Who lit a fire under the County Commissioners?

Ruby Sinreich's picture

Tonight the County Commissioners abandoned tradition and moved swiftly forward on two issues. Despite opposition from Commissioners Alice Gordon and Barry Jacobs, they approved the unpopular rezoning of the Eno Economic Development District that Mark Marcoplos told us about. And at the urging of Commisioners Valerie Foushee and Pam Hemminger, who will both be leaving the board in December, they unanimously approved a resolution drafted on the spot to endorse and more forward the Rogers Road community center.

Where have these action-oriented Commissioners been for the last ten years? I don't want to hear another commissioner talk about how overdue something is without also mentioning how long they have been on the board of commissioners and why they didn't do something about it 5 years ago.

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7 Comments

Mark Marcoplos's picture

Irony Foushee-style

Valerie Foushee said that the decision was not rushed because you have to think of the benefits to the entire county and not just be concerned about one area.That perspective is exactly why the tragic neglect of the Rogers Rd. community has continued for so long.

Decades?

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The BOCC has kicked this can down the road for years, decades and it's Chapel Hill that's stalling."Since the town of Chapel Hill owned the landfill until 1999 and the Rogers Road neighborhood is under the towns control, I don't understand how this can all be blamed on the BOCC.  It was the county that paid to hook up those houses in the Chapel Hill jurisdiction to OWASA water when their wells failed so it's not exactly like they have turned a blind eye to the problems.I understand that everyone at both the town and county level is frustrated that there is not an easier solution and that it's taken so long to put a plan into place, but I don't understand putting all the blame or the financial burden on the county. If a company created an environmental hazard and then sold the property, would the new owners bear the full burden of clean up or should the company that created the problem bear part of the responsibility? 

Bonnie Hauser's picture

The county is funding water

The county is funding water and the cleanup of the dump sites using the landfill reserves  which means all the landfill users paid for it.  The BoCC acted quickly and decisively to get this moving. The communty house and sewer service cannot be funded with landfill reserves  and, unlike the towns, the county rose to the occasion and  prepared to fund the community center (out of their general fund) without help from the towns.  After the last meeting degenerated into a tit-for-tat discussion of sales tax allocations, going it along seems like a good idea- especially if the commissioners want assurances that these obligations will be met before the board changesOf course sewer remains on the table - and its an order-of-magnitude more expensive (roughly $5 million vs  $500,000).  Pam Hemminger did a nice job explaining options to phase the project - but since part of the community is in Carrboro and part is in the Chapel Hill ETJ  -who's going to pay for it? Rogers Road has been a jurisdicitonal "no man's land" for a long time - and that just adds to the complexity of getting this doneBonnie Hauser

penny rich's picture

The towns

Both Carrboro and Chapel Hill are in Orange County. We all pay Orange County taxes. We are all paying for the hook ups, the clean up etc. We are all ORANGE COUNTY residents. 

re: the towns

Of course town residents are county residents. But they pay county AND town taxes. So why shouldn't the towns use some of the taxes they collect to pay for remediation to individuals who were negatively impacted by actions NOT taken by the towns when that property was under TOWN ownership?If the towns decide they are not going to contribute to the remediation, the least they can do is stop criticizing the county for being slow (and then too fast).