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

November 22, 2019 | Volume 12, No. 41

Note from Tom

Thankful to Be a Durhamite

In a growing and thriving city like Durham, it’s easy to move at a fast pace and forget to show gratitude for what we have. This year, I’m grateful to witness the City’s 150th birthday, a milestone moment for our community to reflect on our past and envision our future. I’m grateful to live in a city that is consistently recognized as a top place to live, work, and learn. I’m grateful to live in a community that values innovation and diversity, attracting new people and embracing new ideas. I’m also grateful that we have passionate, engaged residents who want to ensure that Durham remains a city with opportunity for all.
And, I’m very thankful for the 25 City of Durham departments and more than 2,700 employees who work hard to keep our city running, putting our priorities and projects into action. And, on a personal note, I’m thankful to have some extra time to spend with my family. This Thanksgiving, I wish you a very happy holiday and hope you have much to be thankful for this year.
Please note, the City Manager’s Report will take a break next week, but will return on Friday, Dec. 6. 

City of Durham News

Input Needed on Plan to Reduce Reliance on Single-Occupancy Vehicles

What do you think about carpooling, vanpooling, public transit, biking, walking, teleworking, and flexible work weeks? Now’s your chance to share your thoughts on a regional plan that encourages these options in the Triangle

Take A Water Survey, Enter to Win $100, and Help the City! 

You can help the Water Management Department and the Innovation Team better understand how you interact with water bills and experience water cutoffs. Take a quick, online Water Survey in English or Spanish now through November 30. Completing the survey enters you into a drawing for one of three $100 gift cards. No matter where you live in the city, we want to hear from you! 

Most City of Durham Offices Closed for Thanksgiving

Most City of Durham offices, including City Hall and non-emergency City operations, will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 28 and Friday, Nov. 29 in observance of Thanksgiving. Residents are asked to make note of changes in City-provided services and programs.

First Look at the 2019 Popular Annual Financial Report

Illustrated cover of the City of Durham Financial Report for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2019

If you’re interested to learn about the City’s budget and financial results, but don’t have the desire to read a 200+ page document, the newly released 2019 City of Durham Financial Report is just for you. It’s a helpful and condensed guide to the City’s fully detailed Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

With the timely theme “Happy Birthday Durham,” the guide highlights 150th birthday wishes and historic trivia alongside digestible information about the City’s financial strategy, debt, and budget. Keep an eye out for print copies of the guide which will be distributed in local newspapers on Wednesday, November 27, and available at City facilities, libraries, and other locations including Discover Durham, Downtown Durham Inc., and the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce.

Special thanks to the Finance Department for putting together this thoughtful and creative presentation of our annual financial update.

Photo Highlight

cafeteria at Rogers-Herr Middle School packed with community members sitting in small groups for discussion

Durham Community Turns Out to Share Ideas at ENGAGEDurham Listening and Learning Sessions

On Tuesday, November 19, the cafeteria at Rogers-Herr Middle School was packed and filled with discussion at the last of five ENGAGEDurham Listening and Learning Workshops. The workshops were the first phase of community input on the Comprehensive Plan and Transit Plan, and provided an opportunity for the community to share their ideas and input about the future of Durham. There will be ongoing opportunities for input throughout this three-year process.

After great participation at the Listening and Learning Workshops, there is still an opportunity to share ideas about Durham's future growth and development. A web survey version of the workshop is available online. Community members can visit the ENGAGEDurham website to submit their thoughts and ideas on the two broad questions that were discussed at the Listening and Learning Workshops.

Upcoming Events

Durham City Council Installation Ceremony December 2

Monday, December 2, 7 p.m.

Council Chambers, 101 City Hall Plaza

Residents are invited to the installation ceremony for the recently re-elected and elected City Councilmembers – Mayor Stephen Schewel, Mayor Pro Tempore Jillian Johnson, and City Councilmembers Javiera Caballero and Charlie Reece. Event details.


Durham Hosts Professional Service Firms Holiday Mixer

Thursday, December 5, 5-7:30 p.m.

Council Chambers, 101 City Hall Plaza

Architectural, engineering, and surveying professionals are invited to discover which opportunities are on the horizon for 2020 with this opportunity to interact with City, County, and NCDOT representatives while enjoying refreshments. Event details.

Tree Giveaway 2019

Saturday, December 7, 2-4 p.m.

Lakewood Shopping Center, 2020 Chapel Hill Rd.

In partnership with TreesDurham, Durham Rotary, and El Futuro, Keep Durham Beautiful will be giving away 300 trees to Durham residents. Each household is allowed one tree, and you can reserve a tree in advance and even choose from several species. Event details.

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: Vote for best park in Voters' Choice Awards; Mark your calendar for the Senior Holiday Party; Learn about the Built2Last plan for shared economic prosperity; Provide feedback on scooters in Durham; and Track sustainability progress online.

Host Amy Blalock discusses Voters' Choice Awards

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

Drought Status as of 11/19: Abnormally Dry

While Durham experiences drought conditions, please be responsible with your water usage. It's okay to use what you need, but consider ways to conserve water where possible. Visit our website to find data on the current water supply status including current lake levels.

Weekly Water Tip

Save Water with Your Holiday Meal

Although you may not be counting calories this season, holiday meals are a good opportunity to conserve water.

  • Start planning ahead for your Thanksgiving meal next week. If you’ve got a frozen turkey to thaw, avoid using running water to do so. Instead, start defrosting your turkey in the refrigerator well in advance. According to the USDA, you’ll need 24 hours of defrosting in the fridge for every 4–5 pounds of frozen turkey.

  • And when the meal is done, hopefully there won’t be many leftovers on everyone’s plates. But if there are, be sure to scrape off your scraps into the trash or compost bin instead of rinsing them. Also, don’t put any oils, fats, or grease down the drain!
  • And finally, If you have a dishwasher, be sure to use it, as they use significantly less water than hand washing. 

  • To find additional water saving tips, visit

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 November 25:

  • Isolated lane closures and shifts lasting several hours will be required in the project area to accommodate final restoration activities.
  • Isolated lane closures and traffic shifts in Buchanan Boulevard and Chapel Hill Street. 
  • Traffic control signs and markings will be used for all traffic detours. 
  • No work will occur on Thanksgiving.
  • No work will take place on Saturday or Sunday.

Recycle Right in Durham

The City's Solid Waste Department brings you recycling reminders as part of the statewide "Recycle Right NC" campaign to encourage residents to reduce recycling contamination. Contamination refers to materials that are not acceptable in the recycling program, and lead to increased costs. Help us reduce recycling contamination in Durham!

Know Your No's - No Receipts; shows images of three receipts

Know Your No's: No Receipts

Think receipts are recyclable? Think again! This type of thin paper can contain non-recyclable layers & chemicals. Refuse receipts or put them in your green trash cart.

Look out for our weekly reminders or use our searchable "Waste Wizard" tool to check which items are accepted, and do your part to put the right items in your cart!

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 | Nextdoor | Flickr | Spreaker | iTunes | Stitcher

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Social Spotlight

With the new year approaching, Durham Parks and Recreation's latest Play More Guide has you covered with opportunities for wellness and recreation in 2020. Try an energizing fitness activity like Hip Hop Spin, learn a new skill with American Sign Language 101, or enjoy outdoor events like stargazing and paddling. Find the full schedule of activities, classes, and events in the latest guide available online, or pick up a copy at a DPR recreation center. Follow @dprplaymore and @CityofDurhamNC.

Cover of the January-May 2020 Play More Guide

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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