City Manager's Report - Thomas J. Bonfield - Durham City Manager - Volume 10, No. 19 - May 19, 2017

Durham’s Proposed Budget Prioritizes Affordable Housing, Public Safety & Youth

Citing the critical need to address Durham’s growing priorities, including affordable housing and public safety, as well as to proactively engage youth, City Manager Tom Bonfield proposed a 1.79-cent tax rate increase at Monday's City Council meeting, bringing the new proposed tax rate to 57.86 cents per $100 of assessed value. “We’ve heard very clearly from residents and the City Council that we need to be doing more to provide affordable housing in our community,” Bonfield said, “The bulk of this tax rate increase is to address affordable housing, which was stressed as an urgent need from Durham residents at public meetings, including the Coffees with Council over the past few months.” The proposed tax rate generates a tax bill of $1,041 on a house valued at $180,000, the median house value for the City of Durham according to the Durham County Office of Tax Administration. This will result in the average homeowner paying $32 more than last year, or approximately $3 more per month. More

Durham Mayors Nicholas Tennyson, William Bell, Robert Grabarek, Sylvia Kerckhoff and Wib Gulley

Durham Mayors Honor Robert "Wense" Grabarek On His 98th Birthday
Thanks to City Council member Eddie Davis, Durham's living former mayors were on hand Monday night to celebrate a proclamation naming Sunday, his 98th birthday, as Robert Wensell "Wense" Grabarek Day. Grabarek served as Durham's mayor from 1963 to 1971. He took office at a time of great racial turnoil in the city and was a true leader in negotiations that led Durham hotel and motel operators and many food service operators to a decision that they would serve their customers regardless of race. Businesses also agreed to employ Durham residents without regard to race. Joining Grabarek at Monday's City Council meeting were, from the left, former Mayors Nicholas Tennyson, current Mayor William V. "Bill" Bell, Grabarek, Sylvia Kerckhoff, and Wib Gulley.

Most City of Durham Offices Closed for Memorial Day

Most City of Durham offices, including City Hall and other non-emergency City operations, will be closed Monday, May 29 in observance of Memorial Day. Police, fire, and rescue services for life-threatening or in-progress emergencies may be reached by calling 9-1-1. Non-emergency problems or concerns may be directed to 919-560-4600. The Solid Waste Management Department will be closed on May 29. Collection for all services, including solid waste, recycling, yard waste and bulky items, will be delayed by one business day for the entire week. Collections for yard waste and bulky items on June 2 will occur on June 5. The Waste Disposal and Recycling Center, Yard Waste Facility, and the Household Hazardous Waste Center will be closed on May 29. For information on all closings and delays, visit the website.

Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival Set For Tomorrow

The 48th Annual Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival is set for tomorrow from noon to 8 p.m. at Rock Quarry Park, 701 Stadium Drive. The national award winning festival has been a tradition in Durham for 47 years. This family oriented event is a celebration of African and African American history, culture, arts, and traditions. Visit the Bimbé History page for information on how the festival has evolved throughout the years. More

Walltown Park Enhancement Project Wins $20,000 ‘Meet Me at the Park’ Grant for Local Park Improvement Project

Walltown Park Enhancement Project has been selected as a winner of the national Meet Me at the Park campaign and will receive a $20,000 grant from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and The Walt Disney Company, including Disney Citizenship, Disney’s locally owned station ABC11 WTVD and ESPN. Community members voted for the winning project throughout Earth Month in April.  More

Durham Seeks Input on Affordable Housing Density Bonus

Residents interested in Durham’s affordable housing density bonus program are invited to attend one of two upcoming public meetings to give their input. The Durham City-County Planning Department is seeking feedback on their proposed regulatory changes, which are intended to increase the likelihood of private developers building affordable housing units in targeted areas. Residents are invited to review the updated regulations, provide comments, and voice ideas and concerns at a public meetings on June 6. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at Durham City Hall, 101 City Hall Plaza. A presentation will begin at 7:15 p.m., followed by an open house. More

Water Management to Host Q&A for Central Park Project

In an effort to provide information and answer questions about ongoing waterline improvements in the Durham Central Park vicinity, the City’s Department of Water Management is hosting a public informational session on Thursday, May 25 at the Durham Armory at 220 Foster Street. Area residents are encouraged to stop by between 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to learn more about upcoming work, and meet employees from Water Management and other City departments, as well as representatives from J.F. Wilkerson Contracting, the construction company performing the work. More 

A Milestone Worth Marking for GoDurham Bus Operators

Honk if you love the fact that GoDurham bus operators are not only friendly and professional, but are also some of the safest drivers around. Over 90 days and across nearly 800,000 miles, the agency’s 112 drivers had no preventable accidents. It’s a milestone Matthew Wrenn, GoDurham’s safety manager, hasn’t seen in his eight years on the job.  More 

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Bull City Wrap
Bull City Wrap features the latest information to keep residents informed about what's going on inside Durham's City Hall each Monday. It airs daily on
Durham Television Network and YoutubeWatch the show.

Bull City Today

Bull City Today is a daily video news show tailored for social media users and mobile devices. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to get City news every day.

With thousands of people moving into our area each year and our roadways clogged with traffic more than ever, many of us are looking for other ways to get around Durham and the Triangle. In this new episode,
CityLife Host Beverly B. Thompson sits down with GoTriangle’s Mike Charbonneau and GoDurham’s Angel Gentry to talk about why transit is such a hot topic right now and all of the ways our transit leaders are working to address this issue. Watch the show.
Barbara Hayes honored
Barbara Hayes of Human Resources gets a hug from Mayor Pro Tem Cora Cole-McFadden as she is honored for 35 years of service.

Durham Honors Its Own

The City of Durham took time this week to thank City employees for their years of service in making the city a better place to live. The annual employee appreciation luncheon honors City retirees and those celebrating service milestones including Barbara Hayes, right, of Human Resources who was honored for 35 years of service. Thank you to all of those who were honored.

Registration Open for G.R.E.A.T. Summer Camp

Durham Police Department's G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education and Training) Unit is accepting applications for its 2017 summer camps for youth ages 9 to 13. G.R.E.A.T. Camps are provided free-of-charge and can accommodate up to 30 youth each session. Three week-long sessions are offered June 19-23, July 10-14, or Aug. 14-18.  More

America’s Night Out Against Crime Set For Aug. 1

Registration is underway for Durham’s observance of National Night Out (NNO), America’s Night Out Against Crime on Aug. 1. Neighborhoods, agencies and businesses are encouraged to support the celebration by organizing or sponsoring a NNO event or promotion. The evening of Aug. 1 residents are asked to lock their doors, turn on outside lights and spend the evening outside with neighbors and law enforcement and public safety partners. Neighborhoods typically host events such as block parties, cookouts, parades, flashlight walks, contests, youth activities and anti-crime campaigns.  More 

Durham Launches Architectural Inventory Update

 A lot has changed in the Bull City over the last 35 years, and the memories and stories of residents are needed now to help update Durham’s Architectural and Historic Inventory. The Durham City-County Planning Department and Preservation Durham are collaborating to update this inventory, which was last completed in 1982, to bring this work up-to-date with additional documentation about structures and neighborhoods. The original inventory took a comprehensive look at the history, architecture, and development patterns of Durham and noted more than 900 structures built prior to 1940 along with brief histories of approximately 30 Durham neighborhoods and their patterns of development.  More 

Road Closed signs - Click for a list of next week's road closures

Parks and Recreation Notes

Durham Honored as 2017 Playful City USA Community

National non-profit KaBOOM! is recognizing the City of Durham as a 2017 Playful City USA designation for the ninth year in a row.  Playful City USA honors cities and towns across the country for putting the needs of families first so that kids can learn, grow and develop important life skills. These communities are transforming ordinary places into playful spaces and using play as a solution to the challenges facing their residents.  More 
Every Drop Counts - A weekly snapshot of Durham's water supply status 5/17/17 - Days of Supply: 244 - Reservoir Status: 100% - Year round outdoor efficiency requirements are in effect.

Conservation At Work and Home

East Main Street Waterline Replacement Project Update

As minor touch-up and restorative work is finalized in the Downtown Loop, further improvements to the City’s waterline infrastructure will continue along the East Main Street corridor. No work is planned for this weekend. Next week, waterline installation and testing continues on East Main Street between South Elizabeth, Commerce and Fayetteville streets, including near the Fayetteville Street and East Main Street intersection. Lane shifts and closures will be required near the Fayetteville Street and East Main Street intersection.  Flaggers will be used to maintain traffic flow through the intersection. Pedestrian and driveway access to buildings and facilities will be maintained at all times. Final waterline connections at Commerce and East Main streets and Dillard and East Main streets will continue. Lane shifts and closures will be required to make connections. Pedestrian and driveway access to buildings / facilities will be maintained at all times. Additional information regarding this project can be found on the website.

Stay Informed with the City's Durham Information Network

Durham Information Network represents the communications umbrella for information about the City, and its events and activities. Included under this umbrella are all of the primary platforms used by the City to provide information and engage residents. Visit the Durham Information Network web page for quick access to all of our communication tools including existing social media platforms, Durham Television Network programming, the City Manager’s Report, and the Citizens’ Newsletter.

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Durham One Call provides a high level of service in English and Spanish for inquiries and requests for service via telephone at 919-560-1200 and in person at the City Hall lobby desk.  Durham One Call is also available 24 hours a day 7 days a week via the City’s website. Durham One Call is committed to providing an exceptional customer experience on behalf of the City.

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