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

May 24, 2019 | Volume 12, No. 16

Note from Tom

Proposed Budget for a Bold and Equitable Future

Earlier this week at Monday’s City Council Meeting, I presented the City of Durham Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Preliminary Budget. The plan, with guidance from Mayor Schewel and  City Council members, is the result of thoughtful work by City staff throughout our organization who deserve recognition for their hard work. This year, as we mark the 150th anniversary of Durham’s incorporation, it is fitting to present a budget that helps us work toward our vision for Durham for the next 150 years: to be North Carolina’s leading city in providing an excellent and sustainable quality of life.

The recommended $476.2 million budget covers our core services like roads, water, and parks, as well as initiatives and programs that address equity and make a bold statement about the City’s future. The full budget document is available online, but below are a few of the specifics:
  • The proposed budget is $476.2 million, a decrease of $34.8 million from last year.
  • The plan includes a proposed property tax rate of 53.34 cents, a 1.89 cent increase from revenue neutral, but a 4.52 cent decrease from the current tax rate.
  • The plan supports equity initiatives throughout the city including the Affordable Housing Plan and the creation of a full- time Chief Equity Officer position.
  • $2.4 million is provided for Participatory Budgeting project implementation.
  • An increase of 2.8% is proposed for water and sewer rates to support ongoing capital, operating, and sustainability efforts.
  • The plan supports funding for police and fire department needs including additional personnel and updated equipment.
  • We are proud to report that the City continues to maintain an AAA bond-rating from all three ratings agencies.
I encourage you to review the budget document and consider sharing your thoughts at the public hearing on Monday, June 3. Final budget approval is set for Monday, June 17. Both the public hearing and final vote will be during the regularly scheduled 7 p.m. City Council  meetings at City Hall.

City of Durham News

Police Department Making Fast Progress to Process Sexual Assault Kits

In a press conference on Thursday, May 23, Attorney General Josh Stein recognized the Durham Police Department for its work to analyze 357 of 1,711 untested sexual assault kits in the past year. This makes Durham second in the state for number of kits tested, and contributes to the effort to reduce the state's backlog. Learn more.

Most City of Durham Offices Closed for Memorial Day

In observance of Memorial Day, most City of Durham offices will be closed on Monday, May 27, including City Hall and other non-emergency City operations. Residents are asked to take note of changes in other City services and programs. Learn more.

New Online System to Apply and Pay for Building Trades

The Development Services Center (City-County Inspections, City-County Planning, and City Public Works) began a new payment system for plan review and permitting. Under this system, application fees must be paid online before a building permit, trade permit, or fire protection permit is issued, and before the fire plans examiner can sign off on site plan review. Learn more.

Photo Highlight

The Purple Heart Medal is awarded to Officer Cody Slaughter

2019 Durham Police Department Service Awards Recognize Employees and Residents Who Go Above and Beyond

The Durham Police Department honored 37 individuals for above and beyond public safety service at its annual service awards ceremony on Thursday, May 23. Service award recipients include police department employees (police officers and non-sworn staff) as well as residents who have helped to advance the ideals of law enforcement and public safety in extraordinary ways. Among the awards given, the Purple Heart Medal was presented to Officer Cody Slaughter who was seriously injured in the line of duty when he was struck by a fleeing suspect’s car while assisting at a traffic stop in October 2018. He returned to work several weeks later and has continued to be an asset to his department through his hard work and dedication. See the full list of recipients and view a DPD video highlighting the Investigator of the Year recipients.

Upcoming Events

Bridging the Gap: Overcoming Barriers to Sustainable Business Growth

Thursday, May 30, 4 p.m.–6 p.m.
City Hall Council Chambers, 101 City Hall Plaza

The City of Durham and Durham County will co-host this discussion to help small businesses recognize barriers, identify solutions, and implement strategies to overcome challenges to their sustainable business growth. Learn more.

Free E-Waste, Textile Recycling, and Paper Shredding Event

Saturday, June 1, 8 a.m.–2 p.m.
Northgate Mall, 1058 W. Club Blvd.

Durham residents looking for an easy and free way to recycle electronic waste (e-waste) and old textiles and clothing as well as shred confidential documents should attend the City of Durham’s E-Waste, Textile Recycling and Paper Shredding event. Learn more.

Rock the Park: A Concert and Movie Series

Various dates and locations in June–August

Join Durham Parks and Recreation for this series of concerts and movies in a beautiful setting - Durham's parks. Sit back, relax, and enjoy family and friends while grooving to music or watching a movie on a big screen. Both activities are free and open to the public. Food vendors will be on site and food will be available for purchase. 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: Changes to housing in the urban tier; important work to support downtown business; affordable housing efforts; proposal to raise water and sewer rates; and Rock the Park Concert & Movie Series. Watch now

Bull City Wrap Host Amy Blalock discusses Durham Affordable Housing Loan Fund

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, Google Fiber 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's Water Management Department appreciates your ongoing patience with the work along the busy corridors associated with this project. Find additional details and updates online.

Week of May 27:
  • W. Chapel Hill Street will have lane and on-street parking closures to accommodate waterline installation.
  • Shepherd Street will have traffic lane and sidewalk closures between W. Chapel Hill Street and Jackson Street to accommodate waterline installation.
  • Buchanan Boulevard will have southbound lane closures between W. Main Street and W. Chapel Hill Street.
  • No work will take place on Saturday or Sunday.

Central Park Waterline Replacement Project Update

The City's Water Management Department appreciates your ongoing patience with the work along the busy corridors associated with this project. Find additional details and updates online.

Week of May 27:

  • Madison Avenue will be closed as sanitary sewer work begins.
  • Northwood Circle will be closed as sanitary sewer work begins.
  • Geer Street will be reduced to one lane as sanitary sewer work continues.
  • Washington Street between Trinity Avenue and West Corporation Street will be temporarily reduced to one lane as water line work continues.
  • No work is scheduled for this weekend. 
Water Tip of the Week: Watering in the middle of the day is wasteful and inefficient (and also prohibited). Be sure to water your landscape before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m.

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

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Social Spotlight

Durham benefits from our Public Works employees working hard for cleaner streams & better infrastructure. Join us in thanking them for their dedicated public service during National Public Works Week! Follow us @cityofdurhamnc.

Collage of City of Durham employees at work at parks, along roads, in neighborhoods.

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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