Hillsborough Declares State of Emergency to Prioritize Customer and Employee Safety
Updated at 5:26 p.m. March 18, 2020: This version includes an updated proclamation in the related documents section.
The Town of Hillsborough has declared a state of emergency and is taking a number of actions to slow the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, including closing offices to the public through April 3.
Services that create or encourage public gatherings are being suspended. Staff are implementing work plans to maintain town operations while reducing personal interactions.
“Residents and businesses can expect essential town services ― such as solid waste collection, water and sewer operations, and police protection to continue as normal,” Hillsborough Mayor Jenn Weaver said. “The emergency proclamation allows us to continue to serve the community, protect our employees, and do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We appreciate the Hillsborough community’s understanding of these measures.”
Under the proclamation that was issued today, the town will implement recommendations for social distancing to safeguard the health of our communities through these actions:
All Hillsborough Board of Commissioners and advisory board meetings are canceled through April 3, 2020.
The State of the Town Address on March 23 has been changed to a virtual event. The community is invited to submit questions via Engage Hillsborough through 5 p.m. March 18 for the mayor to possibly answer in the address. See the news release.
Town employees will be encouraged to telecommute when possible and to reduce congregating in large groups.
Town offices will be closed to the public beginning Monday, March 16, but customers still can receive assistance by phone and email. Contact information is available on the Contact Us page of the town’s website.
Water and sewer billing
Water and sewer customers are urged to pay their bills via credit or debit card online or by telephone. Other forms of payment — mail, in person or through the Town Hall Annex drop box — risk prolonging the spread of the virus. Bank bill pay services often mail paper checks.
- Visit the online customer portal at www.municipalonlinepayments.com/hillsboroughnc.
- Call 833-262-5902 toll-free 24 hours a day.
Water disconnections for nonpayment of bills are temporarily suspended during the outbreak, until the state of emergency is lifted or the Board of Commissioners takes action to end the grace period. This suspension does not reduce the amount owed, and customers are cautioned against allowing themselves to get behind in their payments unnecessarily.
Recreation and special events
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 3 at least.
Town parks and greenways will remain open for public use. Please be aware that the town does not clean or sanitize play equipment. Restrooms at town parks are regularly cleaned semi-weekly. Please use proper handwashing techniques and wash hands with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds. If water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
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 planned to offer access to public computers for census responses. Census invitations have started arriving in the mail. Every person counted brings to our community more than $1,800 in state and federal funding. Your household can respond now through these two options:
- 2020 census response website: https://my2020census.gov
- Toll-free phone number: 1-844-330-2020.
See the town’s Census webpage, which includes information on how to be counted and the safety of responses.
The community is urged to practice social distancing, proper hand hygiene and other recommendations of local, state and national health officials. See the town’s Coronavirus webpage for links to websites of these agencies, resource materials, key reminders and news releases that the town has shared.
To stay informed of town service changes:
- Subscribe to town news releases: www.hillsboroughnc.gov/news/subscriptions/subscribe
- Visit the town’s website: www.hillsboroughnc.gov
- Follow the town on Twitter: @HillsboroughGov
- Follow the town on Facebook: @HillsboroughGov
To stay alert to town and countywide emergency information:
Subscribe to OC Alerts, a public alert and warning system utilized by the governments in Orange County and Orange Water and Sewer Authority. When selecting notification preferences through OC Alerts, Hillsborough water customers should sign up to receive notifications from the Town of Hillsborough. Note that OWASA provides water service to the Carrboro and Chapel Hill community.