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

December 6, 2019 | Volume 12, No. 42

Note from Tom

Celebrate the Season with the City of Durham

The Holiday season has arrived, and the City of Durham has several festive and family-friendly ways to celebrate through the end of the year. We hope you will take part and add a little joy to your holidays.

Tonight’s Tree Lighting at CCB Plaza will create a special glow in downtown Durham. The City is proud to partner with Downtown Durham Inc. for this event that will include performances by Oxente Brazilian Drumming Group and Paperhand Puppet Intervention. The fun starts at 7 p.m. following the 15th Annual American Tobacco Tower Lighting.
For those with four-legged family members, Durham Parks and Recreation’s (DPR) Santa Paws takes place on Friday, December 13. Get a picture with Santa, enter the ugly sweater contest, shop the holiday pet market, and enjoy food vendors.
Next Saturday, December 14, DPR hosts the Durham Holiday Parade at 10 a.m. followed by the Holiday Fun Fest from 1-4 p.m. Cheer on dynamic floats, hometown bands, drill teams, schools, and community groups as they make their way down Main Street, including an appearance from Santa. Then stick around for the Fun Fest for snow sledding, bounce houses, arts and crafts, visits with Santa, and much more. Parks and Recreation is in need of additional volunteers for these events – consider giving your time to help make this event as fun as possible.
Check the DPR calendar for additional holiday-themed events happening throughout December, or learn more on Bull City Today.

City of Durham News

2019 Demo Day to Celebrate Innovate Durham Program

New ideas and technology are now benefiting the City of Durham and Durham County governments, and residents and other startups are invited to meet the six companies that made it happen during an event on Tuesday, December 10.

Engage Durham Launches Survey on Comprehensive & Transit Plans

If you’re interested in helping shape the community’s vision for future growth, but couldn’t attend Engage Durham’s Listening-and-Learning Workshops held in November, an online survey in English and Spanish is now available to share your thoughts.

Work Begins to Improve New Hope Creek and Little Creek Watersheds

Starting in mid-December, residents in the southwestern portion of Durham may soon see field crews in their neighborhoods as the New Hope Creek and Little Creek Watershed Improvement Plan gets underway.

Durham Fire Department Hosts Holiday Bicycle Recycle

Holiday Bicycle Recycle, a two-week program that is underway through Saturday, December 14, allows the Durham community to drop off their used bikes, seven days a week, to any Fire Station for donation to the Durham Bike Co-Op.

Practice Holiday Safety All the Way

The Durham Police Department (DPD) shares safety strategies for the holidays, and ways to contribute to help brighten the season for Durham residents. Learn about these safety initiatives and ways to give.

Photo Highlight

Mayor Steve Schewel is sworn in for a second term with his wife holding the Bible

Swearing-In Ceremony for Re-elected and Elected City Councilmembers

On Monday, December 2, Mayor Steve Schewel, Mayor Pro Tempore Jillian Johnson, and Councilmembers Javiera Cabalerro and Charlie Reece were joined by family and community members to be sworn in to office.
View additional photos from the reception and ceremony.

Upcoming Events

Tree Lighting 2019

Friday, December 6, 7 p.m.

CCB Plaza, 201 Corcoran St.

The nights are getting darker, but Durham is about to get much brighter! Downtown Durham Inc. returns by popular demand to host a fanciful, danceable tree lighting at CCB Plaza (near Major the Bull). Come one, come all! Event details.

Public Dedication of the New Pedestrian Crosswalk Designs

Saturday, December 7, 10 a.m. to noon

Durham Central Park, 501 Foster St.

Come be part of the dedication of three vibrant Art-Deco inspired pedestrian crosswalk designs installed on Downtown Durham’s Blackwell, Corcoran and Foster Streets. Artist Mary Carter Taub will be on hand to lead visitors in a free participatory “cross chalking” art project on the street. 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. While pre-registration is full, you may arrive at 3:30 p.m. to add your name to the walk-in list, and at 4 p.m. any unclaimed trees will be distributed to walk-ins. Event details.

Applications for Special Event Permits Available in New Online Format

Individuals and groups interested in reserving City spaces or closing City streets for special events are required to receive a Special Event Permit. The application for the permit is now available to submit through an online form.

Special event organizers in Durham can access the application on the City’s Special Events webpage, which also contains information about the approval process, guidelines and procedures for special events, and a new calendar showing dates and information for scheduled and permitted special events in the city.

The timeline to submit a permit application remains the same as it has been; a Standard Permit Application needs to be submitted at least 60 days before the planned event, and a Simplified Special Event Permit should be submitted at least 15 days before the planned event. Qualifications for each type of permit can be found on the City’s Special Events webpage.

Questions about the new application format can be directed to Mariel Klein at 919-560-4222 ext. 11235, and questions about process and procedures related to citywide special events can be directed to Lt. Anthony David at 919-560-4974 ext. 29367.

Now Showing on Durham Television Network

New City Life Episode: Exploring Durham's Sustainability Roadmap

Learn how Durham's Sustainability Roadmap defines standards for areas such as where and how residents play in parks, making housing more affordable, and how to get more voices at the table to discuss City services, and what work remains to be done.

Host Beverly Thompson sits at the interview table with Jina Propst and Paul Cameron

Watch Durham City Council Meetings on Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV

Durham City Council and Durham Planning Commission meetings can now be found on Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. Just look for the free Boxcast app, then search for City of Durham. The only content available on these services will be the televised meetings. You can still watch all of the City’s content on Spectrum and Google Fiber channel 8, Frontier channel 70 and AT&T U-verse channel 99. You can also find all City of Durham programming on the City’s YouTube channel

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 December 3: Normal

Durham is not currently under a drought condition, but as always, please be responsible with your water usage. Visit our website to find data on the current water supply status including current lake levels.

Weekly Water Tip

Ways to Save During the Holidays

With the holiday season upon us, whip up a batch of big water savings in the kitchen! Start by plugging the sink or using a wash basin if washing dishes by hand. Even better, use a dishwasher—and when you do, make sure it's fully loaded! Just be sure to scrape your plate instead of rinsing it before loading it into the dishwasher.

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.

**Please note that this is the last anticipated project update for the Buchanan Boulevard Waterline Replacement Project**

Week of December 8:

  • Isolated lane closures and shifts will be required in the project area to accommodate final restoration activities.
  • Isolated lane closures and traffic shifts in Buchanan Blvd and Chapel Hill Street. 
  • Traffic control signs and markings will be used for all traffic detours. 
  • 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!

Reduce Your Single-Use - Try Reusable Coffee Mugs

Reduce Your Single-Use

Your disposable coffee cup is NOT recyclable. Think how many get thrown away every day. The solution: reject that single-use cup! Bring your own mug wherever you go in Durham!

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

Congrats to our Durham i-team on their Route Fifty Navigator Award for the DEAR program which helps Durham residents restore their driver's licenses. This collaboration with the Durham County District Attorney's Office, Judge Amanda Maris, and Judge Josephine Kerr-Davis has received national recognition.

Three members of the Durham iTeam hold the Navigator Award

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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