Orange County fair, recycling on commissioners’ agenda

tgrubb@newsobserver.comJanuary 21, 2014 

  • What’s next?

    The Orange County Board of Commissioners will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Department of Social Services building, 113 Mayo St. in Hillsborough.

— The Orange County Board of Commissioners return to their regular schedule Thursday to talk about recycling, a county fair and the Southern Branch Library.

The commissioners meet at 7 p.m. in the Department of Social Services building on Mayo Street in Hillsborough.

The commissioners are facing a July 1 deadline for deciding how to pay for rural curbside recycling next year. The county dropped one of three fees last year after a state court ruling cast doubt on its authority to collect the fee.

The county still collects a convenience center fee based on the type and location of a home and a basic fee, which is now $47 a year for all homes.

In December, the commissioners told staff to prepare plans for a solid waste tax service district. The district would charge a 1.5-cent per $100 valuation property tax to rural households eligible for curbside recycling.

The owner of a $250,000 house would pay $37.50. The previous fee was $38 for single-family, rural homes and $19 for multifamily homes, such as apartments and mobile home parks.

The proposed tax service district could provide curbside recycling to more than 15,000 rural households, county staff said. Other rural homeowners could continue to use one of five county convenience centers.

Public hearings could be held in March, with a final decision by April.

The county also handles recycling for Carrboro, Chapel Hill and Hillsborough. All three towns have said they are interested in continuing to be part of the county’s recycling program.

•  Orange County Fair: The commissioners will consider moving ahead with plans for a 2015 county fair.

Now that Hillsborough’s Hogg Day is canceled, that may solve the question of when to hold a fair, Commissioner Mark Dorosin said last week. Hogg Day was a fundraiser for the Hillsborough Area Chamber of Commerce for more than 30 years but grew too big to handle, staff said.

Dorosin proposed the fair idea early last year. In October, he led a community meeting to get ideas. The result was a proposed fair featuring local food, arts and crafts, history, schools and young people, music and agriculture. It also could include rides and games.

County staff has estimated the cost of a two- to three-day fair at $187,380 to $243,594, including work needed at the county’s Blackwood Farm site off N.C. 86. Staff also has identified 35 local organizations that could be involved.

•  Southern Branch Library: The commissioners could award a contract to the Freelon Group Architects of Durham for site studies and public meetings related to the proposed library at 120 Brewer Lane in Carrboro.

The county is paying up to $29,500 for the work. Freelon Group officials will be at the meeting to answer questions.

Grubb: 919-932-8746

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