Council stand-outs

The list of items on the Town Council agenda for tonight’s meeting is long. There are many topics to discuss, but a few do stand out.

Town staff is recommending that the council take no action on a petition regarding the operation of the town’s skate park. Ryan Ogilvy, manager of the Chapel Hill Skate Park off Homestead Road, petitioned the council back in January about persistent problems at the 10,000-square-foot skate park, including overdue repairs at the 10-year-old facility. Some of the assorted 16 laminate-wood ramps are wearing out — holes in the ramps have injured kids, Ogilvy said. And town maintenance has been nonexistent. It’s a shame the town doesn’t want to act on Ogilvy’s petition, because it means the conditions at the skate park, already bad, are likely to just get worse.

There will be a discussion of the Community Survey results. The survey cost $18,000 and was mailed out to 1,800 randomly chosen households back in December and asked a variety of questions on how the town is going about its business. At last we will find out just what respondents said about town services. I wonder whether any skateboarders were among the respondents.

We’ll get an update on construction projects past and to come. The library expansion project will be revisited, with town staff seeking guidance on those plans. Maybe they want to know where exactly the council will move the library while the renovation moves forward. Also, the council will receive an update on UNC and UNC Hospitals construction. Does that mean the university will promise once again to replace trees it cut down along South Columbia Street?

Finally, staff has recommended the council adopt a resolution endorsing development of a Neighborhood Conservation District for Glen Lennox and set up a committee to come up with a timetable.
–Don Evans

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  1. Terri Buckner

     /  March 22, 2010

    Why would the University need to replace trees cut down along S. Columbia St? DOT will just come along and cut the new ones down when the finally get started on widening the road and putting in sidewalks and bike paths.

  2. Mark Marcoplos

     /  March 22, 2010

    I think the Council will also be receiving a report from OWASA that contains an interesting change in procedures during a drought. OWASA now wants to purchase water from outside the service area as we slip into a drought situation. This will have the consequence of shielding customer awareness from the reality of our water situation and suppress commitment to water conservation.

    And a potentially dangerous change is alluded to as the “Jordan Lake Partnership”. At a Council of Governments meeting last year, this was opposed by a majority of officials, yet it remains in the plan. The cornerstone of this partnership is the potential development of an intake on OWASA-owned land on the west shore of Jordan Lake. Chatham County desperately wants more water because their poor planning resulted in housing developments without sufficient water supply. Durham County also has water needs due to poor planning. It would be a big mistake for OWASA, which has been responsible in its planning, to get entangled in a potential regional boondoggle under the auspices of helping it’s profligate neighbors.

  3. Ed Harrison

     /  March 22, 2010

    Don, you write: “….staff has recommended the council adopt a resolution endorsing development of a Neighborhood Conservation District for Glen Lennox and set up a committee to come up with a timetable.” This is either a misreading of the agenda item, or a misreading by me of your sentence. The staff recommendation is that the Council (not the committee it will appoint later this Spring) “establish the committee’s charge, timetable and composition.” The committee may ask to change the timetable, but that would probably come only after it digs into the issues a bit.

    Mark, thanks for the comment on the OWASA plan. Hope there are other on this at the meeting.