City of Durham, City Manager's Report, Thomas J. Bonfield, Durham City Manager

December 13, 2019 | Volume 12, No. 43

Note from Tom


Reflections on 2019

As we get ready to ring in the new year, it’s a nice opportunity to reflect on the past twelve months and end on a positive note. Looking back, the City of Durham packed a lot into 2019, and that’s worth acknowledging. In the next two issues, we will highlight some of these accomplishments:

DEAR Program staff receives award; Durham 150 celebration balloons
  • In March, the Durham Expunction and Restoration (DEAR) Program launched to help eligible residents clear charges and convictions to restore their driving privileges. The program has received national recognition and interest from communities who want to launch similar efforts.
  • April 10, 2019 marked Durham’s 150th year of incorporation, and provided a great occasion to celebrate all year long. We hope you had an opportunity to participate in this special moment in our city’s history.
  • That same date in April marked another event in our city’s history – the downtown gas explosion on street. It’s hard to view this moment in a positive light, but it did highlight the strength of our community and the dedication of our first responders. After action reports were released to provide valuable insight for future incidents.
Engage Durham community meeting and scooter rentals at Durham Transportation Station
  • Several City and County departments launched the Engage Durham initiative to ensure all Durham voices are involved in City and County projects. Initial Listening and Learning sessions captured input about Durham’s future from close to 350 residents, and feedback is still being collected online and in the community.
  • This summer, the City issued permits to allow electric scooters within the city. Whether you love them or not, they provide an equitable and environment-friendly transportation option, especially for short trips.
  • In October, the EPA recognized Durham with a 2019 WaterSense Excellence Award, and in November, the City’s tap water was ranked best in the state for taste.
Basketball Court mural at Hillside Park; leaders pose at Willard Street groundbreaking
  • At the polls this November, Durham voters approved a $95 million affordable housing bond, the largest bond of its kind in our state’s history. Additional progress has been made to address affordable housing, including: breaking ground on the Willard Street apartment community, grant funds to help homeless residents; creation of an affordable housing loan fund; investment in a Reuse Arts District at the Lakewood Shopping Center; progress on senior housing at the JJ Henderson Tower; and many other projects in the pipeline.
  • Throughout the year, new public art installations and events took place throughout the city – a display of student art at the South Ellerbe Stormwater Restoration Project; refurbishment of the Hillside Park basketball courts; award-winning Corcoran Garage banner; installation of art at the new police headquarters; the unique Museum of the Moon exhibit; and additional art at many DPR parks.
Please note, some of the recurring sections of the City Manager's Report have been removed or condensed for this issue, but we will return to the regular format in January.

City of Durham News


Durham Seeks Neighborhoods Projects for Matching Grant Program

Durham residents seeking to make their neighborhoods a better place to live, work, play, and shop may now apply to receive up to $2,500 for their project through the City of Durham Neighborhood Matching Grants Program. Applications are due January 31.

Free Curbside and Drop-off Collection Sites of Live Christmas Trees

The City of Durham offers several free ways to dispose of your live Christmas tree during January through February 1, including curbside pick-up and various drop off locations. Find the details for the option that is most convenient for you.

Most City of Durham Offices Closed for Christmas & New Years

Most City offices, including City Hall and other non-emergency operations, will close Dec. 23-25 in observance of Christmas and Jan. 1 for New Year's Day. Please take note of changes in City services and programs, and find e-waste & tree disposal details

Holiday Safety Tips from the Durham Police Department

The Durham Police Department has simple safety tips for the holiday season. Watch these quick public service announcements for helpful reminders:

Upcoming Events



Holiday Parade Logo and images of a young girl sledding and dancers in the parade


City of Durham Holiday Parade and Fun Fest

Saturday, December 14; Parade starts at 10 a.m.; Fun Fest runs from 1-4 p.m.

Downtown Durham - Parade on Main Street, Fun Fest on Blackwell Street

Cheer on dynamic floats, hometown bands, drill teams, schools, and community groups as they make their way down Main Street, including an appearance from Santa. Then stick around for the Fun Fest for snow sledding, bounce houses, arts and crafts, visits with Santa, and much more. The events will take place rain or shine. Event details.

E-Waste Recycling, Paper Shredding & Live Tree Drop-Off Event

Saturday, January 18, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Durham County Memorial Stadium, 750 Stadium Dr.

The City’s Solid Waste Management Department is hosting a free event to collect old electronics (e-waste), papers for shredding, live trees, and old clothes and textiles. Staff will be on hand to assist with unloading these items. Event details.


Durham Information Network


Durham Information Network is the communications umbrella for information about the City, and its events and activities. Follow our channels to stay engaged and informed, including Durham Television Network, the City Manager’s Report and the Durham Digest.


Follow us @CityofDurhamNC on social:

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Now Showing on Durham Television Network

Social Spotlight

Watch Durham Police Chief C.J. Davis and Raleigh Chief Deck-Brown discuss gun violence and prevention in the community on WRAL's "On the Record" airing Saturday December 14, 2019 at 7p.m. Follow @DurhamPoliceNC and @CityofDurhamNC.


Watch Durham Police Chief C.J. Davis and Raleigh Chief Deck-Brown discuss gun violence and prevention in the community on WRAL's "On the Record" airing Saturday December 14, 2019 at 7p.m.

Durham One Call is Here to Help


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Durham One Call provides a high level of service in English and Spanish for inquiries and requests for service. Let us know how we can help you.

  • Call 919-560-1200
  • Use the One Call App 24/7
  • Visit the website
  • Stop by the City Hall lobby desk at 101 City Plaza Hall, M-F between 8-5

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