The Chapel Hill Town Council was to continue its discussion this evening about how to fund the extension of sewer service to the Historic Rogers Road Neighborhood, in its first meeting of the 2014-2015 session. However, town staff is again recommending a continuation of the public hearing.
On February 10, 2014 the Chapel Hill Town Council voted unanimously to pay their share of the preliminary engineering and surveying necessary to extend sewer to the historic Rogers Road Community (this would include 86 home lots). These activities are required for the extension of sewer regardless of whether the Chapel Hill Town Council moves forward with a utility district or ETJ.
The Historic Rogers Road Neighborhood Task Force continues its work but has a
new barrier to contend with that may preclude the Orange County Board of
Commissioners from taking action. As reported in this story
by Chapelboro, an EPA complaint filed by the Rogers-Eubanks
Neighborhood Association in 2007 alleges the Orange County Planning and
Inspections Department (OCPID) "intentionally discriminated on the basis
of race by denying water and sewer service to the African American
At their meetings last night, both the Carrboro Board of Aldermen and Orange County Board of Commissioners considered resolutions concerning the Rogers Road Task Force. The Carrboro Board of Aldermen unanimously approved a resolution expressing their support for full sewer service for all of the Rogers Road neighborhood. By contrast, the Board of County Commissioners rejected a separate resolution put forward by Commissioner Mark Dorosin that would have expressed the BOCC's intent to participate in the provision of sewer improvements. Only Dorosin and Commissioner Barry Jacobs voted in favor of the resolution.
A full complement of Task Force members was in attendance at today's meeting of the Historic Rogers Road Task Force. The Task Force is nearing it's end and as Alderperson Michelle Johnson notes in her recent post, there is a lot on the line. Most task force members came to the meeting expecting to talk about two options: annexation of the Eubanks-Rogers Road Neighborhood or development of an Extra-territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ).
“The story of Rogers Road is not a new one. It is one that has been played and replayed throughout the state of North Carolina and across the country, involving different people and places. It is a story of local politics and community organizing, land-use decisions and their consequences, of the impact each of our actions has had on others whom we have never met and may never seek to find.”
-Emily Eidenier Pearce
As most know by now the folks living in the Rogers Road Community have been advocating for both the landfill to close for forty years and they have asked for specific issue to be resolved including providing water and sewer to remediate some of the impacts that the landfill has had on their community. You might also know that the landfill will close at the end of this month. And while the landfill closure has been a long time coming, the folks of Rogers Road's request for water and sewer has remained unmet. We have had work groups, task forces, and meetings with residents and the Rogers Road Neighborhood Association, and still the challenge of how to provide water and sewer remains.
On February 21st, 2012 the Board of County Commissioners agreed to create another task force, the Rogers Road Task Force, to look at funding sources for a Community Center and sewer improvements. The first meeting of the task force was held on April 30, 2012. The task force will end in July and are tasked with providing a final report at the Assembly of Governments meeting in September. And now, on June 12th, 2013 we will continue to discuss how to provide water and sewer to this community. Time is running out.
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