The Chapel Hill Town Council met virtually on Wednesday, May 20, for a special meeting. You can view the meeting in its entirety on the Town’s legislative portal at chapelhill.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx.
Town Manager Recommends Balanced Budget with No Tax Increase
Town Manager Maurice Jones presented the Council his nearly $111 million budget recommendation for Fiscal Year 2020-2021. This budget is a 2.2 percent decrease from the current fiscal year.
“We believe this budget continues to invest in our critical core services, and prepares us for a strong recovery when we come through the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jones.
The budget recommendation includes no tax increase, no pay raises for Town staff, and no furloughs or layoffs. A hiring freeze has been in place since March and is projected to continue into the fiscal year as one effort to protect future financial projections due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Formal discussion with the Council about this budget began in January, and those early plans, including a five-year plan, have been shifted to protecting the core services during this pandemic.
This budget recommendation incorporates one-time reductions in addition to the temporary hiring freeze for savings to help adjust for the economic downturn, including building maintenance, vehicle replacement, and pay-go capital projects. It also leaves room in the fund balance in case revenues are worse than current projections.
The Council will next discuss the budget in a virtual Work Session on Wednesday, May 27. The complete schedule and budget documents can be found at townofchapelhill.org/budget.
Public Housing Master Plan Update about Trinity Court Property
Structural deficiencies were found in the Trinity Court Public Housing property in 2017 that made it unsafe for residents. The final resident was moved out of that property in 2018. The Council received a presentation from Public Housing Director Faith Brodie on four options to resolve the issues, including selling, deconstructing, renovating, and rebuilding. The Council provided feedback on those options, and staff will present a recommendation for moving forward at a future meeting.
2200 Homestead Road Site Plan Update
The Council received a presentation about Town-owned property at 2200 Homestead Road. The proposal includes approximately 120 units of mixed development, including townhomes, duplexes, and apartments of 40 percent ownership and 60 percent rental. A portion of the units would be targeted for affordable housing. The proposal also includes an average of about 1.5 parking spaces per unit. The Council provided feedback on the site plan and will consider a bond funding request for this property later this spring.
Update to Historic District Design Guidelines
The Council received an update on the Historic District Design Guidelines from Town staff.
Carraway Village Concept Plan Review
The Council provided feedback to the applicant of future developments on the site at 3000 Eubanks Road. The adjustments requested were climate-controlled self storage, the sale of gasoline as a standalone service, adjustments to sign stipulations, and an adjustment to a public street on the property.