News Briefs

Posted 1/21/21

County to designate February as ‘We Love Seniors’ month

The Chatham County Board of Commissioners was set to designate February as “We Love Seniors” month in Chatham County …

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County to designate February as ‘We Love Seniors’ month

The Chatham County Board of Commissioners was set to designate February as “We Love Seniors” month in Chatham County and consider a rezoning request at its regular meeting on Tuesday night, which was moved to accommodate the Martin Luther King Jr. Day federal holiday.

The meeting began before press time this week.

A legislative rezoning request was to be made by 919 Storage LLC on Parcel No. 3080, located at 72 Marvin Edwards Lane, for self storage mini warehouse facility, William’s Township. The board was also set to hear COVID-19 county and state trends and updates as of Jan. 14, including updates on internal and external relief funding and the Chatham Food Hub and Chatham Resource Hub.

Siler City Commissioners consider UDO amendments

The Siler City Board of Commissioners was set to hold a public hearing for several proposed text amendments to the town’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) in keeping with new N.C. general statues. The board was also scheduled to consider a rezoning request at Tuesday’s regular meeting, which was moved to accommodate the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday.

County sets new location for residents to pay tax and water bills

Chatham County residents have convenient new options to pay their tax and water bills.

Starting Jan. 19, Chatham County began accepting property tax payments, water connection applications and water payments at a new location, 192 West St., Pittsboro.

The West Street location (formerly SunTrust Bank) offers the public access to a night deposit box and drive-thru payment service. Drive-thru hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Vehicles should access the drive-thru from Rectory Street.

Property Tax Collections is moving to this new location from 12 East St. Property tax payments will no longer be accepted at the East Street location, but property tax listing and appraisal will remain at 12 East St. Additionally, water utility is moving from 964 East St. to the new 192 West St. location.

To protect the health and safety of staff and residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person payments and water utility applications will be made by appointment only. Residents may call 919-542-8260 for tax collections and 919-542-8270 for water utility billing inquiries.

Chatham Conservation Partnership winter meeting set for Jan. 21

The Chatham Conservation Partnership (CCP) winter meeting will again be virtual, set for 9 to 11:15 a.m. on Thursday.

The meeting focus is water resource planning.

An update of the Cape Fear basinwide plan is coming out in 2021. Nora Deamer of the NCDEQ Basin Planning Branch will share updates in the plan for the Haw, Rocky, and Deep rivers, addressing questions that include: How are basinwide plans used to protect our rivers? Can we provide input into the basinwide plans?

The Jordan Lake Rules impact water users, drinkers, and community members throughout the watershed.

Friends of the Lower Haw will share their efforts to bring the Haw River Trail to Chatham County in hopes that recreation can be the key to watershed conservation.

The meeting will take place via Zoom, and pre-registration is required. CCP meetings are free and open to the public.

To register, or for more information, go to chathamconservation.org.

Edward Jones will serve as a drop-off location for CORA Food Pantry

Edward Jones is partnering with the CORA Food Pantry to help collect donations of canned food items. If you would like to help remember those in need, please donate canned perishable items to any Edward Jones office in Chatham County now through Feb. 15.

To help safeguard everyone’s health, the donation box will be located outside the front of our office. We will check it regularly and move donations inside.

Please contact our office at 919-545-0125 for additional information and a complete list of the items needed.

County Boards of Elections begin regular voter list maintenance processes

In 2021, county boards of elections across North Carolina will conduct several important and required processes designed to keep the state’s voter rolls accurate and up to date.

These routine processes are required by state and federal laws. Accurate voter rolls are maintained by removing voters who have moved or died or are otherwise ineligible to vote in that jurisdiction.

Voter roll list maintenance is important because it ensures ineligible voters are not included on poll books, reduces the possibility for poll worker error and decreases opportunities for fraud.

As a result of these processes, the number of North Carolina voter registrations will decrease in the coming months. As of January 9, nearly 7.2 million voters were registered in the state.

“The removal of voters who have moved and are no longer eligible to vote in that jurisdiction is a routine and important aspect of elections administration,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections (NCSBE). “Before any voter’s registration is canceled, the county boards of elections attempt to contact the voter to allow them to confirm or update their registration.”

NCSBE will also remove inactive voters, deceased voters and confirm change of address data.

To learn more about registering to vote in North Carolina, visit: https://www.ncsbe.gov/registering.

American Pickers coming to N.C.

American Pickers, a reality antiquing show hosted by Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz on the History Channel, is coming back to North Carolina in March and looking for leads throughout the state, specifically interesting characters with interesting items — and lots of them.

The show’s hosts are looking for different, unusual and unique items, too — something they’ve never seen before and with an interesting story.

If you think your antique collection meets the above requirements, reach out to American Pickers via phone at 1-855-OLD-RUST (653-7878), by email at AmericanPickers@cineflix.com or on Facebook @GOTAPICK.

Please note that Mike and Frank only visit private collections, so no stores, malls, flea markets, museums, auctions, businesses or anything open to the public qualify for consideration.

School board seeking public input on superintendent search

PITTSBORO — The Chatham County Board of Education has launched a survey seeking input on the characteristics, experience and skills desired in the district’s next superintendent. Board members want to hear from students, parents and community members. The survey is available in English and Spanish.

Survey responses are due by Feb. 19. The North Carolina School Boards Association (NCSBA) will compile and present the results March 8 during the 5:30 p.m. Board of Education meeting. The NCSBA is helping to facilitate the Board of Education’s superintendent search process.

Chatham County Schools employees will receive a separate survey.

Local groups and organizations may submit written statements regarding the leadership qualities they would like to see in the next superintendent. Those statements should be mailed to: NCSBA, Attn: CCS Superintendent Search, 7208 Falls of Neuse Road, Suite 301, Raleigh, NC 27615; or emailed to jorourke@ncsba.org. The deadline to submit statements is Feb. 19.

The Board of Education invites community members and staff to participate in sessions for public comment during its 5:30 p.m. meetings on Feb. 8 and March 8. More information about the location of those sessions will be available on the Board of Education’s webpage. All individuals and groups must sign up to speak before the meeting begins and must otherwise comply with applicable board policy.

RAFI-USA announces several rounds of farmer grants

PITTSBORO — Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA (RAFI-USA) is pleased to announce the second round of grants from its Farmers of Color Network Infrastructure Fund.

The program provides grants of up to $10,000 to farmers for projects to increase farm viability, support farmers’ local food economies, and preserve traditional farming practices. This project is funded in part by a three-year grant of $675,000 to support the Farmers of Color Network from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, as well as funding from The Fund to Build Grassroots Power at Windward Fund, the Seeds, Soul and Culture Fund/New Field Foundation, and a grant from an anonymous donor-advised fund at The Chicago Community Foundation

“We are pleased that we are able to expand the states we will serve in 2021, thanks to an incredibly generous and growing group of funders,” said Edna Rodriguez, RAFI-USA executive director. “Farmers of color make up just 4% of all farmers; the Farmers of Color Network seeks to grow that number by investing in the creativity and innovation of traditionally underserved farmer communities.”

Interested farmers of color must apply using an online application. The deadline for applying is 6 p.m. on Feb. 12 and awardees will be announced in late-March.

RAFI-USA is also expading its Come to the Table program (CTTT) offering technical assistance grants to support up to 30 rural United Methodist churches throughout North Carolina. CTTT will fund churches that are engaging in emergency hunger relief efforts during the COVID-19 crisis with mini-grants of up to $1,000. These grants are funded by support from The Duke Endowment.

“Because of the loss of income from our social enterprise, we’ve really been leaning on the support of our partners, such as RAFI-USA,” said Rev. Tom Owens of Long’s Chapel UMC, a 2020 CTTT mini-grant recipient. “These grants have helped to offset the lost revenue from our thrift store and enabled us to continue providing fresh, nutritious produce. It has been such a blessing to see the way organizations and faith communities have stepped up during this pandemic. This really is Kingdom work, and together we’re making the world a better place.”

To be eligible to apply for these funds, churches must be rural, located in North Carolina, and eligible to receive funds from The Duke Endowment. Churches must use these funds to purchase food from local farmers, local restaurants, or local food businesses to distribute to food insecure community members.

The grant application deadline is Feb. 15, and applicants will be notified of funding decisions by March 15. Visit http://bit.ly/cttt2021minigrants for more information and to apply.

— CN + R staff reports

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