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The Daily Tar Heel

Town Votes To Continue Equity Talks

The issue of who should pay the costs to the town that UNC's growth will create first came up last year.

Town Council members voted unanimously to acknowledge receipt of a Nov. 16 letter that Chancellor James Moeser sent in response to the town's request that the University help cover the costs of its own development.

But although town officials acknowledged receipt of the letter, they said it leaves more to be desired and expressed discontent with the University's response to the town's demands.

The town's requests to share growth costs with the University came in the form of a 17-point proposal sent to UNC officials in October that outlined the town's expectations for how the University will handle an upcoming surge of development. Although UNC officials agreed with most of the town's stipulations, they disagreed or deferred decisions on three of the points. One of the three points mandated that UNC cover all costs created by development of the Horace Williams tract.

Mayor Rosemary Waldorf said she was disappointed with portions of the University's response to the town's requests. "I somewhat regret that we didn't get everything we wanted," she said.

Mayor-elect and council member Kevin Foy also said he is not completely satisfied with the negotiations.

"This is not the final version," Foy said. "There are a lot more things to talk about."

Council member Bill Strom said he has seen some inconsistencies in negotiations between UNC and town officials that he wants to see rectified.

"I want to clarify some points in (Moeser's) letter that are inconsistent with some conversations," Strom said. "I hope that (Foy) can bring an innovative model."

Discussions of fiscal equity sprung from recent meetings between the University and the town officials concerning UNC's Development Plan where town officials requested that the University cover costs of development.

Waldorf also said she is hopeful that Foy will continue to communicate with the chancellor about fiscal equity.

"We now have ended these discussions," Waldorf said. "But discussion needs to continue."

Foy acknowledged the work that Waldorf has done to improve town and University relations.

"I agree that this has been an arduous process to obtain physical reconciliation," Foy said. "But we need to continue the work (Waldorf) has done."

Waldorf expressed her confidence that University officials will listen to the needs of the town.

She said, "I believe we can rely on Chancellor Moeser and we can rely on the Board of Trustees."

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