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

September/October 2007

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Past News Releases

Water Conservation 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 26, 2007

Contact: Paul Thames,   County Engineer (919) 245-2303 

Orange County Commissioners Issue Water Conservation Resolution

The Orange County Board of Commissioners issued the resolution below at the October 23, 2007 regular meeting. 

RESOLUTION SUPPORTING WATER CONSERVATION

BY ALL ORANGE COUNTY CITIZENS

WHEREAS, portions of the southeastern United States are currently in the midst of an “exceptional drought,” as classified by the U.S. Drought Monitor, as collaborative effort of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), US Department of Agriculture and other federal agencies, and

WHEREAS, Orange County and much of North Carolina is within this identified area of exceptional drought, which is affecting drinking water supplies and agricultural operations, among others, and

WHEREAS, water restrictions are now in place in many communities – including the OWASA service area, where Stage 2 water shortage restrictions have been instituted, and Hillsborough, which has just instituted Stage 1 restrictions, and

WHEREAS, precipitation forecasts currently project the drought to persist into at least early 2008, and

WHEREAS, Governor Michael Easley has asked all North Carolina residents to observe water restrictions in their community and otherwise voluntarily conserve water, and has recently called for a 50% reduction in water use by the end of October, and

WHEREAS, water conservation is important not only to citizens on public water supplies, but also to those on private individual wells – as lessening of water use conserves the amount of water in storage and lightens the hydraulic load on private septic systems:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Orange County Board of Commissioners encourages all Orange County citizens to diligently observe water restrictions in the community which they reside.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board also encourages all citizens not under water restrictions or on private wells to voluntarily conserve water, in keeping with the Governor’s request.

This, the 23rd day of October 2007.

Signed by Moses Carey, Jr. – Chair, Board of County Commissioners 

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Solid Waste 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 22, 2007

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

Orange County Solid Waste Temporary Administrative Location

As of November 5th, the Orange County Solid Waste Management Administrative Office will re-locate to 630 Weaver Dairy Rd. Suite 103, in the Courtyard at Cedar Falls, from its current location on Municipal Drive. 

 

The new location on Weaver Dairy Rd. is just west of Sunrise Rd. across from the 24-hour Recycling Drop-off Site at Cedar Falls Park.  Enter the office from the right side of the complex (behind the Barbeque Joint), for Solid Waste Administrative services such as picking up new recycling bins and wheel kits, getting a landfill permit, or purchasing a hauler’s license.

 

This is a temporary location while the new Solid Waste Administration Services center is being constructed on Eubanks Rd. and the old location on Municipal Drive is being prepared for UNC’s Carolina North development project.  The Department expects to be at the temporary location for about a year.

 

The Department anticipates there will be no interruption in administrative affairs, as the number (919) 968-2788 will remain unchanged, as will the public email, recycling@co.orange.nc.us.  Please contact the office with any recycling or Solid Waste Management questions, or visit our website www.co.orange.nc.us/recycling.

 

The Department has enjoyed its12 year presence at the Municipal Drive location, having been a rent-free tenant on University property for that time.  

 

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BOCC 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 19, 2007

Contact: Paul Thames,  Orange County Engineer (919) 245-2303 

Proclamation of Stage II Water Shortage

DECLARATION OF STAGE TWO WATER SHORTAGE AND REQUEST FOR INCREASED WATER CONSERVATION DUE TO ONGOING EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT CONDITIONS

WHEREAS, on August 23, 2007 the OWASA Board of Directors issued a Water Supply Advisory, and on September 27, 2007 the Board declared a Stage One Water Shortage; and  

WHEREAS, as a result of the ongoing exceptional drought, OWASA’s reservoir levels and total water storage on-hand have continued to decline and there has been no inflow to the reservoirs for more than two months; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Drought Monitor rates the ongoing drought as “Exceptional,” and the long-term weather forecast indicates that drought conditions are expected to continue into 2008; and

WHEREAS, the Cane Creek Reservoir and University Lake, which are the Carrboro-Chapel Hill-southeast Orange County community’s primary public water sources, were 51.7% full as of October 17, 2007, and recent demand has not yet achieved the Stage One Water Shortage goal of reducing demand to 8.2 million gallons per day or less; and

WHEREAS, on October 15, 2007 North Carolina Governor Mike Easley requested that local governments in the State take immediate action to achieve greater conservation due to the severe and continuing drought;

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED:

1.      That the Board of County Commissioners of Orange County agrees with the Orange Water and Sewer Authority’s determination that water supply and demand conditions warrant the declaration of a Stage Two Water Shortage under the portion of the Orange County Water Conservation Ordinance applicable to OWASA customers.

2.      The Chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners hereby issues this proclamation enacting the following Stage Two water use restrictions with the goal of reducing overall local water demand to a level of at least 15 percent below OWASA’s pre-drought demand projections for the coming months.

a.                   Water use by individually metered residential customer accounts and by individually metered single-family residential irrigation-only accounts shall be limited to no more than an average of 800 gallons per day during any monthly billing cycle beginning after the declaration of a Water Supply Shortage or Water Supply Emergency and ending while such restrictions are still in effect.

b.                  Spray irrigation with OWASA-supplied potable water shall not be permitted, except by persons regularly engaged in the sale of plants, who shall be allowed to irrigate their commercial stock in trade.

c.                   Irrigation by underground, drip irrigation, micro spray, low precipitation bubblers, soaker hose systems with automatic shutoffs, or by hand held hoses or watering cans shall be limited to a maximum of one-half inch of water applied to plant material in any given week.

d.                  No OWASA-supplied potable water shall be used to re-fill ornamental fountains, ponds, and like devices.

e.                   No OWASA-supplied potable water shall be used for washing vehicles, except at commercial or institutional car washes in which at least 50 percent of the water has been recycled.

f.                    No OWASA-supplied potable water shall be used for filling or re-filling empty swimming pools. OWASA-supplied potable water may be used to top off operating swimming pools.

g.                   No OWASA-supplied potable water shall be used for the routine cleaning or washing of exterior building surfaces, decks, or paved areas, such as sidewalks, driveways, roadways, and parking lots. This restriction shall not apply to the pressure cleaning of exterior building surfaces or decks prior to painting or re-painting that is necessary to protect or maintain the physical integrity of the structure.

h.                   No OWASA-supplied potable water may be used for fire department training or equipment testing unless required by State or Federal regulations.

i.                     Restaurants and dining facilities shall serve water only on request of the customer.

j.                    Hotels, motels, and other facilities providing sleeping accommodations shall change bed linens only upon request of the customer, or upon customer changeover, or every five days for long-term customers.

k.                  The operation of dishwashers and clothes washers only when loaded to their maximum capacity, or at water level settings appropriate for the size of the load being washed, shall be strongly encouraged.

l.                     The use of ultra-low flow toilets, tank dams, flow restrictors (aerators) and low-flow showerheads, where not otherwise required, shall be strongly encouraged; and additional indoor conservation practices – as well as devices – shall also be encouraged.

m.                 Plumbing systems shall be properly maintained and repaired to prevent water leaks.

n.                   Indoor water leaks on property or facilities of OWASA customers must be repaired within ten (10) days of discovery and notification by OWASA.

The protection of public health, safety, and welfare may, under special circumstances, require the use of limited amounts of OWASA-supplied potable water for such purposes as washing out garbage trucks, cleaning up hazardous or other unsanitary materials, etc. Such uses shall be permitted during declared Water Shortages or Emergencies, provided that other practical alternatives are not available and water is used in the least practical amount.

In addition, no person, party, or entity shall use, cause, waste, or permit to be wasted any OWASA-supplied potable water, in violation of the standards set out herein.  Water waste is defined as the non-beneficial use of OWASA potable water. Non-beneficial uses include but are not restricted to:

a.   Landscape water applied in such a manner, rate and/or quantity that it overflows the landscaped area being watered and runs onto adjacent property or public right-of-way; or landscape water applied during periods of rainfall or when soil moisture is already adequate.

b.  The use of water for washing vehicles, equipment, or hard surfaces, such as parking lots, aprons, pads, driveways, or other surfaced areas, in such quantities to flow onto adjacent property or the public right-of-way.

c.   Water applied in sufficient quantity to cause ponding on impervious surfaces.

d.   Water lost through plumbing leaks that can be readily identified and corrected.

 

Adopted this 19th day of October, 2007.

  Moses Carey, Jr. Chair, Orange County Board of Commissioners

ATTEST: Donna Baker - Clerk to the Board of County Commissioners


Conservation 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 18, 2007

Contact: David Stancil,  Orange County Environment and Resource Conservation (919) 245-2590 

Drought Workshop for Rural Well Users

Orange County is holding an informational workshop entitled “Dealing with the Drought,” about ways to cope with the drought for well water users in rural areas. The workshop will be held on October 25 at 7:00 p.m. at the Orange Grove Volunteer Fire Department, on Orange Grove Road in Bingham Township.

Speakers will present a current update and forecast on the drought situation, information about wells and water production in Piedmont North Carolina geology, how to use sustainable landscaping practices, as well as other basic tips and ideas on conserving ground water.

For more information, contact David Stancil, Environment and Resource Conservation Director, at 245-2590 or dstancil@co.orange.nc.us.

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Civil Rights 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 10, 2007

Contact: Shoshannah Smith,  Orange County Human Rights and Relations (919) 960-3875 

Community Civil Rights Educator Program

The Orange County Office of Human Rights and Relations is pleased to announce the selection of eleven (11) individuals who will serve as Community Civil Rights Educators (CCRE).  This group of people shares a passion for serving the community and educating others about their civil rights.  The program is designed to empower community leaders, help residents understand their rights and responsibilities, and establish increased levels of trust between community members and the Office of Human Rights and Relations.

These Orange County residents will receive comprehensive civil rights and human relations training including the following topics: fair housing, landlord tenant, aging, predatory lending, employment discrimination, Title VI, wage and hour, hate crimes, violence against women, and “Race: The Power of an Illusion.”  This training will take place over the course of three (3) Saturdays.  The educators will receive a stipend and sign a memorandum of agreement with the Office to conduct community outreach on civil rights for the period of one year.

The following individuals were selected from an impressive pool of candidates:  Antonia Barbosa, Zina Barnett, John Chapman, Rashida Fearrington, Jesse Gibson, Ashley Harrington, Linda Hill, Berneta Lee, Timothy Miles, Caroline Pence, and Alejandra Rivera.

If you would like more information on the Community Civil Rights Educator Program, please contact the Office of Human Rights and Relations at 919-960-3875.

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BOCC 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 10, 2007

Contact: Rod Visser,  (919) 245-2300 

Commissioners Seek Volunteers for Local Revenue Options Education Advisory Committee

The Orange County Board of Commissioners is currently seeking volunteers to serve on the Orange County Local Revenue Options Education Advisory Committee in preparation for the May 6, 2008 Referendum. 

The Options Education Advisory Committee will become familiar with the history that led to the 2007 General Assembly granting counties the authority to enact new local revenue options of either a .4% land transfer tax or an additional ¼ -cent sales tax.  Committee members will develop factual informational materials for the general public.  They will assist with planning informational meetings for local civic groups and associations regardless of their position for or against the referendum.  The committee will also encourage all eligible voters to participate in the May 6, 2008 referendum. 

The committee will have up to 20 members with specific representation requirements including school parents, chamber members, town residents and at-large.  

Applications should be turned in by October 24, 2007 for appointment by the Board of Commissioners at their November 5 meeting.  

 All interested Orange County citizens are encouraged to apply.  An application may be completed online, by clicking on the “Volunteer Boards” icon from the Orange County homepage www.co.orange.nc.us. You may also contact the office of the Clerk to the Board at (919) 245-2125 or email athompson-rockett@co.orange.nc.us to request an application, or for more information.

Structure of Orange County

Local Revenue Options Education Advisory Committee

 

Maximum number of representatives – 20 members

Potential Representatives to Appoint to Committee

 

1 - Representative from the League of Women Voters

1 - Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools parent

1 - Orange County Schools parent

1 - Non-Elected Representative from Town of Carrboro

1 - Non-Elected Representative from Town of Chapel Hill

1 - Non-Elected Representative from Town of Hillsborough

1 - Non-Elected Representative from City of Mebane

1 - Representative of realtor community

1 - Representative from Durham/Orange Homebuilders Association

1 - Representative from the UNC Student Body

1 - Representative from the Chapel Hill Carrboro Chamber of Commerce

1 - Representative from Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce

1 - Representative from Agricultural Community

4 - At large Positions to Represent the Diversity of the Community

1 - Representative from Senior Community

1 - Representative from Non-Profit Community

1 - Representative from the Environmental Community

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BOCC 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 10, 2007

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

BOCC Notice of Change in Meeting Schedule

Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 153A-40, the Board of County Commissioners provides notice of the following changes in the 2007 meeting schedule.   

  • The Board of County Commissioners added a joint dinner meeting/ work session with the Orange County Board of Health for Tuesday, November 13, 2007 at 5:30 p.m. at the Link Government Services Center, 200 South Cameron St. in Hillsborough.  (This meeting will be prior to the 7:30 p.m. work session scheduled at the same location.) 

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Elections 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 2, 2007

Contact: Barry Garner,  Orange County Elections Director (919) 245-2351 

Public Testing of Voting Machines

The public is invited to witness how the Board of Elections tests voting machines for an election.  The Board of Elections will demonstrate testing their voting machines on Saturday, October 13, 2007 between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at the Board of Elections office, 110 East King Street, Hillsborough.  The test is to ensure that the machines are accurately tabulating the voter’s choices.   

With all the scrutiny over voting equipment, the Orange County Board of Elections wants the voters to have complete confidence that the system works. If you are unable to attend on Saturday, please feel free to stop by the elections office and the Director will give a demonstration on how the system works.

For additional information, contact the Elections Office at (919) 245-2350. 

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BOCC 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 28, 2007

Contact: Paul Thames,  Orange County Engineer (919) 245-2303 

Proclamation of Stage I Water Shortage

PROCLAMATION OF A STAGE I WATER SHORTAGE

 AFFECTING CUSTOMERS IN THE UNINCORPORATED ORANGE COUNTY AREAS WITHIN THE ORANGE WATER AND SEWER AND SEWER AUTHORITY'S SERVICE AREA

WHEREAS, a prolonged period of low rainfall and streamflow, which began early in the Spring of 2007, has resulted in water levels at University Lake and Cane Creek Reservoir that are lower than in any previous June on record; and

WHEREAS, average daily water use in the Orange Water and Sewer Authority's service area reached 11 million gallons per day for September 2007, up from the usual September daily demand of 9.6 million gallons per day; and

WHEREAS, since the OWASA Board of Directors adopted a Resolution Requesting Voluntary Water Conservation Practices on August 23, 2007, the total volume of water stored in OWASA’s Cane Creek/University Lake/Stone Quarry reservoir system continues to decline and is approaching the 175 day level, as estimated by customer demand patterns of the past 30 days; and

WHEREAS, long range weather forecasts anticipate that current drought conditions will persist for several more months; and

WHEREAS, the OWASA Board of Directors adopted a Resolution Proclaiming a Stage I Water Shortage on September 27, 2007; and

WHEREAS, the Orange County Board of Commissioners on June 26, 2003 adopted AN 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 proclamation as the "Water Shortage Ordinance";

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Moses Carey, Jr., Chair of the Board of Commissioners of Orange County, do hereby:

1.      Proclaim the existence of a Stage I Water Shortage, under the Water Shortage Ordinance of the County of Orange,

      2.   Call upon all customers and users of OWASA water in the unincorporated Orange County areas within the Orange Water and Sewer Authority's service area to follow the Stage I water use restrictions, as provided in the County's ordinance.  These restrictions include the following:

Upon OWASA’s declaration of a Stage One Water Shortage, the following actions shall be taken with the goal of reducing overall water demand by ten (10) percent:

1. Water use by individually metered residential customer accounts and by individually

metered irrigation-only accounts shall be limited to no more than an average of one

thousand (1,000) gallons per day during any monthly billing cycle beginning after the

declaration of a Water Supply Shortage or Water Supply Emergency and ending while such restrictions are still in effect.

 

2. Spray irrigation using OWASA-supplied potable water shall not occur more than one

day per week with a maximum of one-half inch of water applied to plant material in

any given week. Even-numbered properties shall be allowed to spray irrigate only on

Tuesdays; odd-numbered properties shall be allowed to spray irrigate only on

Thursdays.  Spray irrigation shall occur only between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 9:00

a.m. These restrictions shall not apply to the watering of containerized plants and

commercial plant stock in trade.

 

3. Irrigation by underground, drip irrigation, micro spray, low precipitation bubblers,

soaker hose systems with automatic shutoffs, or by hand held hoses or watering cans

may occur at any time or frequency, but shall be limited to a maximum of one-half

inch of water applied to plant material in any given week.

 

4. No OWASA-supplied potable water may be used to re-fill ornamental fountains,

     ponds, and like devices.

`

5. No OWASA-supplied potable water may be used for the routine cleaning or washing

     of paved areas, such as sidewalks, decks, driveways, roadways, or parking lots. This

     restriction shall not apply to the pressure cleaning of exterior building surfaces.

Violation of the Water Shortage Ordinance shall be a misdemeanor punishable as provided in N.C. General Statute 14-4. Violation of the Water Shortage Ordinance shall subject the offender to a civil penalty of $25 for the first offense, $50 for the second offense within a 30-day period and $100 for any additional offense within a 30-day period. If the penalty is not paid within 10 days of a citation, the County may recover the penalty through a civil action in the nature of a debt. The County may enforce the Water Shortage Ordinance through any appropriate equitable action. Each day that a violation continues shall be constitute a separate offense. The County may enforce the Water Shortage Ordinance through one or a combination of the above remedies.

This the 28th day of September 2007

Moses Carey, Jr., Chair of the Board of Commissioners


Fire Marshal 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 25, 2007

Contact: Mike Tapp,  Orange County Fire Marshal (919) 968-2050 

Summary of Brush and Woods Fires on September 11, 2007

On September 11, 2007 almost every fire department in Orange County had resources committed to brush and woods fires in the area. 

With no significant rain for months, record high temperatures, low humidity, and high winds predicted for the day, Mike Tapp, County Fire Marshal and Jacob Pressley, Orange County Forest Ranger agreed to issue a high alert for brush and woods fires on that Tuesday morning.  At 1:25 pm the first fire call was made to 9-1-1 communications with two more fires to follow in less than 30 minutes. 

Mutual Aid agreements with neighboring departments and agencies came into play as firefighters fought three separate fires.  Fourteen fire departments in Orange and Alamance counties brought in over 35 emergency vehicles with more than 90 firefighters to battle the fires.  North Carolina Forest Service provided a helicopter for water drops, a single engine spotter plane and two tractor-plows to cut firebreaks.  Additional resources from Chatham and Orange County departments were “moved-up” to cover the districts of the departments actively fighting fire.  Some resources moved from one fire to the next. 

Even with a large number of fire fighting trucks and support vehicles, there was still human toil and labor of battling the fire on foot in the woods in extreme heat using hand rakes, water backpacks, leaf-blowers and chainsaws. 

North Carolina Forest Service personnel and local firefighters, both paid and volunteer, should be recognized for working together as a team to save lives and property on that hot summer day.  

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Conservation 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 17, 2007

Contact: David Stancil,  (919) 245-2590 or Rich Shaw,  (919) 245-2591

Cedar Grove Family Grants Conservation Easement

On September 6, the Orange County Board of Commissioners approved the acceptance of a conservation easement to protect 78 acres of farmland in northwestern Orange County. The conservation agreement was completed through the County’s Lands Legacy program, and includes a grant from the USDA Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program. 

The farm is owned and operated by Hurley and Louise Tate, with assistance from their son Roger. The Tates inquired about a conservation easement to conserve their property, which includes prime farmland, scenic views, and streams that flow into Back Creek—a source of drinking water for residents in nearby Alamance County.  

Roger Tate is the 5th generation of Tates to farm this land.  He is past chair of the local Soil and Water Conservation Board.   In recent years the family converted their tobacco fields into a chicken operation.  The farm produces eggs for Allen Family Foods.  Portions of the land are also used to grow hay and for pasturing beef cattle and horses.  Since 1999 the farm has been enrolled in the Voluntary Agricultural District program. 

The conservation agreement between the Tate family and the County will restrict future uses of the property to agricultural uses. The land will remain in private ownership.  The agreement will enable the family to preserve their farmland and they hope it might inspire other farm owners in their neighborhood to join them in this effort.   

  

The monetary value of the development rights removed from the property is $417,000 as determined by a recent appraisal.  The Tate’s will receive $333,750, which is 80% of the reduction in value of the property resulting from the easement.  They will “donate” the remaining 20% in value, and pursue state and federal tax benefits available for conservation easement donations.
  

Orange County will purchase the easement with assistance from the USDA Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program.  The County was awarded a federal grant for this project and other farmland easements in 2005.  The grant was secured by the County’s Environment and Resource Conservation Department, with assistance from the local USDA/Natural Resource Conservation Service office.  The grant will be used to pay 62% of the purchase price; County funds will cover the remaining 38%, or $125,250. 

The Tates long have been leaders in progressive farming in Orange County, and their participation in our Lands Legacy program is another sign of their forward-looking outlook and concern for the larger community,” noted County Commissioner Barry Jacobs. “We are indeed fortunate to have the resources to assist landowners who wish to protect their property without sacrificing its value, which is the beauty of a conservation easement program.”

Orange County’s Lands Legacy program seeks to conserve the County’s most critical natural and cultural resource lands in the areas of farmland, parks, natural areas/wildlife habitat and prime forests, watershed riparian buffers and historic/cultural sites.

To date, the County has protected over 1,800 acres of natural resource lands through the Lands Legacy program since its inception in April 2000. Over $4 million in Federal and State grant funds have been awarded to match County funds necessary to complete those acquisitions. 

For more information about the Lands Legacy program, contact David Stancil at 245-2590 or Rich Shaw at 245-2591. Other numbers that may be of interest are:

Louise and Hurley Tate – 919/563-5408

Roger Tate – 919/563-4707

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BOCC 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 7, 2007

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

Orange County Board of Commissioners Change in the Regular Meeting Schedule

Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 153A-40, the Board of County Commissioners provides notice of the following change in the 2007 meeting schedule.   

The Orange County Board of Commissioners will hold a retreat on Friday, September 28, 2007 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Link Government Services Center, 200 South Cameron Street in Hillsborough.

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