July 24, 2024

Carrboro Town Council receives finance report, discusses stormwater assistance –

The Carrboro Town Council discussed its annual comprehensive finance report, a draft of a new residential stormwater assistance program and a proposal to extend the water and sewer service boundary during its meeting Tuesday night. This was the first with new council members Catherine Fray and Jason Merrill.

What’s new?

  • Carrboro Mayor Barbara Foushee issued three proclamations: one to recognizeInternational Holocaust Remembrance Day, another for National Mentoring Month and a third for National Day of Racial Healing.
  • Interim Town manager Marie Parker introduced Bret GreeneCarrboro’s new finance director. 

    • “I’m looking to bring some new perspective to the finances of the Town and continue to build on the success that everyone has contributed to,” Greene said.
  • Chad Cook, director of the accounting and consulting firm FORVIS, presented the the annual finance report and audit for the 2023 fiscal year of the Town’s finances.

    • The Town saw an increase in available funds of about 30 percent from the 2022 fiscal year.
    • The Town’s biggest revenue source is property tax, which increased 1.6 percent from 2022. 
      • “There was no change in the property tax rate during fiscal 2023, so the increase there in the revenue is really just related to an increase in evaluations,” Cook said.
  • Stormwater utility manager Randy Dodd presented a proposal for a new design of the Town’s residential stormwater assistance program.
    • Dodd outlined the work the Town has completed since 2020, when a study was authorized with the expectation that the Stormwater Advisory Commission would follow up with recommendations from the study’s findings.
    • Dodd’s team conducted over 50 site assessments in the early months of 2023 and collected survey data from residents at each site.
    • To implement a new design that was drafted by Town staff in the second half of 2023, Dodd asked for a 10 percent increase in Carrboro’s stormwater fee to cover cost-sharing initiatives. The increase would also allocate funds for an additional staff member to work specifically for the program.
  • Town Planning Director Trish McGuire presented on possible changes to the water and sewer service boundary in the Chapel Hill jurisdiction. 
    •  The Chapel Hill Town Council agreed to this extension in November 2023 and forwarded the resolution to other local governmental entities who would be part of this agreement, including Carrboro, for approval.
    • Council member Randee Haven-O’Donnell said she was concerned about whether or not the new land parcels available for development created by the water and sewer boundary expansion would be used to create affordable housing.

      • “We talk about having parcels that would be eligible for affordable housing, and I know this is going to sound incredibly naive, but what assurance do we have that this is going to be affordable housing?” she said. 

What decisions were made? 

  • Haven-O’Donnell moved to accept the draft of the new stormwater assistance design and schedule a public hearing on Feb. 27 for community input on the program design. The council voted unanimously in favor of Haven-O’Donnell’s motion. 
  • Posada moved that Town staff bring a resolution back to the council on Feb. 6 with information concerning key stakeholders and information from the Town of Chapel Hill on the water and sewer boundary expansion proposal. The council voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

What’s next? 

The council’s next meeting is a work session that will be held on Jan. 16.

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

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