Summary of Historic Rogers Road Task Force meeting, debut of the Talbert Plan

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). Instead, Orange County Assistant Manager Michael Talbert proposed a third alternative that I'll call the Hybrid 77% Plan (but some at the meeting jokingly called the Talbert Plan).

In the Hybrid 77% Plan, Talbert splits the neighorhood into 8 areas with between 1 and 45 parcels in them. Based on a number of factors that Talbert did not elucidate, the cost to connect to sewer per parcel for each of these areas varies from a low of $41,242 to a high of $234,390. To connect all 86 parcels to sewer has a price tag of $5.8 million. Talbert proposed to connect parcels to sewer in phases starting with the areas with the most parcels.These areas would include 67 parcels (or 77% of those needing to be hooked to sewer), would not require annexation or creation of an ETJ, and would cost $3.7 million.

To pay for this, Talbert proposed to ask the Town of Chapel Hill to repay the county for the $650,000 spent on the community center for the neighborhood, to use the $900,000 that the Carrboro Board of Alderfolks has pledged, and have the county cover the rest (a sweet deal for Chapel Hill it seems).

Chapel Hill Town Council Member Lee Storrow expressed concern that there were 19 parcels being overlooked with this plan. Alderperson Sammy Slade suggested that the allocation of costs be based on the percent of trash each municipality contributes to the landfill. The two neighborhood representatives to the Task Force, however, expressed support for the Hybrid 77% Plan because they have been trying for 10-20 years to find funds for these sewer hook-ups and every year they'd find funds for two parcels or less. Having 67 hooked up at once sounded pretty good.

Alderperson Slade made a motion to take the Hybrid 77% Plan and the ETJ plan to their respective boards for discussion. This motion, with some friendly amendments, was passed unanimously.

Both the Chapel Hill Town Council and the Carrboro Board of Alderfolks will take up this item in June. The Orange County Board of Commissioners is unfortunately unable to take up full discussion of this item until September because they are unable to add anything to their already full agenda. This means that no decisions will be made until the Fall.

The next meetings of the Task Force are set for July 17th and August 21st, both at 4 pm in the Solid Waste Building on Eubanks.

A ceremony marking the closing of the landfill will be held on Saturday, June 29th at 12:30 pm at the gates to the landfill. The public is invited.



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