Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chapel Hill 2020 Public Hearing Draft Released

Read all about it! Read all about it! The Public Hearing draft of the Chapel Hill 2020 comprehensive plan is now available! http://www.townofchapelhill.org/index.aspx?page=1950

On Monday, May 21, 2012, a Public Hearing will be held to receive the community's comments about the most recent Chapel Hill 2020 comprehensive plan draft.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the Council Chamber, Chapel Hill Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Chapel Hill.

The draft Chapel Hill 2020 comprehensive plan includes Council policy guidance; input from the theme groups, including goals and action items; information about the future focus discussion areas; and an overview of the process and outreach efforts and a data summary.

We look forward to your continued contributions to Chapel Hill 2020! Please visit the Council page http://www.townofchapelhill.org/index.aspx?page=110 for information about the public hearing.

¦ Chapel Hill 2020 comprehensive plan - Draft - May 16, 2012
¦ Appendix 1: Process and Outreach Summary - Draft - Issued May 16, 2012
¦ Appendix 2: Data Summary - Draft - Issued May 16, 2012

For more information:

Watch the recording of the public information meeting about the Chapel Hill 2020 comprehensive plan which was held on May 14, 2012.

¦ May 14 video, news release and powerpoint link http://chapelhill.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=9&clip_id=1471
¦ Streaming video page (all presentations, including public information meeting) http://www.townofchapelhill.org/index.aspx?page=1850

Past Drafts: http://www.townofchapelhill.org/index.aspx?page=1950


Chapel Hill Receives Highest Bond Ratings

Two national bond rating agencies have assigned the highest possible bond ratings to the Town's $1.7 million in two-thirds bonds and $5.5 million of general obligation refunding bonds. The bond ratings are key indicators of the Town's financial strength.
As a part of the process for the sale of the bonds, the Town was evaluated by bond rating agencies, Moody's Investor Service and Standard & Poors. Since 2006, the Town has maintained the highest possible rating, a triple A, from both bond rating agencies.

The rating reflects the quality of Council leadership reflected byas evidenced by the Town's solid financial health, management, overall planning and strength of the local economy. The combined ratings will allow the Town to borrow funds at the best possible interest rates, saving tax payers money for years to come.

"Triple A ratings by both agencies reflects the wise stewardship of our financial resources by the Town Council and our staff," said Town Manager Roger L. Stancil. "Such an achievement by a Town our size is especially noteworthy."

Whenever the Town issues general obligation bonds or other securities, rating agencies re-evaluate the Town's current and future ability to repay debt. The two-thirds bonds, which are expected to be sold on May 15, will finance improvements to streets, bridges and parks and recreational facilities. The refunding bonds will reduce the cost of existing general obligation debt by approximately $390,000 over the next 13 years.

Moody's cited the Town of Chapel Hill's strong financial position with adequate reserves, stable economy and affordable debt profile. Moody's also cited factors that could make the rating go down, including "multi-year trend of structural budget imbalance," "reduction of general fund balance and other reserves" and "deterioration of the Town's tax base."

For more information about the Town of Chapel Hill budget, visit www.townofchapelhill.org/budget.

Chapel Hill awarded grant from Mayors Innovation Project

The Town of Chapel Hill has been awarded a technical assistance grant from the Mayors Innovation Project.

The award will allow the Town to pursue an innovative way to turn the ideas of Chapel Hill 2020 into next steps. The $20,000 grant will provide the Town of Chapel Hill with technical assistance toward the development of a hybrid form-based and performance-based zoning district, an idea that came out of the Chapel Hill 2020 visioning process. Form-based codes are an innovative alternative to conventional zoning that focus on the form of buildings rather than the land use (e.g., the physical character of buildings, and the relationship of buildings to each other and to the street). They are regulations, not mere guidelines. They are adopted into city or county law. Form-based codes are an alternative to conventional zoning. Performance-based zoning measures regulate effects such as traffic, density, noise and density. Performance measures typically support other types of zoning.

"This grant will allow us to pursue a promising policy innovation," said Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt. "We are grateful to be among only six member cities to receive much needed technical assistance from the Mayors Innovation Project."

The assistance to the Town of Chapel Hill could involve basic assistance such as gathering information on examples of other municipal governments that are using form-based or performance-based zoning and providing sample metrics and information on comparable metrics with other communities. The Town may also receive templates and decision support tools for use in appropriate areas of Chapel Hill. Other tools that could include a data base with sample metrics, specifications for a scope to produce a full blown code, a webinar for introduction and training purposes, and a powerpoint presentation to explain Chapel Hill's potential use of form-based codes.

The Mayors Innovation Project (MIP) is a learning network among American mayors committed to "high road" policy and governance, shared prosperity, environmental sustainability, and efficient democratic government. The Mayors Innovation Project Technical Assistance Program was launched in 2011 to provide more customized and hands-on assistance to mayors and their staffs on particular innovations or problems through a combination of applied research, policy analysis, evaluation, and recommendations for action.

For more information the Mayors Innovation Project, visit www.mayorsinnovation.org.

1st Annual Orange County Peace Officers Memorial Service

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as "Police Week." Every year since, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, DC to participate in a number of planned events which honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

In keeping with the spirit of National Police Week and Peace Officers Memorial Day, the Chapel Hill Police Department, in partnership with the Orange County Sheriff's Office, Orange Correctional Center, Mebane Police Department, UNC Department of Public Safety, the North Carolina Highway Patrol, Carrboro Police, Hillsborough Police, and UNC Hospital Police, hosted the 2012 Orange County Peace Officers Memorial Service.

Honored were those Orange County and North Carolina Officers who have given their lives in the line of duty. The service was held Thursday, May 24, 2012 at Chapel Hill Bible Church. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

UNC Healthcare Partnership

A new program has been established to provide worksite wellness programs and minor illness care to Town of Chapel Hill employees.

Chapel Hill Wellness@Work was established through a collaborative partnership between the Town of Chapel Hill and UNC Health Care's Department of Family Medicine. It is designed to provide comprehensive health and wellness programs for the employees of the Town of Chapel Hill in an effort to promote and maintain healthy lifestyles. While improving overall employee health, the program could potentially result in significant health care cost savings for the Town and its 660 full-time employees.

"We believe that easy access to basic preventative health services and education can help employees better manage their health needs, while reducing medical costs," said Town Manager Roger Stancil. "We developed this novel idea with our hometown partners because we are committed to improving the health of our workforce."

Due to the robust nature of the program and the establishment of a dedicated employee wellness clinic, the Town has already been able to negotiate with Blue Cross and Blue Shield a reduction in its insurance premiums by about $100,000.

"This partnership helps us continue to provide excellent benefits to our employees so we can continue to attract top talent," said Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt. "Further, it is a cost savings for the taxpayers and the Town."

The comprehensive wellness programs, aimed at preventing and managing chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes, will be developed in collaboration with representatives from the Town employees. Programs will be tailored to the specific needs of the Town's workforce based on information from voluntary health risk assessments of Town employees, and in partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Wellness programs may focus on topics such as tobacco cessation, weight loss, proper nutrition, and developing other healthy habits.

The employee wellness clinic will provide on-site minor illness and injury care at no cost to employees. The clinic will also offer educational resources to teach employees about healthy lifestyles and focus on reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other chronic conditions.

The new employee health clinic will be staffed with a full-time nurse practitioner, Jennie Petruney, BSN, ANP, employed by UNC Health Care and the Department of Family Medicine. UNC Health Care and the Town of Chapel Hill will open the clinic in July at a temporary location, on the first level of the Town's Housing Department facility on Caldwell Street. A permanent clinic location will open at a future date at the Town Operations Center facility off Millhouse Road.

"Our goal is to work collaboratively with the Town of Chapel Hill to design and implement wellness programs that are meaningful and targeted to the needs of the Town employees," UNC Hospitals President Gary Park. "We do not intend to replace the employee's primary care physician, but rather to provide additional resources and education to enhance their care. Providing on-site care for minor illnesses and injuries can also help employees minimize lost time at work."

The program will also establish a web-based health information portal where employees can schedule appointments, interact with the nurse practitioner, view their own voluntary health assessment data and access health education resources. A future occupational health component will focus on the coordination of Worker's Compensation care and preventative maintenance examinations.

Details of Chapel Hill Wellness@Work were designed by a Town-UNC collaborative work group involving Town staff members Jim Orr of the Parks and Recreation Department, Police Capt. Jackie Carden, and Heather Robinson of the Fire Department, working together with UNC Department of Family Medicine representatives Dr. Mark Gwynne, Medical Director, Dr. Sam Weir, Family Medicine Center Director, Ronald Lingley, Associate Chair for Administration, Todd Meath, Network Administrator, Jennie Petruney, Nurse Practitioner, Julea Steiner, Project Manager, and Kevin Tate, Senior Analyst.

For more information, contact:
Jennifer James, UNC Health Care, 919-966-7622 or Sabrina Oliver, Town of Chapel Hill, 919-968-2743

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Chapel Hill Census Count

The U.S. Census Bureau has released 2010 U.S. Census information that places Chapel Hill's 2010 population at 57,233. The community's racial minority population is slowly growing, largely due to an increase in Asian and Hispanic residents.

Over the period between 2000 and 2010 Chapel Hill's population grew at an annual rate of 2.2 percent from 46,019 in 2000. The NC State demographer estimated the 2009 Town population as 56,778.

The 2010 Census for Chapel Hill also counted population by race. Black or African American were 9.5 percent or 5,460 residents, down from 11.4 percent in 2000. Asians were 11.8 percent or 6,775 residents, up from 7.2 percent in 2000. Hispanic or Latino were 3,638 residents or 6.4 percent, up from 3.2 percent. This new data shows that Asians have become Chapel Hill's largest racial minority. Whites comprise 72.8 percent of Chapel Hill's population, compared to 77.9 percent in 2000.

The census is a count of everyone living in the United States and, since 1790, has been conducted every 10 years. The census figures are important for many reasons. Businesses rely on the data, as do schools and governments. An accurate count means that a community will receive its fair share of federal funding, and also affects redistricting of elective districts. More census data will be released throughout the year.

The Town of Chapel Hill Planning Department is developing an update of the Chapel Hill Data Book Demographics and Regional Context chapters incorporating the new census numbers. To review previous data books, available online: www.townofchapelhill.org/index.aspx?page=608. To view U.S. Census Data, visit: 2010.census.gov/2010census/data

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Downtown Development Framework and Action Plan

The future of downtown Chapel Hill will be discussed during the presentation of the draft Downtown Development Framework and Action Plan to Town advisory boards and commissions on beginning at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, in the Council Chamber of Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
The presentation will be made by Dan Douglas of Kling Stubbins, and questions will follow the presentation.

The Town of Chapel Hill created a master plan for downtown, the Downtown Small Area Plan, in 2000. The Town Council initiated a new Downtown Master Plan as one of its goals for 2009. In November 2009, the Town, in conjunction with the Downtown Partnership, issued an RFP, and Kling-Stubbins of Raleigh was selected to complete the Downtown Development Action Plan and Framework.

A planning team held two meetings in April 2010 for interested parties to share their opinions on development in downtown Chapel Hill. A first draft of findings was presented to the public during a planning charette on June 10. The June 10 presentation is available online: www.townofchapelhill.org/modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=6806

For more information, contact Dwight Bassett, Economic Development Officer for the Town of Chapel Hill, at 919-969-5010 or dbassett@townofchapelhill.org.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Downtown Master Plan

In November of 2009, the Town Council and the Downtown Partnership issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a Downtown Master Plan. As a result, the Raleigh based firm Kling Stubbins developed a plan to help guide the Town and community in a five to eight year plan to make sure our Downtown remains the envy of the South. The plan focuses on increased connectivity, pedestrian access, parking, and public space.

Two public forums were held, Thursday April 8, 2010. Check out their draft proposal here:

Downtown Development Framework