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

Feb. 15, 2019 | Volume 12, No. 3

Note from Tom


Long Days, But Short Years


For me, it’s as regular as birthdays, anniversaries and taxes…budget season. This marks my 40th year of preparing municipal  budgets – 11 of those years here in Durham! Each budget, while taking into consideration different needs and wants of the community and Council members, has demanded that staff strike the delicate balance of providing necessary services and programs, while ensuring that the amenities that make a city an attractive place to live, work and play are maintained or even enhanced, that are fiscally sound and reasonable to tax payers. 

The FY 2020 budget development process kicked off today at a retreat with City Council members, Deputy City Managers and Department Directors. During today’s session, along with another one coming up in March, we weigh the competing priorities and indeed, growing pains that come along with any developing and innovative city and how to pay for them. We all want solutions now to the challenges of providing affordable housing, light rail and complete streets, just to name a few. At the same time, we also must be sensitive to other issues that challenge many in our community… including the impact of the recent property revaluation.

As I think back on past budgets, I realize that while they’ve all been unique in their own ways, posing what sometimes seemed to be impossible challenges, it has only been through working together, prioritizing needs and being strategic in our efforts, that we provide a budget that works for the good of all. Rest assured that continues to be our goal.

City of Durham News


Rapid Rehousing Client Moving Into New Apartment

Durham Continuum of Care Receives Additional $200K in HUD Funding

Less than two weeks after receiving over $1.25 million in grant funding for projects serving the needs of people without homes, another $200,000 is now on its way to the Bull City.The City of Durham Community Development Department has been notified that the Durham Continuum of Care (CoC) has been awarded two additional grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Learn more.

Group of cyclists on a ride through Durham

Durham Seeks Input on Proposed Neighborhood Bike Routes

Online Survey Open Until March 1

The City of Durham Transportation Department is working to create a network of low-stress streets to help people use bicycles more easily and to safely access destinations in the Bull City. The first round of outreach has now been completed and the department wants resident feedback on the proposed routes as well as signage design concepts. Learn more.

Durham Hosts Second Downtown Wayfinding Project Public Meeting

Three Signage Designs to be Presented for Community Feedback on Feb. 20

Residents and visitors interested in how the City of Durham plans to develop a new downtown wayfinding system for pedestrians and motorists should attend the public meeting next week to give their input on the new signage design options for this project. To help with this effort, the department hired MERJE, a nationally recognized firm with specific expertise in community wayfinding, to design Durham’s new system. The MERJE design team is now ready to present the results of their assessment along with three options for the design of the new wayfinding signage. Learn more.

Photo Highlight


DPDs’ New High Tech Scanner Aids in Crash Scene Reconstruction

DPDs’ New High Tech Scanner Aids in Crash Scene Reconstruction

Durham Police Department (DPD) recently purchased a FARO Focus S70 3D Scanner that enhances investigators’ proficiency to recreate and diagram traffic crash scenes. On Wednesday, Feb. 13, the Traffic Services Unit conducted a demonstration to show how the new equipment will be used in the field to generate 3-D renderings. The new technology increases efficiency of crime scene investigations by reducing human error and improving accuracy of data; reduces time spent reconstructing traffic crash scenes (saving officer time); helps to open roadways hours earlier than current practice allows (saving the public/motorists time); and provides quality evidence for trial (stronger documentation for court).

Upcoming Events



Mayor Schewel speaks at the podium in the City Council Chambers

Mayor Presents State of the City Address

Monday, Feb. 18, 2019, 7 p.m.
City Hall Council Chambers, 101 City Hall Plaza

This annual address recounts the City’s achievements and challenges throughout the previous year and outlines the Mayor Schewel's goals for the coming year. Attendance is free and residents, business owners and local news media are encouraged to attend. The address will be immediately followed by the regularly scheduled City Council meeting.

  • The address will be televised live on Durham Television Network (Spectrum channel 8, Google Fiber channel 8, Frontier channel 70 and AT&T U-verse channel 99), as well as live-streamed from the City’s website.
  • Video of the full address will be uploaded to the Mayor’s webpage by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, February 19. A recap of the address will also be included in the February 19 segment of Bull City Today, and the complete address will also be available for on-demand viewing on the City’s YouTube channel.

Now Showing on Durham Television Network


Catch Up with Bull City Wrap

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

In this week's episode: see how DPR helps moms celebrate their young sweethearts, challenge yourself at Durham's High Ropes Course, find out why the City's Land Development Office will launch a new portal, view the results of the Half Penny for Parks renovations and park mural project and see how the Police Department celebrated its new graduates.

The Neighborhood Park Mural project before and after

Stay Current with Our Durham-Focused Shows

The Durham Television Network produces four shows to help keep residents informed.

Follow the City of Durham YouTube channel to see the latest episodes, or watch on Spectrum channel 8, AT&T U-verse channel 99, and Frontier channel 70.

Durham Water Works for You


Buchanan Boulevard Waterline Replacement Project Update

The City appreciates your ongoing patience with the work along the busy corridors associated with this project. Additional information regarding this project can be found at: http://durhamnc.gov/3617/Buchanan-Blvd-Waterline-Replacement.

Updates for Week of Feb. 18:
On street parking and turning lane closures in W. Chapel Hill Street between Kent Street and Buchanan Boulevard. Temporary lane closures near the Kent / W. Chapel Hill and Carroll / W. Chapel Hill street intersections. Flaggers will be utilized to maintain traffic. 
W. Chapel Hill Street will have lane and on-street parking closures to accommodate waterline installation. No work will take place on Saturday or Sunday.


Central Park Waterline Replacement Project Update

The City appreciates your ongoing patience with the work along the busy corridors associated with the Central Park Waterline Replacement Project. Additional information regarding this project can be found at: http://durhamnc.gov/1251/Durham-Central-Park-Waterline-Replacement.


Updates for Week of Feb.18:
Rigsbee Avenue will be reduced to one lane as water line work continues. 
Foster Street at Seminary Avenue will be reduced to one lane as sanitary sewer work continues. Geer Street will be reduced to one lane as sanitary sewer work continues.
Washington Street at Monmouth Avenue will be temporarily closed as water line work continues. Washington Street between Monmouth Avenue and West Trinity Street will be reduced to one lane as water line work continues. Washington Street between West Corporation Street and Geer Street will be closed as sanitary sewer work begins.
Water tip of the week: Replace old, water wasting showerheads with high-efficiency fixtures approved by EPA WaterSense. Pick up a “Save Water Kit” at City Hall for just $3!

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 Citizens’ Newsletter.


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Social Spotlight

Shoutout to our Finance Department’s Purchasing team on receiving the 2018 Sustained Professional Purchasing Award from the Carolinas Association of Governmental Purchasing! This award goes to municipalities that have demonstrated excellence in purchasing standards during the year! Follow @CityofDurhamNC on Instagram.

Shoutout to our #Durham Finance Dept.’s Purchasing team on receiving the @NCAGP 2018 Sustained Professional Purchasing Award! The SPPA goes to municipalities that have demonstrated excellence in purchasing standards during the year!

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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