Dear Chair Jacobs and Orange County Commissioners:
As you are well aware, there have been many task forces, many elected officials, and many hours spent on how to address the specific concern of water, sewer, and the impact of the landfill on the Rogers Road Community. At the January 26, 2012 Assembly of Governments meeting, the Orange County Board of Commissioners and the Town Boards discussed the extension of sewer service and a community center for the Historic Rogers Road Neighborhood. There was significant discussion on January 26 regarding the creation of a task force to address these issues. On February 21, 2012 the Orange County Board of Commissioners authorized the creation of a new Historic Rogers Road Neighborhood Task Force to address sewer service and a community center. The composition of the Task Force was to include two members appointed by each Town (Chapel Hill and Carrboro); two members appointed from the County; and two members appointed from the Rogers Eubanks Neighborhood Association (RENA).
The charge of the Historic Rogers Road Neighborhood Task Force was to investigate and make recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners, the Chapel Hill Town Council and the Carrboro Board of Aldermen about how to proceed with neighborhood improvements including funding sources and the financial impact to the County and Towns, for the following:
1. Sewer Service to the Historic Rogers Road Neighborhood as defined by the previously approved public water connections in the area.
2. A Neighborhood Community Center.
After the authorization of the task force, the task force had several meetings to work on its outlined charge. The members of the task force have worked hard to come up with recommendations to move us closer to a plan to provide sewer and a community center for the Historic Rogers Road Neighborhood. In preparation for the Assembly of Governments meeting held on December 6th, 2012, the task force compiled a final report and unanimously passed a motion to support the continuation of the task force for an additional 6 months to give it more time to complete the original charge. During the December 6th meeting, however there were varied opinions expressed about whether or not to continue the task force.
As community members, elected officials, and residents of the Rogers Road Neighborhood we urge the County Commissioners to continue the task force. The task force has not completed it’s identification of funding sources to provide sewer, which should be the main focus if the task force continues to meet. We don’t want to move backwards, and if the task force continues, their charge will need to evolve based on the work done over the last year. Many members in attendance at the Assembly of Governments meeting expressed a desire for the task force to continue. The task force should also continue because it provides a formal mechanism for community members to engage in the process to determine changes in their neighborhood.
We are glad you are keeping the conversation about Historic Rogers Road alive. This task force has made more progress than any other configuration of a task force has and the task force was effective at getting the Town Managers to meet, the Town Attorneys to meet, and in getting feedback from OWASA, and community members about providing sewer and a community center. We urge you to act to continue the task force in your meeting on January 24th.
We look forward to the discussion on the 24th.