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Drones, new park update discussed by Carrboro Board of Aldermen Tuesday

The review of the 60 percent construction plans of the park was presented and well-received by the board.

Board of Aldermen member Randee Haven-O’Donnell discussed her concerns for the park, including the desire to continue to involve senior citizens in plans. She also expressed an interest in opportunities for the amphitheater to be created in the park.

The open space around the amphitheater could include a space for stargazing and serve as a place to view meteor showers.

Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle expressed an interest in the installment of bathrooms within the park.

“I’m getting really irritated with multi-occupancy one-gender bathrooms,” Lavelle said. “I was wondering if there is some way we can be forward thinking about this.”

The main concern for the bathrooms was to have a way to include single stalls with a common area where people could use the sink.

Lavelle said some issues of importance were privacy and safety but did not see a need to have to check your driver’s license before entering the restrooms.

Many town members spoke about the frustration concerning communication over the matter. Multiple people noted that although they lived in the area around the new park and subscribed to email lists, they had not been clearly communicated with about future plans for the park.

An application for affordable housing funding from CASA passed unanimously by the Board of Aldermen. The construction of the affordable housing is to be done over two acres, between 802 Merritt Mill Road and 806 Merritt Mill Road. The town boundary line wrapped around one side of the lot.

Board of Aldermen member Bethany Chaney requested that the team come back in the summer and give project updates.

“When we initially got the proposal, there were a lot of wide eyes about the price,” Chaney said. “I think while we all agree it’s absolutely in line with all of our strategies, I think one of the most important reasons to approve the funding is to signal to affordable housing developers that we are serious about wanting to achieve those goals.”

Board of Aldermen member Sammy Slade said affordable housing was a must-have for the Carrboro community.

“Thank you for stepping up and being a partner with us especially with this timing,” Slade said.

The application requested $357, 208 to be used for the purchase of property. In addition, the town of Chapel Hill also contributed financially to the project.

The affordable housing will provide for veterans, seniors and people working full-time minimum wage jobs.

Nick Herman, the town attorney, spoke about a text amendment to prohibit drones flying over town property.

“Here’s the bottom line: It’s a trespass and you call the police department,” he said.

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