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The Daily Tar Heel

Carrboro Town Council discusses climate council, annexation boundary agreement

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Carrboro Town Hall is pictured on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023.

During its meeting on Tuesday, the Carrboro Town Council discussed creating an intergovernmental climate council within Orange County and devoting more resources to aesthetic improvements in the town.

What’s new?

  • The council held a public hearing regarding the renewal of the annexation boundary agreement between the towns of Carrboro and Chapel Hill. A presentation was given by Trish McGuire, the planning director for the Town of Carrboro.
    • McGuire said the two towns established their annexation boundary agreement in 1995. 
    • McGuire recommended the adoption of an ordinance that would authorize the mayor to execute the agreement and the approval of the establishment of guidelines for protecting locations designated as entranceways into Carrboro, namely Smith Level Road.
  • David Markiewicz, a member of the Carrboro appearance commission, gave a presentation highlighting what improvements can be made to Carrboro’s curb appeal and accessibility.
    • “I want you to think about folks that use strollers, that use wheelchairs, that struggle with their eyesight, that struggle with walkers — and think about those folks and recognize through these pictures that I'm going to show you is that our Town does not make it easy for those folks to navigate,” Markiewicz said.
    • He said he also wanted the Town Council to think about municipal and personal responsibility to maintain Carrboro’s appearance.
      • “We’ve gotten — as a town, and as individuals — we’ve gotten complacent at the way in which we present ourselves in the community that we love,” he said.
    • Markiewicz listed five recommended action items for the Town of Carrboro: planting trees, edging and repairing sidewalks, removing litter, strategic placement of high-quality benches and increasing the number of waste and recycling receptacles.
    • The appearance commission formally requested that the next town budget include a minimum of $30,000 allocated towards streetscape improvements in Carrboro’s business district.
    • Jim Porto, a member of the racial equity commission and former chair of the appearance commission, followed Markiewicz’s presentation by presenting a list of economic benefits that he said a good public appearance could bring.
      • “Good appearance and walkability are net positive investments,” Porto said.
    • Mayor Damon Seils said the requested $30,000 would be a start to making the recommended improvements.
  • The Town Council discussed entering a drafted memorandum of understanding to create an intergovernmental climate council in Orange County. A presentation was given by Laura Janway, the environmental sustainability coordinator for the Town of Carrboro.
    • Janway said the goals of this council would be to exchange information on climate change mitigation, maintain an inventory of climate change initiatives and provide updates on the climate action plans of the four governmental entities: Orange County, Hillsborough, Chapel Hill and Carrboro.
    • Janway recommended the council adopt a resolution authorizing the mayor to enter the MOU.
    • Council member Sammy Slade asked for the mayor and council to postpone approving the resolution until more feedback can be incorporated into the decision.
    • Council member Eliazar Posada said he was unsure how much the climate council would accomplish with the proposed frequency of meetings, set at twice a year. He said holding quarterly meetings may yield more effective results.
    • Council member Barbara Foushee said there would need to be space made within the climate council for representatives from organizations such as El Centro Hispano and local chapters of the NAACP.
      • “We have to have diverse voices,” Foushee said. “And so we cannot use these different titles and things to exclude anyone.”

What decisions were made?

  • The council unanimously approved a resolution for the extension of the temporary protected status program for Guatemala.
  • The Town Council also unanimously adopted the ordinance authorizing agreement and resolution on the Smith Level Road entranceway.
  • The council unanimously approved a motion for direct staff to further discuss the draft MOU with other local government entities and recommend changes to allow more diverse representation on the intergovernmental climate council.

What’s next?

  • The Carrboro Town Council will meet again on April 25.

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@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com 

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