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Commissioners appoint interim county manager

The Orange County Board of Commissioners appointed a two-year assistant manager Tuesday to serve as interim manager while the county seeks a permanent leader.

County Manager Frank Clifton retires Sept. 29 after nearly five years in the job.

Talbert was promoted to assistant county manager in 2011. He has worked closely with Clifton on many issues and taken the lead on others, including the closing of the county landfill, the Emergency Services upgrade and the Rogers Road sewer and community center projects.

He also has served as the county’s deputy financial services director and was first hired in December 2009 for a temporary Financial Services position. Previously, Talbert was the county manager in Polk County and finance director for Catawba County.

He has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and economics from Elon College.

Orange County Commissioners to clean limited amount of dump sites

Orange County will stat to clean up some illegal dump sites near its landfill, but getting all the trash will be a challenge and it may not try.

The Orange County Commissioners unanimously approved a plan to do a one-time clean-up of  illegal dump sites within a 3/4 mile radius the county landfill Tuesday night.

County Manager Frank Clifton and County Attorney John Roberts recommended to limit the effort and not clean-up two dumpsites near the landfill because of the high cost and liability.

County looks for new site for Southwest branch library


Orange County commissioners have rejected a site for a new Southwest branch library in Carrboro and have re-committed to finding a better site.

The board voted unanimously Tuesday night to reject a contract to buy a 2.69 acre lot for a new library at 210 Hillsborough Road, next to Carrboro Elementary School, while also voting unanimously to resurrect the search for a new site with the help of the town of Carrboro and county residents.

Commissioners unanimously approved a purchase option on the site last October after asking county staff to shop around for land that might work for a new library.

The site at Hillsborough Road was chosen, but since last fall, the county discovered the land had obstacles with restrictions on how the land could be divided and easements on sewer and accessibility. 

Orange County cuts spending, holds line on taxes

Orange County’s proposed $177.3 million budget cuts spending $3.9 million, or 2 percent, from the current year’s amended budget.

The county’s property tax rate would remain 85.8 cents on $100 worth of property, or $2,145 on a $250,000 house.

County Manager Frank Clifton’s plan has no layoffs but asks residents to pay more for county landfill services and proposes a new annual santitation household fee to fund improvements and extended hours at the solid waste convenience centers. The fee would generate $320,000 in revenue in the next fiscal year.

A new $5 surcharge on landfill tipping fees, along with money from the county’s Solid Waste Enterprise fund, would go into a reserve to pay for improvements in the Rogers Road community, the neighborhood that borders the landfill.

Property taxes make up 75.3 percent of the budget, with sales tax contributing 8.6 percent. Sales tax revenue is down 47 percent since fiscal 2007, 2008. The county is projecting sale tax revenues to grow by 1 to 2 percent next year.

The county will maintain the same district tax for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools: 18.84 cents per $100, and proposes $83.5 million to fund both districts and an additional $1.8 million in initiatives to provide school nurses, social workers and resource officers. Altogether school funding represents 48.1 percent of the county’s general fund, a county goal for school spending.

The county will hold public hearings on the budget Thursday at 7 p.m. in the DSS offices, 113 Mayo St., in Hillsborough and next Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Southern Human Services Center in Chapel Hill.  

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