The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday October 28th

UNC, Town Debate Cost-Sharing Plan

The proposal in front of the town, developed by Mayor Rosemary Waldorf and Chancellor James Moeser, negotiates the sharing of financial responsibilities regarding the University's development.

The fiscal agreement was up for discussion at Monday's regularly scheduled Town Council meeting and was a draft of a plan for the two entities to share financial responsibilities with respect to UNC's development.

Monday's decision to defer specific action on the proposal came after Town Council members aired their concerns, and Linda Convissor, UNC's coordinator of local relations, asked for more time for the University to review the document.

Waldorf said one point of contention is the University's intention to acquire lands near Mason Farm and Oteys roads, which was the product of a compromise.

Waldorf said the cost-sharing proposal would have stipulated that the University stop acquiring property not essential to central campus growth so that off-campus properties now in UNC's possession can be returned to the town's tax base.

But the University's Development Plan, which the council is slated to vote on Oct. 3, can pass without an agreement on financial responsibilities. "The fiscal agreement and the development plan are not linked," Waldorf said.

The Development Plan, an eight-year vision for University growth, includes no mention of land acquisition, though UNC's Master Plan, a 50-year blueprint for campus growth, does.

Some council members objected to the inclusion of University expansion in the fiscal agreement. Town Council member Flicka Bateman said while UNC expansion seems inevitable, she does not want to endorse it in a financial agreement.

Diana Steele, a Mason Farm Road resident, said she is concerned that UNC's intention to expand her road will adversely alter the community.

William Barney, of 407 Westwood Drive, said the town has a responsibility to protect residents. "The balance should tilt in favor of preservation and conservation," Barney said.

Waldorf, who will not seek re-election Nov. 6, said the revised proposal, complete with the input of Town Council members and residents, should next come before the Town Council at its Sept. 24 meeting. "I sure would like to conclude it before I leave office Dec. 10."

The City Editor can be reached at citydesk@unc.edu.

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