Carrboro Annual Kite Fly
Celebrate National Kite Flying Month (a couple of weeks early) by flying a kite! This welcome-to-spring event of the Carrboro Recreation, Parks and Cultural Resources Department provides plenty of fun. Bring a kite and help fill the skies with color! A few kites will be available for those who need one. This event will be canceled if it is raining.
This free event is happening from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 13, in the open field of Hank Anderson Community Park,302 N Carolina Hwy 54 W, Chapel Hill, NC 27516.
Orange County drops its mask mandate
HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. March 2, 2022 ― Effective Monday, March 7, 2022, Orange County will no longer require masks in public, indoor spaces if key COVID-19 metrics continue to reach medium and low community levels.
The following metrics ― determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ― will serve as the indicators. They currently show Orange County is no longer in the high-risk category.
- New cases ― New COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the last seven days is less than 200. Orange County is at 177.8.
- New hospital admissions ― New COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 people in the last seven days is less than 20. Orange County is at 16.84.
- Inpatient beds ― Percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients (7-day average) is less than 15. Orange County is at 12.5%.
- Read more about Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Community Levels at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/community-levels.html
Orange County leaders will rely on the most up-to-date information. Please note that the CDC dashboard COVID-19 Community Levels is not updated daily. If the numbers trend up to the high community transmission level, Orange County will reserve the right to amend the mask mandate to again require masks in public, indoor spaces.
Once the mandate is amended, businesses and other organizations can continue to require customers or visitors to wear a mask in their establishments. The CDC also recommends that individuals who are unvaccinated should continue to wear a mask or face covering when indoors or in crowded areas to minimize the potential spread of the virus.
“I appreciate everything community members and businesses have done to lower the spread of COVID-19 in Orange County. These efforts have saved lives,” said Renée Price, Chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners. “We ask everyone to respect the decisions made by individuals who continue to wear masks, as well as the rules instituted at businesses, health care facilities and service providers.”
The planned change aligns with Gov. Cooper’s statement on Feb. 17, which encouraged schools and local governments to end their mask mandates. Federal regulations still require masks in some places, such as long-term care facilities and public transportation including Chapel Hill Transit.
“While relaxing indoor masking requirements is a shift towards a ‘new normal’ of living with the disease, people should continue to choose risk reduction strategies such as wearing well-fitted masks in high-risk settings; staying home and testing when symptomatic; testing before gatherings; and improving indoor ventilation,” said Orange County Health Director, Quintana Stewart. “Staying up to date on vaccinations remains the most important way to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death.”
According to data from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, 76% of Orange County community members are fully vaccinated with more than 68,000 in receipt of their booster once eligible.
The guidance below from the Department of Health and Human Services is effective March 7, 2022.
- Stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccines and booster.
- Get tested if you have symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, and stay away from others (following isolation guidelines) if you are sick or test positive.
- Get treatment early if you are at risk for severe illness.
- Wear a mask around others if you have COVID-19 symptoms.
- Wear a mask if you are at high risk for severe illness or if you want an added layer of protection.
- Wear a mask if you have a COVID infection or exposure.
- Wear a mask if you are not up to date on your vaccines.
These include long-term care facilities, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and health care settings.
- Provide vaccines and boosters to residents and staff.
- Provide testing to residents and staff.
- Connect those who are at high-risk for severe illness to treatment.
- Follow all CDC guidance, including recommendations for masking.
- Promote vaccination for students and staff.
- Participate in the School Testing Program.
- Consider moving to voluntary masking, at the discretion of local authorities, as universal masking is a less important tool in lower risk settings like schools.
- Promote vaccination for students and staff.
- Consider moving to voluntary masking, at the discretion of local authorities, as universal masking is a less important tool in lower risk settings like childcare
- Promote and/or require vaccination for staff and customers.
- Can require masking of staff and patrons at their discretion.
Town Council Update
Meeting agendas and updates are issued from the Town Clerk’s Office. To receive these by email or text, sign up for Carrboro Town News at carrboronc.gov/signup
Civic involvement is a valued tradition in our community. Reach the Town Council with your ideas, views, and questions at Council@carrboronc.gov
The Town Council will meet next virtually at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 8, to consider an agenda https://bit.ly/3hLaMsh that also will be posted at carrboro.legistar.com
The Carrboro Town Council met virtually Tuesday, March 1, and took the following actions on the agenda posted at https://bit.ly/3HmWZCE
- The Council set a public hearing for April 19, 2022, related to a potential text amendment modifying the setback provisions as they relate to exterior steps.
- The Council approved an MOU with Orange County to accept Article 46 funds and amended the budget to fund economic development activities.
- The Council received an update of the 203 Project including the status of the Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) development. This item also provided an update on project financing, supplemental parking, and communications. This project is a joint venture between the Town of Carrboro and Orange County that is intended to construct an Orange County library branch, as well as permanent facilities for the Orange County Skill Development office. The Town of Carrboro portion of the project includes meeting spaces, a multipurpose performance space, and offices. The proposed site of the development at South Greensboro Street is located on an existing Carrboro municipal parking lot near the center of the town. Learn more at www.The203Project.org
About the Town Council
The Town Council is the legislative and policy-making body for Carrboro, consisting of the following: Mayor Damon Seils, Mayor Pro Tempore Susan Romaine, Council Member Barbara Foushee, Council Member Randee Haven-O’Donnell, Council Member Danny Nowell and Council Member Sammy Slade. More information is available at http://townofcarrboro.org/248/Town-Council
Town Council has selected Wesley Barker as Carrboro’s New Town Clerk
CARRBORO, N.C. -- Following a comprehensive recruitment effort, the Carrboro Town Council has selected Wesley Barker as Carrboro’s new town clerk.
Since sworn into service on March 1, 2022, he has been busy organizing his office at Carrboro Town Hall, 301 W. Main St.
“I am excited to join the Carrboro team and begin work with the mayor, Town Council, Town leadership and employees – and all our residents,” Mr. Barker said. “I am happy to be part of the team and look forward to making a difference in this community.”
A native of Ashe County, N.C., Mr. Barker said he was drawn to Carrboro by its reputation as a welcoming, accepting and creative community. He is the former planning director for Ashe County, where he was born and raised. His duties included land use ordinance work and interpretation. While employed by the Town of West Jefferson from 2010 to 2017, he wore several hats including town clerk, human resources officer and zoning administrator.
"Wesley brings several years of experience in municipal and county government to his new role as Carrboro's town clerk,” Mayor Damon Seils said. “We're thrilled to welcome him from his lifelong home in beautiful Ashe County to his new home in beautiful Carrboro."
Mr. Barker obtained the designation of Certified Municipal Clerk from the NC Association of Municipal Clerks. He holds a bachelor’s degree in city/urban, community and regional planning from Appalachian State University and an associates degree from Wilkes Community College. He has served as a board member on the Ashe County Arts Council and the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce. He also served a 10-year stint as marketing manager for the Christmas in July Festival in West Jefferson.
“I appreciate the strong sense of community, and a feeling of openness and acceptance from everyone,” Mr. Barker said. “I look forward to delving into the arts and culture scene in Carrboro.”
Carrboro announces 2022 street resurfacing list
The Town of Carrboro’s biennial street resurfacing project has started and will be underway through April.
Carrboro residents will be notified at least 48 hours before the resurfacing on their road beings, with notices placed on the windshields of vehicles parked on the street. Residents are encouraged to move their vehicles from the affected streets and should expect to be prepared to move their vehicles upon request by resurfacing workers.
The Town of Carrboro requests that motorists please observe all signage and flaggers related to the resurfacing project and to be aware of all workers and equipment in the streets.
2022 Carrboro Street Resurfacing Project includes the following:
- Hogan Hills Road
- Bayview Drive
- North Fields Circle
- Lake Manor Road
- Lake Ridge Place
- Tramore Drive
- Colfax Drive
- West Poplar Avenue
- Palomar Point
- N. Hawick Court
- Burnes Place
- Barrington Hill Road
- Autumn Drive
- Canton Court
- Downing Court
Did You Know? The Town of Carrboro maintains 47.04 miles of streets, comprising of 566 street segments or blocks, 41 miles of sidewalks, and 872 curb ramps.
For more information, email PWorks@townofcarrboro.org or call 919-918-7425
Three Summer Apprenticeships Available for Young Artists
The Carrboro Arts Committee is offering an award of up to $1,000 to assist emerging young artists in developing their talent through the Jacquelyn Gist Summer Apprenticeship in the Arts program. A total of up to three (3) apprenticeships are available.
To encourage and support emerging young artists who are residents of Orange County by facilitating a summer apprenticeship with an Orange County artist or arts organization.
Apprenticeships are available to rising high school juniors and seniors, graduating seniors, as well as college students and those who have graduated from college within the past year.
Applicants must live in Orange County. Carrboro residents will be given priority consideration. Applicants must have an interest in the arts (visual arts, performing arts, arts administration, etc.) and have secured an apprenticeship with an Orange County artist or arts organization. The apprenticeship must be for at least 15 hours a week for at least 5 weeks. Students who may need assistance finding a local artist or arts organization may contact email@example.com
An online application is available at https://www.townofcarrboro.org/FormCenter/Recreation-Parks-Department-3/Summer-Apprenticeship-Application-166
PDF/Word copies of the application are available upon request.
Applications will also be accepted via email, mail, or by dropping off at the Carrboro Century Center.
Please include two (2) letters of reference with your application.
Carrboro Arts Committee
c/o Charles Harrington
100 N. Greensboro St.
Carrboro, NC 2751
Deadline: April 29, 2022 at 5 pm
Dive In and Celebrate Creek Week With Us!
Show your love for Orange County’s waterways during the first-ever Orange County Creek Week, held March 12-19.
Come volunteer, hike, learn, and celebrate with a variety of activities the entire family can enjoy. The week of events is designed to help people of all ages learn about, take care of, and enjoy Orange County’s waterways. Residents will have a chance to join trash clean-ups, nature hikes, community science activities, a virtual 5K, and other events throughout the county.
Visit Orange County’s Creek Week webpage at https://www.orangecountync.gov/2887/Creek-Week to see all the fun events planned for Creek Week.
Learn more about Creek Week at https://nc-cleanwater.com/regional-creek-week
“We hope that by celebrating our town’s unique waterways and how they connect us as a community, we can foster a deeper knowledge of your watershed and how you can play a part in promoting clean and healthy creeks,” said Heather M. Horner Holley, stormwater specialist for the Town of Carrboro. “The stormwater staff is excited to share Orange County Creek Week with Carrboro."
Questions? Contact Heather Holley at 919-918-7426 or HHolley@CarrboroNC.gov
The inaugural event is part of the Clean Water and Education Partnership’s (CWEP) second annual Regional Creek Week. This year’s theme is “Water Connects Us.” The initiative will engage the public on the importance of clean and healthy waterways. This year’s Orange County Creek Week is made possible by Orange County Department of Environment, Agriculture & Parks & Recreation (DEAPR); Orange Water and Sewer Authority; the towns of Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Hillsborough; UNC Energy Services; UNC Environment, Health and Safety; UNC Institute for the Environment; and Sustainable Carolina.
Severe Weather Preparedness Week
The week of March 6-12 is North Carolina’s Severe Weather Preparedness Week. During the week, the National Weather Service https://www.weather.gov/rah/ and its partners will focus on topics to ensure you are ready for the upcoming severe weather season. Topics include flash floods, thunderstorm safety and tornado safety.
Tornado Drill Scheduled for March 9
A statewide tornado drill is scheduled for Wednesday, March 9, at 9:30 a.m. Businesses, schools and families across the state are encouraged to participate. The drill will be broadcast on NOAA Weather Radio and the Emergency Alert System through the required monthly test. There won’t be an actual tornado warning issued.
30 Tornadoes per Year
On average, North Carolina sees about 30 tornadoes each year, according to the State Climate Office. The month of May averages the most tornadoes at five, followed by April and September tied for second with four each. March averages three tornadoes per year.
Make a Plan, Prepare a Kit
To prepare for tornadoes and other weather events, come up with a plan. It's also wise to have an emergency kit in the event of a natural disaster. Your kit needs to include essential items, such as medicine, food and water.
Find severe weather preparedness tips at https://www.ready.gov/tornadoes and general emergency preparedness at https://www.readync.gov/
Carrboro observes Invasive Species Week as part of commitment to climate plan
While the campaign began Monday and only lasts for one week, Seils said Invasive Species Awareness Week efforts aim to show that the prevalence of invasive species can have lasting effects, such as decreasing biodiversity, interfering with ecosystems and threatening native plants.
Part of the Community Climate Action Plan encourages planting more native species in alignment with its goals for enhancing biodiversity and plant communities.
“The reason that we, in Carrboro in particular, are interested in observing Invasive Species Awareness Week, is that our Community Climate Action Plan encourages protection and enhancement of ecosystems,” Seils said. “So, mitigating the damage done by invasive species can help us to do that.”
Photo caption -- The Carrboro High School football team partnered with the Town to help remove invasive privet at Henry Anderson III Community Park last fall using saws and other tools.
Read the full Daily Tar Heel story at https://www.dailytarheel.com/article/2022/03/city-invasive-species-week
Registration now open for entrepreneur class
Calling all aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs! The Town of Carrboro is partnering with The Business Accelerator Group (BAG) and the Durham Tech Small Business Center to host some business accelerator programs starting in April.
Each BAG cohort meets weekly for five weeks, from mid-April through late May. Sessions are 1.5 hours in length and are in-person in Carrboro, NC. We will follow local masking guidelines and keep social distance during sessions.
What To Expect
- Education on essential small business topics.
- Coaching on how to implement the work for your business.
- Support from a cohort of entrepreneur peers.
The Business Accelerator Group is $195 per business, with scholarships up to $170 available (a cost of $25 to the business). A second business owner may attend for no additional cost.
The application is due by 11:59 pm on March 27, 2022. Selected applicants will be notified by April 1. Please direct all questions to Kate Wiggins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BIPOC business owners are encouraged to apply. Register at bit.ly/sbcbag
Remembering when Carrboro Town Hall was an elementary school
We welcomed sisters Linda Sykes Brown of Carthage and Jean Sykes Humphrey of Albemarle last week when they dropped by to tour their old elementary school, then Carrboro Elementary and today Carrboro Town Hall.
They reminisced on school days starting in 1952 and easily recognized old classrooms, remarking that not much has changed in the building. Truth!
Contractors: Get listed for stormwater-related work
Are you a contractor who performs stormwater-related work?
The Town of Carrboro Stormwater Division is requesting applications from qualified contractors who are available to perform stormwater-related work on a residential scale and wish to be listed in a directory on the Town’s website.
Types of residential stormwater work that are of interest include: erosion control, rain gardens and backyard wetlands, French drains, flood mitigation such as dry or wet floodproofing, Stormwater Control Measure maintenance and inspection, sewage spill cleanup, and more.
For more information, visit: www.carrboronc.gov/2614/Stormwater-Services-Contractor-Directory
OWASA customers may notice chlorine taste and odor in March
and early April due to temporary change in disinfection
Starting in March, OWASA will temporarily use chlorine instead of chloramines to disinfect our drinking water. This change is important to maintain the safety of our drinking water, but may result in different tastes, odors, and/or coloration.
Water disinfected with chlorine is safe to drink. However, we recognize some customers may wish to remove or neutralize the taste of chlorine. To remove or neutralize chlorine in water, customers can:
- Add a few lemon slices to a pitcher of water. The lemon has ascorbic acid, which neutralizes chlorine.
- Let water sit for a day or so. OWASA suggests refrigerating the water in an open container.
- Boil the water for one minute to evaporate the chlorine.
- Filter the water with activated carbon. Water pitchers with activated carbon filters are sold locally.
- After neutralizing chlorine, refrigerating the water is recommended to help prevent bacteria from growing in the water. OWASA does not recommend removing all traces of a disinfectant in drinking water.
OWASA typically disinfects drinking water with chloramines, a compound of chlorine and ammonia which minimizes chlorine taste and odor. However, chlorine is a slightly stronger disinfectant. OWASA therefore uses chlorine for disinfection one month per year to ensure a high level of disinfection in the water system in accord with recommendations from the NC Department of Environmental Quality. Several other utilities in our region, including the Town Hillsborough, also treat drinking water with chlorine during the month of March.
Water may be discolored: To circulate water with chlorine throughout our pipe system, OWASA will release water from fire hydrants in some areas. This “flushing” may cause discoloration in drinking water. The discoloration can consist of iron and manganese particles which settle in water pipes over time or discoloration may be due to air bubbles. The discoloration does not mean the water is unsafe, but for aesthetic reasons OWASA recommends not cooking or washing clothes with discolored water.
If water is discolored, please run cold water through a spigot or faucet for 5 to 10 minutes. If this does not clear up the water, please call OWASA at 919-968-4421 (24-hour number).
For more information: Visit www.owasa.org.