Chapel Hill eNews
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Changes to Services for July 4 Holiday
Gates open at 7 p.m. for the July 4 Celebration at Kenan Stadium will begin at 7 p.m. The fireworks show will begin at 9:30 p.m. sharp. Please consider donating to help the Town of Chapel Hill to continue to present one of America’s best July Fourth Celebrations! Read more.
- Council Meeting Summary
- Project Update: Municipal Services Center
- Public Comments on CDBG Annual Update Will Be Accepted through July 31
- Video Update: Affordable Housing Underway in Chapel Hill
- July 4 Holiday Service Schedule
- Residential Parking Permit Renewals Begin Monday
- Chapel Hill Public Library Introduces Pop-up Library Service: the Circulator
- #MeetDowntown and Enjoy Free Saturday On-Street Parking in July
- Road Closure: Church Street near AC Hotel
- Streets scheduled to be resurfaced in 2017
TOWNweek has been posted!
Things to do in Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill Farmers' Market Event
3-6 p.m. Tuesday, July 4
Chapel Hill Farmers' Market, 201 South Estes Drive Chapel Hill
Red, White and Blueberries! Come celebrate with food and fun at our mid-week farmers' market! There will be kids activities and tasty treats to celebrate our Independence Day! Stop by before the fireworks begin. www.thechapelhillfarmersmarket.com/
Town in News
Town in News – TIN Report – is a sampling of news media coverage about the Town of Chapel Hill compiled by the Communications and Public Affairs Department. This listing includes articles and columns that are available on the web, and may not necessarily contain all stories in the print edition of the papers or on televised broadcasts.
Links access online stories that are posted for a limited time. Some media organizations require registration or a subscription.
For information, contact us at email@example.com-------------------------------------
Second Annual “Food for the Summer” Program Underway (Chapelboro.com)
Food for the Summer is well into its second year of providing lunches for children in need in the community and according to new program coordinator Emma Jenkins-Sullivan, the program has seen growth in outreach and involvement. Read more: https://chapelboro.com/news/news-around-town/second-annual-food-summer-program-underway
AC Hotel Construction Closing Portion of Downtown Street (Chapelboro.com)
Utility work is periodically closing a portion of a downtown Chapel Hill street through the end of next week. Read more: https://chapelboro.com/news/traffic/ac-hotel-construction-closing-portion-downtown-street
Two Firefighters Treated for Heat Exposure After Carol Woods Fire (Chapelboro.com)
Two firefighters – one from Chapel Hill and one from Carrboro – had to be treated for heat exposure after fighting a three-alarm fire on Tuesday, according to an update provided by Chapel Hill officials. Read more: https://chapelboro.com/news/fire/two-firefighters-treated-heat-exposure-carol-woods-fire
What should Chapel Hill do with the property it doesn’t need anymore? (The Herald-Sun)
In a few years, you might drop off the kids at the Kidzu Children’s Museum or the skate park on a Saturday morning, shop for fresh, local vegetables, and join a quick pickleball game – all without leaving the American Legion campus. Read more: http://www.heraldsun.com/news/local/counties/orange-county/article158499994.html
Three-Alarm Fire at Carol Woods (Chapelboro.com)
No residents were injured when what fire officials described to WCHL as a three-alarm fire broke out at the fitness center at the Carol Woods Retirement Community Tuesday afternoon. Read more: https://chapelboro.com/news/fire/three-alarm-fire-carol-woods
Town of Chapel Hill to host Fourth of July celebration at Kenan Stadium (UNC News)
The Town of Chapel Hill will host its annual fireworks celebration at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Kenan Stadium on Fourth of July. Read more: http://www.unc.edu/campus-updates/fourth-of-july-2017/
Chapel Hill Officials Consider Plans for a Mixed-use Center on North Estes Drive (Chapelboro.com)
A planned community may be coming to Chapel Hill, but not before its prospective developer revises a concept plan to which town officials recently objected. Read more: https://chapelboro.com/news/development/chapel-hill-officials-consider-plans-mixed-use-center-north-estes-drive
Roads Reopened After Gas Leak Reported in Downtown Chapel Hill (Chapelboro.com)
Officials said that the leak had been stopped as of 12:35 and that the roadways that were closed will be reopening. Read more: http://chapelboro.com/news/safety/gas-leak-reported-downtown-chapel-hill
Council Meeting Summary
The Chapel Hill Town Council met on Monday, June 26, and considered an agenda, http://bit.ly/2tQdfHU that includes these highlights.
Council meeting summaries are issued from the Communications and Public Affairs Department following most business meetings. To sign up to receive these by email, please send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org. This brief summary is sent immediately following the public meeting. It should not be viewed as official minutes.
Would you like to view the Council video? (townofchapelhill.org/councilvideo - this should be ready for online viewing by Tuesday afternoon).
A Note About the Council Calendar: Tonight’s meeting was last business meeting of the fiscal year, as the Council will break for summer. When the Council meets again in September, it will be moving its Monday night meetings to Wednesdays. The Council will continue to meet at 7 p.m. In November, the Council will decide whether to make the pilot program a permanent schedule.
Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and
The Council proclaimed Cleft and Craniofacial Prevention Month this July in Chapel Hill. Residents are encouraged to contribute however they can to the support of families and organizations working to aid those affected. Learn more at http://www.acpa-cpf.org/
Update on Town Properties
The Council received an update from the Historic Town Hall, Town Properties, and American Legion Property task forces. The Council accepted the final reports and recommendations of the Historic Town Hall and Town Properties task forces, authorizing the Town Manager to work with both task force chairs to review the reports, identify connections and discuss next steps. This action concludes the work of both task forces. The Council also accepting the report and recommendations of the American Legion Task Force and, authorized the additional scope of work (not including the review of proposals for the property) for the task force to be completed in November 2017.
Funding to Support Human Service
The Council approved $411,500 in fiscal year 2017-2018 funding for performance agreements with human service agencies with the following priorities: (1) safety-net services for disadvantaged residents; (2) education, mentorship and after-school programs for youth facing a variety of challenges; and (3) programs aimed at improving health and nutrition to needy residents.
Funding for the Tanyard Branch Trail
Phase 3 Project Construction
The Council awarded a bid for $1.28 million in 2015 voter-approved bond funds to extend the existing paved Tanyard Branch Trail by 1,530 linear feet, including ADA standards, from Jay and McMasters streets (near Northside Elementary School) to the recently updated Bolin Creek Trail at Umstead Park.
Transfer Surplus Fire Apparatus to
Local School Systems
The Council adopted a proposal to transfer two fire apparatus to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools and Orange County Schools systems. The Chapel Hill Fire Department has been working with the school systems to initiate fire academies, which will begin this fall. The fire apparatus will be used as learning laboratories to develop technical skills, leadership abilities and job knowledge to assist students in developing career paths. Surplus items like this are usually sold on the used market or sold for their scrap metal value.
Petitions Regarding Reinstatement of
the Resource Conservation District in the Ephesus-Fordham Form District
The Council received a presentation on the result of Town staff and advisory board reviews of three petitions concerning reinstatement of the resource conservation district (RCD) in the Ephesus-Fordham Form District.
Amity Station Development Review
The Council received a report on development review options for the proposed Amity Station project located at 322 W. Rosemary St. The Council authorized Town staff to prepare a development agreement process for continued review of this mixed-use development. The Town Manager and Town Attorney will gather and summarize community input, and outline options for the development review process to be considered by the Council in the fall.
Advisory Boards and Committees
The Council made appointments to vacant seats on the Cemeteries Advisory Board, the Grievance Hearing Board, the Justice in Action Committee, the Planning Commission, and the Stormwater Management Utility Advisory Board. The Council also recommended a Chapel Hill representative for the Orange Council Human Relations Commission to the Orange County Board of Commissioners and appointed a Council Member to the Chatham/Orange Joint Planning Task Force.
Project Update: Municipal Services Center
The Town of Chapel Hill is working this summer with UNC-Chapel Hill on next steps for a potential Municipal Services Center– with an expectation that an engagement and design process will be ready for review by the Council and community this fall.
A new Municipal service facility would serve several Town administrative needs which could include police, parks and recreation administration and fire. The site under consideration is on Estes Drive Extension adjacent to existing University functions and owned by UNC-Chapel Hill.
On July 26, the University Board of Trustees will consider a lease that would set the groundwork for the Town and University to move forward with a process. The lease would require additional review by Town and State bodies for possible authorization, and could establish the basic business relationship for next steps in the project. It would come to the Town Council in fall 2017 and proceed through the State review process.
Next Steps for summer and fall 2017:
- Establish a community engagement group
- Share evaluation of the existing police station site compared to the Estes Drive Extension site
- Refine concept for site with community engagement group
- Conduct any basic site evaluation/exploration to inform the refinement process
- Identify what information would be required during a regulatory process
- Summarize summer efforts and return to Town Council in fall with proposal for project design, and regulatory process
Sign up for Town-Gown announcements at www.townofchapelhill.org/signup
For more information, visit http://www.townofchapelhill.org/EstesProject to find:
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Project Schedule
- A memorandum from UNC Chapel Hill regarding landfill locations
- Materials from the March 6, 2017 public information session
- Town Council meeting materials (January 23, 2017)
- University Board of Trustees meeting materials (January 25, 2017)
Public Comments on CDBG Annual Update Will Be Accepted through July 31
The 2017-2018 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Annual Update to the 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan has been amended, following notification from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) of the Town of Chapel Hill’s final grant allocation amount. The document reflects a 2 percent decrease in allocation, from the original budget, with no change to the approved program plan activities.
The public is invited to review and comment on the document, which will be made available during normal business hours of operation for a period of fourteen (14) days beginning Monday, July 17, 2017, at the following locations:
- Town of Chapel Hill: 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Chapel Hill, NC 27514
- Chapel Hill Public Library: 100 Library Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Please submit all comments by July 31, 2017 to Renee Moye, Community Development Program Manager, Office of Housing and Community, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill, NC 27514. All comments will be incorporated into the final document that will be submitted to HUD on or before Aug. 16, 2017.
Video Update: Affordable Housing Underway in Chapel Hill
Learn more about the Town of Chapel Hill’s partnership with Triangle nonprofit DHIC Inc. to create an affordable housing development named Greenfield Place off Legion Road. Construction is now underway!
Join Gregg Warren, DHIC president, for a walkaround to view progress and imagine the future with new housing for families in this video update at youtu.be/ODoFkI5wF68.
Located off of Legion Road, Greenfield Place will offer 80 apartments for families (14 one-bedroom/one bath units, 28 two-bedroom/one bath units, 28 two bed-room/two bath units, and 14 three-bedroom/2 bath units) in four residential buildings. A second phase of the development is Greenfield Commons with up to 69 affordable apartments for seniors.
The average rent in Chapel Hill is about $1,400, the average rent at Greenfield Place will be $640.
The Town of Chapel Hill’s financial support of $3.4 million (including the land donation and financing) and DHIC’s tax credit financing is making the development possible in the Ephesus-Fordham District.
Warren has served as president of DHIC since 1985. Under his leadership, the organization has developed 36 rental communities, comprising more than 2,000 apartments across North Carolina, as well as 350 homes for first time homebuyers. He received the 2017 Impact Award from Triangle Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW).
Learn more about Greenfield Place at townofchapelhill.org/town-hall/departments-services/planning-and-sustainability/development-projects/development-activity-report/greenfield-place and about the Town’s affordable housing progress at townofchapelhill.org/AffordableHousing.
Fourth of July Watermelon Fun
Independence Day is already an AWESOME day with music, activities, food, games and fireworks, but even better with the DSI Watermelon Eating Contest! Doors open and registration begins at 7 p.m. for this year’s contest, hosted by hilarious DSI Comedy emcees.
Contestants will compete in one of three heats, seeing who can finish off their plate the quickest! The fastest watermelon eater from each heat will compete on the main stage in Kenan Stadium for the ultimate prize. This year’s grand prize winner will receive two tickets to an upcoming UNC football game at our home stadium! Immediately following the Watermelon Eating Contest grand finale, The RadioJacks will take the stage this year, followed by fireworks at 9:30 p.m. sharp. Seats fill up quickly so please arrive early to find your spot!
The Town of Chapel Hill’s Fourth of July Celebration is a family-friendly night filled with exciting entertainment and a spectacular Fireworks display! Our thanks to the University of North Carolina Athletics for helping us host this prestigious event.
Chapel Hill residents rank the Fourth of July Fireworks celebration as the most important local event offered by the Town of Chapel Hill, according to the Community Survey. Each year the event costs more than $40,000 to produce. To help continue this special community event, donations of $1 per person or $5 per family are encouraged and will be collected at the entrance gates.
Another way this event becomes top ten, is through community pride and support by local community leaders who contribute as sponsors each year. Fireworks presented by Carolina Athletics, Cruisers Convenience Marketplace, Performance Subaru, Grace Church and UNC Health Care. The Watermelon Eating Contest hosted by DSI Comedy Theater. Thank you also to our Official Media Partners WCHL and chapelboro.com and The News and Observer and our Concourse sponsor Passanantes Home Foods and VIP Supporters CHOPT, Panera Bread and Berkshire-Chapel Hill.
Recommended parking for event patrons is in the Craige, Jackson and Cardinal parking decks off of Manning Drive. Rams Head Deck and the Bell Tower lots are open to public and disability parking. Handicapped seating access is available in section 119 of the stadium.
Seating is limited, please arrive early. No outside food and drink is permitted.
The Town of Chapel Hill promotes a Bike & Pedestrian-Friendly Community and encourages everyone to cycle or walk whenever attending these great events!
For more details about the July 4th event, visit www.townofchapelhill.org/july4
Farmers Market coming to Cedar Falls Park
thanks to Marin Lissy, age 12
A new seasonal farmer’s market is coming to Cedar Falls Park, 501 Weaver Dairy Road, on Sundays.
Local farmers will sell produce from 4 to 6 p.m. Sundays beginning July 16 through Aug. 13.
Organized by Produce for Parks, the market is a collaborative community effort aimed at increasing access to healthy food in the community and to support local farmers.
Founded by a 12-year-old Chapel Hill youth, Marin Lissy, the market is co-sponsored by the Town of Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation, and funded by the Junior League of Durham and Orange Counties. It is also supported by the Chapel Hill Farmer’s Market, Farmer Foodshare and several independent farms.
The mini-market is a trial initiative that provides another option for healthy eating to recreational park users and nearby residents of Cedar Falls Park. It combines recreation and fitness activities with access to healthy and local food choices.
According to Lissy’s website: “A park is a natural gathering place where people play and enjoy the outdoors. That means that we have a captive audience at and around the park to provide healthy food. We can also draw in people who live in the area. Cedar Falls Park is in an area that is considered a fresh food ‘food desert,’ meaning there is no grocery store within a one mile vicinity of the area.”
Learn more about the farmer’s market at http://produceforparks.wixsite.com/produceforparks or email email@example.com
July 4 Holiday Service Schedule
Most municipal offices will be closed Tuesday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day. A July 4th celebration will be held at Kenan Stadium. For more information, visit www.townofchapelhill.org/july4.
RESIDENTIAL REFUSE COLLECTION: No trash collection Tuesday. Tuesday routes will be collected Wednesday, July 5.
CURBSIDE RECYCLING: No change in schedule.
COMMERCIAL REFUSE COLLECTION: No change in schedule.
ORANGE COUNTY LANDFILL will be closed.
SOLID WASTE CONVENIENCE CENTERS will be closed.
CHAPEL HILL TRANSIT will not operate.
HOUSING: Office and Maintenance Division will be closed. For emergency maintenance services, call 919-968-2855.
CHAPEL HILL PUBLIC LIBRARY will be closed.
PARKING SERVICES: The Parking office will be closed. Municipal lots and on-street metered parking will be free.
PARKS AND RECREATION: The Plant Road office, The Corner Teen Center and Hargraves Community Center will be closed. The A.D. Clark Pool at Hargraves Center will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Homestead Aquatic Center will be open 5:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Chapel Hill Community Center will be open 5:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Northside Gym will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information on Town Holidays, visit www.townofchapelhill.org/holiday.
Residential Parking Permit Renewals Begin Monday
Residents may apply if they live on a street where parking is prohibited and there is no practical way of parking off the street. The fee for a residential parking permit is $25 per year. Fees will be waived for those age 65 or older (proof of age must be provided).
Also available are 3-day and 14-day Temporary Residential Visitor Parking Permits. Temporary Residential Permits are available with proof of residency. Up to 10 three-day permits may be purchased in a year for $2 each. Up to five 14-day permits may be purchased each year for $10 each. Guest permits are still available for short-term parking of 24 hours or less within residential parking zones.
The Residential Parking Permit Program was created in 1978 and has since grown to include more than 15 neighborhoods. The program helps to manage parking in residential areas where nonresident parking is impacting the ability of residents to park. The goal is to protect and improve the quality of life and character in the neighborhood by reducing the amount of overflow parking, discouraging cut-through traffic and ensuring adequate parking spaces for the residents.
As part of the FY 2017-2018 Budget, the Town Council approved the following fee changes:
• The fee for on-street meter parking is now $1.75 per hour.
For more information, visit www.townofchapelhill.org/parking, download the brochure at http://www.townofchapelhill.org/home/showdocument?id=10216 or call 919-968-2758.
Chapel Hill Public Library Introduces Pop-up Library Service: the Circulator
Chapel Hill Public Library is bringing the things people love about the library out into the community with a new service called the Circulator. More like a food truck than a traditional book mobile, the Circulator is fun, flexible, and functional. It allows CHPL to directly engage with members of the community wherever they might gather and extend the library’s footprint, services, and impact beyond 100 Library Drive. The Circulator will debut to the public at a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Chapel Hill Farmers' Market at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 1.
CHPL Director Susan Brown says that the Circulator meets key strategic goals. “This service will help us fulfill our pledge to make every interaction between the public and the library shine, whenever, wherever, and whyever.” Brown also notes that the Circulator is adaptable to interests that the community has. “On any given day we might take cookbooks to the Farmer's Market or STEAM programs and storytimes to schools and neighborhoods or graphic novels and games to a Comic Con.”
CHPL Assistant Director Meeghan Rosen, the project’s manager, says the Circulator is loaded with materials that realize the library’s mission to spark curiosity, inspire learning, and create connections. “Sometimes we will bring books with us to events, and we also have dozens of games, costumes, crafts, and furnishings to create a place to simply relax and talk with a helpful, knowledgeable, and friendly librarian.” She adds, “The Circulator is designed to be responsive to what people tell us they want and need.”
Funding for the Circulator came from a donation of $15,000 from the Friends of the Library and a federal grant of nearly $100,000, made possible the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
Rosen says that CHPL made several modifications to the 16” step truck to make it flexible. “We added an extendible awning, bookshelves, a book return, and even solar panels to the roof, so that the Circulator offers a complete library experience equal to what people have come to expect at the library itself.”
The Library expects to engage many community partners as the Circulator cruises around Chapel Hill. Event organizers can request a visit from the Circulator through a form at chapelhillpubliclibrary.org.###
#MeetDowntown and Enjoy Free Saturday On-Street Parking in July
On-street metered parking will be FREE on Saturdays in downtown Chapel Hill during the month of July. The dates are July 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29.
How will you know?
About 200 spaces will be available; the meters will be bagged! These are all highly visible and desirable downtown parking spaces with convenient access for residents and visitors to shop, dine and enjoy the #SummerInChapelHill.
The three-hour limit for metered parking will be in effect and will be monitored. Parking at Town decks and surface parking lots is not included in the freebie offering. And remember…public parking is always free on Sundays!
To make the downtown experience more enjoyable and accessible, the Town of Chapel Hill and the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership have worked together to design and implement parking promotions including this program for July. For questions please contact the Parking Services Department at 919-968-2760.
Looking for Traffic News?
Visit townofchapelhill.org/traffic. Did you know that traffic advisories may be sent directly to your email? Visit townofchapelhill.org/signup to sign up and check the box "Traffic Advisories." For assistance, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you walk, bike, run and wheel around Chapel Hill? The Town of Chapel Hill is busy with projects to improve your travel safety and convenience – including sidewalks, streets, trails and greenways, traffic calming and more. For more information, visit townofchapelhill.org/gettingaround. And, for a weekly digest of all Town news, sign up for Chapel Hill eNews at townofchapelhill.org/signup or by sending a request to email@example.com.
Road Closure: Church Street near AC Hotel
A contractor for the AC Hotel project (at the corner of Church and West Rosemary streets) will close Church Street to perform utility work between West Rosemary and Short streets from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, June 29, Friday, June 30, and Wednesday through Friday, July 5-7.
Detour signs will be in place with access around the closure via Carr Street and Short Street.
Looking for more Traffic News?
Visit townofchapelhill.org/traffic. Did you know that traffic advisories may be sent directly to your email? Visit townofchapelhill.org/signup to sign up and check the box "Traffic Advisories." For assistance, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you walk, bike, run and wheel around Chapel Hill? The Town of Chapel Hill is busy with projects to improve your travel safety and convenience – including sidewalks, streets, trails and greenways, traffic calming and more. For more information, visit townofchapelhill.org/gettingaround.
Streets scheduled to be resurfaced in 2017
The Town of Chapel Hill’s annual resurfacing program will begin in July 2017.
The purpose of this project is to preserve and enhance the physical and operating conditions of the Town’s roadway system.
The proposed work will include utility adjustments and may include patching, grinding of the asphalt, pedestrian curb cut improvements and replacement of badly deteriorated curb and gutter prior to resurfacing.
During construction we will work to minimize inconveniences, though some parking and access to driveways may be temporarily blocked and motorists should anticipate some minor delays during the work week. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience and cooperation during the period of improvement.
The project is expected to be completed by Oct. 20, 2017. Equipment failures or weather conditions could extend the time. For more information, contact Greg Ling at 919-969-5165.
Below are streets scheduled for resurfacing.
Barbee Chapel Road
S. Lakeshore Drive
A Message to Residents and Business Owners:
I am writing to provide you additional information about the scheduled resurfacing of your neighborhood street. The proposed work will be preceded by patching, utility adjustments and milling (grinding of the asphalt).
The purpose of this project is to preserve and enhance the physical and operating conditions of the Town’s roadway system. Resurfacing is one of several preventive maintenance activities necessary at times to prevent the need for more costly and extensive pavement repairs. Such maintenance is necessary because all pavements eventually weaken due to stress caused by traffic loading, weather, and oxidization.
The streets scheduled to be resurfaced are Henderson Street, Rosemary Street from Henderson Street to Hillsborough Road, Curtis Road, Barbee Chapel Road, and Meadowmont Lane from NC 54 to Sprunt Street.
During construction we will work to minimize inconveniences, though some access to driveways may be temporarily blocked. Traffic control will be provided and we will maintain two-way traffic; however, motorists should anticipate some minor delays during the work week. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience and cooperation during the period of improvement.
The tentative start date for the project is July 10. Henderson Street and Rosemary Street are scheduled first followed by Curtis Road and lastly by Meadowmont Lane and Barbee Chapel Road. “No Parking” signs will be posted a minimum of 48 hours prior to work on the individual streets and will list the date of the scheduled improvements. The date may change (moved out) if unanticipated delays are experienced. Any vehicle parked in the work zone the day of scheduled improvements will be towed at the owner’s expense to allow for the improvements. If your vehicle is towed please call the Chapel Hill Police Department at 919-968-2760.
The Town has selected Barnhill Contracting Company as the contractor for the street resurfacing project. Please be aware that contractors working for us are not permitted to solicit or perform “side work,” such as asphalt paving on private property, while engaged in an ongoing project for the Town. If approached by someone claiming to be affiliated with the Town’s contractor offering driveway paving or other services, please be cautious of a potential scam and report the incident to me immediately at 969-5165.
Again, thank you for your understanding and patience during this improvement project.
Fireworks Safety Key to Fun July Fourth
If you use fireworks, know the rules.
We want everyone to have a safe and happy July Fourth!
“The safest way to enjoy fireworks is by attending a public fireworks display, like the Town of Chapel Hill’s July Fourth Celebration at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Kenan Stadium," says Chapel Hill Fire Marshal Tommy Gregory. “Small, consumer fireworks burn at very hot temperatures and can be extremely dangerous with the potential to cause life-changing injuries. If you do use sparklers and other fireworks that are legal in Chapel Hill, do so in a safe place with adequate options to extinguish them.”
If you use fireworks, know the rules
Certain fireworks are illegal to sell or possess in North Carolina. These include firecrackers, ground spinners, bottle rockets, roman candles, and aerial fireworks. Violators of the law face misdemeanor charges punishable by a fine not to exceed $500 and/or imprisonment not to exceed six months.
In general, sparklers, fountains and novelty fireworks—items that do not explode or are not intended to spin or to leave the ground and fly through the air—are permitted for use in North Carolina. A simple rule of thumb: anything that explodes or is projected into the air is illegal.
The Chapel Hill Fire Department reminds everyone that children under the age of 16 cannot legally buy or use fireworks in North Carolina.
Fireworks that are legal include:
- Snake and glow worms
- Smoke devices consisting of a tube or sphere that produce white or colored smoke
- Trick noisemakers, including party poppers, string poppers and snappers
- Wire sparklers
Consider fireworks safety precautions
- Consider how you will respond to a minor burn or serious burn injury prior to your event. (sparklers can reach 1200 degrees Fahrenheit)
- The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that in 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported civilian deaths, 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage.
- Never let children ignite fireworks.
- Keep a bucket of water or garden hose handy for hot embers.
- Wet the ground surrounding your event site prior to igniting the fireworks.
- Follow any instructions on the fireworks exactly.
- Ensure that you back safely away after igniting the firework.
- Never attempt to re-ignite a firework.
- Douse all of the remnants of the fireworks with water when your event is finished.
View videos at townofchapelhill.org/Home/Components/News/News/11254/22.
Additional information can be found at nfpa.org/public-education/by-topic/wildfire-and-seasonal-fires/fireworks
Catch the fireworks show at Kenan Stadium
The Town of Chapel Hill’s annual July Fourth Celebration features a professional fireworks show at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Kenan Stadium at dusk with family fun activities beginning at 7 p.m. www.townofchapelhill.org/july4.
Remember your pets
- More pets get lost on July 4 than any other day of the year, according to HomeAgain.
- Be sure your pet is wearing an up-to-date and visible ID tag and rabies tag on his or her collar at all times.
- Take a current photo of your pet, just in case.
- Exercise your pet early in the day before parties begin.
- During cookouts, ask guests to play with your pets away from the flames.
- Keep charcoal, fireworks, sparklers and glow sticks far from curious pets.
- Leave your pet at home with a treat during the fireworks.
- If your pet is afraid of loud noises, leave gentle music playing to cover the fireworks.
- Leave your pet indoors during the fireworks, if possible.
For more safety tips, visit http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/fourth-july-safety-tips.
Staying safe around the grill
Each year an average of 8,900 home fires are caused by grilling, and close to half of all injuries involving grills are due to thermal burns. These 8,900 fires caused annual averages of 10 civilian deaths, 160 reported civilian injuries and $118 million in direct property damage.
While nearly half of the people who grill do it year-round, July is the peak month for grill fires followed by May, June and August. Five out of six (83%) grills involved in home fires were fueled by gas while 13% used charcoal or other solid fuel. The leading causes of grill fires were a failure to clean, having the grill too close to something that could catch fire and leaving the grill unattended.
Make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area when grilling, and always have a plan to extinguish an unexpected fire.
Three-Alarm Fire at Carol Woods Tuesday, June 27
The Chapel Hill Fire Department responded to a structure fire at the fitness center of the Carol Woods Retirement Community, 750 Weaver Dairy Road, at 3:46 p.m. Tuesday, June 27.
While no residents were harmed in the fire, two firefighters -- one from Chapel Hill and one from Carrboro -- were transported to UNC Hospitals for treatment for heat exposure.
“We’re grateful for our community partners who came together to ensure the safety of the residents and staff of Carol Woods and to also ensure our emergency responders remained safe,” said Deputy Fire Chief Matt Lawrence. “This was an aggressive fire on a hot, humid day. We’re very thankful no one was seriously injured.”
Smoke affected the adjacent residential building forcing 39 residents to evacuate the 40-unit building. Chapel Hill Transit provided buses to assist Carol Woods to get the displaced residents out of the heat while fire officials cleared the smoke out of the building and assessed the damage. The fire did not spread to any residential buildings.
Smoke was seen coming out of the roof when the first fire apparatus arrived, and within two minutes, flames were visible through the roof of the fitness center. Command was quickly established at the scene and made the request for a second and third alarm dispatching about 15 apparatus and 44 personnel to the scene from Chapel Hill, Carrboro, New Hope, Durham, North Chatham and Orange Rural fire departments, as well as Chapel Hill Police, Orange County Emergency Services and South Orange Rescue Squad.
The fire was completely out within about an hour. However, crews remained on the scene for several hours aggressively checking for hot spots. Residence management and fire officials cleared the residential building of smoke and checked for smoke damage. Residents were allowed to return by around 8 p.m.
Orange County Emergency Services provided emergency operations support by way of food and drinks for the emergency personnel as well as being on standby to provide additional resources if requested. The American Red Cross was on standby to assist the displaced residents if needed but was released when signs showed the residents would be able to return. Automatic mutual aid partners in Orange, Durham and Chatham counties also provided coverage throughout town while resources were focused on this incident.
Chapel Hill Transit also provided a bus in which emergency personnel could cool off during the incident.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
For more information, contact Ran Northam, community safety communications specialist, at email@example.com or 919-969-4878.