Transit sales tax in Durham/Orange effective April 1

The 1/2% transit sales tax in Durham and Orange Counties taxes becomes effective Monday April 1, so if you are imbibing out past midnight on Sunday, tip your glass to regional transit.

The $7 county vehicle registration fee for transit takes effect a bit later, July 1 in Orange and September 1 in Durham. The $3 TTA Durham/Orange regional fee surcharge is still plodding through the approval process.

County poised to privatize our innovative recycling program?

As Terri Buckner describes in her commentary in yesterday's Chapel Hill News, we could be seeing the end, as we know it, of our very successful recycling program in Orange County.

Some will say that since the county has already privatized recycling in the urban areas, this proposed expansion to county residents should not create any concerns. But if all recycling in Orange County is privatized, the current system is effectually dead, including all the outreach and education, the goodwill recycling and composting at public events like Hog Day, the dedicated staff constantly seeking new markets, and the service to both school systems that has always been handled by the county. In other words, we'll be left with the same kind of recycling program that everyone else in the state has.

In 1997 as part of the state's required plan, we adopted a goal of 61 percent waste reduction. We're just a smidgeon away from achieving that goal (59 percent). We've accomplished something amazing, something worth fighting to protect.

OWASA Board Strategic Planning Work Session


OWASA Board of Directors Strategic Planning Work Session Thursday, February 14, 2013, 5:30 PM OWASA Boardroom
Preliminary Agenda – Discussion Topics

Set ground rules
  • All contributions by team members
  • Identification of the group’s most important agreements
Share expectations for strategic planning
  • Characteristics of a good plan
  • Strategy development process
Step 1: Identify the strategic topics
  • All candidates
  • Edited/organized/merged list of candidates
  • The short list
(Time permitting) Commission targeted staff analysis

Plan next steps
  • Progress and process checks
  • Calendar and other logistics


Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 5:30pm


OWASA Boardroom

OWASA Board Meeting

See full agenda at http://owasa.org/client_resources/about/agendas/2013/01%2024%202013%20agenda%20for%20web.pdf


1. Announcements by the Chair

Any Board member who knows of a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest with respect to any item on the agenda tonight is asked to disclose the same at this time.

2. Announcements by Board Members

Update on the January 24, 2013 Finance Committee Meeting (John Young) 

3. Announcements by Staff

Petitions and Requests

1. Public

2. Board 

3. Staff 



1. Approval of the Minutes of  the December 13, 2012 Meeting of the Board of Directors (Andrea Orbich)


Discussion and Action

2. Discussion of a Potential Policy on Public Comments in Board Meetings (Alan Rimer)Discussion

3. Marketing Plan for Taste of Hope Customer Assistance Program (Greg Feller)

4. Discussion of the Rate Study and Recommendations (John Young/Stephen Winters)

5. Review of Drafts of the Budget Planning Documents; Summary of Strategic Issues, Planning Assumptions, and Background Information; Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Calendar  (Stephen Winters)Information and Reports 

6. Financial Report for the Six Month Period Ended December 31, 2012 (Stephen Winters)

7. OWASA's Approach to Projecting Water Demands (Ruth Rouse)Summary of Board Meeting Action Items

8. Executive Director will summarize the key action items from the Board meeting and note significant items for discussion and/or action expected at the next Board meeting.  


Thursday, January 24, 2013 - 7:00pm


Chapel Hill Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill

Less Ink, More Water: What Do We Do When There Are No Reporters but Big Decisions?

I love newspapers and news blogs. I love reporters. I used to be a reporter. I come from 150 years of men – and one grandmother, Cyrene Bakke Dear – who published local community newspapers from Jersey City to Sedalia, Mo.

In the '60s my mom and dad got a lot of late-night, threatening calls from the Klan in my hometown of Elizabeth City, NC for what my dad did through the Daily Advance. David Dear informed the community with courage. He was also an equal opportunity employer before the phrase existed and he got threats for that, too.

I miss reporters. We need reporters here in Orange County. And everywhere. But you know that.

What you may not know is that something really big just happened here, something that may grow in significance for our community for the rest of the century.

And you probably have not heard a thing about it.



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