Welcome to E-News
The Town of Wake Forest is pleased to present the July 2014 edition of E-News.
You can receive an email notification within minutes of E-News' online publication by providing your email address in the designated signup area on this page. As an E-News subscriber you'll also receive The Week Ahead, an email publication distributed each week that provides information about upcoming local events and activities, as well as E-Alerts that offer timely notifications about breaking news, including road closings, police advisories, and important event reminders.
E-News subscribers may unsubscribe at any time simply by clicking HERE, and typing UNSUBSCRIBE E-NEWS in the subject line.
Fourth of July Celebration set to begin
Wake Forest's popular Fourth of July celebration gets underway this year with the annual Fireworks Spectacular on Thursday, July 3, followed on Friday, July 4, with the Children's Parade and Art & Games in the Park.
The Town of Wake Forest has created a page on its website that provides a portal to complete details about all of the Fourth of July festivities. This information is also provided through the "July 4" function on the Town of Wake Forest app. Download the app for instant access to information about the Fireworks Spectacular, Children's Parade, Art & Games in the Park and more! IPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and Android users can download the app by searching for “Town of Wake Forest" on iTunes, in the iPhone app store, or in Google Play or by scanning the appropriate QR code.
A popular annual event since 1973, Wake Forest’s Fourth of July celebration is organized and produced by the Fourth of July Planning Committee. The planning committee is an all-volunteer organization formed for the purpose of coordinating and producing Wake Forest’s annual Fourth of July celebration. The event is funded by gate receipts from the previous year’s celebration, along with the generous contributions of area businesses and the Town of Wake Forest.
Independence Day fireworks safety
As Americans prepare to celebrate our country’s independence, the Wake Forest Police Department is reminding area residents that the possession or discharge of most fireworks that explode, spin, fly, jump in the air, or leave the ground in any way are prohibited by North Carolina law. Illegal explosives include but are not limited to firecrackers, ground spinners, Roman candles, bottle rockets and mortars.
The law is stipulated in North Carolina General Statutes 14-410 and 14-414. Violation of this State Law is a Class 2 Misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 and/or 30 days to six months in jail.
Residents are also reminded that explosive fireworks, which are sold legally in South Carolina and several other states, are illegal in North Carolina.
In North Carolina, fireworks that are available for personal use are those marked as 1.4G. Novelty items, including sparklers, caps for toy pistols, snake and glow worms that emit a snake-like ash when burning, and trick noisemakers, are legal but still can cause injury if not properly handled. In all cases, these items should be kept away from young children and pets.
July 4 holiday service schedule
The Wake Forest Town Hall and other administrative offices will be closed Friday, July 4, in observance of the Independence Day holiday.
Garbage, recycling and yard waste collection will be suspended on Friday. Friday's garbage and recycling route will be collected on Saturday. The collection of yard waste, including Friday's route, will occur Monday through Thursday this week until all routes have been completed.
Wake Forest Bus Service, including the Wake Forest-Raleigh Express and the Wake Forest Loop, will not operate Friday. Transit service will resume its normal schedule Monday, July 7.
Town offices will re-open Monday, July 7, at 8 a.m. For information throughout the year concerning Town of Wake Forest holiday operations, including holiday-related changes to the garbage and recycling collection schedule, visit www.wakeforestnc.gov/holiday-schedule.aspx.
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 introduces
'Writers Night in the Forest' July 17
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 will invite a different author each month to discuss a particular book.
The first Writer’s Night in the Forest is scheduled for Thursday, July 17, from 7-9 p.m. and will feature Flora J. Solomon, author of the novel “A Pledge of Silence.”
Upcoming Events at the Renaissance Centre
Register now for Summer Theatre Conservatory
The Wake Forest Renaissance Centre is partnering with Burning Coal Theatre to offer a Summer Theatre Conservatory July 28-Aug. 8 at the Renaissance Centre, 405 S. Brooks St.
Designed for rising sixth through ninth graders, the conservatory is a two-week summer day camp that teaches students progressive theatre techniques, responsibility and collaboration.
The Summer Theatre Conservatory is scheduled July 28-Aug. 8 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The cost is $350 and the instructor is Burning Coal Theatre’s Jonathan Fitts.
Online registration is available at www.wakeforestnc.gov/classes-workshops.aspx. Register in person at the Wake Forest Town Hall, 301 S. Brooks St.
The Summer Theatre Conservatory is one in a series of classes and workshops the Renaissance Centre has scheduled as part of its inaugural Summer Arts Program. To view the complete schedule, visit www.wakeforestnc.gov/classes-workshops.aspx.
For more information, contact Renaissance Centre Specialist Cathy Gouge at 919-435-9567 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, up from the current rate of 52 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.
Board of Commissioners approves 2014-15 budget
The Wake Forest Board of Commissioners approved the Fiscal Year 2014-15 budget on Tuesday, June 17. The budget will serve as the town’s financial and spending plan for the year and, once adopted, will authorize resources and establish a direction for Wake Forest programs and services for the coming year.
The approved budget includes a $.01 property tax rate increase for fire services from $0.51 to $0.52 ($0.52 per $100 of assessed property valuation), $0.14 downtown municipal service district tax ($0.14 per $100 assessed property valuation) and no electric rate increase.
In regard to personnel, the plan includes five new full-time positions, including two park maintenance specialists, a communications specialist, transportation planner and facilities specialist. A code enforcement officer position remains authorized but not funded in the 2014-15 fiscal year. The budget also includes performance pay or merit funds, plus career ladders for eligible departments.
The public is invited to view a copy of the budget on the town’s website at www.wakeforestnc.gov/budget.aspx.
Sales tax increase on electricity now in effect
Beginning 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.
Local Girl Scout partners with town to earn Silver Award
A local Girl Scout recently earned her Silver Award by making a town facility a safer place.
Several weeks ago Savannah Barnes, a rising ninth grader at Thales Academy and member of Girl Scout Troop #1625, was considering how she might earn her Silver Award. The highest award attainable by Girl Scout Cadettes, the Silver Award promotes leadership and community service and encourages Girl Scouts to consider ways to make their community a better place.
Around the same time, Savannah, who takes tennis lessons at the Flaherty Park Tennis Courts, was moved by a story her instructor shared about a woman who suffered a cardiac arrest while playing on the courts. Fortunately, the woman survived but her chances of survival would have been even greater had her playing partners known an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) was available inside the Flaherty Park Community Center.
An AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses life threatening cardiac arrhythmias in a patient, and treats them through defibrillation, the application of electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm. Through the use of simple audio and visual commands, AEDs are designed to be easy to use for the average person.
Recognizing the absence of AED signage at the tennis courts, Savannah decided that she would earn her Silver Award by coordinating their production and installation with Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources staff and a local sign company. To top it off, she even raised the money to pay for the signs herself.
Today, thanks to Savannah, the signage indicating the availability of an AED inside the Flaherty Park Community Center is prominently posted and clearly visible to everyone who enjoys playing tennis on the Flaherty Park Tennis Courts.
“We are extremely grateful to Savannah for recognizing a need at one of our facilities and then working with us to make that facility a safer place,” said PRCR Director Ruben Wall. “This is a wonderful example of the great things we can accomplish by working together.”
Savannah is the daughter of Angel and Chris Barnes.
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.
Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources
unveils bold new logo
Say “so long” to the diamond. After nearly 10 years as the symbol for the town’s parks and recreation department, the diamond-shaped logo is being shown the door.
Underscoring its impressive offering of cultural programming, the Wake Forest Parks and Recreation Department is now officially using the name ‘Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department.’ In an effort to formally introduce its new name, the PRCR Department has unveiled a bold and dynamic new logo.
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.
Police warn residents to beware of possible scams
Each year as temperatures start to rise so too do the number of reported scams in our area.
The Wake Forest Police Department is reminding everyone to be aware of door-to-door scams and suspicious persons in their neighborhoods that may be looking to take advantage of them or possibly looking for homes where the residents are not at home. Residents should be aware that town ordinance requires door-to-door solicitors to obtain a permit and produce the town-issued permit upon request while conducting door to door solicitations.
In addition, homeowners should be wary of doing business with a door-to-door salesperson unless they can verify there is a local office and contact number. If they are legitimate, they will provide this information willingly.
Lastly, keep in mind that some people who come to your door may not really be selling anything - they just want you to think they are. In some cases what they’re really doing is casing your home - looking for computers or other valuables lying near quick escape routes, checking if you have barking dogs, or if there are signs of a security system. And if they ask to come in for a drink of water, don't let them in!
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.