The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday October 20th

BOT Delays Commitment to Landfill Cleanup

Although the BOT agreed with most of the town's recent Memorandum of Understanding -- a 17-point proposal outlining the town's expectations of the University as it develops the tract -- its response differed with the town on three of the suggestions.

UNC's response to the town's requests included the deferral of a previous commitment to pay for the landfill's cleanup and a rejection of a town requirement to make students register their vehicles.

The third area BOT members highlighted dealt with how improvements to private enterprises that might be constructed on the tract would be taxed.

The University chose to defer its decision concerning the cleanup until more planning on the tract has been done.

The Horace Williams tract is a 979-acre parcel of land north of main campus that is slated for development under the University's Master Plan, a 50-year guide for campus development.

Chapel Hill Town Manager Cal Horton said the suggestion to clean up the landfill originally was made by the University and that he does not know why the BOT then elected to wait for additional evaluation before making the decision.

Tony Waldrop, vice chancellor for research and graduate studies, said University officials think it is too early to address specific plans for the Horace Williams property.

But Waldrop, who leads the Horace Williams Advisory Committee and oversees planning for the tract, said he does not expect UNC to go back on its agreement to pay for the landfill's maintenance.

"I think the reason (for the deferral) is we need to have a better feel for what we are going to do and what the costs will be," Waldrop said. "It is my expectation that the University will play a role in assuming these costs, which will be quite substantial."

BOT member Stick Williams said that whenever the University begins work on the tract, the landfill will have to be cleaned up, but he could not promise that the University would commit to that responsibility.

"I would imagine that we will sit down and engage in more negotiations," he said. "I don't know if we will put it back on the table."

The stipulations of the memorandum that the BOT agreed on included town concerns for employee and student housing, construction of additional secondary schools, stormwater runoff and parking control.

Another one of the town's stipulations stated that the University should make an effort to require students to prove they paid a $20 town motor registration fee when they are issued a University parking permit.

Horton said students who are registered to vote or claim residence in Chapel Hill have an obligation to register their cars.

Horton said the town included this stipulation to help people comply with the law, but he said he did not know the exact number of students whose vehicles are registered.

"Our impression is that students should register their cars here, but I don't think they are doing that," he said.

"The fee is a way of covering part of the costs for use of the roads around here."

The City Editor can be reached at

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