This Week in Orange Politics: February 3-9

While many several elected bodies will be taking a break this week, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board will tackle changing its weapons policy to comply with state law, and the county commissioners will take up rural recycling again after hearing an update from Triangle Tranist on bus and light rail improvement plans. Here's a summary of the week's actions.



Tuesday, February 4, 2014

  • Regular Meeting, 7:30 pm, Town Hall Board Room

    • See the full agenda here.

    • Agenda Items of Note:

      • The Board will consider a request to approve a town code amendment relating to bicycling on town streets.



  • There is no scheduled CHTC meeting this week. The next meeting will be next Monday, February 10.


Thursday, February 6

  • Board Meeting, 7pm, Lincoln Center

    • See the full agenda here.

    • Agenda Items of Note:

      • The Board will consider a change to the district’s Weapons & Explosives Policy to comply with new state laws (see NC Gen. Stat. § 14-269.2) allowing for concealed carried weapons on school property in certain narrow circumstances. Read the full policy proposal here.



  • There is no scheduled BOC meeting this week. The next meeting will be next Monday, February 10.


Tuesday, February 4

  • Board Meeting, 7pm, Hillsborough Department of Social Services

    • See the agenda here

    • Agenda items of note:

      • Update on the Bus and Rail Investment Plan implementation from TTA

      • Scheduling public hearings for a recycling program for the unincorporated areas. This item was last considered two weeks ago and the BOCC could not agree on a whole host of related questions



  • There is no scheduled meeting this week. The next meeting will be Monday, February 10.


Thursday, February 6

  • 6 pm, grand opening of the new El Centro Hispano site at 201 W. Weaver Street in Carrboro


Did we miss something? Tell us about in the comments.




From Item 5a:

Funding for capital projects continues to be a major concern. County Pay-as-you-go funds have not increased this year and remain at last year’s levels. Additionally, the budget for Lottery funds has been slightly decreased. The effect of these adjustments is a 10-year reduction of approximately $600,000 from last year’s plan. This reduction is on top of the almost $11 million dollars in these areas that the CIP has been reduced since 2008-18. Article 46 Sales Tax revenue was added in 2012-13 and provides a big help in meeting urgent capital needs. Nevertheless, after allocating 50% for technology, our 10 year plan’s funding stream nets $20.8 million. Considering our current condition and that our new schools are ageing, absent additional funding, we are extremely concerned about out ability to provide a safe environment.


this schedule now includes the Level 1 findings from the Facilities Assessment. This comprehensive review identified $52 million of basic work needed in the 10 locations for the safe and efficient operation of the schools.

So while we truly appreciate the funding the BoCC has given that has helped shelter us so far from operational challenges, we are now at a fiscal cliff on capital work that needs to be done in our schools as well. Should be an interesting budget season ahead (and hopefully leading up to a schools bond in the fall).

The need for facility maintenance ($45M) can't come as a surprise to the board. You must have known about this for years. Every time you build a new school, you add to the maintenance backlog going forward.  And yet, you continue to approve new schools through SAPFO. What's the point of having the SAPFO stipulation on new development if the school board isn't going to use it? 

James,  how much is the school system receiving from the quarter cent sales tax increase and what is it being used for?  Thanks.

CHCCS has budgeted to receive $823,664 in 2014-15Here is how it is proposed to be spent: Technology: Student Access Computing Devices     $        411,832     Kitchen Equipment Replacements     $          55,000     CHHS: Repairs to Exterior Stairs     $          75,000     Lincoln Center: Chiller and Cooliing Tower     $        151,832     Improvements at Older Schools     $        130,000     

Those are interesting numbers.

At Friday's retreat, the commissioners discussed exploring the idea of increasing the percentage that the schools get from the 1/4 cent sales tax.  Apparently the ED funds are not in high demand.   Sounded like a good idea.Also - sales taxes are coming in higher than expected. Is that factored into the budgets? Bonnie Hauser

Weren't the ED #s committed to paying for the capital costs of water/sewer in ED zones for several years?The budget is our best guess at what the revenues will be next year -- if it comes in higher or lower, we have a capital fund balance we can continue some of those efforts into the future.

James - your right. The commissioners were looking at some underutilized ED categories, like small businesss loans.   They didn't discuss the funding needs for the utilities infrastructure at the EDDs.Good question Bonnie Hauser

In the resolution putting the quarter-cent-sales tax proposal before the voters, the BOCC "establishes a ten-year commitment to allocate Article 46 one-quarter cent (1/4¢) County sales and use tax proceeds" with 50% dedicated to various ED projects and 50% to the two school systems. The resolution further states that "proceeds from the one-quarter cent (1/4¢) County sales and use tax in later years will be used to address priorities as established by the Board of Commissioners in the County’s Capital Investment Plan"Of course, money is fungible (see "Education Lottery"), and the amount of money allocated towards ED in the rest of the budget could be reduced and the amount allocated towards education increased accordingly. But by the terms of the resolution, the flow of dollars from the quarter-cent sales tax are spoken for until 2021 or so.

So it seems that a little of the money for "various ED projects" could be used to jump-start a County Fair.  


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