On September 18, 2012, we were asked by the County to consider several decisions related to reparations for the Rogers Road neighborhood, which bore the burden of the nearby landfill for many years.  A newly-formed Historic Rogers Road Neighborhood Task Force had been meeting for several months, and out of the group came several recommendations for the three jurisdictions (Chapel Hill, Orange County and Carrboro) involved in the legal entanglements of the Rogers Road community  to consider.  One was to discuss how much each jurisdiction might be willing to allocate toward a sewer infrastructure that would serve the historic Rogers Road properties.  Another was to consider allocating money to go toward construction of a community center for the neighborhood (a community center had been informally operating in the neighborhood, but had been forced to close due to several code violations).  The County had already signaled their intent to contribute financially to these two initiatives.

The Board members present (Dan Coleman was absent) were unanimous in agreeing that money should be allocated toward improvements in the neighborhood, although we discussed several logistical concerns about the proposals.  With regard to the sewer infrastructure, we wondered if future developers would really be the ones to ultimately benefit from the sewer extension, rather than current residents.  We also discussed concerns with the ongoing operating costs that would be associated with any community center that was built.  We further noted that there was a community center planned for a church property being developed on Rogers Road, and wondered whether it made sense to pursue a joint venture with the church.  We also were concerned about agreeing to allocate a percentage of money toward what was currently an unknown total cost.

Ultimately, the Board voted 6-0 “that the Town of Carrboro has the intention of contributing not more than $900,000 for the Town’s portion of the community center and cost of the sewer project.” We also directed the Town Manager to research funding sources, and investigate how the Town could recoup the sewer line investment costs from future developers.  We also expressed our appreciation to the County for their commitment to the project and requested that the Town of Chapel Hill consider their share of the contribution.