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

March 15, 2019 | Volume 12, No. 7

Note from Tom

Durham Springs to Life

It’s never fun to lose an hour when we turn our clocks forward each year, but it all feels worth it when you step outside to find blooming flowers, milder temperatures, and an extra hour of daylight. It’s the perfect time to celebrate Arbor Day, which we did earlier today with a tree planting and clean up at Burton Park. And our General Services Department worked this week to spruce up Rotary Plaza where bulbs are beginning to bloom, with additional flowers to be planted in the coming weeks.
This time of year, Durham’s green spaces come to life and invite more people to get outside and enjoy the many things that make it a great place to live, work, and play. Don’t let this season pass you by – I encourage you to visit one of our 68 parks or 56 playgrounds, attend an outdoor event like Earth Day Festival (April 28) or Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival (May 18), and take in our beautiful city.

City of Durham News

Staff collage for Durham Expunction & Restoration Program (DEAR)

DEAR Program Opens to Offer Second Chances and Driver’s License Restorations

Website Now Live at

Durham residents in need of help expunging charges and convictions and restoring their driving privileges now have a new program to help them get back on their feet. This week the City of Durham-funded Durham Expungement and Restoration (DEAR) Program officially opened to the public to help these residents regain their driving privileges, which can help remove barriers to employment and housing. Learn more.

Durham Seeks Applicants for Building Improvement Grants

Public Information Session March 19; Application Deadline April 18  

Durham business owners interested in funds to help improve their building locations should now apply for a City of Durham grant opportunity. The City of Durham Office of Economic and Workforce Development is accepting applications for projects within the Downtown Development Tier, including Parrish Street and the Ninth Street Commercial Corridor. Learn more.

Durham Seeks Resident Input on Food Waste and Composting

Take Online Survey by May 31 to Enter to Win $100 Visa Gift Card

The City’s Solid Waste Management Department is now seeking to better understand the food waste and composting habits of city residents. To help collect this information, an online Compost Survey has been created in both English and Spanish and is now available until May 31. A Waste Characterization Study conducted in 2015 discovered that nearly 30 percent of landfilled material from Durham residents is food and soiled paper, most of which can potentially be composted. Learn more.

Photo Highlight

Three General Services Department staff members plant trees at Burton Park, distributing mulch around the tree

Durham Celebrates Arbor Day at Burton Park

The  City of Durham General Services Department’s Urban Forestry Division, Keep Durham Beautiful, Durham Parks and Recreation, and the Durham Housing Authority came together today to recognize Arbor Day in Durham. City staff worked alongside volunteers to beautify the neighborhood park by planting 10 large ball-and-burlap trees, pick up litter, and clean up overgrown brush.

Upcoming Events

Minneapolis 2040 – Race, Place, and Equity

Monday, March 25, 2019, 4:30 p.m.
Carolina Theatre, 309 W. Morgan St.

As Durham creates a new Comprehensive Plan, what lessons can we learn from Minneapolis? Heather Worthington and Paul Mogush from the City of Minneapolis will share their experiences with us. The Minneapolis 2040 plan, which incorporates more than two years of community input, is one opportunity to undo barriers and overcome inequities created by a history of policies that have prevented equitable access to housing, jobs, and investments. Learn more.

Minneapolis 2040 - Race Place and Equity - image shows person of color writing

Construction Firm Seminar for Future Contracting Opportunities

Thursday, March 28, 2019, 68 p.m.
City Hall Council Chambers, 101 City Hall Plaza, First Floor

Construction firms are encouraged to attend this seminar to network and discover which contracting opportunities are on the horizon. City of Durham and Durham County staff will share information about upcoming projects for 2019. Learn more.

Durham 150 Opening Celebration

Saturday, April 13, 2019, 10 a.m.2 p.m.
American Tobacco Campus

This opening event will kickoff a citywide, yearlong celebration of Durham's 150th anniversary of incorporation. Hear from Mayor Steve Schewel, enjoy birthday cake, and see live entertainment while learning about Durham's rich history of innovation and regeneration. Learn more.

2019 Golden Leaf Awards Reception and Ceremony

Thursday, April 18, 6 p.m.

Lobby of the Legacy Tower (former Mutual Life Building), 411 W. Chapel Hill St.

Celebrate the 2019 Golden Leaf Awards winners who will be recognized for properties that provide positive attributes to the built environment. New for this year, the ceremony is forgoing a formal presentation for a gallery-style award ceremony where guests are invited to browse the displays of the various award winners. Learn more.

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: Fourth quarter crime report offers encouraging news; new trees planned for underserved neighborhoods; Durham Sports Commission extended for a year; significant water and sewer replacement project; and new mixed-use downtown garage now open.

Video screenshot of Durham Sports Commission logo over an image of the Durham Bulls Athletic Park

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. Find additional details and updates online.

Week of March 18:
  • W. Chapel Hill Street will have lane and on-street parking closures to accommodate waterline installation.
  • Traffic will be shifted between Kent Street and the Durham Freeway to accommodate waterline installation.
  • Traffic control signs and markings will be used for all lane shifts.
  • Flaggers will be utilized for traffic control while work is taking place in intersections of W. Chapel Hill Street with Kent St, Gattis St, Carroll St, and Buchanan Blvd.
  • Sidewalk traffic will be disrupted.
  • Noise levels in excess of the current City noise ordinance are anticipated during work hours.
  • On-street parking will be closed in work areas.
  • Planned work hours are 7 AM to 7 PM.
  • No water or sewer service disruptions are anticipated.
  • 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 this project. Find additional details and updates online.

Week of March 18:
  • Broadway Street will be reduced to one lane as water line work continues.
  • North Street will be reduced to one lane as water line work begins.
  • Geer Street will be reduced to one lane as sanitary sewer work continues.
  • Washington Street between Trinity Avenue and Geer 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 continues.
  • The intersection of Washington Street and West Corporation Street will be temporarily closed as sanitary sewer work continues.
  • No work is scheduled for this weekend. 
Water tip of the week: March 18-24 is national Fix-a-Leak Week! Check for toilet leaks by adding food coloring to your tank and waiting 10 minutes (don’t flush). If the dye appears in the bowl, you have a leak. Often, a simple flapper replacement will solve the problem. For more Fix-a-Leak Week tips, follow @DurhamWater on Twitter and Facebook.

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.

Follow us @CityofDurhamNC on social:

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

Durham Information Network logo

Social Spotlight

Residents who need free assistance expunging traffic charges & convictions to restore driving privileges now have our Durham Expunction & Restoration (DEAR) Program to help them get back on their feet. Watch our Facebook Live interview with members of the DEAR team. Follow @CityofDurhamNC on Instagram.

Residents who need free assistance expunging traffic charges & convictions to restore driving privileges now have our #Durham Expunction & Restoration (DEAR) Program to help them get back on their feet:

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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