A change of venue for council meetings

Sep. 05, 2013 @ 12:10 PM

After a sleepy, wet summer, the Town Council will resume meeting Monday, but not at Town Hall.
The first floor of the building suffered heavy damage during flooding in June, and the council will hold its meetings at Orange County’s Southern Human Services Center at 2501 Homestead Road.
The meeting will begin at 7 p.m.
Repairs at Town Hall could take up to 12 months and are projected to cost more than $679,500.
The town’s insurance carrier will kick in about $267,000 for the work, bringing the town’s share down to $412,484. 
One of the council’s agenda items is the financial impact flooding has had on the town’s budget.
Another major impact is $445,462 in repair work at the town’s Airport Gardens public housing community, which suffered heavy flooding in 18 of its 26 apartments.
The town’s share of the repair work will fall to $236,495 after its insurance provider pays its part, $208,967. 
Council members and visitors will notice that the council meeting will run a little differently in the Southern Human Services Center, which is the permanent meeting place for the Orange County Board of Commissioners. 
For one thing, Town Manager Roger Stancil is asking that the council adjourn promptly at 11:15 p.m.
“We must be out of the building by 12 midnight, including the time it takes to clean and straighten everything for the county’s use the next day,” Stancil wrote in an email to council last month. “I recommend a hard stop for your meetings by 11:15 [p.m.].” 
A “hard stop” at 11:15 p.m., might prove difficult for a council, whose citizens appear to enjoy meeting late into the night.
But Stancil said he believes it’s doable because of “time management changes” the council made in the spring.
Also, because of the repair work at Town Hall, the town will have to broadcast council meetings on Orange County’s government access Channel 180 and 119.6 Live and replay it on the town’s government Channel 18.  
The flooding, which displaced more than 150 families, ruined carpeting, furniture and the bottom two feet of drywall throughout the first floor of Town Hall.
Also, at least 18 employees have been displaced, many of them from the town’s Business Management office.
Revenue Collection services will temporarily move to University Square at 143 W. Franklin St., while repairs are underway.
The payment center, expected to open on Monday, Sept. 23, is between Time-Out and Optometric Eye Care.
People wishing to make public housing rental or tax payments in person should go to that location.
Payments by mail should be made to: The Town of Chapel Hill, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill, NC 27514, or via the outside drop box at Town Hall.
The town is exploring options for business, inspections and building permit payments.