Welcome to E-News
The Town of Wake Forest is pleased to present the August 2014 edition of E-News.
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Bond referendum information
now available on town's website
Wake Forest residents will get the chance to vote on Nov. 4 on a $25.1 million bond that would help pay for projects such as new streets and sidewalks, the second phase of Joyner Park, expansion of the Northern Wake Senior Center and greenway improvements.
The bond referendum calls for three ballot questions that voters will consider separately: $6.3 million for street and sidewalk improvements; $14.2 million for parks and recreation facilities; and $4.6 for greenway improvements.
Though the bond itself would be $25.1 million, it would contribute to projects worth $56.6 million. Much of the difference between the amounts is made up by grants. The bond could require a property tax increase of 2 cents for every $100 of assessed value. However, an increase may not be necessary if the town’s revenues increase enough to absorb the costs.
To help voters understand the three bond financing questions, the town has created a 2014 Bond Referendum portal on its website. The mini-website provides detailed information about each of the bond items, their potential impact on the town’s tax rate and a list of frequently asked questions.
HRC seeking nominations for 'Good Neighbor of the Year'
The Wake Forest Human Relations Council (HRC) is soliciting youth and adult nominations for the 5th Annual Good Neighbor of the Year Award. The award is designed to recognize Wake Forest residents who work to improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods without seeking or receiving recognition for their service. Nominees are sought in two divisions: adult and youth between the ages of 13 and 18. In order to qualify a nominee must be a Town of Wake Forest resident who has made a significant contribution to the community between Sept. 1, 2013, and Aug. 31, 2014.
Mayor Vivian Jones will present a commemorative plaque to one youth and one adult winner during this year’s Good Neighbor Day on Sunday, Sept. 21. The event will be held from 1 - 4 p.m. at Holding Park, 133 W. Owen Ave.
Police Department urging neighborhoods to participate in National Night Out
The Wake Forest Police Department (WFPD) is encouraging area neighborhoods and homeowners associations to show their support for police-community crime prevention partnerships by participating in this year’s National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug. 5.
National Night Out (NNO) teams law enforcement agencies with citizens, community leaders, civic groups, and local businesses to promote safe, healthy neighborhoods. The NNO observance, always held on the first Tuesday in August, is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime programs; strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
Local neighborhoods, HOAs and other community groups can participate in National Night Out on Aug. 5 from 5-9 p.m. by hosting a block party, ice cream social, cookout or other event. Wake Forest Police officers will be available upon request to visit participating neighborhoods and share crime and drug prevention tips. These events are considered to be an enjoyable and effective way to promote neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships in a continuous quest for safer communities.
Any neighborhood or community group interested in participating in or hosting a National Night Out event is invited to contact Lt. L. Danforth at 919-435-9618 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
PRCR introduces new, more convenient
Registration is underway for the Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department’s fall programming. The PRCR is making it easier than ever to register for programs and classes by implementing onsite registration at all the department’s staffed facilities.
Now anyone interested in signing up for any PRCR program or class may register during normal business hours at the Wake Forest Town Hall, Flaherty Park Community Center, and Alston-Massenburg Center.
Online registration will remain available 24-hours-a-day.
Several adult athletic program registrations underway
Registration will be held through Aug. 29 for the following PRCR adult athletic programs:
Wake Forest transitions to Nixle
to improve emergency preparedness & communication
The Town of Wake Forest is now utilizing the Nixle town-to-resident phone notification service. Wake Forest implemented the Nixle service to provide town officials the ability to communicate with residents regarding time-sensitive incidents, which may include planned and unforeseen public safety matters.
The Nixle service allows officials to record, send and track personalized voice messages to thousands of Wake Forest residents, businesses and local agencies in just minutes, through a single phone call. The town can also deliver messages to subscribed residents via email and/or cell phone text message.
'Spin Your Tale' at the 2014 Forest Storytelling Festival
The Wake Forest Renaissance Centre will host the inaugural Forest Storytelling Festival on Saturday, Aug. 9. Featuring four professional storytellers, along with entertaining workshops and concerts for children and adults, the festival will introduce the art of storytelling to the Wake Forest community and celebrate one of humanity’s oldest art forms.
With four renowned tellers of different backgrounds, audiences of all ages are sure to relate to their colorful, humorous and inspirational stories.
Renaissance Centre introduces 'flix4kidz' Aug. 11
Beginning Monday, Aug. 11, at 10:30 a.m., the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre will host free family-friendly movie showings on the second Monday morning of each month. ‘Flix4kidz’ will show only G or PG-rated children’s and family films. Concessions, including popcorn and soft drinks, will be available for purchase.
Due to the terms and conditions outlined in its agreement with the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation, the Renaissance Centre is not permitted to publicize the title of each month’s film. However, here’s a hint about the Aug. 11 movie: it’s a 2014 computer animated adventure comedy based on a particular line of construction toys featuring the voices of Christ Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Neeson and Morgan Freeman. To obtain the title of this movie and future films offered at the Renaissance Centre, call the Special Events Hotline at 919-435-9428 or sign up for Renaissance Centre updates atwww.wakeforestnc.gov/enews.aspx.
Flix4kidz movie screenings are free and open to the public.
Wake Forest officials take 'wait and see' approach
to Duke Progress announcement
Wake Forest officials are “cautiously optimistic” the town’s public power customers could benefit under a bid by Duke Progress Energy to buy out 32 eastern North Carolina towns’ share of power plants valued at $1.2 billion. But it likely will be 12-18 months before anyone knows for sure whether Wake Forest Power customers will see lower electricity bills – and just how much they’ll save.
Federal and state regulators must approve the deal, a process that could take well into 2015 or longer. After that, the 32 municipalities that form the N.C. Eastern Municipal Power Agency (NCEMPA) must each vote to accept the agreement as well.
Under the terms of the deal announced July 28, Progress would take full ownership of the Shearon Harris nuclear plant in Wake County along with four other power plants that local governments have partially owned since 1982.
Wake Forest Power serves 6,100 residential and 300 commercial customers - primarily in older parts of the town.
Local Boy Scout builds bocce ball court at Tyler Run Park
The Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources (PRCR) Department held a special dedication ceremony recently to officially unveil the new bocce ball court at Tyler Run Park, 830 Pineview Dr., and honor the local boy scout who made it possible.
On Friday evening, July 25, the PRCR recognized scout Jared Blaylock who designed and constructed the bocce ball court to fulfill his Eagle Scout requirements. The wheelchair accessible court is the only one of its kind in Wake County.
The dedication featured remarks by Jared, Mayor Vivian Jones and PRCR Director Ruben Wall. The ceremony also included the unveiling of a sign that identifies the bocce ball court and acknowledges the efforts of Jared and his fellow scouts from Boy Scout Troop 399.
Inspections Department now offering 'Express Residential Plan Review'
The Wake Forest Inspections Department is pleased to introduce Express Residential Plan Review (ERPR). A real-time permit application review program for specific residential additions and renovations, ERPR may also be used for accessory structures, such as decks, covered porches, sunrooms, sheds and garages.
The ERPR process is designed to bring together the town’s plans examiner and the applicant to actively review projects and discuss, revise and make changes to drawings in person to ensure zoning and building code compliance. Projects are considered for ERPR by appointment only on Thursday mornings between 8 a.m. and noon. For more information, contact Kevin Hester at 919-435-9525.
Wake Forest Renaissance Centre
now on Facebook & Twitter
The Wake Forest Renaissance Centre is now utilizing Facebook and Twitter to expand its outreach and communications efforts. According to Renaissance Centre Manager Pamela Stevens, the popular social media sites offer an effective means of communicating directly with Wake Forest residents and non-residents alike concerning events and activities taking place at the cultural arts and event venue.
“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to connect with the Wake Forest community and beyond via Facebook and Twitter,” said Renaissance Centre Manager Pamela Stevens.
“Social media offers us an excellent way to engage people and encourage them to learn more about all the Renaissance Center has to offer as a venue for meetings, performances and cultural arts programming.”
Anyone interested in receiving regular updates about events and activities taking place at the Renaissance Centre is encouraged to “Like” the facility on Facebook and “Follow” it on Twitter. The Renaissance Centre’s Facebook page is located at www.facebook.com/WFRenaissanceCentre, while its Twitter name is @WFRenCen.
Renaissance Centre's next
'Writers Night in the Forest' Aug. 14
The Wake Forest Renaissance Centre is pleased to announce a new monthly series designed for avid readers in our community. ‘Writer’s Night in the Forest’ is a chance for anyone who enjoys getting lost in a good book to gather at the Renaissance Centre to socialize, network and explore a variety of reading selections. As an added bonus, the Renaissance Centre invites a different author each month to discuss a particular book.
The next installment of Writer’s Night in the Forest is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 14, from 7-9 p.m. and will feature Nancy Livingstone, author of the novel “Against Their Will.”
Upcoming Events at the Renaissance Centre
Sales tax increase on electricity now in effect
Effective July 1, 2014, the sales tax on electricity increased and a new sales tax on natural gas was implemented. The changes in sales taxes affect all electric and natural gas customers in North Carolina and are the result of the North Carolina Tax Simplification and Reduction Act (House Bill 998) which became law in July 2013. Adjustments to the sales tax are just one of many changes in tax law initiated by the Act.
The new sales tax on electricity will appear on the bills of Wake Forest Power customers because the Town of Wake Forest is required to collect the tax in accordance with state law. The taxes on electricity are imposed by the state, and collected by the town. North Carolina sales taxes collected by the town on behalf of the state are sent to the North Carolina Department of Revenue.
The process is similar to the way customers pay sales tax when shopping at any retail establishment. The retailer collects the tax, and the tax is remitted to the state.
Town of Wake Forest joins SeeClickFix
The Town of Wake Forest is pleased to announce a new web-based program that will enable residents to report quality-of-life issues and request town services through an online and mobile interface. Powered by SeeClickFix, the place-based reporting platform encourages greater civic participation by allowing residents to document neighborhood concerns and improvements alike, ranging from damaged sidewalks and potholes to graffiti and malfunctioning traffic signals.
Police stress greenway safety
Wake Forest Police are urging greenway users to be cautious and follow these safety tips when using our local nature trails:
- Walk or ride with a buddy or group of people
- Always be aware of your surroundings
- Keep friends and family informed of your whereabouts
- Carry a cell phone at all times and call 911 immediately if you see something suspicious or feel you are in danger
- Don’t stop to talk with strangers asking for directions or other types of help as this can be a ploy to get close for an attack.
- If grabbed, fight back and make as much noise as possible
For additional information on greenway rules and safety, visit www.wakeforestnc.gov/rules-safety.aspx.
E-Billing offers added convenience for Wake Forest Power customers
Wake Forest Power is offering customers the chance to help protect the environment and save time and money through its paperless billing option.
Customers who sign up for the free e-billing service receive an email notification whenever their electric bill is ready to be viewed on the town’s website. Customers who receive their bills through email enjoy greater convenience and enhanced security, while also reducing clutter and helping the environment.
The convenience factor is magnified when customers combine e-billing with the town’s online bill pay service. Besides the added convenience, customers who pay online also save money because they don't have to pay for stamps, envelopes or checks.
Alston-Massenburg Center hosts 'Fourth Friday Flix'
The Alston Massenburg Center, 416 N. Taylor St., hosts free movie showings on the forth Friday evening of each month at 7 p.m.
'Forth Friday Flix’ will feature a variety of film favorites and genres, including art, children’s and family films, as well as comedies, dramas, thrillers and more – often with a seasonal or historical theme. This event is made possible through a partnership with Wake Forest Baptist Church. All refreshments for Forth Friday Flix at Alston Massenburg will be provided by the church.
Due to the terms and conditions outlined in its agreement with the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation, the Alston Massenburg Center is not permitted to publicize the title of each month’s film.
The First Friday Flix movie screenings are free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Alston Massenburg Center at 919-554-6189
NCDOT announces changes to bridge replacement schedule
The N.C. Department of Transportation is scheduled to replace four bridges throughout Wake Forest from 2014-2016. Those bridges are situated along Purnell Road, West Oak Avenue, Rogers Road and Forestville Road.
Construction on the Purnell Road bridge will begin during the fall of this year, while work on the West Oak Avenue bridge will commence in the fall of 2015.
NCDOT was also scheduled to replace the Rogers Road bridge next year and widen the road from Hope Lutheran Church to Forestville Road within the next 10-15 years. Original plans called for the replacement of the Forestville Road bridge in 2016.
In an effort to reduce road closure times and lower construction mobility costs, the Town of Wake Forest requested that NCDOT expedite the Rogers Road widening project to coincide with the bridge replacement project. NCDOT informed the town in March that due to the additional right-of-way acquisition necessary to widen the road it could accommodate the request by swapping the Rogers Road and Forestville Road construction schedules.
According to the revised schedule, NCDOT will replace the existing bridge on Forestville Road in 2015 with a two-lane bridge that includes a sidewalk on the Heritage High School or western side of the structure, as well as a pedestrian underpass to accommodate users wishing to access the Smith Creek and Sanford Creek Greenways.
During the Rogers Road bridge replacement and road widening project, now scheduled for 2016, NCDOT will replace the existing two-lane bridge with a five-lane bridge and widen from two to five lanes the portion of Rogers Road from Hope Lutheran Church to Forestville Road. Once completed, the project is expected to improve capacity and safety and relieve the bottlenecks that occur in the area during school rush hours.
The Forestville Road and Rogers Road projects are expected to require road closures and traffic detours lasting approximately five months. Town staff is working with NCDOT, the bridge contractor and a consultant to reduce the impact the schedule changes will have on the community. NCDOT officials will also confer with representatives from Wake County Public Schools to review the schedule changes.
The Town of Wake Forest has launched an interactive map on its website that provides useful information about current and scheduled transportation projects in our area. The map highlights projects that have active construction sites, are in the process of being designed or permitted, and/or are currently funded for future design/construction. To view the interactive map, visit www.wakeforestnc.gov/transportationmap.aspx.
For more information, contact Senior Planner Candace Davis at 919-435-9513.
Bag your leaves and grass clippings
The Town of Wake Forest’s loose leaf collection season ended Friday, March 14. From Monday, March 17, through Friday, Sept. 26, all leaves and grass clippings must be bagged for collection or placed inside a garbage receptacle marked ‘YW.’
Please follow these guidelines to help improve the collection process:
- Bags must be at least 13-gallons in size – the size of a standard kitchen garbage can liner
- There is a limit of 10-bags per residence
- Do not put your yard waste in grocery store shopping bags or inside your town-issued rollout garbage or recycling carts
- Do not mix in sticks, trash, rocks or other debris
- Place your bagged leaves and grass clippings at the curb by 7 a.m. on your normal yard waste collection day.
Loose leaf collection will resume Monday, Sept. 29.
For more information, visit our website or call 919-435-9570.
Renaissance Centre launches Special Events Hotline
The Wake Forest Renaissance Centre is dedicated to providing quality events and entertainment our entire community can enjoy. Now the Renaissance Centre is making it easier for area residents to stay informed about its exciting array of programs and activities through a new Special Events Hotline.
Available by calling 919-435-9428, the hotline guides listeners through a menu of upcoming events and provides important information about each one.
Wake Forest Community Calendar
The Wake Forest Community Calendar is a comprehensive listing of upcoming local events submitted by non-profit groups and organizations in our area. The Town of Wake Forest provides the Community Calendar as a free service and invites local non-profits, including churches, civic clubs and other community organizations, to submit their events for inclusion on the calendar - according to our detailed submission guidelines. The Community Calendar is typically updated each week on Thursday or Friday. Event announcements received at least one week prior to the event will be included for publication in The Week Ahead. For more information, visit our website.
Town introduces 'Wake Forest 411' video series
The Town of Wake Forest has introduced a new video series designed to educate residents on a variety of useful topics. Entitled 'Wake Forest 411' the video shorts are typically less than one minute long and concisely address a myriad of subjects ranging from proper tree care to home energy saving tips.
Available on the town’s website at www.wakeforestnc.gov/wake-forest-411.aspx and shown on Wake Forest TV 10 , the videos offer useful information about assorted topics of interest while also introducing residents to town staff responsible for managing many town services. For example, Wake Forest 411 currently features Urban Forester Evan Keto offering tips on proper tree pruning and proper tree mulching; Energy Auditor Ronald “Skip” Parker discusses how to save money by lowering your thermostat, using space heaters wisely, and the importance of regularly placing your air filter; and Senior Human Resources Analyst Mitzi Franklin addresses the town’s employment application process.
The current menu of videos is only a small sample of what will eventually be a comprehensive video library addressing important subjects from every town department. Stay tuned as future videos on other topics will be added in the coming weeks.
The homepage features a prominent slideshow spotlighting several recent Renaissance Centre guests and special events, as well as the venue’s beauty and versatility. The site makes it easy to find information on the Centre’s mission, cultural programming and venue rental fees and charges, as well as opportunities to volunteer and provide individual and sponsorship support. In the coming days rental documents, downloadable floor plans and technical specifications for anyone planning an event will also be provided, along with a comprehensive listing of amenities.