Chapel Hill News

Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools project, flood study on council agenda

The Town Council on Wednesday will discuss a planned redevelopment of the school district’s Lincoln Center campus and a study that recommends up to $23 million in watershed improvements for a flood-prone part of town.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in Town Hall.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools officials plan to demolish Lincoln Center at 750 S. Merritt Mill Road and build new office and educational space. The $22.6 million project would increase parking to 274 spaces.

The district plans a two-story building to serve 190 pre-K students and district administration, and a two-story Phoenix Academy serving up to 100 high school students. A community health clinic also could be built to serve residents and provide students with career training.

The money largely would come from the county’s $120 million construction bond that voters approved in November.

Other agenda items include:

▪ Historic Airport Road: The council included $8,000 in this year’s budget to remove the Airport Road designation from street signs along Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. The dual name signs were installed in 2005 after the town changed the road’s name.

▪ Bond money: The council could authorize spending nearly $1.5 million on a new Fire Department ladder truck and emergency radio equipment. The money could be repaid at $180,000 a year for 10 years.

The council also could authorize spending $9 million in voter-approved bonds for streets and sidewalks ($3 million), trails and greenways ($5 million), and parks and recreation ($1 million). Voters approved the $40.3 million bond in November 2015. The money could be repaid at $625,000 a year for 20 years.

▪ Watershed study: The council will hear a report on the Lower Booker Creek Subwatershed Study, which has recommended spending $23.1 million to improve water quality and reduce flooding in the Ephesus-Fordham district and surrounding areas.

The town has money to design and permit the first five proposed projects, staff said, and could pay $5.9 million for construction with voter-approved bond money. The debt could be repaid from the town’s Stormwater Management Fund, which is supported by property owner-paid fees.

The current fee is $26.15 for every 1,000 square feet of impervious surfaces, such as driveways and roofs; the plan could add $23.60 a year more to the average stormwater fee.

Tammy Grubb: 919-829-8926, @TammyGrubb