Chapel Hill eNews

Post Date:06/07/2017 12:44 PM
Chapel Hill eNews


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Up Front


Summer Blast at the Library


Celebrate summer--and reading--at Chapel Hill Public Library's Summer Blast, from 2 to 6 p.m. Friday, June 9. Sign up for the Summer Reading Program and get your own pair of CHPL sunglasses! Read more.

From Town Hall

Town-Sponsored Events

Town Services


News from Other Public Agencies






Up Front




TOWNweek has been posted!





Things to do in Chapel Hill

Feature from the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau

NC Symphony Sponsored by UNC Health Care

Tuesday, June 13
7:30-10:30 p.m.

Southern Village, 400 Market St Chapel Hill

Bring your friends and family for what is sure to be one of your favorite nights of the year. Spots on the Village Green tend to fill up early in the day so please come early! Blankets, low beach chairs and coolers (no bottles please) are welcome!  No cover charge and plenty of parking is available.  






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



Consultants Hired to Conduct Review of Orange County Water Crisis (

A third-party consultant has been hired by county executives to study the water crisis that brought life in Chapel Hill and Carrboro to an inconvenient crawl over four months ago. Read more:


Weigh in on revised plan for Chapel Hill Wegmans, traffic circle (The Chapel Hill News)

Wegmans Food Markets won’t return to the Town Council until fall, but you can can tell a developer Thursday what you think about plans for the grocery and a traffic circle on Old Durham Road. Read more:


Orange County invests $2.5M of bond money in 52 affordable homes (The Herald-Sun)

Orange County will use $2.5 million in bond money to help individuals and families move into 52 affordable homes in the next three years. Read more:


Downtown Chapel Hill Loses Large Tree to Strong Weekend Storm (

A large tree in downtown Chapel Hill has fallen victim to a strong storm that passed through the area on Sunday. Read more:


Triangle cities using data to improve efficiency, quality of life (The News & Observer)

When thousands of UNC-Chapel Hill students flooded Franklin Street after the men’s basketball national championship game in April, Chapel Hill town staff were watching. Read more:


Summer Meal Program Feeds K-12 Students in Chapel Hill and Carrboro (

School is nearly out for the summer in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, but cafeteria workers are ready to remain in service for students of the local district that rely on federal lunches. Read more:


More Than 150 Residents Complain of OWASA Water Taste, Odor (

For the second time in two weeks, Orange Water and Sewer Authority has issued a statement reassuring residents in southern Orange County that the water is safe. Read more:


Durham, Chapel Hill mayors commit to Paris agreement (The Herald-Sun)

Mayors from Durham, Chapel Hill and Charlotte are among 82 city and town leaders committing to upholding the Paris climate accord following President Donald Trump’s announcement that he will withdraw U.S. participation. Read more:


Algae imparts ‘funny’ taste to Orange County water, but it’s safe to drink, officials insist (The Herald-Sun)

Orange County’s water tastes “funny,” but it’s completely safe to drink, OWASA official Kenneth Loflin says. Read more: 





From Town Hall



People at Council Meeting 

Council Meeting Highlights

The Chapel Hill Town Council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, June 12, at Chapel Hill Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., to consider an agenda that includes the following highlights. The full agenda is available at or by contacting Communications and Public Affairs at 919-968-2743 or .

Public attendance is welcome. Parking is available at Town Hall lots and the lot at Stephens Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Additional parking is available in several public lots on Rosemary Street ( Town Hall is served by NS and T routes of Chapel Hill Transit (

View the Council meetings live on the website at – and on Chapel Hill Gov-TV ( Other ways to follow Council meetings are via live tweets (tagged #CHTC) from individuals who tweet during the meetings. 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 .

Resolution of Support: Paris Agreement
The Council will consider adopting a resolution of support of the Paris Agreement.

Summer 2017 Street Resurfacing
The Council will consider awarding a bid for street patching, milling and resurfacing on Town-maintained streets to Barnhill Contracting. The proposed resurfacing locations can be viewed at

Fiscal Year 2017-2018 Budget
The Council will consider adopting the budget for Fiscal Year 2017-2018. The Town Manager presented his recommended budget to the Council on May 8. The Council has participated in budget work sessions on May 15, May 17 and June 5. Information about the budget process is available at

Fee Waiver: Limited Special Use Permit for Proposed Chapel Hill Cooperative Preschool
The Council will consider authorizing the Town Manager to waive the application fees for a Special Use Permit Application for the Chapel Hill Cooperative Preschool to increase its parking area.

2017-2022 Orange County Master Aging Plan
The Council will consider receiving the 2017 Orange County Master Aging Plan (MAP) report. The MAP is the strategic plan for the Orange County Department on Aging and is based on the AARP Framework for an Age-Friendly Community.

Progress Report on the Chapel Hill Station Area Planning Project for the Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit Initiative
The Council will consider receiving a presentation from Town staff on the Station Area Planning Project for the Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit (DOLRT) Initiative. The Council will consider a resolution to provide policy direction for the project. The Council will also provide feedback to GoTriangle staff and their consultants about important considerations and desired outcomes for the creation of appropriate station area plans and development standards.

Appointments to Town Boards and Commissions
The Council will consider appointing applicants to vacancies on the Chapel Hill Cultural Arts Commission, the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, the Community Policing Advisory Committee, the Historic District Commission, and the Parks, Greenways, and Recreation Commission.




PHOTO: Bridge on trail 

Chapel Hill Mayor Commits to Paris Agreement

Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger is among 86 Mayors committing to upholding the Paris climate accord following President Donald Trump’s announcement that he will withdraw U.S. participation.

The list of mayors is compiled by Climate Mayors (aka, Mayors National Climate Action Agenda, or MNCAA), a network of 92 U.S. mayors working together to strengthen local efforts for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and supporting efforts for binding federal and global-level policy making.

Here are 10 Ways the Town of Chapel Hill is working to improve the environment:

  1. Carbon Reduction – The Town has been working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for more than a decade. Efforts include reductions from Town operations (buildings, fleet, lighting, etc.) and the community at large (buildings, transportation). Data from the most recent inventory of operational emissions show a 6.7 percent decrease per capita below 2005 levels (the base year).  
  1. Green Building Development - Developers are encouraged to design projects that are “20 percent more energy efficient”, maximizing the potential for energy conservation and use of renewable energy. The Town is also piloting construction permitting fee rebates for projects that employ sustainable design principles targeting energy and water use.
  1. Walkable Redevelopment – The Town has been experimenting with various zoning strategies to encourage walkable redevelopment of existing, suburban commercial areas. Greater walkability can reduce vehicle trips and promote healthier lifestyles.
  1. Green Municipal Buildings - New or expanded Town government facilities are built to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green building Rating System, approved by the U.S. Green Building Council. A recent example is the renovation and expansion of  the Town’s Library. The Town has also employed a guaranteed energy saving performance contract to reduce energy consumption in three of its largest facilities, with an expected energy reduction of over 20 percent for the entire buildings sector of the operation. The Town maintains rooftop solar arrays at various Town facilities, including Fire Station #1, the Library and the Town Operations Center.
  1. Alternative Transportation - Since 2002, the buses have been fare-free in Chapel Hill, offering more than 6.5 million rides a year. The Town was recently awarded grant funding from Duke Energy for the purchase and installation of an electric bus charging station at Chapel Hill Transit. The Manager’s recommended budget includes funding to lease a 40-foot electric bus in FY18. Staff will work with the NC Clean Energy Technology Center, or similar agency, to establish a process for analyzing the bus while in service, along with reviewing other reasonable alternatives (e.g. Compressed Natural Gas, Hydrogen, etc.) to include a recommendation(s) for future utilization within the Chapel Hill Transit fleet.

    Chapel Hill Transit’s bus replacement plan calls for purchasing (ordering) 19 buses in FY18. The emissions standards for bus diesel engines have changed significantly over the last decade: it would take around 20 of our newest buses to produce the same level of emissions as one (1) of the buses we are replacing.

    The Town has completed more than 23 miles of greenways and trails that allow pedestrians and bicyclists to quickly and safely access move around the town.
  1. Green Fleets - The Town has set high standards for obtaining energy efficient vehicles and to operate its fleets in a manner that is energy efficient and minimizes emissions. This includes use of alternative fuel and energy sources such as biofuels and electricity, which has resulted in a 15 percent reduction in emissions from fleet vehicles since 2005. In October 2014, the Triangle Clean Cities Coalition recognized the Town of Chapel Hill as a Champion Level "NC Smart Fleet" for its efforts to reduce petroleum usage.
  1. Community Emissions Reduction – Through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, the Town offered a community-wide home energy savings program, resulting in annual community carbon reduction estimated at 665 metric tons across 365 completed projects.

    The Town of Chapel Hill offers same-day permitting for residential installations of electric vehicle charging stations. In most instances, this allows a licensed installer to apply for and receive an electrical permit within a 24-hour period.

    As a Plug-in NC member and to help promote clean transportation, four electric vehicle charging stations are available to the public and currently free of charge in the public parking level (P-1) of the underground garage at 140 West Franklin. (Note: users pay the standard rate to park in the garage). The Town of Chapel Hill was recently awarded grant funding from Duke Energy for the purchase and installation of two additional electric vehicle charging stations for public use.

  2. Tree Protection/Open Space – The Tree Protection Ordinance establishes a vision statement that calls for no net loss of trees/canopy cover and an increase in trees proportional to population growth.

    Residents of Chapel Hill have supported and helped the Council identify, protect and preserve green spaces and critical natural areas, now totaling more than 700 acres.
  1. Solar Energy - Recently, the Town--in partnership with Orange County and the Town of Carrboro -- applied for and received designation as a SolSmart community. The SolSmart program, funded through the US Department of Energy, recognizes and provides technical assistance to communities that have taken steps to grow the local solar market by making solar more affordable for residents and businesses, while also encouraging new economic development and jobs.
  1. Waste Reduction – In addition to being a partner in County-level waste diversion goals, supporting recycling and commercial composting, the Town has also collaborated to reduce and divert waste within the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School cafeterias. A recent grant-funded project led by CHCCS will result in additional waste diversion (recycling, composting) from five local elementary schools, thereby further reducing emissions from waste.





Groundbreaking Ceremony for Historic Rogers Road Sewer System

A groundbreaking ceremony for a new sanitary sewer system to serve the Historic Rogers Road area and some additional properties will take place at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 20, at the RENA Community Center, 101 Edgar St., Chapel Hill.

A collaborative effort among Orange County and the towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro has worked to extend sewer service and establish a community center in the Historic Rogers Road–Eubanks Road Community. Progress toward these goals was made in November 2014 when the new Rogers Road Community Center opened. Today, the community will celebrate the construction of the sewer system, which will begin in July and may last up to 10 or 12 months.

The Rogers-Eubanks Neighborhood Association, in collaboration with Orange County, the Towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro, and OWASA will host the ceremony. Join us for light refreshments immediately following the event.

If you have any questions or comments before the groundbreaking ceremony, please feel free to contact Vishnu Gangadharan, OWASA, at (919) 537-4248 or Information is available at: or by going to (search for “Rogers Road”).





Town Manager Announces Director of Organizational and Strategic Initiatives

Town Manager Roger Stancil has announced his appointment of Rae Buckley as Director of Organizational and Strategic Initiatives to manage a portfolio of projects that require a high level of community collaboration and engagement. Her portfolio will include the Council’s strategic planning process and the Land Use Management Ordinance Rewrite. These were initiated to clarify goals and improve outcomes in key strategic areas of economic development, sustainability and affordable housing.

“Rae has a proven track record of leading collaborative, cross-departmental efforts such as the policy improvement project, the business plan cycle, our Leading for Collaborative Innovation program and the Downtown Portfolio,” Stancil said. “In her new role, she will lead our support of the Town Council’s strategic planning effort and work to connect the outcomes of that effort to our organizational and strategic initiatives.”

Buckley joined the Town of Chapel Hill in 2004, and served as Assistant to the Manager prior to her recent appointment. During her tenure with the Town Rae has led strategic community planning efforts to create the Town’s Affordable Housing Strategy and the Pine Knolls and Northside Community Plan.  Prior to joining the Town, Buckley worked as a private consultant, a University external relations coordinator and a labor organizer. 

She received her BA in Philosophy from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and her MPA from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. She is married to an amazing cook and passionate sports fan and has two daughters in the Spanish dual language program of Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. 

Buckley’s appointment follows an assessment center conducted for selected senior staff to match skills and interests with organizational needs in the Town of Chapel Hill. Other changes from this assessment have been the appointments of Mary Jane Nirdlinger as Assistant Town Manager and Chris Blue as Chief of Police and Executive Director for Community Safety.




Town-Sponsored Events






The Summer Blast Comes to Chapel Hill Public Library

Chapel Hill Public Library (CHPL) continues to grow its summer season, now called the Summer Blast. The community is invited to celebrate at the fourth annual Summer Kickoff Party at 100 Library Drive from 2 to 6 p.m. Friday, June 9.

The Summer Reading Challenge encourages people of all ages to read at least 20 hours. Participants will get their own CHPL sunglasses when they sign up, coupons for treats and fun activities around town after 10 hours, and a CHPL string bag when they complete the challenge. This familiar and fundamental program ensures that even when schools close for the season, young minds continue to grow and longtime readers continue to explore the joys of reading.

Karin Michel, Youth and Family Experiences Manager at CHPL, says benefit of participation goes beyond prizes. “Studies have shown that reading over the summer prevents the dreaded ‘summer slide,’ which is when kids lose knowledge they gained in the school year.” She adds, “We want to support and encourage recreational reading in the summer months because it has a significant and positive impact on student performance in school.”

Summer Blast also includes 10 weeks of story times, book clubs, and special performances and activities, including Grey Seal Puppets, Rags to Riches Theatre, and free movie showings.

Summer Blast kicks off with a party on Friday, June 9 beginning at 2 p.m. at the Library. There will be special demonstrations and activities, food trucks, interactive booths and games. Anyone who brings a blank t-shirt can screen print their own summer reading souvenir.

Families are encouraged to carpool, bike, or walk to the event. Chapel Hill Transit will run a shuttle from Phillips Middle School to the library every 15 minutes, and overflow parking will be in the FastMed parking lot on Estes Drive.

This celebration, and the entire Summer Blast, is made possible by the generous support of the Friends of Chapel Hill Public Library. More details about programs and activities are available at





Meet the Author Tea: Bronwen Dickey

The Friends of the Chapel Hill Public Library are pleased to present Bronwen Dickey at the Meet the Author Tea on Thursday, June 15 in Meeting Room A at the Library. The event is free and open to the public.  Refreshments will be served at 3:30 p.m., and the program will run from 4 to 5 p.m.

Bronwen Dickey is a contributing editor at The Oxford American and the author of Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon, published in 2016. The book shows a deep knowledge of the history and the misinformation surrounding the pit bull. This widely acclaimed book is highly entertaining and as much about human beings as it is about dogs. One Amazon reviewer called the book “an undeniable work of literature.”

As serious and thought-provoking as this work is, Dickey never loses sight of the story’s real heart: our very American love of dogs, whatever their breed. “There may be no creature on earth that lends itself to as much love, hate and myth-making as the domestic dog,” she writes. “The literature of dogs has mostly become a literature of longing: for home, for safety, for acceptance and probably for some flicker of the wildness we ourselves have lost.”

Dickey’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, Slate, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Popular Mechanics, Scuba Diving and Garden & Gun.   She has received an award for travel journalism and one of her pieces is included in Best American Travel Writing of 2009.  She has appeared as a featured guest on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross and All Things Considered.  This year she was nominated for a National Magazine Award in feature writing.

Bronwen Dickey is the daughter of the late novelist and poet James Dickey. She lives in Durham,  N.C.



Who:        Friends of the Chapel Hill Public Library

What:      Meet the Author Tea: Bronwen Dickey

Where:    Chapel Hill Public Library Meeting Room B

When:  Thursday June 15:  3:30 p.m. Refreshments, 4-5 p.m. Program




Town Services





Tree Irreparably Damaged in Storm Sunday Night

A large tree near the northeast corner of the intersection of West Franklin and North Roberson streets (in front of DSI Comedy Theater and Carolina Brewery) was damaged when storms rolled through town Sunday night. Multiple large limbs broke off blocking the sidewalk.

The Town’s arborist has determined the damage, in addition to disease, has compromised the stability of the tree rendering it a hazard to the public. Town and NC Department of Transportation crews are removing the tree.

A replacement tree will be a species native to North Carolina. It will be planted in the fall, giving it the greatest chance to thrive.

Tree City
The Town of Chapel Hill, which has a strong commitment to sustainability and interest in decreasing the urban “heat-island” effect, regrets when trees must be replaced. Our Tree Protection Ordinance identifies tree canopy as an important community value. We are proud that this year marks our 18th year as a Tree City, a designation from the national Arbor Day Foundation. Visit our Trees webpage at

More Information
For more information, contact Park Maintenance Superintendent Kevin Robinson at 919-969-5104 or









#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!

Download the Park Mobile app (available at, and you can pay for downtown parking directly on your smartphone.  For all downtown parking information visit

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 Did you know that traffic advisories may be sent directly to your email? Visit to sign up and check the box "Traffic Advisories." For assistance, contact us at

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 And, for a weekly digest of all Town news, sign up for Chapel Hill eNews at or by sending a request to

Are you on Twitter? Follow @ChapelHillGov, @ChapelHillPD and #CHTraffic for the latest traffic news.




Night Work: Estes Drive near East Franklin Street

PSNC Energy will close the right turn lane of westbound Estes Drive at the intersection with East Franklin Street (in front of Walgreens) to relocate a pipeline. The closure will take place from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. beginning Friday, June 9. The work is scheduled to last until Friday, June 23, weather permitting.

Right turns onto Franklin Street will be allowed during the work. Please use proper signals and caution when traveling through the intersection. Walgreens will only be accessible from the Franklin Street entrance during the night work.

Looking for more Traffic News?
Visit Did you know that traffic advisories may be sent directly to your email? Visit to sign up and check the box "Traffic Advisories." For assistance, contact us at

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 And, for a weekly digest of all Town news, sign up for Chapel Hill eNews at or by sending a request to

Are you on Twitter? Follow @ChapelHillGov@ChapelHillPD and #CHTraffic for the latest traffic news.





Chapel Hill Police Speed-Enforcement Initiatives

Travel with care and pay attention when driving, walking and biking.

As part of our ongoing effort to create and preserve a safe community in which to travel, the Chapel Hill Police Department and area partners will continue speed enforcement and Watch For Me N.C. initiatives throughout the month of June.

Officers may issue information, warnings or citations for anyone for violating laws. Fines and court costs for these violations begin at $213.

Multiple officers will monitor the following areas (in addition to normal Chapel Hill Police patrol practices) to encourage and enforce safe behavior from everyone:

  • 9-11 a.m. Tuesday, June 20, Raleigh Road near Greenwood Road
  • 3-4 p.m. Friday, June 23, West Rosemary Street crosswalks
  • 1-3 p.m. Tuesday, June 27, US 15-501 and Kings Mill Road

Watch For Me N.C. is a statewide safety initiative designed to improve relationships on roads between people who drive, people who walk, people who roll and people who bike. People may receive helpful information, warnings, and in some cases, tickets for violations during these initiatives.

Getting Around
Chapel Hill is working to make the community safer for people who travel. Help us become a safer place to walk, bike, roll and drive. For more information, visit:

More Information
Looking for more Traffic News? Visit Did you know that traffic advisories may be sent directly to your email? Visit to sign up and check the box "Traffic Advisories." For assistance, contact us at

Are you on Twitter? Follow @ChapelHillGov, @ChapelHillPD and #CHTraffic for the latest traffic news.




News from Other Public Agencies





News Release from OWASA

OWASA is flushing throughout its water system to address taste and odor in drinking water; water continues to be safe.

The Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) said Tuesday it is increasing the release of water from hydrants throughout the utility's 380 miles of pipes. This process began last week in the continuing work to address taste and odor in drinking water.

The musty or earthy taste and odor reported by customers since mid-May results from algae in the Cane Creek Reservoir and University Lake. OWASA's treatment process removes algae from drinking water, but some organic compounds may remain and may cause a musty or earthy taste and odor.

Regular testing of drinking water throughout the water system continues to show that OWASA water is safe to drink and use for all purposes.

Water leaving the Jones Ferry Road Water Treatment Plant in Carrboro has close to normal taste and odor, but water with taste and odor remains in the water system. Releasing water from hydrants, or "flushing," accelerates the replacement of water that has a noticeable taste and odor with water that has a better, less noticeable taste and odor. However, the transition will be gradual and customers may continue to experience taste and odor for some time.  We ask for your continued patience and understanding as we work through these difficult and persistent issues.

OWASA sought the assistance of the Town of Cary's water laboratory, which used a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer to identify MIB (2-Methylisoborneol) as the organic compound which is the primary source of taste and odor in OWASA water. The treatment changes OWASA has taken to remove taste and odor from MIB have been appropriate according to other experts in water treatment with whom OWASA has consulted.

While it is not a health concern, some people can notice taste and odor caused by MIB in drinking water at levels as low as 5 parts per trillion. One part per trillion is like one drop of water diluted into 20 Olympic-size swimming pools.

"We deeply appreciate the use of the Town of Cary's specialized equipment and assistance" said Katie Harrold, Laboratory Supervisor.

Previous actions
On May 12, OWASA increased the use of powdered activated carbon at the Jones Ferry Road Water Treatment Plant to help resolve taste and odor.

On May 25, OWASA began adding a chemical (sodium permanganate) to help remove taste and odor in water being pumped from the Cane Creek Reservoir.

OWASA and other utilities routinely use powdered activated carbon and permanganate in water treatment.

OWASA will keep the community informed. OWASA invites customers to contact OWASA's laboratory staff at the Jones Ferry Road Water Treatment Plant at 919-537-4228 or for more information about taste and odor or to request to have their water tested at no charge.

For more information:



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