City Manager's Report - Thomas J. Bonfield - Durham City Manager - Volume 11, No. 26 - July 20, 2018
Tom Bonfield photo and signature

Durham Ranks No. 7 Among the Nation’s Best-Run Cities

Running a city is a shared responsibility – requiring employees dedicated to public service, an engaged and supportive City Council, and residents who are willing to participate at every level.  According to the finance website WalletHub, as reported by US News and World Report, Durham is among the best-run cities in the nation, ranking seventh among 150 other cities measured, including nearby Greensboro (12), and Raleigh (16). WalletHub’s goal was to measure the effectiveness of local leadership by determining how well city officials manage and spend public funds by comparing the quality of services residents receive against the city’s total budget. To do that, WalletHub developed a “Quality of Services” score made up of 35 metrics that were grouped into six service areas, including financial responsibility, safety, economy, infrastructure and pollution. They then measured those against each city’s per-capita budget. Without going into more detail, Durham’s overall high score reveals one of the reasons the city continues to be an attractive place for residents as well as business. Operating efficiently is especially important as Durham continues to grow with new residents and businesses calling Durham home. While we appreciate the kudos from WalletHub, you can rest assured that the City will continue to be as transparent as possible, reporting on our finances as well as our showing our commitment to providing outstanding services every day.   More 

Williams Water Treatment Plant

Williams WTP Back Online Following Apron Replacement

Following the successful completion of its terminal reservoir apron replacement project, the City's Department of Water Management’s Williams Water Treatment Plant on Hillandale Road is back online, and once again producing approximately nine million gallons a day of drinking water for the city and its more than 270,000 residents and visitors. In addition to the apron replacement project, a number of treatment processes, including the installation of a sophisticated SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system, were upgraded while the facility was offline.  More

DPAC building

DPAC Caps Another Successful Season

With a record-high 130 sellout performances, the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) completed its 2017-2018 season with nearly 490,000 visitors. In the 10th season of operations under Nederlander and PFM, the theater held 219 events with attendance totaling 488,900 guests. There were 130 sold out performances, the most ever for a season. DPAC also took part in a range of community outreach activities that raised more than $38,000 for local non-profit organizations.  More

Online Survey on Durham’s Dockless Bike Share Program Now Open

What do you think about Durham’s dockless bike share program? If you have feedback to share, an online survey is open to collect your recommendations on the City’s program. Dockless bike share companies have been in operation in Durham since November. More than 50,000 trips have been taken on the approximately 1,400 bikes in circulation. As an early adopter of this type of bike share program, the City has experienced the benefits as well as the challenges of this type of program. As part of the program evaluation, the City’s Transportation Department is asking residents to provide feedback through the online survey, which will be open until Aug. 5. More 

City Hosts Eno River Watershed Improvement Plan Meeting

Durham residents who want to learn about the efforts to improve the Eno River watershed are invited to a public information session later this month. Hosted by the Stormwater and GIS Services divisions of the Public Works Department, the session will be held July 31 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Durham County North Regional Library, 221 Milton Road. The purpose of the meeting is to present priority watershed improvement projects, recommended strategies to improve water quality, and summarize public input.  More

DHA Downtown and Neighborhood Planning Workshops Set

The Durham Housing Authority (DHA) recognizes the need to renovate and/or redevelop many of our communities. The authority wants to conduct this work in conjunction with what the City, County, private sector and community partners to determine what residents want to see in their communities. The following meetings have been set to gather input and share information on a comprehensive plan for DHA and City-owned properties. The meetings are set for July 23  at 5 p.m. at North Carolina Central University's Miller-Morgan Auditorium, 500 Nelson Street. A second workshop is set for July 24  at 5:30 p.m. at the J.J. Henderson Housing Center community room, 807 S. Duke Strreet.

Durham Seeks Input on Zoning Changes to Expand Housing Choices

Fast-paced population growth, limited availability of developable tracts, and a renewed preference for in-town living has led to a housing availability and affordability challenge for Durham. To address this issue, the Durham City-County Planning Department is seeking input on changes that are needed to Durham’s existing zoning rules to help eliminate regulatory barriers and expand housing options. The on-line survey is available until Aug. 15.  More

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It’s a summer of change for Durham’s Fire Department. The City and fire districts in the county are merging, and the City’s Chief of five years is retiring. In this new CityLife episode, Host Beverly B. Thompson sits down with Fire Chief Dan Curia to find out what’s in store for him next and what all these changes may mean for you..Watch the show.

Ever wondered what it takes to answer a 911 call? On our new Durham Works episode, comedian and resident Deb Aronin joins Charles Mills of the Durham Emergency Communications Center to learn what it takes to answer the 911 calls of residents and get them the emergency help they need. Watch the show.

Corcoran Street Garage

SmART Initiative Corcoran Garage Art Wrap Install is Underway!  

Installation began this week on the first major public art work of the Durham SmART Initiative - The Corcoran Garage Art Wrap, which creates a monumental signature gateway element for the Blackwell/Corcoran/Foster SmART Corridor. The art wrap is designed by nationally recognized public artist Olalekan (LEk) Jeyifous, who was selected from a competitive review of 107 artist applications from across the United States. Local vendors Steel City Services, LLC, and Mosca Design are key partners in fabrication and installation. The Durham SmART Initiative is part of the North Carolina Arts Council’s statewide SmART Initiative which supports the transformation of downtowns through arts driven economic development.  More 

Innovate Durham Seeks Entrepreneurs for 2018 Program

Local startups and entrepreneurs looking for a way to develop and test their products and services can soon apply for the 2018 Innovate Durham program. Now in its second year, the Innovate Durham program is partnering with Durham County Government for entrepreneurs to use both local governments as a laboratory to develop, test, and scale innovative ideas. The program will accept applications until July 23. More

Applicants Sought for 2018 Durham Neighborhood College

City and County employees work hard every day to provide quality services making Durham a great place to live, work, and play. Each organization has developed a strategic plan that provides a firm foundation for an excellent and sustainable quality of life. Residents looking to play a more active role in their neighborhoods and the Durham community will get their chance to learn more about the strategic plans in the 2018 Durham Neighborhood College, a class designed specifically for residents to learn about the organization, operations and services of their local City and County governments. After a two-year hiatus, the award-winning Durham Neighborhood College program will return this fall with an emphasis on showing participants how the strategic plans guide government officials in the development of sound planning and operations. The deadline to apply is Aug. 3   More

Parks and Recreation Notes

Parks and Rec Is Taking Play On The Road

Durham Parks and Recreation is taking play on the road with its Annual Fun Caravan, a mobile recreation program equipped with a host of fun activities for children ages 12 and under. The caravan engages participants in a series of fun, active and enlightening activities in Durham parks.  More 

Weather Info At Durham Lakes

Did you know the Durham Parks and Recreation lakes are now weather stations on Weather Underground? Before you head out for a day of fishing or boating, check the weather for Lake Michie and Little River.

Every Drop Counts - A weekly snapshot of Durham's water supply status 7/18/18 - Days of Supply: 202 - reservoir Status: 95.8% - year round outdoor efficiency requirements are in effect. For information: visit

Conservation at Work and Home

Central Park Waterline Replacement Project Update

The City appreciates your ongoing patience with the work along busy corridors associated with the Central Park Waterline Replacement Project. No work is planned for this weekend. Next week, Mangum Street will be reduced to one lane between Broadway and W. Morgan streets as water line installation continues. Traffic control signs and markings will be used for all traffic detours. No water or sewer service disruptions are anticipated. Corporation Street will be reduced to one lane as sanitary sewer line installation continues. No water or sewer service disruptions are anticipated. Periodic one-lane interruptions will occur on Foster Street between Corporation and W. Morgan streets as water services are connected to the new water line. Residents and business owners will be contacted in advance of any service disruptions. Periodic one-lane interruptions will occur on Corporation Street between N. Duke Street and Foster Street as water services are connected to the new water line. Residents and business owners will be contacted in advance of any service disruptions. 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 webpage 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 One Call App or the website. Durham One Call is committed to providing an exceptional customer experience on behalf of the City.
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