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Carrboro Town Council discusses cemetery restrictions, new office space

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Carrboro Town Hall is located in Carrboro, N.C., pictured here on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023.

During the Carrboro Town Council meeting on Tuesday, council members discussed the possibility of approving a lease for a new Town office space, as well as restricting cemetery plot sales to preserve available land.

What’s new?

  • Carrboro Police Chief Chris Atack presented the Carrboro Police Department’s Quarterly Equity Report for the third quarter of 2022.
  • The Town Council discussed approving a request to allow the town manager to sign a three-year office lease agreement with Carr Mill Mall Limited Partnership. The lease is for an office space that would be used for Town operations.
    • Council member Eliazar Posada said he would rather the Town invest in nonprofit organizations like CommunityWorx which supports people of color and low-income community members. Council member Barbara Foushee said she would not be voting to approve the contract for similar reasons.
    • “I won’t be voting for it either because I think we would be better served to pour our money into a nonprofit that is run by women of color,” Foushee said. “The lease dollars would flow back into the community in multiple ways through a nonprofit, and so also who we do business with is truly a reflection of our value system.”
  • Cemetery improvements and plot use were discussed for a large portion of the meeting. Both the Town Council and community members discussed restricting plot sales of Westwood Cemetery, which has only 102 burial plots remaining.
    • Potential options for cemetery plot restriction were presented:
      • Limit cemetery plots to Carrboro residents only. In the past 20 years, 86 percent of sold burial plots were purchased by Carrboro residents.
      • Limit plot sales to those with family members buried at Westwood Cemetery.
      • Only sell burial plots for deceased individuals in imminent need.
      • Limit the number of plots sold to an individual citizen.
      • Limit plot sales to individuals living within a specified distance from Westwood Cemetery.
    • The discussion of possible cemetery plot sale restrictions began with a public comment from Bob Proctor, who said he wanted to suspend sales for future-use plots.
    • "Why make contracts going 20 years forward when we don’t know what we will be doing in two years?” Proctor said.
    • Posada said his biggest concern with suspending sales was the idea of the Town Council restricting someone’s ability to bury their family members in Carrboro.
    • “I don’t want to have the Town in any way, shape, or form be a place where they can restrict someone’s ability to be with their family when there’s still space available,” Posada said. 

What decisions were made?

  • Carrboro Mayor Damon Seils proclaimed February as Black History Month in Carrboro. 
    • “Black History Month certainly is every month,” Foushee said. “It’s a time to celebrate our very rich history. We are American history. But for me, it’s also a time of reflection.”
  • The Town Council unanimously adopted a resolution to condemn violence against the LGBTQ+ community in Carrboro and North Carolina as a whole.
  • The council unanimously voted to approve the consent agenda. 
  • Five council members voted in favor of approving the lease agreement between the Town of Carrboro and Carr Mill Mall Limited Partnership. Two members — Posada and Foushee — voted against approving the contract.
  • The council unanimously approved a motion to hold a work session in the coming months to further discuss possibilities for reaching a compromise on Westwood Cemetery. 
  • The council unanimously approved proposed cemetery improvements, including the replacement of the fence around Old Carrboro Cemetery.

What’s next?

  • The Carrboro Town Council will meet for a work session on Feb. 14.

@averysnotabaker

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com 

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