Published: Feb 26, 2013 07:00 PM
Modified: Feb 24, 2013 01:24 PM
Rail money years away HILLSBOROUGH
Orange County and Triangle Transit officials are talking about how to put the Orange County Bus and Rail Plan into motion.
However, there are a few issues to work out, including funding for the most expensive piece of the transit puzzle – a $1.4 billion light-rail train from UNC Hospitals to Alston Avenue in Durham.
The county is probably three or four years out from getting the federal funding for preliminary steps, county planning director Craig Benedict told the Hillsborough Town Board and Orange County Board of Commissioners on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the county is moving ahead with planning for the Mebane-to-Durham bus route. The county wants the route to follow U.S. 70 to help develop that corridor. However, Triangle Transit wants to follow Interstate 85 and also has suggested starting with the Hillsborough-Durham portion, adding Mebane as money becomes available, Benedict said.
The county also could talk with Mebane and Alamance County about helping pay for the route, he said.
Another question is whether Triangle Transit or Orange Public Transportation should operate the route. OPT director Al Terry said his agency is measuring how long it would take to run the route and how much it could cost.
Commissioners Chairman Barry Jacobs said it sounds like Triangle Transit is already not listening. He asked county staff to keep the commissioners aware of any developments.
Although Orange County and Triangle Transit haven’t discussed the Amtrak station in Hillsborough yet, funding applications have been submitted to different programs, officials said.Town fair Saturday CHAPEL HILL
Learn how Chapel Hill uses your tax dollars Saturday at a services fair at University Mall.
The Spring Ahoy! town services fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. will spotlight police and fire departments, waste collection, recreation, public housing, traffic engineering, communication and planning.
Visitors can check out Chapel Hill Transit’s 15 new hybrid buses, meet the Chapel Hill Police Department’s K-9 Unit and see a demonstration about installing and using child safety seats.
There also will be performances by the Bouncing Bulldogs and Triangle Youth Ballet, a scavenger hunt and a drawing for tickets to the UNC-Florida State basketball game.
At 12:30 p.m., Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt and U.S. Rep. David Price, D-4th District, will help cut the ribbon to launch the hybrid buses.
For more information about the fair, go to townofchapelhill.org
or contact Jennifer Phillips, community participation coordinator, at 919-969-5000 or email@example.com.Hillsborough land- use draft due soon HILLSBOROUGH
Potential changes to Hillsborough’s future land-use plan topped the town’s agenda last week for its annual meeting with county commissioners.
The Hillsborough Town Board could take action on the draft plan March 11. It outlines what could happen to land within the town limits, as well as in the extraterritorial jurisdiction area.
The ETJ is land just outside the town limits that one day could be incorporated.
Hillsborough Planning Director Margaret Hauth told town board members and the Orange County Board of Commissioners that moving residents into or out of the ETJ could mean zoning changes.
The changes could happen in late March or early April, she said. Staff writer Tammy Grubb
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