The Historic Rogers Road Task Force has made progress over the past several months to redress the burden the Rogers Road community has carried in receiving the county's solid waste for over 40 years. Details of a community center are nearing completion. Habitat for Humanity of Orange County will donate two lots for the siting of the community center in the Phoenix Place subdivision. The Orange County Board of Commissioners has approved a capital project of $500,000 to build the community center. A plan is being ironed out for the Rogers-Eubanks Neighborhood Association to rent the commuity center from the county for $1 per year. The towns of Carrboro and Chapel Hill will contribute to the center's programming costs.
On September 18, 2012, the Board of Aldermen agreed to contribute up to $900,000 for the remediation effort.
The more complex issue of extending water and sewer to properties in the neighborhood that are still on septic tanks has taken more time, but progress has been made. The current proposal is to sell off parts of the Greene tract (see page 7 of this report for location) to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school district for the building of a new school and to sell or lease other parcels potentially for affordable housing. Open space would remain for recreation, with the potential to combine this space with school recreational facilitites. However, representatives to the task force from the Carrboro Board of Aldermen have requested that other alternatives for financing be considered, because the Greene tract is one of the only remaining large green open spaces in the area.
The Orange County Assembly of Governments will meet on December 6 to discuss these plans. During the meeting, an interlocal agreement will be discussed. This agreement will spell out the cost percentages that the county and towns will commit for the sewer and community center.
The county and town managers are working on a "sewer authority" plan that would cover only those in the Rogers-Eubanks community. Funding for this sewer authority could come from use of the Greene tract or an assessment of a short-term fee on tax bills (an idea that was floated and subsequently discarded in the task force). Should the sewer authority mechanism not work, funds could be sought from Federal sources such as the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, however if federal funds are sought, the subsidy to extend sewer lines from the street to the house will need to also be offered to other low-income households in the county as well, which would mean an increase in the amount of funds needed. Any plan will need to be agreed to by all three boards and OWASA.
Still to be worked out is a sliding scale of compensation to cover the extension of sewer from the street to each house based on when the homeowner purchased the home (was the home owned prior to the opening of the landfill or bought subsequently) once the plan is in place.