chapel Hill or Whitted Human Services at 300 West Tryon Street in Hillsborough.  Checks can also be mailed to the Orange County Department of Social Services at 300 West Tryon Street, P.O. Box 8181, Hillsborough, NC 27278.

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Solid Waste 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: December 12, 2008

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

Holiday Schedule for Solid Waste Services

There will be no curbside recycling on Christmas Day, Thursday December 25.  Make up day is Saturday December 27.  Have your bins out by 7:00 a.m. to ensure collection.

The Orange County Landfill will close early at 2:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Wednesday, December 24 and will remain closed December 25.  The landfill and all associated programs will reopen December 26 on the regular schedule at 7:00 a.m.

The Solid Waste Convenience Centers will be closed Wednesday, December 24 and Thursday, December 25.  They will reopen Friday, December 26 at 7:00 a.m. on the regular schedule.

For the New Year’s holiday there will be no curbside recycling Thursday, January 1.  Recycle instead on Saturday, January 3.   Place bins out by 7:00 a.m. 

The Orange County Landfill closes at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 31 and remains closed Thursday, January 1, 2009. It will reopen Friday, January 2 at 7:00 a.m. as usual.

The Solid Waste Convenience Centers will be closed Wednesday, December 31 and Thursday, January 1. They will reopen Friday, January 2 at 7:00 a.m. on a regular schedule.

If  you plan to recycle corrugated cardboard at the curb limit the setout to ten pieces each 3 feet by 3 feet maximum.  If you have more than ten pieces or if they are larger than 3’x 3’ and cannot be cut down, take them to a recycling drop off site. If the dumpsters at the sites are full, please hold on to your recyclables for a day or two or try another site that may be less full. The site at Meadowmont Shopping Center (behind the Harris Teeter) is less used than other drop-off sites.

Orange County’s Solid Waste Department urges residents and businesses to recycle as much holiday paper, cans, bottles, jugs and jars as possible at the curb or drop-off sites, including non-metallic wrapping paper and cardboard boxes. To further reduce waste take styrofoam and other packing materials to mailing houses when they’re open and take unserved food to charities and shelters when they are open..

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Agriculture 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: December 3, 2008

Contact: Carl Matyac, Cooperative Extension Agent (919) 245-2050, Karen McAdams, Cooperative Extension Agent (919) 245-2050, Noah Ranells, Agricultural Economic Development Coordinator (919) 245-2330

People Learning Agriculture Now for Tomorrow

PLANT @ Breeze

Want to farm, but don’t know how?  The PLANT @ Breeze program may be able to help! 

The People Learning Agriculture Now for Tomorrow (PLANT) program, a farm enterprise incubator for the Piedmont Region, begins its second season in January 2009.  The program is a joint effort of the Orange County Cooperative Extension Center and the Economic Development Commission, in collaboration with NC State University’s College of Agriculture & Life Science.

The 8 week training program will be held on Wednesday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. during the months of January and February 2009 at the Cooperative Extension Food Lab, 306 Revere Road in Hillsborough. The series will introduce apprentice farmers to the basic how-to’s of small scale, sustainable vegetable and fruit production. Sessions will include whole farm planning, marketing, pests, diseases & weeds, planting & harvesting, soils, fertility & crop rotations, building your business plan, recordkeeping and integrating livestock into your farm. All sessions will have a mentor farmer present to help students experience farming from those who have done it.  Registration is $100 for the full series.  If you would like to attend individual sessions but not the complete workshop series the cost is $15 per session (RSVP required).

Once apprentice farmers complete the training in early 2009, they will submit a business plan and farm enterprise plan to be evaluated by the program staff. If the plan is satisfactory, apprentice farmers will be able to lease land in acre increments and certified hands-on training will enable apprentices to use equipment and tools provided by the PLANT @ Breeze program.  Participants may also utilize land on their own farms.

The field component of the farm enterprise incubator will be based at the WC Breeze Family Farm Agricultural Extension & Research Center in Northern Orange County at the intersection of Walnut Grove Church Road and Schley Road.  Colonel William C. Breeze and his family donated the farm to NC State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Science and formally dedicated it in the spring of 2006.

“This program was a great success in 2008,” said Dr. Fletcher Barber, Jr., Orange County Extension Director and member of the Breeze Farm Planning Committee. “It brings the best that the NC State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has to offer, with each workshop grounded in the realities of farming through presentations of local successful farmers.”

For more information or an application, visit www.orangecountyfarms.org or call the Orange County Cooperative Extension Service at 919-245-2050 or Orange County Agricultural Economic Development Coordinator at 919-245-2330.  Applications are due December 20, 2008.

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BOCC 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: December 3, 2008

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

Orange County Board of Commissioners Special Meeting Notice

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

Members of the Orange County Board of Commissioners have been invited to meet with representatives from Olver, Inc and Solid Waste Management staff to tour the OWASA property on Hwy 54 under consideration for the Solid Waste Transfer Station. 

The tours will be held on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 1:00 p.m. and on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. 

The tour will start on Highway 54 approximately of a mile west of Orange Grove Road at a green gate marked with an orange traffic cone. 

This special meeting notice is being given because a majority of the Orange County Commissioners may attend this event.

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BOCC 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: December 2, 2008

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

Valerie P. Foushee Elected Chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners

On Monday, December 1, 2008, during the annual Board organizational meeting, the Orange County Board of Commissioners elected Valerie P. Foushee as Chair of the Board of Commissioners for the year 2009.  Immediately afterwards, Mike Nelson was elected Vice Chair. 

Commissioner Foushee was first elected to the Board in 2004. 

Prior to the selection of the Chair, Pam Hemminger, Bernadette Pelissier and Steve Yuhasz were sworn in as new members of the Board of Commissioners.  

Monday night was the first Orange County Board of Commissioners’ meeting with seven Commissioners serving on the Board. 

Retiring Commissioner Moses Carey, Jr. was recognized for his 24 years of service to Orange County as a member of the Board.

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Tax Assessor 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: November 19, 2008

Contact: John Smith, Tax Assessor  (919) 245-2101

Orange County Revaluation of Property

Orange County goes through the process of revaluing or adjusting real estate values every four years. The previous countywide revaluation was effective as of January 1, 2005.  The next revaluation will become effective on January 1, 2009. 

Property revaluation is the process of recognizing monetary trends between buyers and sellers and reflecting that on similar property.  The Tax Assessor’s Office is responsible for the revaluation process in Orange County.  The office maintains extensive databases of countywide sales activities, can track market trends and recognize value changes within individual neighborhoods.  The revaluation process is not creating real estate value but instead is simply recognizing the new value levels.

Since January 1, 2005 (the effective date of the last revaluation) the market value of Orange County properties has increased. This is great news compared to the significant downturn that many property owners are enduring in other less fortunate areas of our nation.

The Orange County Tax Assessor’s Office will be releasing the 2009 revaluation estimates online after December 10, 2008, before the official revaluation notices are mailed early in 2009.  With earlier input from property owners, the official values will be more accurate and reflect the particular nuances of each property.  Look for a letter in your mailbox in late November with additional instructions. 

To view the new estimates, after December 10, 2008, go to the main Orange County webpage, www.co.orange.nc.us , click on the “What’s New” button and follow the link to the new estimates.

The revaluation process can be challenging to understand.  If your organization would be interested in having a member of the revaluation team make a presentation to explain the process and answer questions, please call and schedule a date and time (919-245-2100). 

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Housing 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: November 18, 2008

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

Housing Repair Funds Available in Orange County

Orange County has recently been awarded $400,000 by the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency under the 2008 cycle of the Single-Family Housing Rehabilitation Program.  This program provides funds to assist with the rehabilitation of moderately deteriorated homes that are owned and occupied by lower-income households.  Typical repairs may include roof replacements, door and window replacements, and electrical and plumbing upgrades.

Only Orange County homeowners that are 62 or older or disabled who have incomes below 80% of area median income are eligible to apply. For example, to qualify, the annual income of a single person household cannot exceed $39,350 and for a two person household the income cannot exceed $45,650.  All financial assistance is provided as a deferred, forgivable loan. 

Interested persons should contact the Orange County Housing and Community Development Department at (919) 245-2490 for an appointment.  Applications will be accepted through December 31, 2008. 

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Solid Waste 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: November 7, 2008

Contact: Gayle Wilson, Orange County Solid Waste Management Director  (919) 968-2788

Public Meeting on Solid Waste Transfer Station Site for Orange County

On Monday, November 17, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. in the McDougle Middle School cafetorium, the Board of Orange County Commissioners will hold a public comment meeting on siting a solid waste transfer station in Orange County.  The school is located at 900 Old Fayetteville Road in Carrboro.  The purposes of the meeting are to familiarize citizens with three candidate sites under consideration for the transfer station, accept public comment on these sites, and address other concerns related to the development of the County’s proposed waste transfer station.

The three candidate sites designated by the Board of Orange County Commissioners for public comment are located north of NC Highway 54 at Morrow Mill Road, west of Orange Grove Road, east of Stanford Rd.  A map showing these selected parcels is attached. For more information regarding these sites, and the site selection process visit www.olver.com/orangecounty

Orange County’s current solid waste landfill is projected to be full in mid-2011 and the County has decided not to build another solid waste landfill within its borders. The alternative is to construct a transfer station where waste is accepted, accumulated in tractor-trailer trucks and hauled to a landfill outside of Orange County, where the County would negotiate a long-term contract.  Orange County currently landfills from 55,000 to 60,000 tons of solid waste per year. This tonnage has been stable to declining for the past nine years. Tractor trailers hold an average of twenty-two tons each, thus an average of 2,700 trips a year or eleven trips per work day could be projected at current waste generation rates.

County staff and consultant Olver Inc. project that it will take at least two-and-a-half years to site, design, finance, permit and construct this transfer station.  The major function of the transfer station site will be to accept and consolidate solid waste for shipment to this remote landfill. Solid waste management will take place inside an enclosed building.  Other functions related to handling materials such as cardboard, scrap metal, tires and other materials prohibited from being landfilled may be part of the operation at the transfer station.

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