Board of Commissioners Meeting Summary
The Hillsborough Board of Commissioners met Monday, Oct. 12. Following is a brief summary of noteworthy actions. It does not include all actions taken at the meeting and should not be viewed as official minutes. The meeting took place virtually with online conferencing software and is available for view on the town’s YouTube channel.
The board made the following appointments:
- Greg Yavelak — appointed to the Tree Board for a first term, expiring Oct. 30, 2023. Yavelak previously served two terms as a voting member of the board. He has been serving as an ex-officio member.
- Barry Hupp — reappointed to the Tourism Board for a second term, expiring Oct. 22, 2022.
The board approved the town’s participation in the development of a countywide racial equity plan with Orange County and the towns of Carrboro and Chapel Hill. Strategies of the Government Alliance on Race and Equity will be used to develop the plan. The towns and county are members of the alliance, which is a national network of government agencies working to advance racial equity.
The countywide plan is expected to serve as the framework for developing jurisdiction-specific strategies in each of the towns. Community participation will be sought throughout the process, and five committees will be formed to work on a racial equity tool and index, community engagement, training, and evaluation and accountability.
Commercial waste collection
The board discussed and tabled a request from Waste Industries for a 2.9% increase in rates for commercial solid waste services in Hillsborough. Staff will work with the company, which does business as GFL Environmental, for potential contract changes in how customer rates are adjusted.
The current agreement allows annual rate adjustments based on changes in the cost of operations as measured by the January Consumer Price Index. The index has declined severely since March, when the COVID-19 pandemic started. Proposed changes will be brought before the board in January.
The company provides solid waste services to businesses, churches, nonprofits and multi-family housing communities in town through a franchise agreement negotiated by the town and requested by the business community.
Special event permits
The board directed staff to reinstate the permit process for special events, subject to restrictions for COVID-19. The special event permit process was temporarily stopped in April due to the pandemic. The state is now in Phase 3 of its reopening plan following a stay-at-home order in the spring, and outdoor gatherings of up to 50 people are now allowed.
To be permitted, events would need to comply with the governor’s emergency executive orders and meet current guidance and best practices for COVID-19. Town staff will work with event organizers to modify plans for requested events that do not adhere to state and local guidelines, including provisions for physical distancing, mask wearing, and limits on the number of people gathered.
Work session topics
The board discussed possible topics for its Oct. 26 work session, including continuing a discussion on the town’s noise ordinance and receiving updates on economic development, a staffing shortage in the Police Department, and progress made on the June 8 resolution denouncing the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. Materials related to an application to the U.S. Housing and Urban Development’s Community Block Grant Programs also may be brought before the board.