Continue the Historic Rogers Road Task Force

leestorrow's picture
As many OP readers know, the Historic Rogers Road Task Force has been meeting for the last year to discuss strategies to bring sewer service and a community center to the Rogers Road neighborhood. At the last Assembly of Governments meeting, there was a discussion about whether the task force should continue to meet next year. Michelle Johnson, Molly DeMarco, and I have drafted the following letter to deliver to the county commissioners prior to their January 24th meeting asking them to continue the task force. If you support this effort, please sign onto our petition prior to January 17th. 

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.

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Total votes: 1

9 Comments

Chess move?

Are you implying that Representative Foushee's involvement with the task force and her long term commitment to the Rogers Road community was a stunt? Could you clarify the rationale there?

Mark Marcoplos's picture

It's a question

If I knew the answer, I wouldn't ask it.

One of the facts about the Rogers Road situation is that so many of our current officials have been on the job for many years of ignoring the issue. Many of them piped up from time to time, wrung their hands, then nothing. I'm talking twenty years  here.

penny rich's picture

time for action

It's time for action. We have very solid recommendations from this task force. We need committment from the governing bodies to follow through. We can talk all we want, as a matter of fact we have been doing that since 1997. It's time to move forward. It's time for action. If you haven't read the Task Force Report, I suggest you do.  

michelleforcarrboro's picture

yes, time for action

I agree that it is time for action and in my experience on the task force, I feel as if we moved farther along than any other task force has in the past. We have a stated intention for funding for sewer from Carrboro, we are waiting for a confirmation and committment from Chapel Hill's Council, and we have a committment from the County Commissioners for funds for a community center and sewer. Furthermore, the task force allows representatives from the Rogers Road Community to help shape how this process moves along. The disbanding of the task force at this point is premature. I see the task force as an accountability measure for the next six months to see the work we did on our task force to completion.  

penny rich's picture

Time for action ll

There can not be a commitment until the inter local agreement has been created. This is why it is critical to let the managers, lawyers and financial staff move forward. The recommendations need to be put in action and a full board vote (council, alderman and bocc) needs to take place. 6 months is to long to wait to get the community center completed.  They needed it yesterday.  We have been talking about this for 30 years. 1997, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2008-2009..all groups that came up with recommendations, never went to full board vote. NO ACTION. Now it's time to make it happen. I urge all bodies of gov to re-read and craft an agreement according to the recommendations so we can move forward. Additional conversations about affordable housing, gentrification, community park and development can all happen. However, none of that will change the outcome of moving forward with the community center and sewer now.   The original charge; 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.