Town Services Affected by COVID-19
The Town of Hillsborough is taking a number of actions to slow the spread of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. These actions affect some town services. Essential services are continuing, such as police and fire protection, solid waste collection, and water and sewer service.
A stay-at-home order is in place through 5 p.m. April 30 for Orange County residents. Gov. Roy Cooper also has issued a statewide stay-at-home order. See the Stay at Home Order page.
The response to the outbreak is rapidly changing. Please check this page often for updates on changes in service, and subscribe to town news releases.
The Town of Hillsborough declared a state of emergency on March 13, 2020, due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. It was updated on March 18 and 23 to add:
- Temporary changes to the process for establishing new water service accounts.
- Waive water and sewer bill penalties and late fees.
- Place the emergency proclamation on auto-renew every five days unless it is updated or rescinded.
On March 26, the town issued a proclamation consenting to the application of a stay-at-home order for residents within its jurisdiction. See the the Stay at Home Order page on this website for more information.
As the outbreak evolves, more changes can be expected. See the proclamations below.
Town offices, staffing and meetings
Town offices and staffing
Town offices are closed to the public through April 30. Town employees are telecommuting when possible. Customers can receive assistance by phone and email. See the Contact Us page of the town’s website.
All Hillsborough Board of Commissioners and advisory board meetings are canceled through April 3, 2020.
The State of the Town Address on March 23 was a virtual event. See the summary news release or a video of the address below.
Orange Rural Fire Department
Orange Rural Fire Department's station and trucks are currently not open for tours. Limiting public access helps avoid potential cross contamination of the virus in case firefighters have been exposed during a call or in case visitors are carrying the virus. Firefighters are less likely to don personal protective equipment at the station.
If you need assistance and are by the station, you can ring the bell at the side door by the parking lot. However, everyone should call 911 for emergencies.
The town contracts for fire service through Orange Rural Fire Department. For more information, see the Fire Department website.
Garbage and yard waste
Weekly garbage and yard waste collections have not changed.
For the monthly bulk items collection, please place only large items out for collection to prevent the need for Public Works staff to handle items by hand. Collection of bulk items takes place the second full week (starting on Sunday) of each month. See the Garbage Collection page.
Orange County handles recycling services. See the county website for any changes in service.
Water and sewer billing
Water and sewer customers are urged to pay their bills via credit or debit card online or by telephone. The Billing and Collections Office currently is closed to the public through April 30.
- Pay online: www.municipalonlinepayments.com/hillsboroughnc.
- Pay by phone: 833-262-5902 toll-free 24 hours a day.
Disconnections and penalties
- Water and sewer customers will not have their utility services disconnected for nonpayment for at least 60 days.
- The town will not impose new penalties for late payments or collect on penalties that were imposed on accounts as of March 31 for at least 60 days. This policy only applies to late payment fees and penalties, not fees imposed for other reasons.
- Customers can request a payment plan of up to 12 months by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 919-296-9450.
The process for establishing new service during the outbreak is temporarily changed to remove the requirement to visit the office. To set up a new account: Call 919-296-9450. The required deposit for new service will be added to your first bill.
Recreation and special events
The Orange County Stay at Home Order allows for the community to get outside for walks, runs, bike rides and other recreation in public spaces, but community members must maintain a distance of 6 to 8 feet from others to avoid spreading the virus. See the infographic below on social distancing.
- Gates and restrooms at town parks and the dog park at Gold Park have been locked to deter gatherings during the outbreak.
- Town greenways and open spaces remain available for public use. This includes trails and fields in town parks. Organized games that bring people into distances that are too close should not take place.
- Playground equipment at town parks are closed for use because they are not sanitized and their use brings people into distances that are too close.
- Swings have been removed from Cates Creek, Gold and Murray Street parks.
No public recreation spaces will be available for rental use by groups or individuals.
The approval process for special event permits will be delayed through April 30 at least.
Orange County census launch parties have been canceled, and the opening of Be Counted sites has been delayed. The Hillsborough Town Hall Annex is among sites that were expected to offer access to public computers for census responses.
Do your duty still
Every person counted brings to our community more than $1,800 in state and federal funding. Congressional representation also is based on the population count. North Carolina is projected to gain one seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Your household can respond now through these two options:
- 2020 census response website: https://my2020census.gov
- Toll-free phone number: 1-844-330-2020 for responses in English; 844-468-2020 for responses in Spanish.
See the town’s Census webpage, which includes information on how to be counted and the safety of responses.