The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday June 29th

Rogers Road rehabilitation meets council approval

A plan to compensate the Rogers Road neighborhood for 40 years of housing the county’s landfill met support at a Chapel Hill Town Council meeting Monday.

At the meeting, council members Penny Rich and Jim Ward presented the Historic Rogers Road Neighborhood Task Force interim report — which outlines options for funding a community center and extending sewer service to the neighborhood.

The Rogers Road community has hosted the county’s landfill since 1972, and residents have complained of contaminated water and a smell, among other issues, as a result of the landfill’s proximity.

At a February meeting, the county set a closing date for June 2013 and created a task force — made up of officials from Chapel Hill, Carrboro ­and Orange County — to investigate the sewer system and community center projects.

“There’s no amount of money on the face of the Earth that I know of that is going to wipe away what happened in 1970,” said councilwoman Donna Bell.

During a lengthy discussion, council members showed support for moving forward on the construction of a sewer system and community center in the neighborhood.

The neighborhood’s community center was shut down in August for violating safety and fire codes.

Bell said she thinks the construction of a community center will benefit Rogers Road residents more than a sewer system would.

She said she doesn’t think all property owners will agree to the construction of a sewer system.

But councilwoman Laurin Easthom said she thinks the community center and sewer system should be addressed simultaneously because of the health hazards posed by the septic tanks.

Council members also questioned the neighborhood’s ability to keep the community center running in the long term and discussed the need for a long-term plan for the center.

Rev. Robert Campbell, president of the Rogers-Eubanks Neighborhood Association, spoke Monday night about the positive impact the community center made.

“And yet we’re still being questioned on how we’re going to run,” he said.

On Sept. 18, the Carrboro Board of Aldermen heard the interim report and passed a motion for a cautionary $900,000 to fund the project.

The task force will submit a final report on Dec. 6 to the Assembly of Governments.

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