Board of Commissioners Meeting Summary
The Hillsborough Board of Commissioners met Monday, June 28. 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 adopted the town’s budget for Fiscal Year 2021-22 with a property tax rate that is reduced from 62 to 58.7 cents per $100 of assessed value. The adopted rate is 2 cents above the rate at which the town would have generated about the same revenue as it did prior to the recent countywide property valuation.
The adopted budget also reduces the monthly minimum usage that water and sewer customers are charged by 125 gallons and increases water and sewer rates by 4.5 and 2% respectively. No change was made to stormwater fees.
More information will be available in a news release on the budget, in water and sewer bills received in August, and in videos on the budget and water and sewer rates. The new fiscal year starts July 1 and runs through June 30, 2022.
The board adopted a resolution appointing Tiffany Long as finance officer for the town. Long, who previously worked for the town in the mid-2000s, started work Monday as the finance director. See the news release.
The board also adopted a resolution to accept its allocation of American Rescue Plan Act funds. The town should receive its first payment of about $1 million soon. The second payment of $1 million is expected in May 2022. The board will discuss in August how to use the funds.
Transfer of land ownership
The board approved a revised contract for the transfer of land ownership between the town and Orange Rural Fire Department. The town will exchange 2 undeveloped acres it owns in the Waterstone development in southern Hillsborough, 350 College Park Road, for a parcel of land adjacent to the Fire Department’s downtown fire station. The closing is expected to occur June 30.
The Fire Department uses the land at 210 and 214 S. Churton St. as a parking lot. The town owns the fire station and the land on which it stands, 206 S. Churton St. Under the agreement, the town also will pay the Fire Department $210,000 for the parking lot property, which is appraised at $410,000. The Waterstone property is appraised at $200,000. The Fire Department will continue to lease the downtown building and property for use as its base station. It plans to build a fire and emergency management services station in Waterstone. The town had earmarked use of the Waterstone property for a public safety facility.
Long-term recovery plan
The board received the final draft version of the Long-Term Recovery and Transformation Plan to assist with countywide recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. A detailed implementation plan has not been developed; continued work is expected to occur in the summer, with a report to the county and municipal boards anticipated in the fall. The plan is expected to serve as a guide for identifying needs and solutions where the use of American Rescue Plan resources and other funding will have a significant impact. Orange County and the towns of Carrboro, Chapel Hill and Hillsborough used CARES funds to pay for development of the plan. The final draft is available on the resources page of the Long-Term Recovery Planning website at www.orangencforward.org.
Racial equity plan
The board received an update and a first draft of a countywide racial equity plan. Additional community engagement will be conducted over the summer for feedback on the plan. A public hearing on the final draft plan is expected in the fall. The plan is intended to serve as a framework for racial equity plans specific to each jurisdiction and is based on methodology from the Government Alliance on Race and Equity. Once a framework has been approved, staff from the county and municipalities will develop a training strategy. The town will increase its project team to include employees from each division and more diversity, and the team will attend GARE training later this year to prepare for work on developing a plan for Hillsborough.