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News Releases

Orange County, North Carolina

For additional information contact David Hunt, Information Specialist, (919) 245-2126. 

November/December 2009


Past Orange County News Releases  Solid Waste News

Tax Office


Release Date: December 31, 2009

Contact: Jo Roberson, Orange County Tax Administrator (919) 245-2727

Orange County Tax Office Reduces Mailings

HILLSBOROUGH - The Orange County Tax Office will not mail all real property only owners a listing abstract for the year 2010 in an endeavor to streamline work functions and reduce expenses.   Around 40,000 real property listings, expected by some property owners, will not be mailed. 

Real property refers to real estate property, both land and structures. 

Listing forms will be mailed to:

  • Individuals that listed personal property in 2009. 
  • NEW real property owners to ensure they are aware of the assessed value of their property. 
  • Real property owners where there has been a change in value during the year that did not relate to the revaluation process.  
  • Real property owners who applied for and were confirmed qualified for the senior or disabled exemption program. 
  • Businesses listed in 2009. 


Personal property (with the exception of licensed motor vehicles) includes boats, campers, airplanes, mobile homes and unlicensed vehicles.

Listing forms (both for individual and business personal property) will be available in a printable PDF format on the Orange County website (see link below) to assist the property and/or business owners in the listing process.

In addition to postage savings, this change in process will allow staff to concentrate on the Property Information Management System transition and implementation.  Once the new Property Information Management System (PIMS) is fully operational the public will be able to access interactive listing forms online.   The service is projected to be available for January 2012. 

For additional information, contact the Orange County Tax Office, (919) 245-2100. 


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Release Date: December 31, 2009

Contact: Lucinda Munger, Orange County Library Director (919) 245-2528

Grand Opening of the New Orange County Main Library

Grand Opening Festivities for the new Orange County Main Library, 137 West Margaret Lane in Hillsborough will take place on Friday, January 8, 2010 at 10:00 a.m.  The ribbon cutting will follow welcoming remarks and comments from county and state officials, including the Chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners, Valerie Foushee and North Carolina State Librarian, Mary Boone.   The Friends of the Orange County Public Library will also present a check for $20,000 that will be used to support the new facility. The public is invited and welcome to attend.  Light refreshments will be served after the ceremony.

The Grand Opening will feature an art exhibition, “The Other Side of Orange County” by local photographer Kent Corley and a poem by Friends of the Orange Library member, Max Preston.  Mr. Preston will also present a special children’s marionette program on Saturday, January 9 at 10:00 a.m. dedicated to the new library.

The Main Library will serve all residents of Orange County and provide cultural, social, and educational opportunities for all ages. The planning of a new library began nearly 10 years ago with the formation of the 2000 Library Task Force.  After many years of discussion, the ground breaking ceremony in April of 2008 demonstrated the strong cooperation between the Library, town and county officials and the greater community.

The 23,500 square foot building will feature over 16 public access computers, a dedicated teen center, a 90 person meeting room, a local history area and the capacity to hold over 80,000 items in the complete collection.  The first floor of the library is devoted to the library’s youngest patrons needs with an expanded collection, unique furniture and a special story time area.

“The new Main Library will provide excellent educational, recreational and cultural services, as well as being an asset for economic development and opportunity.  Our County Commissioners and citizens support has been critical to this project from beginning to end,” said Lucinda Munger, Orange County Library Director.

The Orange County Public Library system also includes a branch in Cedar Grove and two branches in Carrboro, the Cybrary in the Century Center and a joint facility in the Carrboro-McDougle Middle School.  It is also part of the Hyconeechee Regional Library system, which includes Person and Caswell counties. 

For more information about the new library and other available services, please visit our website .


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Release Date: December 18, 2009

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

Orange County Services Closed Saturday

Orange County services typically opened or operating on Saturdays will be closed on Saturday, December 19, 2009 due to the projected inclement weather. 

Services closed include the Animal Shelter, Solid Waste Convenience Centers, Seymour Center and Orange County Library (branches). 

Orange Public Transportation WILL operate the dialysis route on Saturday, December 19, 2009. 

As always, emergency services are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. 

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Economic Development


Release Date: December 14, 2009

Contact: Dottie Schmitt, Economic Development (919) 245-2327

Solar Company Opens Orange County Office

FLS Energy, an Asheville-based solar energy company has chosen Hillsborough as the location of their first office outside of western North Carolina.    FLS Energy provides renewable energy planning, design and installation services and has the capacity to serve a wide range of clients from small solar hot water installations to utility-scale solar farms. 

Chris Wachholz, a member of FLS’ Business Development division, is a long-time Orange County resident who has been charged with opening the Hillsborough office.  Mr. Wachholz is pleased that the FLS recognized the positive attributes of Orange County for its new satellite office location.  Mr. Wachholz notes that after evaluating potential locations, FLS Energy chose to locate in Hillsborough because of Orange County’s understanding of the important role of promoting solar power.  The Orange County-based office will serve FLS’ growing list of projects in the Research Triangle, Piedmont Triad and Eastern North Carolina area.  Some of FLS’ current projects include a large 1.2 megawatt solar array being installed at the SAS campus in Cary, as well as retail retrofits and solar installations for the military and area universities.  FLS is also able to help local home owners and small business consumers with projects.

Brad Broadwell, Director of Orange County Economic Development welcomes the solar company to Orange County, noting that “We are pleased that FLS Energy has chosen to build their business here in the county and we appreciate the fact that FLS recognizes our commitment to foster growth in solar renewable energy in the County, the Triangle and throughout North Carolina.  FLS’ decision to locate in Orange County is a tangible sign that the renewable energy market continues to grow and that Orange County is equipped to have a significant impact in the transformation of our energy future.”

FLS Energy’s Orange County office opened on December 1, 2009 and is located in Hillsborough’s Summit Business Campus.


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Social Services


Release Date: December 9, 2009

Contact: Sharron Hinton , Department of Social Services (919) 245-2840

Children in Orange County Need Your Help for the Holidays

ORANGE COUNTY- The Orange County Department of Social Services is in need of donations of new toys, books, children’s clothing, and non-perishable food items for the Orange County Toy Chest.  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 new toys and clothing for low-income, at-risk Orange County children during the holidays.  The program also helps to provide food for the family.  While any donation is appreciated, there is a critical need for toys, games and clothing for children ages 6-12 and food items.   

The third annual Toy Chest is set to open its doors on Monday, December 14th.  During the four-day program, more than 4,000 children are expected to receive toys.  Due to the current economic climate, more families than ever are in need of help and support during the holiday season. 

In 2008 the Orange County Department of Social Services was able to provide gifts to more than 3,000 children through the Toy Chest program.  

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.  For more information on the program, including additional toy drop-off locations, please go to the website at .


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Release Date: December 8, 2009

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

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

On Monday, December 7, 2009, during the annual Board organizational meeting, the Orange County Board of Commissioners re-elected Valerie P. Foushee as Chair of the Board of Commissioners for the year 2010.  Immediately afterwards, Bernadette Pelissier was elected Vice Chair.  Both were elected unanimously. 

Commissioner Foushee has served on the Orange County Board of Commissioners since 2004. 

Commissioner Pelissier was elected to the Board in 2008. 

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Release Date: December 2, 2009

Contact: Jeff Thompson or Pam Jones - Asset Management and Purchasing Services (919) 245-2650 or Tracy Reams, Elections Director, (919) 245-2351

Orange County Elections Office Relocates

The office for the Orange County Board of Elections will relocate from 110 East King Street in Hillsborough and open for operation on Friday, December 4, 2009 at the Government Services Annex building at 208 S. Cameron Street, Hillsborough. 

To assist in this change of service locations, Orange County will be providing general information through the County website ( ). The County will also post wayfinding and orientation signage along common travel corridors.

Also see the Elections website,

Questions regarding this transition can be directed to Asset Management & Purchasing Services, 919-245-2650.


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Release Date: December 2, 2009

Contact: Carl Matyac, Cooperative Extension Agent, 919-245-2050 or Noah Ranells, Agricultural Economic Development Coordinator, 919-245-2330

Breeze Farm Stakeholder Meeting & Potluck

Serving farmers in a 75-mile radius of Hurdle Mills, the WC Breeze Family Farm Agricultural Extension and Research Center invites farmers and the general public to a Stakeholder Meeting and Potluck Dinner at 6:00 p.m. on December 9, 2009 at the Schley Grange Hall, 3416 Schley Road, Hillsborough, NC.  (RSVP requested)

An optional farm tour of the PLANT Farm Enterprise Incubator is offered at 4:30 p.m. at the Breeze Farm, 4909 Walnut Grove Church Rd, Hurdle Mills, NC.

The goal of this facility is to serve Piedmont farmers and the general public through applied research, on-site workshops, and other educational events.  Come learn about what we have been doing for the past three years, the master plan, emerging programs, and the flagship PLANT at Breeze Farm Enterprise Incubator.

The programming at the Breeze Farm 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.

Described as “a government program that works”, The Breeze Farm recently was awarded a $20,000 grant by the USDA/NC Department of Agriculture Specialty Crops Program to help provide training for diversifying and new farmers.  In addition, Weaver Street Market provided the PLANT program with $5,000 in early 2009 to help purchase a tractor and post harvest refrigeration equipment.  A successful Farm to Fork Picnic was held in June through a collaborative effort with the Center for Environmental Farming Systems and Slow Food Triangle, and raised $4,100 for new farmer training programs.

For more information, visit  To RSVP, call the Orange County Cooperative Extension Service at 919-245-2050. 


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Release Date: November 25, 2009

Contact: Lucinda Munger , Library Director (919) 245-2528

Orange County Main Library Closing for Move

The Orange County Main Library will close in mid-December to relocate to a new facility. 

The Orange County Main Library at 300 West Tyron Street will close its doors on Sunday, December 13 at 5:00 p.m. after 29 years in the Whitted Building.  The library will re-open to the public at the new location at 137 West Margaret Lane, Hillsborough on Friday, January 8, 2010.  The new location is closer to the center of downtown historic Hillsborough. 

While the Main Library is closed, patrons may visit the Carrboro branch library at McDougle Middle School, the Cybrary at the Carrboro Century Center and the Cedar Grove Branch in the Northern Human Services Center.  The Cedar Grove Branch will have extended Saturday hours, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., on December 19 and January 2. 

Check the library website for further updates, branch locations and hours.


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Release Date: November 18, 2009

Contact: Frank Clifton , Orange County Manager (919) 245-2300

Grier Named as Finance Director for Orange County

Frank Clifton, Manager of Orange County, announced the selection of Clarence G. Grier as the new Finance Director for Orange County starting December 14, 2009.

As Finance Director, Grier will lead the Financial Services Department which includes both finance and budget functions.  He will be responsible for County payroll, budget, general ledger and preparation of County financial information for debt issuance and audits. 

Grier comes to Orange County from Greensboro, where he served as Director of Finance and Information Services for the Greensboro Housing Authority.  His experience includes serving as the Accounting Manager for the City of High Point and Accounting Services Manager for the Town of Chapel Hill. 

His educational background includes a Bachelor of Business Administration with a Major in Accounting from Campbell University.  He is also a licensed Certified Public Accountant in both North Carolina and Virginia. 

“We look forward to Clarence serving as a key member of the Orange County team,” Clifton said.  “The upcoming budget season will be a challenge and we need a seasoned professional.” 

Grier is ready to be working back in Orange County.  “I am very excited about my future with Orange County.  It will be great to be back,” Grier said. 

Grier will be replacing Gary Humphreys who retires at the end of December. 

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Release Date: November 16, 2009

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

BOCC Appointments

At the November 5, 2009 meeting, the Orange County Board of Commissioners appointed the following citizen volunteers to County Advisory Boards and Commissions.


Volunteer Name                        Volunteer Board

Katherine Brooks                         Animal Services Advisory Board

Anthony Carey                            Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau

Steve Rankin                               Historic Preservation Commission

The Board also reappointed the following citizen volunteer to a County Advisory Boards and Commissions.

Volunteer Name                         Volunteer Board

Vivian Herndon-Latta                    Affordable Housing Advisory Board

For additional information on volunteer opportunities, visit the Orange County website.

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Release Date: November 9, 2009

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

Board Work Session Canceled

The Orange County Board of County Commissioners' (BOCC) Work Session scheduled for Tuesday, November 10, 2009 has been canceled. 

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Economic Development  


Release Date: November 4, 2009

Contact: Dottie Schmitt, Economic Development Specialist (919) 245-2327

Orange County Provides Support for Aquaculture Facility

On October 20, 2009, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) unanimously approved disbursement of funds from the Orange County Utility Extension Fund (Fund) to Taylor Fish Farm (Fish Farm). This newly constructed aquaculture facility is owned by local entrepreneurs Valee Taylor and Rene Stewart, and is located on land that had previously been used for tobacco farming in the Cedar Grove Township of Orange County.  

The Fish Farm is housed in a 10,200 square foot state-of-the art "barn" where Tilapia is raised, from fingerling through average harvest size fish.  The custom-designed facility utilitizes an indoor recirculating water system and an anabolic digestive system, and was designed with the support of NC State aquaculture extension agency, and received their first shipment of starter fish during the summer of 2009. 

At peak production the facility can produce approximately 250,000 to 300,000 pounds of Tilapia on an annual basis.  The venture’s owners are already planning for the future with potential expansion plans to include harvesting the liquid and solid by-products of the aquaculture process as a natural source of plant food, and possibly developing a hydroponics greenhouse.

The County supported the effort as the construction of the facility required extensive utility work, and the Fund which was established in 1993, used its disbursement capabilities to defray some minor costs of construction.  For business start-ups to qualify for consideration, the project must meet primary criteria including having proper zoning, an Orange County employment focus, adherence to Orange County wage scales, and obtainable tax receipts from the increased property value in excess of the Fund outlay. 

The BOCC supports this program which was designed to further encourage economic development by providing funds to cover a portion of costs required to extend utility infrastructure necessary to stimulate economic development, with the resulting increase in property tax revenue being used to repay the fund.  With the approved funding for Taylor Fish Farm, the transition of several acres of tobacco farmland into a new economic enterprise is now paying off in new jobs and enhanced tax revenues.

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Economic Development  


Release Date: November 4, 2009

Contact: Dottie Schmitt, Economic Development Specialist (919) 245-2327

Local Toy Company Receives Small Business Loan

The Orange Country Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) and their economic development advisory committee announce that they have extended their second loan from the Orange County Small Business Loan Program.   This loan fund was created by the BOCC to provide loans to small businesses for the express purpose to further stimulate the local economy by creating jobs and developing tax revenues here in Orange County.   The program was formulated to provide an alternative funding option to entrepreneurs and small local companies that find it difficult to obtain commercial funding, but meet the requirements of the Program loan fund.   The Program is administered by a citizen Board of Directors from the local small business and banking community with support from several Orange County government departments. 

The Program’s first loan was awarded in May 2009 to Santosha Service, Inc., a local commercial janitorial company.  The most recent award was provided in October 2009 to Phd Productions, LLC, an entrepreneurial company that is the designer, importer and marketer of the Pocket DiscTM, an indoor/outdoor flying disc.  All Pocket DiscsTM are hand-made of 100% cotton. One of the company’s goals is to support third world artisans, so the Pocket DiscTM is imported from Guatemala, based on fair trade practices.  Both company owners are Orange County residents, and the company plans to use the loan award to build its inventory, secure its supply chain, hire additional sales talent, and extend and focus its marketing efforts. 

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Release Date: November 4, 2009

Contact: Dr. Carl Matyac, Extension Agent (919) 245-2050

Farm Enterprise Training and Small Farm Incubator

Do you want to farm but don’t know how?  Orange County Cooperative Extension is taking applications for the PLANT @ Breeze 2010 Training Series.  PLANT, People Learning Agriculture Now for Tomorrow, is a farm enterprise training program and small farm incubator. 

The PLANT @ Breeze program seeks to revitalize agricultural activity in Orange County and the Piedmont Region through training on small scale sustainable farming techniques with a focus on vegetable production.

Trainees may farm their own land or lease land at the Breeze Farm, 6 miles north of Hillsborough.  The PLANT @ Breeze program will provide some equipment and tools for use at the Breeze Farm.

HOW to APPLY?  Submit your application by December 20, 2009.  Additional information and application available at: or or by calling Orange County Cooperative Extension at 919-245-2050.

Program Details:


Orange County Cooperative Extension       

306 Revere Road, Hillsborough, NC


Wednesdays 6:00 to 9:00 PM

DATE                    TOPIC   (tentative schedule)     

January 6            Whole Farm Planning

January 13          Sustainable Agriculture, Soils, Irrigation, & Equipment

January 20          Planting, Harvesting, & Crop Rotations

January 27          Marketing & Livestock Integration

February 3           Insects, Diseases, & Wildlife

February 10         Cover Crops & Capital Rescue

February 17         Enterprise Development, Recordkeeping, Taxes, and Resources

February 24         Weeds & Mulches


$110 for all 8 workshops

All apprentices leasing land at Breeze must complete the 8-week training course and submit a business plan and field crop plan by February 15, 2010.

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