Welcome to E-News
The Town of Wake Forest is pleased to present the November 2014 edition of E-News.
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Voters approve three bond questions
Wake Forest voters have approved all three questions on the referendum ballot for the Town of Wake Forest.
The $25.1 million bond referendum is slated to fund projects totaling $55 million with much of the difference being made up by matching grants.
Although the property tax impact could be up to 2 cents per $100 of assessed property value, an increase may not be necessary if the town's revenues continue to increase at the current rate.
Since there are multiple potential projects included in each bond order, the projects and the respective debt issuance will be spread out over seven years.
Holiday happenings easy to find on town's website
Wake Forest comes alive in December with a variety of holiday events and activities for the entire family.
From the Lighting of Wake Forest and the Christmas Historic Home Tour to the Christmas Parade and the Renaissance Centre’s New Year’s Eve Celebration, the holiday season is jam-packed with fun-filled happenings guaranteed to put you in a festive mood.
To help inform Wake Forest area residents about all their holiday options, the town has created a “Christmas in Wake Forest” portal on its website. Located at www.wakeforestnc.gov/christmas-in-wake-forest.aspx, the web page provides detailed information about our area’s most popular holiday events. Offering dates, times, locations, event descriptions and more, “tis the season” to mark your calendars, so you don’t miss a thing.
Christmas Historic Home Tour Dec. 6
The Wake Forest Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) and the Wake Forest Woman's Club will present their biennial Christmas Historic Home Tour on Saturday, Dec. 6, from 1-7 pm.
The Christmas Historic Home Tour is only offered in even-numbered years, but this year’s edition promises to be one of the biggest and best ever. Approximately 10 historic Wake Forest homes and other buildings will be decorated for the holidays and open for viewing as part of the self-guided tour. The event will also feature free bicycle rickshaw and horse drawn carriage rides, wonderful Christmas music and more.
Advance tickets are on sale now for $16 (including tax) both online and at several area locations. Tickets will also be available for purchase on the day of the tour for $22 (including tax). Well-mannered children under 12 will be admitted free.
For more information visit the Christmas Historic Home Tour website or contact Michelle Michael at 919-435-9516.
Tickets on sale for "Christmas in New York" with Franc D'Ambrosio
The Wake Forest Renaissance Centre is pleased to present “Christmas in New York” with Franc D’Ambrosio on Sunday, Dec. 7, at 3 p.m.
Best known as the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony Award winning musical, The Phantom of the Opera, D’Ambrosio’s new show, “Christmas in New York,” celebrates the magic and wonder of the holiday season. His rich tenor caresses each song in an embrace he does not relinquish until his final bow.
As a special treat, D’Ambrosio will conclude his concert by performing several holiday songs with the Wake Forest Elementary School Choir.
Advance tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for seniors and $12 for children 12 and under.
Tickets & VIP sponsorships on sale for New Year's Eve celebration "Living the Dream in 2015"
The Wake Forest Renaissance Centre is inviting area residents to stay close to home and ring in 2015 with friends and neighbors during a special New Year’s Eve celebration on Wednesday, Dec. 31, from 8:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
Featuring live entertainment by the EG Peters Band, Living the Dream in 2015 will also offer a delicious buffet dinner, decadent desserts and midnight snacks by Main Street Pizzeria & Grille, along with a top shelf open bar and spacious dance floor.
VIP sponsorship packages for groups of eight are available for businesses, homeowners associations and other organizations.
Greenway projects underway
Work is underway on two projects that will impact Wake Forest’s greenway system for the foreseeable future.
On Nov. 3 the City of Raleigh and Park Construction of NC, Inc., began construction on the Smith Creek Interceptor Improvement Project (SCIIP), while a contractor hired by the town started work repairing the Richland Creek Greenway.
Located entirely within the Town of Wake Forest service area, the SCIIP will install a new 30-inch sewer line of the Smith Creek Sanitary Sewer Interceptor (SCSSI) from the Smith Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant to Lagerfeld Road. The initiative will also install a 24-inch line of the SCSSI from Lagerfeld Road to Heritage Height, and a 16-inch line from Heritage Height to Franklin Street.
The project will affect portions of the Town of Wake Forest Greenway System including the section of the Smith Creek Greenway from Burlington Mills Road to the Neuse River Bridge and Dunn Creek Greenway near Heritage Lake Road. These areas will be closed during periods of construction.
Signs announcing the Smith Creek Greenway closure are posted at the trail’s Burlington Mills entrance and atop the Neuse River Connector. Signage describing the Dunn Creek Greenway closure will be posted at the Smith Creek Soccer Center. Area residents are strongly urged to obey the posted signage and avoid these areas during periods of construction.
According to the current project schedule, the Smith Creek Greenway is expected to reopen in late spring 2015. The City of Raleigh has not announced when work will begin in the area of the Dunn Creek Greenway.
The Richland Creek Greenway, which begins at the Cottage at Olde Mill Stream, 901 Barnford Mill Road, has been closed for over a year due to potential safety risks associated with severe stream bank erosion and greenway undermining.
Since the greenway’s closure Wake Forest has been coordinating with the US Army Corps of Engineers and the NC Division of Water Resources to relocate or repair the greenway.
The current effort to stabilize the stream banks and reopen the trail will involve relocating approximately 250 linear feet of Richland Creek away from the greenway trail and sewer lines. The plan also calls for the addition of log vanes to redirect the water flow as a means of reducing water velocities.
Weather permitting, the trail could re-open as early as mid-December.
Santa's Secret Workshop for Kids Nov. 15
The Wake Forest Renaissance Centre is hosting a special class especially for Santa’s little helpers on Saturday, Nov. 15, from 2-4 p.m.
“Santa’s Secret Workshop for Kids” will offer children ages 5-8 the chance to craft a handmade surprise for mom, dad or another special someone, wrap it with love, and then place it under the tree.
This special workshop will be held in the Renaissance Centre Art Annex, located adjacent to the Renaissance Centre, 405 S. Brooks St. The cost is $20 and the instructor is Beth Martin.
Online registration is available at www.wakeforestnc.gov/classes-workshops.aspx. Register in person at the Wake Forest Town Hall, 301 S. Brooks St.
For more information, contact Renaissance Centre Specialist Cathy Gouge at 919-435-9567.
Police Department Turkey Drive off to a slow start
The Wake Forest Police Department’s annual Turkey Drive got underway in late September, but donations are way down compared to previous years.
“So far donations have been sparse,” said turkey drive organizer Officer M.W. Sattler. “Now that we’re in November, we’re hoping they will begin to pick up.”
The police department is accepting monetary donations through Saturday, Nov. 22. Cash and checks are accepted and will be used to purchase additional turkeys. Checks should be written to the Wake Forest Police Department.
Donations of frozen turkeys may be dropped off at the Wake Forest Police Department, 225 S. Taylor St., on Saturday, Nov. 22, from 9 a.m. until noon.
The police department will distribute the turkeys while they last on Monday, Nov. 24, from 9-11 a.m., at the Wake Forest Community House, 133 W. Owen Ave.
Anyone wishing to contribute to this year’s Turkey Drive should contact Officer Sattler at 919-795-7270. Officer Sattler organized the police department’s first Turkey Drive in 2007. Since then, the department has distributed over 3,000 turkeys to needy families in our area, including over 700 turkeys last year.
NCDOT announces changes to bridge replacement schedule
The N.C. Department of Transportation is scheduled to replace four bridges throughout Wake Forest from January 2015 through August 2016. Those bridges are located along West Oak Avenue, Purnell Road, Forestville Road and Rogers Road.
Construction on the West Oak Avenue Bridge will begin in January 2015, while work on the Purnell Road Bridge is scheduled to commence in July 2015.
NCDOT had also originally planned 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 also called for the replacement of the Forestville Road Bridge in 2016.
Upon learning of the DOT’s schedule, the Town of Wake Forest - in an effort to reduce road closure times and lower construction mobility costs - requested that NCDOT expedite the Rogers Road widening project to coincide with the bridge replacement project. In March 2014 NCDOT informed the town that due to the additional right-of-way acquisition necessary to widen the road it would accommodate the town’s 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 April 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.
As part of the Rogers Road Bridge replacement and road widening project, now scheduled to begin in March 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 will 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.
For more information, contact Senior Planner Candace Davis at 919-435-9513.
Flag-Raising Committee seeks names of deceased Wake Forest veterans
The Town of Wake Forest recently joined with several local veterans’ organizations to introduce a monthly flag-raising ceremony honoring the sacrifices of deceased Wake Forest veterans and their families.The observances began on Oct. 6 with a service honoring Walter Ervin Cole, followed on Nov. 3 with a ceremony in honor of Benny Charles Jackson.
A committee comprised of representatives from American Legion Post 187, American Legion Auxiliary Unit 187, VFW Post 8466, the Wake Forest Purple Heart Foundation, Marine Corps League 1257, the Wake Forest High School JROTC and the Town of Wake Forest is soliciting the names of deceased Wake Forest veterans who may be honored during future flag-raising ceremonies.
To be eligible for consideration, the deceased veteran must meet one of the following criteria: 1) joined active duty in Wake Forest; 2) died in Wake Forest; or 3) was a member of a Wake Forest veterans’ organization.
Friends or family members of deceased veterans who meet at least one of these criteria are urged to contact the Wake Forest Memorial Flag-Raising Committee Chair Dennis Mecum at 919-327-7887.
Two vehicle electric charging stations installed at town hall
The Town of Wake Forest has installed two new charging stations for electric vehicles in the public parking lot in front of town hall, 301 S. Brooks St. The charging stations are available for electric vehicle owners to use at no cost.
Wake Forest obtained the new stations thanks to a grant from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) in conjunction with the NC State University Solar Center.
According to Deputy Town Manager Roe O’Donnell, the availability of electric charging stations is especially vital as greater numbers of electric cars take to our streets and highways.
“As the popularity of electric vehicles grows, the accessibility of electric charging stations in public places gives communities an economic and environmental one-two punch,” said O’Donnell. “First, these stations provide drivers an incentive to come into town where they can easily charge up while shopping, sightseeing or dining - and ultimately drive longer distances. Second, because electric cars don’t pollute as much as gas-powered cars, they’re much better for our state’s overall air quality.”
For more information, contact O’Donnell at 919-435-9412 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Loose leaf collection has begun
The Town of Wake Forest’s annual loose leaf collection program is underway and will continue through mid-March. When preparing leaves for collections, residents are urged to adhere to the following guidelines:
- Rake leaves into piles behind the curb so they do not interfere with traffic or drainage.
- Do not mix sticks, rocks, pine cones, limbs or other debris with loose leaves. The town’s vacuum equipment is only designed to pick up loose leaves. Your cooperation will help prevent mechanical breakdowns and collection delays.
- Place limbs and brush behind the curb in a pile separate from leaves. Limbs and brush larger than one inch but smaller than six inches in diameter must be no longer than six feet. Limbs and logs larger than six inches in diameter must not exceed two feet in length. Logs must not exceed 10 inches in diameter.
- Keep brush away from other objects such as, fences, walls, water meters, utility poles, mailboxes, fire hydrants and cars.
Wake Forest limits the amount of yard waste and leaves it collects weekly at each residence to four cubic yards (approximately one pickup truck load), so residents are urged to plan their cleanup accordingly. The town does not collect stumps or clearing debris from lots and will not pick up debris placed at the curb by private contractors.
Leaf collection is performed weekly according to the town’s yard waste collection schedule, but the schedule may be affected by leaf volume and weather conditions.
Beware of phone scams by IRS impersonators
The Wake Forest Police Department has received reports of attempted fraud committed by persons impersonating IRS investigators. Callers claiming to be from the IRS tell intended victims they owe taxes and must pay using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. The scammers threaten those who refuse to pay with arrest, deportation or loss of a business or driver’s license.
Potential phone scam victims may be told they owe money that must be paid immediately to the IRS or they are entitled to big refunds. When unsuccessful the first time, sometimes phone scammers call back trying a new strategy.
It is important for taxpayers to know that the IRS:
- Never asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone.
- Never insists that taxpayers use a specific payment method to pay tax obligations
- Never requests immediate payment over the telephone and will not take enforcement action immediately following a phone conversation. Taxpayers usually receive prior notification of IRS enforcement action involving IRS tax liens or levies.
If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS asking for a payment, here’s what to do:
- If you owe federal taxes, or think you might owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions.
- If you don’t owe taxes, call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484.
- You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov. Add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments in your complaint.
Be alert for phone and email scams that use the IRS name. The IRS will never request personal or financial information by email, texting or any social media.The IRS also does not ask for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts. Recipients should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message. Instead, forward the email to email@example.com.
If you believe that you are a victim of this type of crime, report it to the Wake Forest Police Department at 919-554-6150.
Wake Forest introduces online engagement website
The Town of Wake Forest is pleased to announce the launch of a new comprehensive community engagement website where citizens can engage, communicate and collaborate with decision makers and other residents on the future of our community. Developed by MindMixer, the site is called ‘Engage Wake Forest’ and can be accessed at www.engage.wakeforestnc.gov.
The goal of Engage Wake Forest is to encourage area residents to participate in the planning process for a variety of town initiatives. Along the way, the site will be used as an online tool to generate new ideas and feedback from citizens through an interactive and accessible platform.
Feedback from the engagement website will be used by town officials and staff in order to lay out plans on a variety of projects.
"Play It Forward Wake Forest" Parks & Recreation Master Plan process has started
The Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources (PRCR) Department is pleased to announce a new initiative designed to encourage public participation in its long-range planning efforts.
“Play It Forward Wake Forest” is the name given to the town’s approach to developing a comprehensive Master Plan. Coordinated by the PRCR, the Recreation Advisory Board, and GreenPlay, the master plan consultant, the initiative will offer residents a variety of innovative ways to get involved and offer their input.
The Master Plan reflects the town’s vision of a vibrant community that responds to the needs and desires of its residents, friends, and visitors for fun, healthy, exciting and diverse activities. The purpose of the plan is to look at where we are now, what the anticipated needs are for the future and how we can improve and upgrade our existing facilities and programs to effectively serve residents and visitors in years to come. Upon completion, the master plan will establish a 10-year vision for future parks, greenways, programs and facilities.
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.
Police Department announces limit to weekly fingerprinting service
The Wake Forest Police Department offers live scan fingerprinting as a courtesy to the general public on Thursdays from 2-4 p.m. The live scan fingerprinting, also known as electronic fingerprinting, is performed at the Wake Forest Police Department, 225 S. Taylor St.
Fingerprinting service is offered on a first-come, first-served basis, and space is limited each week to the first 12 people to arrive.
The cost is $10 for Wake Forest residents and $15 for non-residents. Cash, check, and credit cards are accepted, but payment must be made at the Wake Forest Town Hall customer service window before the fingerprinting service will be rendered. A valid picture ID is required for identification.
Inspections Department 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 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.
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.
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.
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.