Council Meeting Summary

Post Date:05/02/2018 11:00 PM
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The Chapel Hill Town Council met Wednesday, May 2, and considered an agenda that included the following highlights. The full agenda is available at https://bit.ly/2I1iwWR or by contacting Communications and Public Affairs at 919-968-2743 or publicaffairs@townofchapelhill.org.

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 info@townofchapelhill.org. This brief summary should not be viewed as official minutes. Would you like to view the Council video? (townofchapelhill.org/councilvideo It's ready for online viewing by Thursday afternoon)

CASA Funding Request for Merritt Mill East Affordable Housing Project
The Council authorized a funding request from CASA, an established Triangle area nonprofit affordable housing developer that has acreage under contract on S. Merritt Mill Road. Here it intends to develop 24 apartments to provide rental housing to households under 60 percent of AMI with a priority for households who are homeless and/or who have disabilities. The Town approved $330,810 in funding from the Affordable Housing Development Reserve (AHDR) in 2017 for land acquisition and site improvements of this property. CASA requested an additional $221,000 to support this project, as the project scope has doubled from 12 to 24 permanently affordable units and project cost estimates have increased. Learn about the Affordable Housing Development Reserve -> https://bit.ly/29VhUlf 

Percent for Art Program Procedures
The Council approved revised procedures for the Town’s Percent for Art Program to allow for a more flexible, nimble approach to funding and projects – as well as new communication and accountability measures. The Cultural Arts Commission has reviewed these revised procedures and concurs with the changes. 

Update from Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness 
The Council received the 2017 report on key accomplishments and activities. Access the by-the-numbers report at https://bit.ly/2HGNDDy 

2018-19 Town Manager’s Recommended Budget
The Council received Town Manager Roger Stancil’s recommended budget for fiscal year 2018-2019. The proposed budget calls for a 3 cent tax increase, which would be the first tax increase in four years. The increase includes 1.2 cents for the General Fund, 0.8 cents for debt service and 1 cent for Transit.

The Town’s proposed $107.3 million budget for all funds represents a net increase of 3.6 percent. The proposed budget includes no changes in core services, which are highly valued by Chapel Hill residents as reflected in the 2018 biennial community survey. 

Town Manager Stancil recommends a 3 percent market salary adjustment for Town employees. Personnel related costs account for 75 percent of the Town budget. The costs of maintaining a high performing workforce is increasing as the competition for labor increases.  In recent years, the Town has seen increased turnover, including a significant increase in retirements. 

The budget works to normalize fund balance, the Town’s “rainy day fund,” which has fallen below its target of 22 percent for unassigned funds. Adequate fund balance is critical to meet the cash flow requirements of a municipal corporation and to provide an emergency fund to safeguard the Town against the costs of recovering from unforeseen economic, emergency and natural disasters.  

Several cost control measures are included in the proposed budget to minimize the needed tax increase. These measures include an investment of $472,000 for building maintenance programs such as swimming pool repairs, a new roof for Hargraves Community Center and refurbishing the cupola at the Old Post Office. 

 “The choices reflected in the Manager’s Recommended Budget represent our best efforts to listen to the people we serve and to move forward toward achieving their goals,” said Town Manager Stancil. “The 2018-19 Manager’s Recommended Budget keeps the Town on its path toward sustainably achieving the long term goals of the community.”     

The Town Budget review process continues with a public hearing on May 9, a Council work session on May 16 and consideration for possible adoption on June 13. More at townofchapelhill.org/budget 
 

Selection of Community Members to Participate in the Town Manager Assessment Center
The Council appointed community members to participate in an assessment center for applicants to the Town Manager position. The Council authorized the Mayor to execute a contract with Developmental Associates to search for a Town Manager in January 2018. At its February 14, 2018 business meeting, Council offered input as part of Developmental Associates' job and organizational analysis and reviewed steps in the recruitment, selection, and screening process. One of those steps is to recruit four to six community members to participate in an assessment center scheduled for May 31 and June 1, 2018. Those appointed will be announced and posted here: www.townofchapelhill.org/townmanagersearch 
 

Public Housing Master Plan 

The Council provided feedback on preliminary recommendations for a Public Housing Master Plan.  The process for creating the plan includes a multi-phased approach to assess the current conditions of the Town’s housing portfolio which comprises 336 homes in 12 public housing communities throughout Chapel Hill and one in Carrboro. The Town will use feedback sought from public housing residents about their satisfaction and a resulting list of suggestions for improving their communities. These components will inform decisions regarding renovation, rehabilitation or potential redevelopment of our properties. 


Affordable Housing Quarterly Report

The Council received an update on the Town’s progress toward affordable housing initiatives. Currently, there are 1,065 affordable housing units in Chapel Hill. Working with the Community Home Trust, Rebuilding Together and Habitat for Humanity, the Town has successfully completed 20 new affordable housing units in this quarter. Access the Affordable Housing Dashboard: https://bit.ly/2CddjJ8 and the new affordable housing website at www.chapelhillaffordablehousing.org

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