Carrboro Town Council members discussed the Bolin Creek Greenway and the installation of new solar photovoltaic projects at their meeting Tuesday evening. The council members also updated Town Manager Richard J. White III on key strategic items to be considered in future budget development.
Carrboro Mayor Damon Seils began the meeting with a proclamation to designate April 2023 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The proclamation was received by Cathryn Rich, a board member of the Orange County Rape Crisis Center.
- Trish McGuire, the planning director for the Town of Carrboro, presented plans for community feedback on the potential development of Bolin Creek Greenway.
- The draft plans mention phases three and four of the Greenway project, two out of the five total segments outlined in the Town of Carrboro, N.C. Bolin Creek Greenway Conceptual Master Plan, which was passed in 2009.
- Dave Otto, the former leader of Friends of Bolin Creek, spoke during the public comments section about accessibility concerns at Bolin Creek.
- “The bitter irony for me today is even though I live right on the creek, I can barely get down to the creek anymore,” Otto said.
- Council member Eliazar Posada raised concerns about the scope of potential public feedback being too broad.
- Council member Sammy Slade and Mayor Pro Tem Susan Romaine agreed that the scope for feedback and development needs to have clearer direction and timelines for Town staff.
- Council member Danny Nowell proposed that Town staff complete a community engagement process and report back to the council by Oct. 17.
- Council member Randee Haven-O’Donnell said the Town needs to gain environmental data about Bolin Creek before moving forward with the greenway.
- “It’s really important for us to have the data on the health of the stream and the soils and the riparian buffer,” Haven-O’Donnell said.
- Ben Schmadeke, the capital projects manager for the Town of Carrboro, presented a request for the Town Council to approve a contract for solar photovoltaic projects to begin.
- Schmadeke said Town staff recommends contracting Eagle Solar & Light to install the solar photovoltaic panels on the following Town buildings: Fire Station 1, Public Works and the 203 S. Greensboro St. Project.
- Romaine asked why Fire Station 2 was not considered a potential site for installation. Schmadeke said Fire Station 2 already has solar thermal panels constructed.
- The Town Council re-confirmed the Council’s 13 key strategic areas and deliverables for the Town manager’s office after their 2022-2023 retreat.
- The top three priorities include: implementing race equity initiatives, a community action climate plan, as well as zoning amendments related to housing.
- The Town Council clarified for the town manager that removing residential parking minimums near transit is applicable to the entire Town.
What decisions were made?
- The Town Council unanimously approved a resolution to announce April 2023 as Native Plant Month.
- The Town Council passed a resolution to complete a community engagement process regarding Bolin Creek by Oct. 17 with a 6-1 vote. Haven-O’Donnell opposed.
- The Town Council unanimously approved a contract for Eagle Solar & Light to begin solar PV panel installation on town buildings.
- Council members unanimously approved the clarification on residential parking minimums as well as a small area plan centered on Jones Ferry Road.
- The Carrboro Town Council will meet again on April 4 at 7 p.m. for a Town Council meeting.
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