The Orange County Board of County Commissioners held its first business meeting of the year on Tuesday. The Board approved recommendations made by the Affordable Housing Advisory Board and discussed membership projections and capacity for schools in Orange County.
- The BOCC began the meeting with public comments.
- Community member BJ Warshaw said he is concerned about the sewer boundary extension along U.S. Highway 15-501. He added that he feels the process is being rushed and that the extension will encroach on the University Lake Watershed.
- Kirk Vaughn, the Orange County budget director, led a presentation on membership projections and capacity calculations for schools in Orange County.
Travis Myren, the deputy county manager led a discussion on school and county planning and finance.
- Riza Jenkins, the vice chair of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education, said the district has used funds to improve school safety, replace playgrounds and update HVAC systems.
- "We've reached a pivotal moment, and let's be honest about the 21st century needs of our school district and our capital needs," she said.
- Rani Dasi, another CHCCS school board member, said the board of county commissioners should make a financially viable plan to renovate school facilities.
- “There is a dire need for investment to renovate public school facilities,” she said.
What decisions were made?
- The BOCC approved the Affordable Housing Advisory Board recommendations for the affordable housing crisis intervention planning funds for fiscal year 2023-24.
- The housing board proposed a total of $15 million for affordable housing development to be allocated over the next ten years.
Bonnie Hammersley, county manager, recommended that the BOCC award funds for the FY 2023-24 CIP Affordable Housing RFP process based on the funding recommendations from the housing board.
- Commissioner Amy Fowler asked Hammersley if there has been additional funding from other sources for the Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing projects, and Hammersley said some of the projects have received both internal and external County funding.
- Hillsborough resident Sandra Clinton, urged the Board to support affordable housing in Orange County. She said that Habitat for Humanity has allowed her to become a homeowner at a fraction of the cost of renting.
- Anna Wu, the first vice chair for Orange County Habitat for Humanity, said the East Village Development in Hillsborough is a key piece in Habitat's growth strategy.
- “By building 64 affordable habitat homes, and 12 missing middle mark units, this project will essentially double the number of affordable homes for homeownership in Hillsborough," she said.
The BOCC will meet for its next business meeting on Feb. 6.