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

January 24, 2020 | Volume 13, No. 4

Note from Tom

McDougald Terrace Displaced Residents Remain Our Highest Priority

For the last three weeks, the displaced residents of McDougald Terrace have faced incredibly difficult circumstances – living away from their homes in hotels rooms with limited food options and cramped conditions. While the situation has been well documented in the news and social media, and our community has shown its sympathy and support, it’s doubtful that most people truly have any idea what they are going through. 

Over the past weeks, the City and County administrations and staff have made helping these residents and the Durham Housing Authority (DHA) our highest daily priority. In yesterday’s work session, Mayor Schewel made this a standing item on future City Council meeting agendas so that it will remain a priority as long as necessary to correct the situation. While it has not been declared a disaster, the City-County Emergency Management Department is facilitating many aspects of this situation using the same protocols of a declared emergency related to response, supplies, and supportive services. 

The City-County Inspections Department is working closely with DHA and its contractors to determine the extent of life safety issues and appropriate remediation. The City Council has been clear in its resolve to financially support solutions once they can be identified. Every day, the City and County administrations participate in a conference call with DHA to discuss conditions and solutions. I am extremely appreciative at how attentive and responsive our City and County staff have been during this incredibly difficult situation.

There is much work ahead, and we will continue to stand with the residents of McDougald Terrace, our partners, and community until we can return everyone back home to a safe and healthy environment.

City of Durham News

City of Durham Announces New General Services Director

City Manager Tom Bonfield has named Jina Bowman Propst as the new director of the City of Durham General Services Department. Propst brings knowledge and experience gained from increasing leadership positions with the City since she joined the organization in 2005. She will lead 124 employees and manage a more than $14 million annual budget. Learn more about Propst.

Resident Input Needed for Fair Housing Choice Needs Assessment

The City is working to identify community development priorities, fair and affordable housing needs, and factors that shape equal access to housing for incorporation into the City's 5-Year Consolidated Plan, Annual Action Plan, and Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice. Attend a meeting to discuss these issues on Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 6 p.m. at City Hall, or take the online survey.

Police Department Helps Seniors Avoid Scams at Scam Jam Event

On Wednesday, Jan. 22, the police department held a seminar to educate seniors about the dangers of cell phone scams and how to avoid becoming a victim. In 2019, the department investigated more than 1,700 cases of fraud.

Deadline Approaching for Neighborhood 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.

City of Durham Digest: January 2020 - image of recycled materials, Christmas tree ornament, and hand weights

In the latest Durham Digest, our quarterly newsletter, find out if you are recycling right, learn how to dispose of your live Christmas tree, discover ways to get fit in 2020 with Durham Parks and Recreation, and more. View in English or Spanish.

Photo Highlight

Collage of volunteers working to pick up litter and plant trees at Eastway Elementary, Emily K. Center, and Duke campus.

2020 MLK Day of Service with Keep Durham Beautiful

On Monday, January 20, volunteers and partners came out to help clean and beautify the community as part of Keep Durham Beautiful's MLK Day of Service. Thank you to everyone who gave their time to make a big impact.

Total Impact:

881+ Volunteer Hours Served

76 Trees Planted

9,902+ Pound of Litter Removed

Upcoming Events

Small Scale Development Lecture

Thursday, January 30, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Temple Building, 302 W. Main St.
Join the City's Office of Economic and Workforce Development for a lecture on the small-scale development movement. Learn how you can become a small real estate developer in your neighborhood, or advocate for better buildings in your community. Please RSVP to secure a spot at the lecture. Event details.

Reach New Heights at DPR's High Ropes Discovery Day

Saturday, February 22, sessions held between 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Bethesda Park, 1814 Stage Rd.
Explore Durham Parks and Recreation's high ropes course and navigate a variety of obstacles, some reaching 55 feet in the air! The event is open to anyone ages seven and up (children ages 7-9 must be accompanied by a participating adult). The cost is $8 for city residents and $13 for non-residents. Only a few spots remain. Event details.

Durham Water Works for You

Drought Status as of January 24: Normal

Durham is not currently under a drought condition, but as always, please be responsible with your water usage. Visit our website to find data on the current water supply status including current lake levels.

Water Tip of the Week: In winter your body still needs plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and keep your immune system humming. Carry a reusable water bottle to refill with delicious Durham tap water. To stay warm, try green tea or water with lemon and honey. Prefer to eat your water? Broccoli, strawberries, and celery contain a lot of it and help you meet your daily intake goals. Find more water saving tips at

Census 2020 Countdown: 67 Days Until Census Day

During Census 2020, the Census Bureau will count every person living in the U.S., and this information will help make sure our community gets: fair representation in Congress; financial resources for health, schools, transportation, and more; and, information to help leaders plan for our community's future. Visit the Durham County website to learn more and make sure you are counted!

Census Facts: 2020 Census data will inform how billions of dollars are distributed to states and communities every year for the next 10 years.

Stay Connected with 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.

Now Showing on Durham Television Network

Get a recap of this week's news in three minutes with the latest episode of Bull City Wrap.

In this week's episode: Public art opportunity at Willard Street Apartments; New recommendations for handling unpaved roads; City-County MLK Employee Observance Program; Durham Rollout app for solid waste customers; and, Progress on Willard Street Apartments.

Follow us on YouTube to find all of our programs.

Host Amy Blalock discussed updates on the Willard Street Apartments project

Social Spotlight

A new augmented reality app commissioned by Google Fiber and developed by Code the Dream turns the North Carolina Art Museum's Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera-inspired murals at the Durham Convention Center into an interactive experience! The app, called Mariposa AR, is now available to download.

Follow @CityofDurhamNC on social:
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Nextdoor | Flickr | Spreaker | iTunes | Stitcher

Tweet shows collage of images of people viewing the murals and using the new app.

Durham One Call is Here to Help

Durham One Call logo image

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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