Cary, NC — This was a holiday week so things were a bit slow.
Meeting with Mayors, Congressional Candidates
Monday I participated in a meeting of the Wake County Mayors Association. Ten of twelve Wake County Mayors were in attendance with only Apex and Raleigh absent. We welcomed Blake Massengill, the new mayor from Fuquay Varina, Sean Mayefskie, the new mayor from Holly Springs, and Glen York, the new mayor from Zebulon. After introductions, we talked about what was going on in each of the communities. The meeting lasted about three hours.
Tuesday I met with a Congressional candidate. We talked about current issues and development in Cary and what is important to our citizens. Our talk lasted about an hour.
CAMPO Meeting Recap
Wednesday I attended a meeting of the CAMPO (Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s) Executive Board. The agenda included a public hearing for the 2050 Metropolitan Transportation Plan. There were no speakers.
Discussion items included the election of the Chair and Vice-Chair. The board unanimously approved the re-election of Sig Hutchinson of the Wake County Commissioners as Chair and Mayor Vivian Jones of Wake Forest as the Vice-Chair. Other items unanimously approved included new CAMPO Office Space which will be located at the Fenton in Cary.
Strategic Retreat follow-up items were also approved. Presentations, to be received as information only, included the Unified Planning Work Program and MPO Self-Certification FY 2023 and the FFY2023 Locally Administered Projects Program (LAPP) Investment Program. The meeting concluded after a little over an hour and a half.
Clearing the Roads Following Snow Event
Friday I attended a virtual meeting for those that were scheduled to travel to Miami next week to look at commuter rail. Over half the participants believed it was a bad time to travel due to the COVID spread and asked that the event be postponed.
Friday evening into Saturday was Cary’s first winter event in a couple of years. There were about three inches of snow on the roads which was no match for the Cary A-Team. They had main roads and collector roads clear by lunch. Absolutely amazing! It will be interesting to see how long it takes our neighbors to clear their roads. Hopefully the sun and warmer temperatures will help them.
Town Manager Report
The town manager’s report includes the following:
Coming from the Chicagoland area, I’m still getting used to North Carolina’s definition of snow! But seriously, I want you to know that whatever the weather, our organization does a stellar job of being prepared and following through with their thoughtful plans as you can see below in the Public Safety Update.
I know you join me in appreciating all that they do.
Following the big thaw early next week, I look forward to seeing you all next Wednesday at the Chamber breakfast for one of my favorite and most important events of the year, the Mayor’s State of Cary address.
Stay safe and warm,
Winter Weather Preparedness
This week, staff has been preparing for another round of winter weather in Cary. A mix of snow and freezing rain coupled with low temperatures is expected overnight through Saturday.
Town facilities will be closed on Friday, with staff working remotely if they’re able to do so. All web-based services will continue to be open to citizens. The Citizens Convenience Center will operate with modified hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. All Wake County COVID testing sites, including WakeMed Soccer Park, will be closed on Friday.
Public Works will begin their winter weather response this evening with spreaders and repairs crews standing by and prepared to address any potential black ice issues as a result of Thursdays rain. Public Works will establish Snow Command at 6 a.m. Friday morning and are prepared to address road impacts and will operate through Saturday or until conditions no longer warrant it.
Our 311 Center will operate on a normal schedule Friday, 7am to 7pm and will remain flexible to weather conditions through Saturday if additional activation is needed. Fire, Police and our Emergency Communications Center are staffed and at the ready!
Our first messaging to citizens will go out late this afternoon with a listing of closings and service modifications, but our focus, as always, will be on safety, encouraging citizens to limit travel over the next few days so snow crews can do their work effectively.
With the forecast currently indicating less precipitation, our biggest concern for this event is the freezing weather, which could make black ice a major risk factor in the days to come. We’ll continue to drive traffic to our website and social media channels to give timely information throughout the event, and we’ll keep you informed about any significant issues as they arise.
There are 81 active cases among the town’s staff bringing the total to 365 since the pandemic began. The vaccination rate for staff is 89% and for Cary citizens it is 75%. The transmission rate remains high in Cary even though Cary has one of the lowest transmission rates in the county.
Council Tour of NCSU Compost Facility
Council Members Lori Bush, Jack Smith, and Ya Liu joined staff and members of Toward Zero Waste Cary to tour North Carolina State University’s (NCSU) compost facility. NCSU shared best practices, current procedures, and the value of composting collected food scraps from designated locations to reduce food waste at the university.
The facility is an impressive, closed-loop system that returns the finished compost to their gardens and fields.
Solar Masters Service Agreement
Cary is excited to continue promoting solar on Town properties by starting our search for qualified Solar companies through the release of a Solar Master Services Agreement Request for Qualifications (RFQ). This RFQ will help Cary find qualified firms to support municipal solar related planning, analysis, and design services. The RFQ continues Cary’s assessment of the potential for solar installations on Town buildings as well as helping Cary understand and manage the carbon footprint of all Cary facilities. It is also the next logical step to meet and further the goal(s) of Cary’s Strategic Energy Action Plan and Carbon Reduction Recommendations from the Environmental Advisory Board.
Keeping Trees in Tip-Top Shape
Two dozen citizens joined the recent online Pruning Tips class in Cary’s Tree Talk series. Topics covered in the pruning workshop included how, when, and why to prune trees, as well as appropriate tools to use for different applications.
The free series of tree care workshops provide opportunities for citizens to gain valuable tips on how to support tree health across the seasons and the years. Keep an eye out for the spring workshop, Soil Care, that will provide information on how to keep trees rooted in healthy soil.
Chapel Hill Road Mobility Study
The next step of the Chapel Hill Road Mobility Study is a 3-day charrette Jan. 24-26. Cary’s consultant on the project, Stantec, will facilitate the charrette with designers and illustrators on-hand. A charrette is a collaborative planning process, open to the public where they can attend virtual open houses to review different scenarios and maps drafted each day.
At the charrette, the design team will examine two alternatives: 2-lanes with a left-turn lane and 4-lanes with a left-turn lane. The goal is to build public consensus for a future project, identify preferred bike, pedestrian and transit facilities, and gather feedback for Council and staff to use when planning the future cross-section.
Residents may attend virtually to learn about the study, and provide feedback on different design elements and conceptual plans. For more information about the project go to the project webpage, www.townofcary.org/chrstudy.
Hybrid Athletic Committee
Monday, Jan. 24 at 6 PM
Planning and Zoning Board
Monday, Jan. 24 at 6:30 PM
Hybrid Cultural Arts Committee
Wednesday, Jan. 26 at 6 PM
Emails from citizens this week include:
- A complaint that the town’s sanitation workers were working on MLK day
- A thank you for having pickleball at Bond Park
- A complaint about information/misinformation from the 21-REZ-09 neighborhood meeting
Next week’s activities include staff meetings and a meeting of the North Carolina Metro Mayors. The schedule is light due to the RTA planned trip to Miami.
Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, January 30th. Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communications with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to Harold.Weinbrecht@townofcary.org and email personal comments to email@example.com.