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Our kitten foster program is asking that you house and feed kittens (or moms with kittens) until the kittens weigh two pounds, which is when we are able to spay or neuter them. You provide the food, litter, and love.
Most people keep these felines confined to a small room (a bathroom or extra bedroom is sufficient) as it keeps them from getting lost somewhere in the home. If you have any other pets, we ask that they don't have contact with them.
We provide all needed medications and vaccines. All foster parents have a veterinary health care technician assigned to them who is their main point of contact for any questions, concerns, or medical visits.
Tethering refers to the keeping of dogs on chains, ropes or other such tie-outs versus within a fenced structure. It is often defined in reference to a stationary object (for example, a dog chained to a stake near a dog house), but also includes overhead trolley systems. Tethering does not refer to walking a dog on a leash.
Tethering restrictions include:
Tethering in excess of the 3-hour maximum is allowed:
The amendment was adopted on November 19, 2008 and includes a year-long period of extensive public outreach and education before becoming effective in November of 2009. Moreover, only warnings will be issued for the first six months of effectiveness (from November of 2009 to May of 2010). Only after the combined 18-month period, will any ordinance amendment be fully enforced. This is intended to give citizens ample time to become informed and make changes to comply with the new law.
Citizens who live inside the town limits of Chapel Hill, Carrboro or Mebane will not be affected by the County’s ordinance or any changes made to the County’s ordinance. The County’s animal ordinance (and any changes made to it) only applies to the unincorporated areas of the County, as well as Hillsborough, which adopts the County’s ordinance.
There are several other means of confinement available to those wanting to switch from tethering. Citizens may switch to a pen/kennel enclosure; construct a fence; or choose to house their dog(s) indoors. Supplies for outdoor enclosures can be purchased at most hardware stores and many indoor confinement methods can be obtained at pet stores.The Coalition to Unchain Dogs offers a program to assist with fence building. Details can be found on Unchain Your Dog or by contacting 919-308-3660 or emailing Coalition to Unchain Dogs. Information about local dog training opportunities can be found by consulting with a veterinarian, checking yellow page listings, or conducting an online search.
The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) created the Tethering Committee upon the request of the Animal Services Advisory Board (ASAB), which had been approached by local citizens concerned about the welfare of tethered dogs. Their efforts mirrored initiatives elsewhere in North Carolina and other states to limit, restrict or outlaw tethering. The Tethering Committee was appointed by the BOCC to address tethering in Orange County and to work with the ASAB to recommend what, if any, changes should be made to the existing animal ordinance regarding tethering.
The Tethering Committee recommended these changes to the BOCC because of its concern with both public safety and animal welfare, after conducting a significant amount of research. Long-term tethering can contribute to neglect and the current ordinance in Orange County does not address the length of time a dog can be tethered. The ASAB also felt that tethering restrictions would make better use of Animal Services resources and help address other related concerns, such as unwanted breeding and dog bites.
While it is true that dogs can be neglected in any situation, tethering raises additional community concerns. The lack of a barrier between the dog and outside world raises the risk of dogs bites, makes some dogs vulnerable to unwanted breeding (contributing to pet overpopulation) and attack by roaming dogs or other animals.
Other jurisdictions have shown that, in the long term, tethering restrictions make for better use of County resources. Jurisdictions which have recently restricted or eliminated tethering have reported a decrease in the number of reported dog bites, reduced unwanted litters of puppies, and reduced cruelty cases related to improper tethering. All of these changes improve public safety and save the county tax dollars. More information on other jurisdictions with restricted tethering ordinances can be found at Helping Animals.
The ordinance amendment itself and the report of the Tethering Committee are available from the Animal Services Department. Also available are minutes from BOCC and Tethering Committee meetings, abstracts from BOCC meetings where tethering was discussed, and other supporting documents. Questions can be directed to Animal Control at 919-245-2075.
Asset Management Services offices follow the County's schedule and are open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.
Please record as much information as you can about the vehicle, the location, and the time at which you observed it being operated in an unsafe manner and call the main AMS number at 919-245-2657.
While trash can be taken to Solid Waste Convenience and Recycling Centers, private haulers can be contracted for curb-side pick-up service. The phone numbers for private haulers can be found in the yellow pages, online, or by talking to your neighbors. Using the same private hauler as your neighbor can potentially reduce the cost of the service.
Please call 919-245-2657 or you may send an email to Tammy Comar.
Orange County government does not provide utility services for water, electricity, garbage collection, telephone, natural gas, Internet or cable TV. Use the Utilities page to contact the appropriate provider for your need and geographic area
Orange County provides road sign maintenance for all state-maintained intersections outside of any city limits. Report a missing or damaged road sign.
You may register with any political party recognized in the State of North Carolina. Party affiliation determines the primary in which a voter is eligible to vote. You may also register as unaffiliated. If you do not declare a party on your registration application, you will be registered as unaffiliated. During a partisan primary election, an unaffiliated voter may vote a party ballot only if the party authorizes unaffiliated voters to vote in their primary. If all parties authorize unaffiliated voters to vote, the voter may choose which party ballot he wishes to vote on the day of the Primary.
If mailed, the registration form must be postmarked at least 25 days prior to the election. If hand-delivered, the registration form must be received at the Board of Elections office no later than 5 p.m. on the 25th day prior to the election.
The polls are open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. on Election Day
When you register to vote or make an address change or information change, or if the Board of Elections assigns you to a new precinct, you will receive a voter verification card. Your precinct and polling place location is printed on the card. You are assigned a polling place based on the precinct where you live. The voter information is updated daily. You may determine your registration status and voting location.
If you have moved from the residence address that we have on file, complete this form and mail to: Orange County Board of ElectionsP.O. Box 220 Hillsborough, NC 27278
Do not wait until Election Day to change your address. You may experience a delay in voting if your residence address is not up to date or if we have sent mail to your voter registration address that was returned to us by the Postal Service.
You should vote at your designated polling place on Election Day. Your name will be on the list of voters verified to vote in that precinct.
No, just re-register within the time limits of the election.
Yes, 17 1/2yearr olds may register; however, they are not allowed to vote the School Board Ballot if they haven't turned 18 by Election Day. (G.S. 163-59).
The citizen / voter must determine where they consider their home to be. That address is the residence address for registering and voting.
North Carolina does not have online registration. You may obtain a Registration Application from the State Board of Elections website, complete the form and mail it to the Orange County Board of Elections office. You may also complete the form in person at the county board of elections office, or call and we will be glad to mail you a registration application.
Orange County Board of ElectionsP.O. Box 220Hillsborough, NC. 27278
208 S Cameron StreetHillsborough, NC 27278
You should make your best effort to get to your correct polling place by 7:30 p.m. Election Day. Voters who appear on Election Day in their correct county but in an incorrect precinct may cast a Provisional Ballot. These ballots will be counted for all contests in which the voter is eligible to participate. Any voter may request to vote a Provisonal Ballot regardless of the situation.
After the precinct official has called the Board of Elections office and we are still unable to locate your registration information, you may vote a Provisional Ballot. We research all Provisional Ballot information after the Election and prior to County Canvass. Any qualified Provisional Voter's Ballot is counted and added to the official totals at the time of Canvass by the Board of Elections.Prior to the Election, you may want to check online to verify your registration.
You should contact the Board of Elections in writing to have this correction made. If the error is realized during Early Voting or on Election Day, precinct officials have forms that you may complete and leave with them so that the correction to your voter record can be made.
The Democrat, Republican and Libertarian parties allow Unaffiliated voters to vote in their Party Primary Elections. The Unaffiliated Voter may choose one party's ballot or they may choose to vote a Non-Partisan Ballot. Voting a party ballot will not change the voter’s party affiliation.
If there is a Second Primary, you may only vote the party ballot that you voted in the First Primary. In General Elections, everyone gets the same ballot regardless of party affiliation.
In any future Primary Elections, Unaffiliated voters may chose a different party from the last Primary Election.
You must complete a new Registration Application each time you wish to change party affiliation. Or, if you have your voter verification card that was mailed to you when you registered, there is a place for you to change your party affiliation. You may complete the back of that and submit it to the Board of Elections. A new verification card will be mailed to you.
You should be allowed to vote a Provisional Ballot. No person should be denied the right to vote a provisional ballot. Do not leave the precinct without a precinct official or you contacting the Elections Office concerning your situation.
A Provisional voter is one who appears at a polling place on election day, claims to have registered to vote, but does not appear on the registration lists.
Early Voting (One-Stop Voting) begins the 3rd Wednesday (20 days) prior to Election Day. More specific information is available on our website under Early Voting.
The last day to request by mail ballots is a week before the Election (the Tuesday prior to Election Day). The request must be in the BOE office by 5 p.m. Requests must be submitted on the SBOE-mandated form which is available on our website and the State Board website.
A near relative (spouse, brother, sister, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepparent or stepchild) may request absentee ballots for a voter using the absentee ballot request form on our website or on the State Board website. The ballot must be mailed to the voter from the Board of Elections office. The voter must vote their ballot, complete their application envelope according to instructions provided, and mail or hand-deliver it back to the BOE office. The near-relative may also return the ballot to the BOE office for the voter.
Once the voter has voted and completed their application envelope according to instructions provided, it can be returned to our office by mail or in person by the voter, the voters near relative or verifiable legal guardian. (G.S. 163-231(b))
No. Although it is okay to physically assist a voter, all voters must be able to make their own decision about their ballot choices.
There are different rules for military versus overseas citizens. Neither must be registered prior to voting in Federal Elections, however, overseas un-registered voters must submit an FPCA form (Federal Post Card Application) in order to receive ballots. They can download a form from the Federal Voting Assistance Program website or obtain an FPCA form from an Embassy or Consulate. Military citizens may request in writing stating they are military or they may submit an FPCA form. The request should be mailed to the last county in which they resided (regardless of registration status).
Yes. Visit our website, and select the Absentee Voting (PDF) document.
Federal law does not require that Braille materials of any type be provided. However, a Braille template may be made available and provided upon special request to the State Board of Elections. Ballot marking instructions are available in English and Spanish for certain precincts required by law to have them.
Only those persons having DMV business, may register to voter at the DMV office.
Yes, any voter who would like someone’s assistance in order to vote may ask for it. The voter must request this assistance himself or herself. Precinct Officials nor anyone else should offer assistance, even if it may appear obvious that the voter needs assistance. (G.S. 163-166.8)
Any high school student at least 17 years of age and in good academic standing, and with permission from parents and principal, should complete this Application for Student Assistant (PDF) and submit it to your local County Board of Elections. Approved students will be paid for training and work.
Each year, state law requires the Orange County Board of Commissioners to adopt a balanced, annual budget by June 30. The process begins in the spring, when each county department submits to the county manager a budget request for the next fiscal year. The county manager, in consultation with budget and finance staff, reviews the departmental proposals and compiles an overall county budget that is submitted to the Board of Commissioners in early May. The BOCC holds a series of public hearings and budget work sessions to review each proposal and the projected revenues to determine the final county budget.
Most of a county's budget pays for services that are mandated by either the state or federal governments. Below is a list of services that counties must provide for residents as mandated by the state:
Orange County also provides many non-mandated services, such as Parks and Recreation, the Public Library, Solid Waste Management, Public Transportation, Economic Development, etc. The county is not required to offer these kinds of services, but opts to do so to improve the quality of life for the county.
Public Education is a priority for the Orange County Board of Commissioners. The board has a funding target that 48.1 percent of general fund revenues be dedicated to education.The FY19-20 adopted budget exceeds that target at 49.4% of revenues.
North Carolina’s school finance system was created more than eighty years ago. The state is responsible for instructional expenses (including personnel) while county governments pay for capital expenses (buildings and maintenance).
In recent years, state funding for public education has been reduced. According to Public Schools First NC, state government per-pupil spending went from $8,867 per student in 2007-08 ($10,483 in today’s dollars) to $9,528 in 2017-18. Adjusted for today's dollars, that is a decline of $955 per student.
As a result, Orange County's contribution to public schools current expense needs has increased. The 2019-20 budget includes an increase of $187.25 per student. These supplemental funds pay for additional personnel such as teacher's assistants, salary supplements for teachers and school administrators to help the schools attract and retain experienced and qualified teachers, and other needs requested by the schools.
The Public School Forum of North Carolina compiles county expenditure data each year. In 2016-17, the last available year, Orange County ranked No. 1 in the state for local per pupil spending.
Orange County provides supplemental funding to our public school systems to make up for shortfalls in state funding. These supplemental funds pay for additional personnel, salary supplements for teachers and school administrators to help the schools attract and retain experienced and qualified teachers, and other needs requested by the schools.
However, final decisions on how these funds are used by the school systems rest with each Board of Education. The Board of County Commissioners does not dictate how these local funds are prioritized and spent. The county receives funding requests from each school system, reviews those requests and then decides on an amount to provide to the systems. The county does not go through the school's requested budgets and decide which items they will fund. Each Board of Education prioritizes how they will spend the funds from the county.
Orange County raised property taxes only once in the nine years prior to FY 2018-19 (see chart below). The small tax increase (1.27 cents) in FY 2018-19 and the increase in the 2019-20 budget (1.75 cents) are largely related to the bond issues that were approved by voters in November 2016 ($120 million for public schools and $5 million for affordable housing). As more of these funds are released, the county incurs debt service.
An * by a year denotes the county underwent a property revaluation.
The Board of Orange County Commissioners (BOCC) have received several communications asking how the quarter-cent property tax increase dedicated to Climate Change Mitigation will be allocated. The BOCC directed the County Manager as part of their approval process to develop options and a process through which funds will be authorized.
The County Manager has directed staff to develop options over the summer for the Board's review in September. Those options will address the focus of spending, the incorporation of social justice and racial equity goals, the role of various advisory committees, as well as the BOCC’s own approval framework.
The adopted county budget funds many programs to combat poverty in our county, through our Aging, Child Support, Social Services, Housing and Community Development, Partnership to End Homelessness, Criminal Justice Resource, Public Transportation, Human Rights and Relations, and Health Departments as well as nearly $1.5 million in funding to outside agencies, many of whom address poverty.
This year’s budget includes a new Restoration Legal Counsel position that will expand and enhance the efforts already underway by the District Attorney and judicial stakeholders to assist eligible individuals that have driver’s license suspensions based on an inability to pay traffic court debt. In addition, this attorney position will provide legal assistance for residents eligible to seek relief under North Carolina’s expanding expunction statutes. The revocation of driving privileges and a criminal charge, even one that has been dismissed, create significant barriers to employment, education, housing, health care and family stability.
In the 2018-19 fiscal year, the commissioners appropriated $100,000 to create a new local voucher program for affordable housing. The program will be continued in the 2019-20 budget.
The Board of County Commissioners have the statutory responsibility to adopt a balanced budget prior to June 30 of each year. The Local Government Budget and Fiscal Control Act (N.C. General Statutes, Chapter 159, Article 3) governs the budgeting process for counties and cities. The board adopts the budget by setting revenues and expenditures. The county fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30.
Orange County is continually looking for projects that will bring better jobs to the county as well as increase the commercial property tax base. In recent years, the county has landed investments like the Morinaga plant in Mebane and the Wegmans Market coming to Chapel Hill in 2020. These projects will increase the commercial property tax base and, in the case of Wegmans, will bring in more local sales tax revenues.
Unfortunately, it would take dozens of similar projects to increase the commercial property tax base enough to realize an overall reduction in the property tax rate. The county and towns' commitment to preserving the rural nature of the county through the Rural Buffer and other programs limits how much commercial development can be brought into Orange County.
Orange County welcomes public input into the county budget. Each year the Board of Commissioners hold public hearings to receive feedback from interested parties. For the FY2020 budget process, public hearings will be held May 14 at the Whitted Building in Hillsborough and May 16 at Southern Human Services in Chapel Hill. Residents and taxpayers are given an opportunity to speak about the budget (up to three minutes per person). Each hearing begins at 7 p.m.
In addition, residents and taxpayers may communicate directly with the Board of Commissioners via email or attend any regularly scheduled BOCC meeting and sign-up to speak during the public comment portion (three minute limit also applies). Below is the schedule of work sessions and regular meetings for the FY2020 budget adoption.
Participants may be eligible if they meet the following criteria:
Services offered include:
Clients will receive referrals to treatment services if they are diagnosed with breast and/or cervical cancer.
Persons required to file Campaign Disclosure Reports with the Orange County Board of Elections are candidates for:
Candidates with intentions of spending and/or receiving $1000 or less, or with intentions of not spending any money other than the filing fee to run for office, will file a Certification of Threshold in lieu of Campaign Disclosure Reports.
All other candidates running for offices not listed above, and all state PACS and Referenda committees must file Campaign Disclosure Reports with the State Board of Elections rather than the Orange County Board of Elections.
The forms are varied, depending on what type of committee and the amount of committee expenditures and receipts. Most committees file a Statement of Organization, a Certification of Treasurer, a Certification of Financial Account Information, and periodic financial Disclosure Reports.
Forms are available by visiting the Campaign Reporting Forms; or you may pick up forms at the Orange County Board of Elections office located at:
All campaign reports must be delivered by either of the following options:
All candidates required to file campaign reports with this office will be notified by mail 2 weeks (municipal candidates) to a month (all others) prior to the due date of the next report due.
A Care Coordinator (nurse or social worker) will:
Examples of typical family concerns include:
There is no charge to eligible families.
It is a visit to a Health Care Provider when your child is not sick. This visit includes a complete health history and a comprehensive physical exam. The physical exam includes the following:
These visits are also an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about your child's health.
It is recommended that you take your child to his/her primary care provider for a Well Child Check-up at the following ages:
Remember to bring your child's immunization record with you to the appointment.
It is an encompassing fund for Orange County government, so donations can be given to support any department or County-sponsored activity. All gifts are tax deductible and used for the purpose for which they are given and acknowledged as such. Additionally, this fund is a framework for receiving a variety of donations, which are managed by SunTrust Bank.
No. Orange County welcomes the public and its residents to make charitable donations and gifts to support favored efforts and County-sponsored activities. These gifts would help Orange County to carry out many of its vital services as a supplement to the County's General Fund and annual budget.
Programs range from the Frail Elderly Fund, Spay/Neuter Program for Pets, Newborn/Parental Training and Safety Support, Tobacco Use Prevention/Smoking Cessation, Job Partners – Homelessness Initiative, Parks and Recreation Equipment and Amenities. Donations may also be made to other County projects, programs and services, such as the Arts Commission and Veterans Memorial.
You can view all the available giving opportunities prior to making your donation.
The Orange County Community Giving Fund accepts donations online or checks can be mailed to:
ATTN: COMMUNITY GIVING FUND
Orange County Finance & Administrative Services
200 S. Cameron Street
Hillsborough, NC 27278
Yes. When you make a gift, you receive the full tax advantages available by law for gifts to public charities. Donors are able to avoid capital gains tax for gifts of appreciated assets, and donors’ estate tax liability may be reduced. SunTrust Bank will provide a receipt to substantiate your charitable income tax deduction in the year the gift is made in accordance with IRS rules.
The “Payment History” tab within the SunTrust Bank donation portal offers donors the ability to view previous online donations. There is an option to print individual donations for record keeping purposes.
To learn more about the fund, please send an e-mail to email@example.com or call Orange County Finance & Administrative Services at 919.245.2455.
Concerns from local residents and property owners over the lack of regulation(s) ensuring the display of a flag does not dominate local skylines.Staff in the County Attorney’s office and Planning Department were directed to clarify standards governing the overall allowable height of flagpoles, their distance from common property lines, the allowable number of flags/flagpoles that could be erected on property, and maximum allowable flag area.For more information on the purpose and intent of the amendment, please refer to the minutes from the March 20, 2018, BOCC regular meeting.
No. The proposed amendment establishes specific, measurable standards with respect to the size and number of flags that can be displayed as well as height of any erected flagpole. These standards will be easy to abide by and enforce.The proposed regulation does not establish content standards or ban a specific flag.
The amendment establishes the following standards:
The standards will apply only to properties located within the County’s planning jurisdiction. Properties located within the planning jurisdictions of the Towns of Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Durham, Hillsborough, or Mebane are not subject to county land-use regulations.No County land-use regulation is enforceable on property that is located within one of the aforementioned municipal planning jurisdictions.
Property owners with existing flags that exceed the allowable display size or number will have one year to bring the flags into compliance with the new standards established in the Uniform Development Ordinance.
The proposed amendment language treats flags and flagpoles separately. A flagpole, in and off itself, is a device. It is not a ‘sign’ or a ‘flag’ but is simply a mechanism allowing for the display of a flag.The UDO has existing regulations governing non-conforming structures. If a flagpole is ever damaged, destroyed, or has to be replaced for any reason, it can only be re-erected in compliance with applicable standards.
Yes. It would, however, have to abide by established size and number limitation(s).
Property owners who cannot meet the setback requirements would have to obtain a variance to allow for the erection of a flagpole within required setback areas. Variance requests are reviewed by the Orange County Board of Adjustment and require the submittal of a variance application and submittal of a review fee in accordance with the adopted County fee schedule.
A flag painted on the side of a building would be considered a mural/art and is not subject to current County regulations.
The Greene Tract is a 164 acre parcel of which 104 acres is jointly owned by Orange County/Chapel Hill/Carrboro and 60 acres owned by Orange County (Headwaters Preserve). The Greene Tract is part of the Historic Rogers Road Neighborhood area.
In 2002, the Greene Tract was designated as an area for the development of affordable housing and preservation of green space. Several planning efforts since that time have also identified a need for mixed-use development and a site for a future elementary school to accommodate Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools’ growing enrollment needs.
In May 2017, a joint staff work group was requested to examine the development potential of the existing Greene Tract and provide three alternatives illustrating high, medium and low development alternatives. Each alternative had to take into account specific elements and goals including, but not limited to, incorporating a future elementary school and park site, preserving valuable environmental features and corridors, protecting historical and cultural resources, encouraging cost-effective infrastructure, and identifying areas for future development. These alternatives, vetted through a multijurisdictional staff work group, assisted in the development of the conceptual plan that was presented to the local governing boards in January 2019.
After reviewing the entire property and identifying the most environmentally sensitive areas, the County voted to reconfigure its 60 acres to protect those critical areas, as well as recommending a conservation easement over an additional 22 acres. The County also voted to recombine other areas to increase the opportunities for affordable housing and potential mixed use development, including accessible community commercial opportunities the Rogers Road community has sought for several years. The plan recommends:
Orange County has one of the worst income disparities of any county in the state, and there is a desperate need for more affordable housing in our community. All the elected boards have made this one of their highest priorities. Many residents understand the need and overwhelmingly approved a $5 million affordable housing bond in 2016 (65.6% approval).
Costs to provide affordable housing in Orange County are high. Costs can be lessened by using county or town-owned property like the Greene Tract. In addition, in order to effectively support the residents of affordable housing, it is vital that it have access to essential housing related services like water and sewer, transit, schools, recreation, and economic opportunities. The Greene Tract scores high on all these metrics.
The 2002 agreement called for preserving 85.4 acres of the original 104-acre parcel. With the additional 60 acres (Headwaters Preserve) added to this parcel, plus the 22 acres of land dedicated for conservation and four acres for recreational use, the revised agreement will preserve a minimum of 86 acres. Open space is also anticipated to also be interspersed within the areas suggested for future development, as is the norm in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Orange County.
Preserving our county’s natural spaces is a priority for the Orange County Board of Commissioners. We have invested in conservation easements throughout the county. In conjunction with Chapel Hill and Carrboro, we created the Rural Buffer in 1988, a joint planning and zoning area that encourages very low-density residential development and promotes agricultural uses.
In order to modify the existing Headwaters Preserve area, a recombination survey will need to be completed illustrating the new parcel lines of the Headwaters Preserve area (County owned) and Joint Owned area. Once complete, the recombination survey will be presented for approval to the BOCC and the chair's signature for the Headwaters Preserve and all three local governments for the joint area.
Development and preservation options will be further evaluated and discussed in order to determine goals for the Greene Tract in regards to development type, land use, preservation, density, and affordable housing. This phase will include community outreach and is expected to be be presented to elected officials in the fall of 2019.
Staff will also be seeking general direction on how to achieve goals using zoning strategies such as "Master Planned Developments", developer agreements, etc. and the interest in releasing a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to partner with a developer(s) to achieve mixed income neighborhoods. This plan is expected to be presented to elected officials in early 2020.
The county has been studying the feasibility of a new detention center for several years. The Orange County jail was originally built in 1925 to house 34 inmates and has been expanded several times since to its current capacity of 129. The last expansion occurred in the mid-1990s. The number of beds will increase slightly with the new facility, which will also offer potential for additional expansion should future needs dictate.The current jail needs significant upkeep each year to meet minimum standards as established by the NC. Department of Health and Human Services. The current facility has several inadequacies that must be addressed, including an aging cell locking mechanism that is expensive to repair and will need to be replaced, insufficient kitchen, medical and laundry facilities and an inadequate suicide watch cell, especially for female inmates.
Since the acquisition of the properties, the Board of Orange County Commissioners have given direction on the planned capacity of the Detention Center as well as future expansion capabilities during the Capital Investment Planning process in June. The Board has also authorized the creation of one Capital Project that absorbs the former Detention, Environment and Agriculture Center, and the Park Operations Base projects.
County staff and its designers have submitted a preliminary site plan to the Town of Hillsborough for its review and ultimate approval over the next few months. Approval of this site plan will allow the County to move forward with the construction of the Northern Campus.
Additionally, the Board has authorized the Manager to enter into a Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) agreement with Bordeaux Construction, Inc. and has begun extensive stakeholder input sessions as part of the initial design process.
The current Environment and Agricultural Center was originally a grocery store and was built in 1960. This facility also has significant challenges for ongoing repair and maintenance. It currently houses:
The proposed site provides an opportunity to design and construct a modern and accessible agriculture facility and grounds to meet the needs of the agriculture community in Orange County. The site also provides the same opportunity for a co-located Parks Operations base, which will provide more efficient management of county parks operations. The projects are already planned for in the county’s long-term capital plan.
The county worked for several years to acquire the ground lease rights for state property near the Orange Correctional Facility (a state minimum security prison) at the intersection of NC 86 and Interstate 85 in Hillsborough (across from McDonalds) to locate the Orange County Detention Center. Ultimately, the County could not negotiate acceptable terms with the state. After this fell through, county staff identified four possible locations - rebuilding on the current site, building next to the courthouse, a site on Highway 86 North near Coleman Loop Road, and the Highway 70 site.Rebuilding on the current site would require the county to demolish the existing facility and house prisoners in a temporary location during construction. This would cost the county an additional $5.8 million. Building next to the courthouse would have been a major disruption to downtown Hillsborough for the length of the project. The Town of Hillsborough staff did not support either of these options. The Coleman Loop Road site did not have adequate utility service, and was expected to cost a minimum of $700,000 to $800,000 to extend adequate utilities to the site.
The Highway 70 site was recommended by staff for several reasons.
A CMAR is a firm that is serves as a Construction Manager in an agreement with Orange County. As the CMAR, Bordeaux Construction will work closely with the County and its Designers in all phases of facility programming, design, cost estimating, value engineering, and construction project management. The CMAR will provide a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) for the project for the Board’s consideration and approval prior to beginning of construction.
If the Highway 70 site is approved, the county would conduct a study to determine the best and highest use of the current detention center and the current Environment and Agricultural Center.
Extraterritorial Jurisdictional (ETJ) authority is the process by which a municipality extends their land development regulations (i.e. zoning and subdivision regulations) to an area around its existing corporate limits. By doing so, the ETJ area is developed ‘in harmony’ with those adjacent properties already located within the municipality's corporate limits as they are required to abide by the same development standards. North Carolina cities have had ETJ authority since approximately 1959.
The Town of Hillsborough has adopted a Comprehensive Plan outlining, amongst other things, the anticipated levels of growth throughout the community. The Plan represents the vision of the Town outlining areas where various land uses (i.e. residential, commercial, office, industrial, etc.) are anticipated to occur. This allows community officials to work with property owners to promote specific land uses and development intensities throughout the Town.As part of this process, the Town of Hillsborough and Orange County jointly adopted the Central Orange Coordinated Area (COCA) Land-Use Plan for lands within the Town's established Urban Service Boundary. The COCA Land-Use Plan, which is a component of the Town’s Comprehensive Plan, is a tool to determine the consistency of any proposed rezoning request with the Town/County future land-use visions for a given area.The area the county is looking to develop is designated as ‘Rural Living,’ which is an area intended to allow for low-density residential uses (densities below 0.5 dwelling units per acre) in areas without public water and sewer service, in locations where continued low-intensity use without public water and sewer is desirable for the foreseeable future. Given the availability of utility infrastructure (i.e. water and sewer) the County is requesting a change in the future land-use designation of this area to ‘Suburban Office’. This will only become effective if the request is adopted by the Town after its public hearing.
The County has applied for a future land-use amendment to designate the properties as “Suburban Office” as well as a zoning amendment to designate the properties as “Economic Development District.” Questions about this process should be directed to the Town of Hillsborough Planning Department.
Hillsborough cannot involuntarily annex property; however the county can apply to have its property be voluntarily annexed into the Town limits and jurisdiction. No decision has been made on this yet.
Major criteria include:
The county conducted several tests and surveys for the site. Below are PDFs of the various environmental and site surveys the county authorized.
Text: To receive regular updates on potential storm impacts on Orange County, please text OCStorm to 888-777. Standard text messaging rates apply. This service will be active throughout the year and will provide storm-related information for all kinds of storms that may impact Orange County, including winter storms, hurricanes and other severe weather events.
Twitter: Follow us on Twitter at @OCNCGOV for the latest updates and news from your county.
OCAlerts: Sign up for our emergency notification system (www.orangecountync.gov/OCAlerts) that allows you to select how you want to be notified -- text messages, email or phone calls. The service is free.
Please do not call 9-1-1 with non-emergency questions.
The Special Needs Registry is a database containing information about individuals in Orange County with special needs who may require assistance in the event of a disaster. During a disaster, those on the registry will be called and given information about how to prepare for or respond to the disaster, given information regarding facilities or shelters, and to check on their well-being. The information may also be used to assist emergency personnel and volunteers in providing assistance.
Participation in the Special Needs registry is voluntary. Individuals on the registry decide whether to accept assistance and/or remain responsible for themselves in the event of an emergency.
You register through the Orange County Department of Social Services or self-identify by registering for OC Alerts at www.ocalertsnc.com.
For downed trees and other debris in a roadway, assure that you are in a safe location and call 9-1-1.
According to FoodSafety.gov, the following guidelines apply:
N.C. State University and N.C. A&T State University Cooperative Extension have created a great resource with tips on what to do with your food when the power goes out for an extended period.
Orange County Emergency Services has a new online tool for residents to report damage related to Hurricane Florence. The damage assessment form is linked with the county's GIS software, enabling Emergency Services to map reported incidents.If you live in Chapel Hill, use the town's online reporting tool.
GoTriangle proposes to implement a 17.8-mile Light Rail Transit (LRT) line in the corridor that extends from the University of North Carolina Hospital in the Town of Chapel Hill to North Carolina Central University in the City of Durham. The proposed project includes 18 stations, approximately 4,400 parking spaces, a maintenance facility and the purchase of 18 LRT vehicles. Service will be provided on the proposed project from 5:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. on weekdays, and from 6:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. on weekends. In the opening and horizon years, service will operate every ten to 20 minutes during the weekday, every 20 minutes in the evening during the week, and every 20 to 30 minutes on weekends. End-to-end travel time is estimated to be approximately 44 to 46 minutes.
For our community to continue to grow and maintain our enjoyable quality of life, the Triangle needs a high-quality interconnected transportation system. Planning for high-capacity transit in the Triangle region began more than 20 years ago, and several studies have been conducted to advance major transit investments in the area. That work included extensive coordination with stakeholders and members of the public to develop, evaluate and refine the range of alternatives.
Those studies identified the corridor between Durham and Chapel Hill as one of the highest-priority corridors for transit investment. Even under current demands, the roadway network and transit systems between Durham and Chapel Hill are beginning to strain. Congestion continues to increase, and as more people move to our area, all residents and visitors will experience increased travel times and sprawl compromising our open space and rural areas. This project will connect residents to many of our area’s top employers, provide access to high-quality medical care and educational opportunities and help our local governments prepare for growth by fostering compact development along a high-capacity transportation network.
Both ends of the corridor have central business districts, large medical facilities, and universities that serve as major employment centers for the region. Major trip generators in the corridor include: University of North Carolina; North Carolina Central University; Duke University; Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center; Durham Amtrak Station; Durham Performing Arts Center; Durham Station; and downtown Durham. Bus service in the corridor today is slow due to traffic congestion. The DOLRT will provide an alternative to congested roadways.
It is anticipated that the Federal Transit Administration’s New Starts program will provide approximately 50 percent of the project’s capital cost. Durham County will pay approximately 30 percent and the remaining funding will come from Orange County (6 percent), the state (7.7 percent) and other sources (6.3 percent). Durham and Orange counties approved a half-cent sales tax increase that will be used for the project, among other transit investments. GoTriangle will also pursue Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act credit assistance and possible alternative financing and value capture options.
Orange County's adopted budget for FY19 included a conservative sales tax growth estimate of 2 percent. This figure does not represent the county's forecast or expected revenues. Instead, the county -- like most local governments -- typically budgets revenue growth conservatively. This is to help the county avoid any shortfalls in revenue that could cause a budget crisis later in the fiscal year.
Historically, county sales tax revenues have grown at a rate much higher than what was included in the county's approved budget and higher than the projections made by GoTriangle for the DOLRT. In fact, the Article 43 sales tax revenue grew at 8.4% in FY17 and 7.8% in FY18. For the first three months of FY19, revenue from the Article 43 is exceeding the budgeted growth rate, averaging around 6.0%.
Final funding commitments are required prior to the approval of a full funding grant agreement by the Federal Transit Administration. Both Durham and Orange County are committed to meet the April 30, 2019, Federal Transit Administration application deadline.
Below is the project timeline provided by GoTriangle.
People eligible for early voting include:
To vote early appear at one of the designated One-Stop Early Voting sites during the Early Voting period, state your name and current address. Once identified on the voter registration list, you will be given the same ballot that you would be given on Election Day.
Early Voting starts the 3rd Wednesday prior to Election Day (20 days before the upcoming Election) and ends on the Saturday prior to Election Day (3 days before the upcoming Election).
If the fire is in your house, get out and call 911 from another location. If you see a fire somewhere else, try to give the telecommunicators as much information about what is on fire and where as possible.
If the call is an emergency a telecommunicator will ask you important questions as to where the call is, and what type of call it is. Stay on the line and answer the questions. This does not slow down dispatch. During an emergency call, another telecommunicator is dispatching the proper agencies while you are answering the questions. View more information about calling 911.
This is an acronym which refers to hazardous materials. Hazardous materials are chemicals, hydrocarbons, or other man-made compounds that have accidentally been released from their containers. Hazardous materials can be found stored in homes, at businesses and being transported on highways and railroads.
There are two types of smoke detectors - ionization and photo-electric. The function of both is the same. When smoke or smoke particulates are detected, an alarm will sound. This alarm is usually a high-pitched steady tone and the detector may have flashing or strobe lights. Smoke detectors are either hard-wired or battery operated or a combination of the two. When a smoke detector starts giving a low occasional chirping sound, this indicates that your battery is going dead. If you buy a smoke detector, read the manufacturers' direction completely.
In most cases you are given instructions at the time of the evacuation orders. These instructions may be to carry certain things to a shelter with you or in some cases (such as a hazardous material leak), you may be told to leave immediately. It is extremely important that you follow directions at the time you are told to evacuate. You should be told where to go and how to get there. In some cases you may be able to drive your car; in some cases you may be told to walk.
Basically you need food, water, and human comfort supplies.
Yes, however, pets are not allowed to stay in human shelters. Arrangements are made for Animal Protection or Animal Control to receive your pet and carry it to a pet shelter for the duration of your stay.
You should have enough food and water on hand for your family for 72-hours as part of your preparedness. When disasters last longer, disaster control authorities will be bringing in water and setting up food stations. People in the affected areas will be informed as to the location of these two distribution places.
Listen to the public media. Most media outlets work with the Department of Transportation to give road condition reports. Do not call 911 because they do not have the information readily available. 911 deals only with local roads for emergency response purposes.
A watch simply means conditions are favorable for something to happen. A warning means it is going to happen.
Call your local planning and zoning office. They can give you information as to whether you are in the flood plain. Being in a flood plain means that you live in an area subject to flooding by creeks or rivers leaving their banks because of heavy rains, snow run-offs, etc.
This depends on the type freezer you have (whether upright or chest type). Most freezers if not opened will keep food 24 to 72 hours. Frozen food that thaws can be cooked immediately and then refrozen.
Shelter in place means that you are to stay where you are until advised to do otherwise. This could be at home, an office, at school or somewhere public. One of the best descriptions of sheltering in place and the considerations for sheltering in place at home during a storm is at the Ready North Carolina website.
The Orange County Revenue Department is charged with the duties of billing, filing insurance, and the collection of fees charged for emergency medical services. More information can be found at the Orange County Revenue website.
Please contact the Emergency Services Data Manager at 919-245-6100 with the address where the alarm is located to get the appropriate telephone number.
The benefits of starting a CERT include free emergency preparedness training, immediate emergency response services after a disaster, and increased community involvement. As an added bonus, CERT members receive educational materials, CERT equipment (as available), and a certificate of completion.
CERT provides community members with skills such as disaster preparedness, fire safety, basic medical operations, light search and rescue, team organization, and more. Additionally, the Orange County CERT in partnership with Orange County Emergency Services offers regular advanced training opportunities for those who have already completed CERT Basic Training.
The Fall CERT Basic Training will begin on September 10 and will be held at Durham Tech Community College (525 College Park Rd, Hillsborough, NC 27278). Course registrations open on August 1, 2019. Register through NC TERMS: Click here for NC TERMS course listing
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for any registration or course questions. Course Schedule (PDF)
Other training events and opportunities beyond Orange County can be found on the North Carolina CERT Calendar.
No, there is no fee.
The New Capital Loan program was approved by the Board of County Commissioners on September 20, 2018. The revolving loan program will be funded with $500,000 and be a part of the County’s Community Loan Fund. The Community Loan Fund is an existing County revolving loan fund that could be expanded and capitalized further through our annual capital financing borrowings.
The proposed nonprofit capital timeline and process is similar to our current Outside Agency Operating Budget timeline and process as indicated below:
Yes, your organization must have received County operating funds as an Outside Agency for a minimum of three years to qualify for the new Capital Loan program.
Loan eligibility criteria:
The County’s Department of Finance and Administrative Services will need to review three years of audited financial statements to complete a Financial Capacity Review. County staff will further review four Key Performance Indicators (KPI) 1) Quick (Liquidity) Ratio 2) Debt Ratio 3) Expense Efficiency Ratio and 4) Operating Reserves ratio are often used by public, private entities and financial institutions to determine financial condition and ability to repay short and long-term obligations.
The program is not limited to bricks and mortar assets, furniture and fixtures, equipment and vehicles, with a useful life of 5 years and greater, are eligible for the Capital Loan Program.
There is no minimum amount. The maximum amount is $100,000.
One loan request which may include multiple items is accepted annually.
As long as the agency can meet the County’s Financial Capacity Review as indicated above, there is no cap on outstanding loan requests.
No, for a capital loan your agency must be located in Orange County.
Three Years of Audited Financial Statements by an Independent Certified Public Accounting firm.
The maturity terms are determined by the classification of the asset being financed as well as the loan amount.
You may email your questions regarding the Capital Loan program and policy to email@example.com to the attention of Finance Director Gary Donaldson and/or Budget Management Services Analyst/Outside Agency Manager, Allen Coleman.
The total Orange County sales tax rate is 7.5% and is comprised of:
State of North Carolina
Articles 39,40,42 and 46
Food is exempt from the State portion of sales tax (4.75%) but local sales taxes (Articles 39, 40 and 42) do apply to food to make up a 2% sales tax on food. The Article 43 (half-cent Transit Tax) and Article 46 (quarter-cent county sales tax) do not apply to food.
“Non-qualifying food” includes prepared foods and beverages in restaurants, dietary supplements, food sold through vending machines, bakery items sold with eating utensils, soft drinks and candy.
The 4.75% general sales rate tax plus local taxes, including the transit and Article 46 sales tax, are charged on purchases of "non-qualifying food."
The reduced 2% local tax rate is charged on “qualifying food,” which includes groceries and bakery items sold without eating utensils.
Yes. There are two distinct sales tax distributions; a) State-wide and b) County-wide.
The state collects local sales taxes (Articles 39, 40 and 42) and distributes them to counties using two different formulas. Articles 39 and 42, which account for 1.5%, are distributed on a point of delivery basis. The point of delivery benefits counties with strong commercial bases. The remaining .5% from Article 40 is distributed on a per capita basis. The per capita basis methodology pools the .5% of Article 40 State-wide tax proceeds and allocates based on the relative population of each county.
Counties then distribute sales taxes to municipalities using one of two methods; either on a per capita basis or ad valorem basis. The Orange County Board has approved a distribution based on a per capita basis but can choose to change its distribution method each April. The per capita basis allocates revenues based on municipalities' population relative to the County-wide population. The ad valorem basis allocates based on municipalities' property tax rate relative to the County-wide total property tax rate.
The Article 43 (transit tax) is not shared with other local governments and is instead managed by GoTriangle on behalf of Orange County. The Article 46 quarter-cent tax is, by agreement from the BOCC, split between Economic Development initiatives and the public school systems in the county. It is also not shared directly with other local governments.
Yes. Effective November 1, 2018 all remote sellers having gross sales in excess of $100,000 sourced to North Carolina or 200 or more separate transactions sourced to North Carolina in the previous or current calendar year (collectively "Threshold") must register to collect and remit sales and use tax to North Carolina. Remote sellers may voluntarily begin collecting and remitting sales and use tax any time prior to November 1, 2018.
The Internet Tax Freedom Act prohibits North Carolina from imposing a sales tax on Internet access services, but does not prohibit North Carolina from taxing sales made via the Internet.
A seller that does not have a physical presence in North Carolina and does not have any other legal requirement to register in North Carolina for sales and use tax purposes, but sells products for delivery into North Carolina, is a remote seller subject to the requirements of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 105-164.8(b).
North Carolina is a destination-based state (sales are taxed where the buyer is located). Merchants collect the tax for the state where the merchandise is delivered to the customer. If the item is shipped to the customer, then tax applies for the delivery state. If the customer picks up the item at the merchant's location, tax should be collected for that state.
Sales tax is charged on the gross receipts of the retail sale or lease of tangible personal property (TPP), certain digital property, and certain services.
For manufacturers, purchases used for production are not taxed.
For distributors, items purchased for resale are not taxed.
The sales tax is imposed on sales where the transfer of title or possession occurs within the taxing jurisdiction. Therefore, if a sale occurs in interstate commerce, the original state where the sale occurs cannot tax the transaction. The destination state will be subject to the tax. If the vendor is registered to collect the destination state’s tax, the use tax should be collected and remitted to that state.
No. Existing State law, N.C. Gen. Stat. § 105-164.8(b), requires a retailer making remote sales sourced to North Carolina to register, collect, and remit sales and use tax on the remote sales. If sales and use tax is not collected by the seller, the purchaser is required to track and annually self-report use tax from mail order and online retailers. This consumer use tax was enacted in 1939.
Nexus is determined in North Carolina by the state’s Doing Business Rule (North Carolina's Doing Business Rule, 17 NCAC 5C .0102).
Business activities that establish nexus in North Carolina include:
HBI is confidential, specialized counseling for Medicaid eligible pregnant women to help you better cope with life's difficult problems. HBI is a service of the North Carolina Baby Love Program.
The counseling provider is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) who specializes in women's issues.
The service is provided either in your home, the Orange County Health Department (OCHD) Clinics or other locations as appropriate.
Health and Behavioral Intervention Program (HBI) is a free service to Medicaid eligible pregnant women. Your Medicaid will be billed.
How often you meet will be determined by you and the counselor based on your needs.
To receive the Health and Behavioral Intervention Program (HBI) service talk with your Orange County Health Department clinic nurse or social worker about making a referral for you.
For more information about this program contact:
Health and Behavioral Interventionist
Orange County Health Department
Family Home Visiting Services
P.O. Box 8181
Anthrax is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, which can form spores that can survive in the environment for long periods of time. Anthrax infection can occur in three forms: cutaneous (skin), inhalation (lung), and gastrointestinal (stomach and intestines). Humans usually contract the disease when handling products from contaminated animals.
If people have intentionally been exposed, as in a bioterrorist release, breathing in spores is the most likely route of exposure that might lead to a serious infection (inhalation anthrax).
Exposure to anthrax may occur if a person has been in contact with or in the presence of anthrax spores. It will depend on how the anthrax was released, where it was released, and where you were relative to the release site.
Being exposed does not necessarily mean that you will become infected. People may be exposed without actually being infected. It usually takes a lot of spores to actually infect a person.
You will need to be tested and/or treated only if it is determined that you have actually been exposed or were likely to have been exposed to the anthrax spores. If you are determined to be at risk, you will be given antibiotics to try and prevent an infection from developing, along with verbal and written instructions about taking the antibiotics. Your health care provider and the health department will make that determination.
Inhalation anthrax (caused by breathing in the spores) and gastrointestinal anthrax (caused by ingesting spores or bacteria) are not spread from person to person. Even if you develop symptoms of inhalation anthrax or gastrointestinal anthrax, you are not contagious to other persons, regardless of whether you are taking antibiotics or not. Cutaneous anthrax does not usually develop into a serious infection if it is treated with antibiotics. Discharge from the skin sore(s) caused by cutaneous anthrax can contain anthrax spores that can be controlled by proper bandaging.
Signs of bed bugs in your residence include the following:
If you rent your house or apartment, tell the owner or apartment manager. They should help you treat the problem with a professional exterminator. Act quickly and follow these steps to eliminate the bed bugs and keep them from traveling to other homes:
Property tenants can find information on how to control a bed bug situation by reading our Guidelines for Tenants page.
Bed bugs do not tend to spread disease, but they can be irritating and their bites can cause allergic reactions to the skin (itching, swelling or burning). If you crush one with your hands or scratch your own bites, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly so you don’t cause an infection.
Betel nut is the seed of an areca palm that grows in tropical parts of the Pacific, Asia and eastern Africa. It is said to have both stimulant and relaxation effects and is often used as a digestive aid or to sweeten breath.
It can be chewed alone, but is most commonly used as “betel quid” (a mixture of thinly sliced areca nut, tobacco, slaked lime, and spices or flavorings, wrapped in a leaf.) It is placed in between the tongue and cheek. When it has been thoroughly chewed, the user spits it out.
Twice per year an unannounced inspection is made by Environmental Health staff. Additional inspections are required if a childcare center receives a "provisional" or "disapproved" rating.
No. While the Health Department is responsible for inspections, the license is actually issued by the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education.
Yes, a placard is posted in each daycare showing the result of the inspection as: Superior, Approved, Provisional, or Disapproved. Child Care Center Rules (PDF) offer more information on inspection results and guidelines for each grade.
You will need to speak with someone from Environmental Health to discuss your proposal. A plan review application (PDF) will need to be filled out and turned in. You will also need to discuss your plans with the building inspections office and fire marshal. If your proposed business is served by a well or septic system, additional investigations will be needed. You will also need to apply for a daycare license from the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education.
The law defines child care as: 3 or more unrelated children under 13 years of age, receiving care from a non-relative, on a regular basis of at least once a week, and for more than 4 hours per day but less than 24 hours. It is only when all of these conditions exist that regulation is required.
E. coli is a common kind of bacteria that lives in the intestines of animals and people. There are many strains of E. coli and most do not cause serious illness. However, there are some strains that produce a toxin that can cause severe illness.
These strains are called “shiga toxin-producing E. coli”. E. coli 0157:H7 is the name of one of the most common toxic strains of this type of bacteria. It is found in the intestines of some cattle, deer, goats and sheep.
People with E. coli infection usually have a sudden onset of diarrhea, often with visible blood, and stomach cramps. Most people have no fever or a very low-grade fever. A stool sample tested specifically for E. coli is the best way to determine if someone is infected.
Taking antibiotics or over-the-counter anti-diarrhea medicines can make the infection worse. Call your doctor if you experience sudden diarrhea with blood in it.
Yes, it can be dangerous for some. It is especially dangerous for children under the age of five and for the elderly or adults with weakened immune systems. The bacteria can cause kidney failure and bleeding and can lead to death.
E. coli bacteria are spread by eating and drinking contaminated food or water, or by putting contaminated objects or hands into the mouth. E. coli can be spread in the following ways:
Follow these tips to prevent E. coli infection:
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), viral gastroenteritis is an infection caused by a variety of viruses that cause vomiting and diarrhea. Though not caused by flu viruses, it is often called the 'stomach flu'.
It is common to see a spike in gastroenteritis cases in the winter as cold weather drives us inside to close quarters with our co-workers and family members. Viral gastroenteritis is very contagious. Anyone can get it, but persons in institutional settings like schools and hospitals are more prone to such infections.
The viruses can be spread through close contact with infected persons by sharing food, water or eating utensils and touching common surfaces or objects. Individuals may also become infected by eating or drinking contaminated foods or beverages.
Foods and beverages may become contaminated by infected food handlers that do not properly wash their hands after using the bathroom. Foods and beverages may be contaminated by sewage at harvest. Water can also be contaminated by sewage and be the source of viral spread.
Vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain are symptoms of gastroenteritis. Symptoms occur 1 to 2 days after being exposed to the viruses and may last from 1 to 10 days. Most people recover within 1 to 2 days, depending on the virus causing illness.
Gastroenteritis becomes serious when the person cannot replace enough fluids lost during vomiting and diarrhea and becomes dehydrated. Hospitalization may be needed to correct or prevent dehydration, especially among the very young, elderly or immuno-compromised person.
Hand washing is a key step in stopping gastroenteritis. It is also important to follow proper food storage and preparation rules. Reporting an unusual number of these illnesses to Public Health officials also helps identify potential infection points.
When one experiences diarrhea and vomiting, the immediate disinfection of contaminated surfaces with household bleach-based cleaners and prompt washing of soiled items is essential in preventing secondary spread to others. Cleaning doorknobs, faucets, telephones and other commonly touched objects can also reduce the amount of spread among family members or co-workers.
During the winter and summer, there are plenty of opportunities to gather with friends and co-workers. Usually these events are centered around meals. Potlucks, cookouts, church events and catered meals offer times to spread good cheer.
The Orange County Health Department warns that these events can also be opportunities to spread illness. Food borne outbreaks can happen at any occasion and at any time, but the holiday meals can be a recipe for disaster if hosts and those who prepare food don't follow smart food safety practices.
Good temperature control guidelines include:
Do the following to help keep things clean:
The responsibility for the health of your guests may just be in your hands. Whether you are hosting a holiday function or are a guest who brings a dish, please keep these food tips in mind:
Our office inspects lodging at least once per year.
Depending on the menu items, some continental breakfast operations are exempt from permits. Other menus with certain food items may require permits from our office. If you have questions about this, speak with the manager or with our office.
Under certain conditions required in the NCGS 97-7.1 (PDF), pets may be allowed in hotel rooms if the requirement for posting signs are met.
The Orange County Environmental Health inspects the following establishments:
The rules for each of the facilities are available. In addition, the inspection records for these facilities are available online.
Staphylococcus aureus, often called “staph”, is a common type of bacteria that can be found in the nose and on the skin of about one out of every three people. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, also called MRSA, are staph that are not killed by many of the antibiotics doctors used to prescribe most commonly for staph infections.
Until the mid-1990s, MRSA mainly affected patients in hospitals and other healthcare settings. Since that time, a new strain of MRSA has emerged. This new strain is called community-associated MRSA, and has rapidly become one of the most common causes of skin and soft tissue infections among otherwise healthy people in the community.
Many people carry MRSA on their skin, and most will never get sick from it. Skin infections occur when the bacteria get in through small scrapes or cuts, sometimes too small to notice. The infected area usually begins with a red bump that resembles a pimple or insect bite. If untreated, the lesion may become hard and painful or may drain pus (often called a “boil” or a skin abscess).
MRSA is most often spread through direct physical contact with an infected person. Draining lesions are highly infectious and represent an important source of spread. MRSA can also be spread by touching objects that have been soiled with drainage from an infected wound such as bandages, towels, or athletic equipment, although this is less common than direct person-to-person spread.
Outbreaks of MRSA have occurred in households, on sports teams, in prisons, in daycare centers, and in other settings where people have close contact or share equipment and personal items.
Unlike hospital-associated MRSA, most community-associated MRSA infections can be treated with several types of antibiotics, including some that can be taken by mouth.
Not all MRSA skin infections require antibiotics; treatment decisions should be made by a doctor or other licensed healthcare provider. Occasionally, community-associated MRSA can cause blood stream infections, joint infections, pneumonia, or other severe infections in an otherwise well person.
The North Carolina Food Code Manual Section 3-201.16 states: "(A) Except as specified in ¶ (B) of this section, mushroom species picked in the wild shall be obtained from sources where each mushroom is individually inspected and found to be safe by an APPROVED mushroom identification expert. ᴾ (B) This section does not apply to:
North Carolina's Food Protection Branch formed a committee to research the best practice for wild mushroom regulation in 2016. The committee established requirements that would allow wild mushroom foragers to sell to food establishments using the criteria set forth in the CFP "Guidance Document for a Model Wild-harvested Mushroom Program."
Because paragraph 3-210.16(A) of the Code does not specify requirements for an "approved mushroom identification expert, the CFP guidance document was used to determine the criteria that must be met for a wild mushroom forager to be an "approved mushroom identification expert". The criteria include record keeping and trace-ability, and written buyer specifications.
It is the responsibility of the wild mushroom forager and the food establishment to provide and maintain documented proof that the forager is an "approved mushroom identification expert" in accordance with CFP guidance document criteria.
Documented proof provided by the forager includes a written statement as to their qualifications and successful completion of training specifically related to wild mushrooms. The documentation must include curriculum information about:
The forager may provide a signed and dated letter or certificate issued by the accrediting person or organization certifying that the forager has successfully completed wild mushroom identification training. The letter and/or certificate must specify the species of wild mushroom(s) the forager is qualified to identify.
The "North Carolina Wild Mushroom Verification Form" must be completed and signed by the wild mushroom forager and the person in charge (PIC) of the permitted food establishment. The following are also required:
The "North Carolina Wild Mushroom Verification/Sale Tag" must be attached to the container in which the wild harvested mushrooms are received and the container is empty. The tag must contain the following information:
Species allowed in North Carolina restaurants include:
Yes, view the following resources for more information:
Rabies is a disease that attacks the nervous system of many mammals, including humans. It is caused by the rabies virus. Once symptoms begin, rabies is nearly always fatal. In humans, it usually takes 3 to 8 weeks after exposure to the virus to begin having symptoms.
Rabies is spread when an infected animal’s saliva or nervous system tissue comes in contact with a break in the skin, (such as a bite, scrape or other wound) or with a mucous membrane (like the inside of the nose, mouth or eyes). The most common way rabies is spread is by a bite from an infected animal. Rabies can also be spread by licks or scratches.
Rabies virus is shed in the saliva of an infected dog or cat for 5 days before it shows signs of rabies. If a dog or cat bites a human, the law requires it to be quarantined to watch for signs of rabies disease. If your pet has contact with an animal that might have rabies, do the following:
You cannot tell if a bat has rabies just by looking at it. All contact with bats should be avoided. If a bat is in your home, do the following:
Remember, bat bites can’t always be seen by looking at the skin. They are often not painful and might not wake up a sleeping person.
The following people need treatment to prevent rabies diseases:
Radon is a naturally occurring, invisible, odorless gas that comes from deposits of uranium in sod, rock, and water. It is harmlessly dispersed in outdoor air, but when trapped in buildings can be harmful, especially at elevated levels. Radon is a radioactive decay product of radium, which is a decay product of uranium. Both uranium and radium are common elements in soil.
The primary source of high levels of radon in homes is the surrounding soil and underlying rock. Radon in water is found in nearly all sources of surface water and groundwater. Water that flows through or over radium rich rock formations chiefly found in the Piedmont and mountain regions of the sate, accumulate radium and thus radon from the decay process. Groundwater usually has much higher levels than surface water because radon in groundwater is "trapped" by being submerged and cannot easily escape.
Air pressure inside your home is usually lower than pressure in the soil around your home's foundation. Because of this difference in pressure, your house acts like a vacuum, drawing radon in through foundation cracks and other openings like floor drains, ductwork, and pipes.
Radon may also be present in well water and can be released in the air in your home when water is used for showering and other household uses. In most cases, radon entering your home through water is a small risk compared with radon entering your home from the soil.
Exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Radon can be inhaled into the lungs, where it undergoes radioactive decay. As it decays, radon releases tiny bursts of energy called alpha particles, which can harm sensitive lung tissue by damaging the DNA. This damaged DNA can lead to lung cancer.
The main type of cancer caused by radon in water is also lung cancer. This is because a large fraction of radon in water is released to the air when water is used in common household tasks such as showering, washing clothes, and other uses where water can become vaporized.
Radon is measured in picocuries per liter or air (pQ/L). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that homes with radon levels or about 4 pG/L be fixed. The "action" levels in water are set much higher at 300 pG/L.
The water levels are considerably higher because it takes high levels of radon in water to produce significant levels of radon in air. The rule of thumb is that it takes 10,000 pG/L or radon in water to raise the level of radon in air 1 pG/L. Using this rule, it would take 40,000 pG/L in water to raise the indoor air radon level to 4 pG/L.
The Environmental Health Services Division at the Orange County Health Department has radon air sampling canisters available at no charge for residents in areas where there may be concern about high levels of indoor radon. A limited number of water sample kits are also available through Environmental Health. Staff will either collect the water samples or help homeowners to self-collect water samples.
You may also get air testing and water testing kits through a list of distributors on the web site at the bottom of the page or by calling Orange County Health Department at 919-245-2360 if you do not have internet access.
Radon problems can sometimes by fixed by caulking cracks along basement foundations, sealing leaks around pipes, or installing a pipe and fan system to vent the radon away from beneath the house. If water is releasing a significant amount into the indoor air space, water aeration or carbon filters that absorb the radon may help the situation. There is a list of North Carolina organizations that specialize in radon mitigation (radon reduction systems) on the North Carolina extension website or by calling Orange County Environmental Health Services at 919-245-2360.
Refugee Health services are provided to individuals with refugee, asylee or parolee status, who have recently relocated to the United States and are living in Orange County. Certain other groups are also eligible for these special “Refugee” health services, including Amerasians, Cuban/Haitian entrants, victims of severe forms of trafficking, and individuals with special immigrant visas from Iraq and Afghanistan.
As directed by the North Carolina Refugee Health Program, the Health Department provides a refugee health assessment which includes:
This assessment is to be performed within 30 days of the person's arrival in the country. The Health Department is also a designated Civil Surgeon for refugee immunizations only. Refugees seeking assistance with their I-693 form need to schedule an appointment. View I-693 appointment and civil surgeon information in the following languages:
Most of these services are covered by Medicaid and / or Refugee Medical Assistance, and are free to the covered individual. There may be costs associated with some services such as the I-693 and some immunizations.
Interpreters are utilized as needed. All visits are by appointment and are usually conducted at the Chapel Hill office of the Orange County Health Department. For an appointment, call 919-245-2400. For more information, ask for the Refugee Health Nurse or the Immigrant and Refugee Health Program Manager.
You will need to contact the licensing agency.
You may speak to the manager of the facility about your concerns. If they are not addressed, feel free to contact our office to discuss the issues.
State operated hospitals are inspected by the Regional Environmental Health Specialist with the Environmental Health Section of the Department of Health and Human Services. County owned and private hospitals are inspected by county health departments.
The school cafeteria is inspected separately from the school building. The cafeteria kitchen is inspected 4 times per year and held to the same standard as a food service establishment; the grade is posted.
School buildings are inspected once a year, independent from their cafeterias. We do not currently post the grade of the inspection. However, future revisions to the state rules may change this.
A school building is inspected one time per year minimum.
Public, private and religious schools are all inspected by the Health Department.
Grey water is the wastewater, excluding toilet waste, that comes from plumbing fixtures in the home. It includes waste from washing machines, sinks and bathtubs. Grey water contains bacteria that can make people sick (pathogens) and must be disposed of in an approved sewer or septic system.
Once water enters the drain of a plumbing fixture, it must be connected to an approved wastewater system. It is illegal to disconnect drains to use the water for irrigation or other purposes.
It is considered by some to be acceptable to capture bathwater or dish washing water in a pail to use for plant watering. If this is done, the water must be used immediately and should not sit around for a long period of time before use.
For maintenance, a septic tank should be pumped to keep the system working properly. How often it is pumped depends on the amount of sewage generated, the size of the family and the size of the tank. Generally, a septic tank should be checked every 5 years to see if it needs to be pumped. North Carolina State University's Septic Systems and Maintenance website provides more information.
A septic system should be inspected at least every 5 years to check if the septic tank needs pumping and for other operational problems. A list of certified inspectors is available from the state certification board website. If you suspect problems with the system including wet areas in that area of your yard, slow draining plumbing or sewage odor, you should contact our office to come out and check out the system.
A conventional septic system has a typical life of between 20 and 40 years. There are many factors that will affect the useful life including soil type, landscape position, amount of water used in the house and most important – maintenance of the system.
To maintain your septic system, you should conserve water, don’t flush chemicals or grease down the drain, maintain the ground cover over the drain field, and have the tank checked every 5 years. Our septic system page offers more information on septic system maintenance.
For homes or businesses built where the sewer system is not available, the following permits will need to be issued by Environmental Health:
Access an application (PDF) for permits.
If you are not increasing the number of bedrooms and the addition does not encroach on the septic system or well, you will need to apply for an Existing System Authorization. You will need to submit the application along with a floor plan and site plan. Our office will visit the site and if there are no problems, will issue the authorization before the building permit can be issued.
If the number of bedrooms is increasing, or the septic system needs to be relocated, you will likely need to apply for an Improvement Permit and Construction Authorization. Please talk with one of our staff to make this determination.
Improvement Permits and Construction Authorizations are valid for 5 years. It is possible to get an improvement permit that has no expiration. For this type of permit, the application must contain a plat prepared by a registered land surveyor to a scale of 1 inch to 60 feet or less, showing the house location, driveway, water supplies, surface waters and other structures. Please talk with a staff member if you are interested in this type of permit.
When people say that land percs, they are implying that the land has been evaluated, and a site on the property has been identified as acceptable for a septic tank system. Be cautious of claims that a certain property has been “perked” unless a valid permit has been issued by the Health Department. "Perc" test is an antiquated term that refers to the practice of digging post holes and pouring water in them to see how quickly the water percolates or is absorbed into the ground.
This type of testing was replaced in the mid 1970s with a comprehensive soil and site evaluation. An evaluation consists of several auger borings or pits where our staff evaluates the soil texture, structure, consistence, and evidence of long-term drainage performance as indicated by color. If an adequate area of soil is found with suitable soil and topography, our staff will issue an Improvement Permit indicating the site can be used for a septic system drain field (absorption field). Permits are good for 5 years.
A conventional septic system refers to the type of drain field on a septic system. After sewage passes through the septic tank, it goes to a drainfield (also known as a leach field or absorption field). The drain field consists of a trench filled with gravel and a pipe or some other material that allows the liquid from a septic tank to percolate into the soil.
Septic systems are sized according to the number of bedrooms in a house. The more bedrooms, the bigger the tank size and more area required for the drain field. If a property has a permit for a 3 bedroom home, and you wish to have a 4 or 5 bedroom home, you will need to apply for a new improvement permit and construction authorization in order to increase the size of the septic system.
It is important to note that for the purpose of sizing septic systems that a bedroom is considered to be any room in the home that can reasonably function as a bedroom, regardless of the current use of the room. A typical 4-bedroom septic system and repair area will need about 1/4 to 1/3 of an acre of acceptable soil.
There could be several factors affecting whether a septic system will fail including age, soil conditions, water usage and the level of maintenance. Many system drain fields fail because of tree roots that grow into the trenches seeking water and nutrients. Many other systems fail because of leaking plumbing that overloads the septic system drain field.
All septic systems will eventually reach their capacity to treat and absorb wastewater. For this reason, it is important to know where your repair area is and to make sure that nothing happens to it.
A repair area is an area of suitable soil that is reserved in case the original drainfield fails. After the repair field is installed, an owner will be able to switch from the old drain field to the new drain field and back again. While one drainfield is working, the other one is resting and rejuvenated. Alternating the two areas allows for a system with an indefinitely longer life.
The best ground cover over a drain field is a well maintained grass cover. While it is not recommended, an owner may choose to plant trees near the drain field area. The exact location of the drain lines need to be known so that a tree is not planted on top of the drain line.
Most modern drain fields have only 6 to 12 inches of back fill over them, and the pipe and trench can be damaged by planting trees too close or on top of the drain line. If trees are planted near the drain field, you should avoid species that are known to have problem roots. These species include:
Our office has records that show the septic system location for most county properties. Contact the Environmental Health Office for more information.
Any public pool, spa or wading pool that serves more than one family is inspected and must receive an annual permit to operate. These pools may be located at:
Seasonal pools (those that do not operate from November through March) are inspected at least once per year and prior to opening for the season. Year-round pools are inspected at least twice per year.
Showers must be available for use at any pool built after 2003. In addition, the pool is required to state clearly on a sign that a shower is required before entering the pool.
All pools are required to have suction prevention drain covers in place. If you suspect that a drain cover is missing or broken, contact our office immediately.
If the bottom of the pool can not be seen clearly from the deck, it indicates a chemical imbalance. The pool must be closed immediately and can not reopen until the chemicals have been adjusted and the water quality standards are met. A submerged swimmer in trouble may not be visible, and this presents a safety hazard.
If you encounter a pool with cloudiness, please contact our office immediately.
Pools do not have posted grades, however they must meet specified requirements in order to operate. You can visit our inspection results or ask the pool operator to view the permit.
The pool operator must visit the pool at least once daily to measure and record water quality and to make necessary adjustments for maintenance.
Inspections are conducted at least once per year. A new permit is required for each artist annually.
Orange County Environmental Health issues permits to each individual tattoo artists within a designated location.
Yes. Any newly constructed or repaired well must have a permit issued by the Health Department. You will need to apply for a permit by filling out and submitting an application (PDF). You must pay a permit fee for new wells, however there is no charge for a well repair or abandonment permit.
When a new well is constructed, we make a site visit at least 4 times to do the following:
A properly protected well should provide many years of trouble-free service. Modern drilled wells are generally protected from extended droughts, however you should practice water conservation in the home to benefit the well and to extend the life of your septic system. Make sure that the well is protected from freezing and that surface water is not allowed to pond around the well.
Wells that are no longer in use must be properly closed. Open or unprotected wells act as a route for contaminants to quickly reach the groundwater, which can then contaminate other wells. An unprotected well can also present a significant safety hazard and liability for the owner.
A packet (PDF) explaining the proper abandonment of wells is provided by the Health Department. If you still have questions, please contact us.
You can turn in an application for water testing along with payment to our Environmental Health office. Our technician will come to your property to collect the sample which is tested at the North Carolina State Laboratory for Public Health. Once the testing is completed, we will email or mail the results to you.
A bacteria test checks for the presence of total coliform bacteria and fecal coliform bacteria. These bacteria are not normally present in deeper groundwater sources. They are associated with warm-blooded animals, so they are normally found in surface water and in shallow groundwater (less than 20 to 40 feet in depth).
These bacteria are not necessarily pathogenic bacteria that make people sick but are used as standard indicators of the safety of the water. If these bacteria are present, then the conditions are favorable for harmful bacteria to exist. While some people may be unaffected from drinking the water, many have symptoms of stomach and intestinal illness, diarrhea, etc., especially the young, the old and immuno-compromised individuals.
It is recommended to disinfect the well (PDF) by thoroughly chlorinating it and then applying for a re-testing once the chlorine is flushed out. In the meantime, do not use the water for drinking or cooking unless it is first boiled for one minute.
If you have a return of total coliform bacteria, you can either have the well repaired or install a water treatment system such as a chlorinator or an ultra-violet light system. If fecal coliform bacteria returns, it is recommended to either repair the well or replace it. Disinfection treatment is not considered an acceptable remedy for wells with confirmed fecal coliform Bacteria.
Wells are chlorinated to rid them of bacteria contamination. Wells that are properly protected with casings and seals and that are properly constructed only need chlorination when the well and pump is first installed and whenever any repair or maintenance is done. If bacteria continue to return, the well either needs to be repaired, or a continuous disinfection system should be installed.
Wells drilled after July 2008 are tested within 30 days, although wells drilled before that were tested only on request. After successful initial testing, a properly constructed well would not need re-testing for another 5 or 10 years, however whenever a well has been opened up for repairs or pump replacement, it should be retested. Also, if there are any distinct changes in the water quality, we recommend that water testing be done.
These smells are typically caused by sulfur bacteria or sulfate-reducing bacteria. While not harmful, this can be a very unpleasant condition. We recommend to first disinfect the well (PDF) and the water system thoroughly.
Be careful to use a strong enough solution and to make sure the chlorine water gets into every portion of the water pipe system. After flushing out the chlorine, if the smell returns, you may want to apply to our office for a sulfur bacteria sample.
Our office can provide water testing and the testing results. Please feel free to contact us to discuss the results. The Water Quality Association also has an interactive guide for diagnosing water problems.
Pesticide and petroleum product tests can be somewhat expensive and are usually unnecessary unless there is a known source of contaminants, such as an underground oil or gas tank, or if the water has an odor or taste related to these contaminants.
West Nile Virus (WNV) is a disease of birds. Mosquitoes are WNV carriers that become infected when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes can then spread WNV to humans and other animals when they bite. There have been no documented cases of WNV spreading from person to person or animal to person.
In a very small number of cases, West Nile Virus also has spread through blood transfusions, organ transplants, breastfeeding and even during pregnancy from mother to baby. West Nile Virus is not spread through casual contact such as touching or kissing a person with the virus. Viruses are most likely to be spread during the warm weather months when mosquitoes are most active, usually beginning in the spring and lasting until the first hard frost.
Most people who are infected with the West Nile virus (WNV) will not have any type of illness. It is estimated that 20% of the people who become infected will develop West Nile fever with mild symptoms, including fever, headache, and body aches, occasionally with a skin rash on the trunk of the body and swollen lymph glands. Incubation is usually 3 to 15 days.
It is estimated that 1 in 150 persons infected with the West Nile virus will develop a more severe form of disease. The symptoms of severe infection (West Nile encephalitis or meningitis) include:
All residents of areas where virus activity has been identified are at risk of getting West Nile encephalitis; persons over 50 years of age have the highest risk of severe disease. It is unknown if immuno-compromised persons are at increased risk for WNV disease.
Mosquitoes can carry Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), a virus of birds usually found in eastern North Carolina. It may cause headache and muscle ache, seizures, coma and death. There is a vaccine to protect horses.
They can also carry LaCross encephalitis (LAC), a virus of small mammals like squirrels and chipmunks usually found in the very western part of the state. LAC usually causes mile flu-like symptoms. Young children may experience seizure and coma.
Protect yourself from West Nile and other mosquito-borne illnesses by avoiding mosquito bites. Use clothing and repellents to protect skin. Use common sense - read and follow repellent labels carefully.
Mosquitoes need only a few days and a little water to breed. Eliminate standing water - tip, drip, and drain trapped water. Monitor pet bowls, birdbaths, pools, and other outdoor containers for mosquito breeding.
Dead birds, especially crows, cardinals, blue jays, hawks and other raptors, may be a sign West Nile is present in your community.
Pertussis - or whooping cough - is an infection of the respiratory system caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis (or B. pertussis). It's characterized by severe coughing spells that end in a "whooping" sound when the person breathes in.
Babies are most at risk for whooping cough. Each year, many babies are hospitalized for whooping cough and some die.
The first symptoms of whooping cough are similar to those of a common cold:
After about 1 to 2 weeks, the dry, irritating cough evolves into coughing spells. During a coughing spell, which can last for more than a minute, the child may turn red or purple. At the end of a spell, the child may make a characteristic whooping sound when breathing in or may vomit. Between spells, the child usually feels well.
Whooping cough shots safely prevent the disease, but, your new baby is too young to get the shot. To protect your baby, make sure that all caretakers and family members are up-to-date on their whooping cough shots. Protection from the disease and the shots wears off. Make sure anyone 10 years of age or older gets a booster shot, called Tdap, at least two weeks before they have contact with your baby.
Babies most often catch whooping cough from a family member. By protecting yourself from the disease, you also protect your baby. New parents should ask their doctor for a Tdap shot. You can get it:
If you have not gotten your Tdap shot yet, get one before leaving the hospital with your new baby. It’s safe to get a Tdap shot while breastfeeding. water can become vaporized.
Call the doctor if you think your child has whooping cough. To make a diagnosis, the doctor will take a medical history, do a thorough physical exam, and take nose and throat mucus samples that will be examined and cultured for B. pertussis bacteria. Blood tests and a chest X-ray may also be done.
The Orange County Housing Authority has implemented the Applicant Portal as a secure, web-based tool for applicants to access, update, and view their Wait List information as supplied through a pre-application. The Applicant Portal is accessible at https://orangecountync.myhousing.com/Account/Login.
First select “Register” from the Applicant Portal home page. Enter applicant’s First Initial, Last Name, and Date of Birth - then click the Continue button. If successful, you will be prompted to enter the applicant’s Confirmation ID #. Fill in all of the required information – email address, password, and preferred language. If successful, the screen will display “Registration Complete!”
Please follow instructions that are displayed to correct any issues.
To reset your password select the “Forgot Password” link on the Applicant Portal home page. Enter either your username or email address, encryption code, and then select “Send Password”. A new password will be sent to the email address on file.
Your password can be changed at any time. Log into your Applicant Portal account and select “Change Password” from the menu at the top of the screen. Enter your old password followed by your new password twice and click “Save”. Your password reset will take effect immediately.
If you are having this issue, there is a good chance that you have been locked out of your account. The Applicant Portal will automatically lock the account after five (5) failed log-in attempts. To unlock your account, please email the Housing Authority at OCHAWaitingListInquiries@orangecountync.gov.
You can change your email address at any time. Log into your Applicant Portal account and select “Change Email” from the menu at the top of the screen. Enter your new email address twice and click “Save”. Your email address change will take effect immediately.
After logging in to the Applicant Portal, select “My Waiting List” from the menu of the left. You will see information for each Wait List you are currently on and the position number by bedroom size for each.
After logging in to the Applicant Portal, select “My Waiting List” from the menu on the left. There is a small magnifying glass/icon to the left of each Wait List. Click on this image to see the preferences applied to each Wait List. If no preferences are applied, the screen will say “No records to display”.
When your name has reached the top of one of the Wait List, you will receive a letter via email or mail informing you of this event. It is critical you keep your email and mailing address current. Correspondence that is returned to OCHA marked as “unknown”, “return to sender”, “forwarding address unknown”, or “no such address” will result in an applicant’s removal from the prospective Waiting List.
After logging in to the Applicant Portal, select “Create Request” from the menu on the left. Then select the type of request you would like to make from the drop down menu. The form will display on the screen. Complete the form and click “Save”. Your request should be completed.
The following changes can be made in the Applicant Portal:
Please allow up to twenty-four (24) hours for the system to reflect any changes that you make.
After logging in to the Applicant Portal, select “View Requests” from the menu on the left.
If you are having this issue, it is likely that your computer is blocking the pop-up window. To work around this, select “Create Request” from the menu on the left. Then select the type of request you would like to make from the drop down menu. The form will display on the screen. Complete the form and click “Save”. Your request should be completed.
Those selected through the lottery will be notified by mail and/or email from OCHA. Status information will only be provided online at https://orangecountync.myhousing.com/Account/Login. Please do not call OCHA for status information. If your legal or mailing address changes, you must update via the OCHA Applicant Portal.
You will receive a letter indicating you were selected to be placed on the OC-LRSP Waiting List. Prospects are required to update all address changes via the OCHA Applicant Portal. Prospects are also required to respond to requests from OCHA to update information on their application. Failure to respond by the specified deadline will result in withdrawal of the application without further notice. Therefore, it is very important that prospects access and check the OCHA Applicant Portal regularly.
All contact made with prospects will be by mail or email. If the prospect fails to have his/her mail forwarded, and there are no address changes on file with the local post office, the OCHA may withdraw the prospect’s name from the Waiting List if there is no response within 10 days.
The prospect will be notified in writing that they have reached the top of the Waiting List. At this time, the prospect will be required to provide information on their income and family composition to verify their eligibility for the program. Note that the initial selection process will not begin until mid-to-late August 2019.
There are several factors that influence how long a prospect may have to wait:
The OC-LRSP vouchers are based on the funding that is approved annually by the Board of County Commissioners. For the Fiscal Year 2019, the OC-LRSP was approved for up to fifteen (15) housing vouchers. Note that once the fifteen (15) vouchers have been utilized, OCHA can only offer housing assistance under the OC-LRSP when someone voluntarily or involuntarily leaves the program unless additional County funds are approved.
The Housing Choice Voucher Program receives a specific number of vouchers from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Currently, HUD is not issuing new vouchers to OCHA or other Public Housing Authorities for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program.
The OC-LRSP is NOT the same program as the HCV Program. Each program has a separate Waiting List and now both Lists are closed.
If you were not selected to be placed on any of OCHA's Waiting Lists, you may reapply when the Waiting Lists are open in the future.
Go to the Applicant Login page and follow the instructions for creating an applicant account. You can now apply for jobs online.
All opened positions are posted on the website on the Job Opportunities page. You can also hear a listing of our current openings by calling the Orange County Job Information Line.
Applications are accepted for open positions only. Applications must be submitted by the deadline noted on the posting (eastern time zone). Once the closing date is over, all applications received will be screened based on minimum qualifications and placed on an eligible ranking list. A referral list of candidates is sent to the hiring department. The hiring department will determine who should be invited to an interview for the position and conduct interviews.
Candidates being offered an interview may not be contacted immediately following the closing date. Simply fulfilling the minimum requirements for a position does not ensure an interview. Orange County reserves the right to re-advertise positions or to delay or cancel the filling of a position. If you need special assistance, in any way, in the employment process, please contact us.
To check on recruitment status, login into your account. If the status is not posted within two weeks of the closing date, feel free to contact us.
No, Orange County does not have a waiting list for positions; however, if you are interested in a position that is not advertised, you may complete a Job Interest Card for a particular position. For the next 12 months after you submit this form, you will receive an email notification each time a position opens with Orange County, North Carolina whose category matches one of the categories you've chosen.
No, applications are only accepted online through NeoGov, the human resources software Orange County uses for hiring. A resume may not be submitted in lieu of an application, but may be included to supplement the application. Please read the position advertisement carefully to be sure your background meets the requirements of the position. On your application, show your specific qualifications that relate to the position.
To find out how to sign up for the Orange County Broadband Initiative Click here.
The Orange County website has been designed using technologies that ensure it is accessible to a wide variety of residents using a wide range of technologies. If there is an issue concerning the Orange County website, please email the IT Help Desk or the Chief Information Officer, or call 919-245-2280.
See the County's Home page for the latest News Releases and the Calendar of Events.
You may contact the Community Relations Department by email or phone (919-245-2302) to learn about current activities within the County. The office of Information Technologies, however, deals with computing infrastructure.
The Information Technology department is always eager to learn about new products and technologies. However, with the sheer volume of unsolicited sales calls, we prefer vendors to contact us by email, rather than by telephone or unscheduled visits, so that we may peruse these offerings more effectively.
The public is entitled to access County information as specified by the North Carolina General Statute GS 132-1, under conditions specified by North Carolina General Statute GS 132-6 with exceptions for:
Orange County Information Technologies does not directly handle these requests. Typically, the department that serves as steward of the information in question handles the request and engages Information Technologies to fulfill it. Please contact the department that collects and maintains that information to request access to it.
Anyone with an Orange County Public Library card can check out a kit. The person who checks out a kit is responsible for returning it on time to the library. Read information on how to get a library card.
Yes, you can place a hold on a Book Club Kit.
A Book Club Kit will have copies of the book in either hardcover or paperback. A Book Club Kit+ will include a variety of versions of the title. It may have a large print version, an audiobook version, or a DVD if the book has been made into a movie.
Visit a service desk at your home library, and a librarian will check out the kit to you.
No, the kit has to be checked out as one item. If you are interested in checking out a single title (book, DVD, or audiobook), search our catalog for availability.
The checkout period for a Book Club Kit is six weeks. A kit may be renewed if there are no holds on it.
Yes, there is a late fee of $1 per day.
If a kit is returned with missed or damaged items, the library will charge the library card holder the price of the item plus a $5 processing fee. Replacement fees are as follows:
No, Book Club Kits cannot be guaranteed for specific dates. We recommend having a second or third choice of title in case you cannot check out your first choice at the time you desire.
Every kit includes a reader’s guide, including discussion questions and/or an author spotlight. This document can also be found on our Book Club Kits page as a PDF.
To check out a Kindle, visit the information desk on the 2nd floor of the Main Library in Hillsborough or the service desk at the Carrboro Branch Library.
You may check out a Kindle for 3 weeks at a time, just like any other book in the library.
Yes; you can request a Kindle just as you would any other library materials
No; you may not add or remove any items from the Kindle, or change any settings while you have it. If you would like to purchase an eBook for the library’s Kindles, please speak with a staff member at the information desk, or call 919-245-2537.
Yes; there is a late fee (fine) of $1 per day if you do not return the Kindle to the library by the due date.
No; because a Kindle is fragile, it cannot be returned in the book drop. If you use the book drop to return a Kindle, we will charge a $25 fine to your account.
Return the Kindle to a staff member at the information desk located on the 2nd floor at the Main Library in Hillsborough or to the service desk at the Carrboro Branch Library.
All components of the Kindle must be present upon return for the library to consider the item checked in. This includes the Kindle, its cover, the charging cord, adapter, and carrying case. Kindles must be returned at least 30 minutes before the library closes so we will have sufficient time to ensure the returned item is complete and in working order.
Before you can check out a Kindle, you will be asked to fill out a user agreement. By signing the agreement, you accept full financial responsibility for the Kindle and agree to pay all costs associated with damage to, theft, or loss of the Kindle and/or the Kindle accessories while checked out to you. The maximum replacement cost for all components, including the Kindle, cover, case, and charger, is $150.
You will find basic operating instructions in the Kindle check out packet. For more detailed instructions, see the Amazon Kindle User's Guide (PDF).
Any new branch built by Orange County would replace the Carrboro Branch Library, located in McDougle Middle School, and the Cybrary, located in the Century Center in downtown Carrboro. The Carrboro Branch has been in place since 1995 and the Cybrary since 2004. Both facilities offer access to the library’s collections, public computers, and wi-fi. However, neither facility enables residents to engage with the library via robust program offerings and service hours.
The Chapel Hill Public Library is not part of the Orange County Public Library system. It is a service offered by the Town of Chapel Hill.
The Teen Advisory Board (TAB) is a group of teens who work to make the library teen-friendly. TAB is a great way to get service learning and community service hours.
TAB runs for 4 months twice a year. Session I runs from January through April. Session II runs from July through October. Space is limited, so you have to apply for each session. During a session, TAB meets as a group (over snacks) once every two weeks for about an hour to discuss and plan things they want in the library for teens. On the weeks in between meetings, members can schedule service time to work on projects in the teen room to get extra service hours. When the TAB puts together an event, members participate, eat tasty food, and have fun!
TAB helps to:
TAB members have the ability to:
To join, you’ll need to pick up, fill out, and submit an application to Miss Kafi (kuh-FEE) at the Main Library. You must also:
Feel free to direct any questions to Miss Kafi at 919-245-2536 or email TAB.
Anyone who has a valid library card. We do ask that you limit one hotspot per family.
Stop in at one of our locations. If all of our hotspots are checked out, you can use your library card to place a hold.
You can borrow a hotspot for three weeks. Two renewals are available if no one else is waiting.
Yes; if all hotspots are checked out, you can use your library card to place a hold.
You can return the hotspot to any library location during open hours. No book drop, please. You must return the hotspot with all the original packing and accessories. Please fully charge the battery before you return the device.
No; texting/SMS messaging is not available.
Log into your account or stop by one of our library locations to renew a hotspot.
Borrowing and using the hotspot is free! However, if you exceed allowed data limits, you will be billed via your library account. If the hotspot becomes lost, has missing parts, or is damaged beyond repair, a $65 fee will be charged to your library account.
No; if additional data fees are charged to the hotspot, the fees will be added to your library account.
Your Internet usage is not tracked by the library or the service provider. The library maintains records of which customers have checked out library materials for the duration of the checkout period.
Yes; the hotspot periodically receives software updates from the service provider. You can go ahead and accept the update. The software upgrade process only takes a few minutes.
Periodically, our service provider (Verizon) may limit the amount of data its network will carry. This happens when there is network congestion. The library does not receive notice when this occurs, and there is no "fix" other than to wait until the congestion period is over.
Note: Resetting or changing any confirmation of the hotspots will require library staff to reconfigure the device. A $5 charge will be added to your account and you may be blocked from future use of the WiFi To Go service.
You can access full documentation for the hotspots on the Verizon website. However, because the devices are already activated and configured, you may find few of the articles helpful.
Other questions? You can call and speak with one of our librarians at 919-245-2525 (Hillsborough) or 919-969-3006 (Carrboro) during regular business hours.
Orange - Chapel Hill Connector and Orange -Alamance Connector
*Must be ADA certified with OCPT or show valid certificate from another transit agency.
Passengers must pay at the time of their trip (when they board the bus, please have exact change when using cash or coin). OCPT may introduce new fare media, look for more details to come in the near future.
Orange County Public Transportation provides paratransit service to locations within 3/4 mile of fixed-route transit services during the same hours that fixed-route services are available. Please check with our dispatcher at 919-245-2008 to verify if your destination is in the service area
No, drivers cannot make stops between trips. For the safety of the drivers and customers, personal stops are not allowed. If you request to leave the vehicle before reaching your scheduled destination, your trip will end at that location.
All customers have the right to travel with a personal care assistant (PCA) and should indicate their intent to do so when making a reservation. Some people have a level of disability that necessitates their use of a PCA. Customers who cannot travel safely or comfortably without being accompanied by or met by a PCA must understand that Orange County Public Transportation drivers cannot fulfill PCA duties. Some duties that may be performed by a PCA but not by a Orange County Public Transportation driver include and are not limited to:
All passes that are honored are listed on the GoTriangle website. Passes may be purchased online or by contacting TTA at 919-549-9999.
If your driver arrives before the pick-up window begins, he or she is only required to wait three minutes into the pick-up window. For example, if your pick-up window is from 7:45 to 8:15 a.m. and the driver arrives at 7:45 or earlier, you must present yourself for boarding by 7:50 a.m. You are not required to board the vehicle until the pick-up window begins, but you may board the vehicle early if you wish.
Visit the Deeds document inquiry website for document research.
No. You must contact an attorney or a paralegal under the supervision of an attorney for a title search.
To transfer names on a deed, a new deed must be prepared. Unless you are familiar with preparing legal documents, it is advisable to seek legal counsel.
The Register of Deeds is authorized by law to issue a certified copy of any deed recorded in the public registry. Refer to the Fee Schedule for copy fees.
If the map of your property is recorded in Orange County, you can obtain a copy from the Register of Deeds office. Submit the book and page number of the desired map. Refer to the Fee Schedule for plat copy fee.
A copy of your PLAT may be available online if not, you may come into our office and we will assist you in obtaining a copy.
In the parking deck immediately behind the Gateway Center building.
The Register of Deeds is located at:
228 S Churton Street, Suite 300Hillsborough, NC 27278
Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday form 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
View the requirements for obtaining a marriage license.
If you purchased your marriage license in Orange County, you may request a copy in person or by mail. For more Information, go to the Marriage License page.
A Driver's License with photograph, State issued Identification Card or a Passport.
Agents, attorneys, or legal representatives must also furnish documentation of authority in order to receive a certified copy of any type of certificate for an individual.
If your divorce was processed in Orange County, you may obtain a copy from the Orange County Clerk of Court's Office, located in the Orange County Courthouse.
The fee is $60, payable by cash, debit / credit card (*convenience fee will be applied; 2.5%, minimum $2), money order or certified bank check.
No. Applications are accepted daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (except for holidays).
Yes; however the marriage license must be returned to the County in which it was issued (example: If the marriage license was issued in Orange County, it must be returned to Orange County.)
It is valid immediately and remains valid for sixty days from the date of issuance.
No they are not.
Contact the magistrate, (Hillsborough - 919-644-4690 or Chapel Hill - 919-929-5707), during office hours 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The fee is $20.
Certified copies are $10 per copy.
Complete the proper Assumed Name form and pay appropriate recording fee. You may download a copy of these and other business forms at the Secretary of State's website.
View the Fees page for more information.
The current North Carolina excise tax stamps are $1 per $500 or fractional part of the value of the property conveyed. (Deeds recorded prior to August 1991, the excise tax was $1 per thousand.)
Obtain a Birth Certificate from the office.
Notary forms, including Notary Public Applications are available on the North Carolina Secretary of State's Notary Public website or you may pick up the form from either our office Secretary of State's Office, Notary Division 919-807-2131). When your Notary Commission is approved by the Secretary of State, you will receive a notice instructing you to appear in the Register of Deeds office to take your oath of office.
An appointment to take the Notary Oath is not necessary. Our office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays). Submit the notice received from the Secretary of State's Office to the Register of Deeds and your driver's license or other photo ID for identification. Refer to the Fee Schedule.
If you are unable to come into the office, you can appoint someone you trust to represent you in the office or an application can be taken over the phone. You can also download an application (PDF) and mail it in.
Your benefits will be available after 6 a.m. on the same day each month according to the last digit of the head of household's Social Security Number, even if that day is on a weekend or a holiday.
You can call customer service at 888-622-7328. A recorded message with instructions will ask you to enter the card number, then your social security number then 4 digits to be used as your pin number (your choice). At this time, the procedure for individuals without a social security number is to use their birth date. It is recommended that at least temporarily, those without socials should come in and activate the card in the DSS office.
f you have additional questions or problems, just bring your EBT card and some form of identification (a picture I.D. is preferred) to our office. You will receive training on how to use your EBT card and you must have a personal identification number (PIN) to activate your card. After your training class we will assist you in activating your card.
The toll free number is 888-622-7328 and they are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Emergency benefits must be completed within 7 days from your date of application. Applications that do not meet emergency criteria must be completed within 30 days from your date of application.
EBT cards should be received within 3 to 5 days after your Food Stamp case is completed.
Your caseworker will review what changes are required to be reported when you apply.
No. You use the same card each month. If your benefits terminate, you should keep your card. If you reapply, you may have your benefits deposited into the old EBT account. Be sure to let your caseworker know that you still have an EBT card. You can even keep your same pin number.
If you try to use the wrong pin number 4 times in a row your EBT card will not work anymore that day. You will have to wait until after 12:01 a.m. the next day to try again.
Call the customer service line at 888-622-7328. The number can be located on the back of your card. Any remaining balance at the end of the month is rolled over into the next month.
Benefits are prorated for the month of application based on your date of application. For example, if you apply on December 8, 2002, you would receive benefits from December 8, 2002 through December 31, 2002 if eligible.
The amount of Food and Nutrition benefits you may receive are determined by the number of people in the household, the amount of income received by the people in the household, the households shelter expenses and the amount of medical expenses you have to pay that are not reimbursed (persons 60 or older or disabled
Please see the Income Eligibility Chart.
Child care Subsidy will assist children since newborn until 12 years old.
If you are pregnant and are planning to return to work, please contact our department after the child is born to be added to the childcare waiting list.
Only if both parents are in the home.
No, services do not transfer from County to County.
Orange County Soil and Water Conservation Office does not handle water bill payments. Find out where to pay your bill.
Orange County Soil and Water Conservation Office does not perform well testings. Instead, please call 919-245-2360 or visit the Environmental Health Department page.
The Soil and Water Conservation District has soil test boxes at the Hillsborough office. The boxes are mailed to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture in Raleigh for testing. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture analyzes the samples, and the results are usually placed on its website. Soil test boxes are also available at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, Piedmont Feed and Southern States Cooperative.
The North Carolina Cooperative Extension Office provides this service. The office is conveniently located next door to the Soil and Water office.
The Orange County Environmental Health Department handles septic systems services and programs. You may obtain a permit from that office.
This office does not perform perc tests. Please contact the Orange County Environmental Health Department at 919-245-2360.
The Orange County Environmental Health Department handles well services and programs. You may obtain a permit from that office.
Yes! Please contact us to set up a meeting to get started. We participate in a number of State and Federal programs which provide both financial and technical assistance to qualified applicants. Soil and Water Conservation staff will be happy to help determine the technical and financial programs that would be suit your needs.
Yes! We offer an extensive educational program and can tailor our presentations to meet the needs, interests and ages of the classroom participants. Please contact us to learn more.
Yes, we have historical aerial photos for Orange County only. The maps are not available for loan or sale, but copies of a specific site can be made.
Orange Soil and Water Conservation District has historical aerial photos for Orange County only. We also have wetland and flood prone area maps. Orange County's Geographic Information Serivces/Land Records Office has current aerial photography and digital orthophotography. Contact the GIS/Land Records office for further information.
No, we only have maps for Orange County. Please contact the Soil and Water Conservation District offices in the adjoining counties. The North Carolina Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts offers more information about adjoining counties.
Yes, we have "topo" maps available to review in the office. The maps are not available for loan or sale, but we are willing to make copies of a small area on a map. For more information concerning maps for sale, see North Carolina Geological Survey website.
The office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The office is closed on Orange County Holidays. Please contact us with any additional questions.
We do sell trees on a pre-order basis. We order trees from the North Carolina Forest Services in November of each year. Trees are delivered to our office in mid-to-late February for pick-up and sale to the public. We will post a tree order from on our website in late summer.
Yes, we sell bluebird houses and wood duck boxes on a pre-order basis. Contact us for further details.
Call 919-968-2788 or email recycling to get on our delivery list. Please allow up to 2 weeks for delivery.
Email our office if your cart is missing or it needs a repair. Cart replacement costs $60, however there is no charge for a one time replacement if the loss or damage is through no fault of the household. If resident would like to lease an additional cart they may do so for an annual fee of $60.
If you prefer smaller 18-gallon orange bins for your curbside collection, request a delivery, or residents can pick them up Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Solid Waste Management Department Administration office: 1207 Eubanks Road, Chapel Hill NC 27516. (just west of the Orange County Landfill).
Each household can receive two bins at no charge. Replacement bins for lost or damaged bins are available at no cost. Additional bins may be purchased for $7 from our office. You may use any other rigid plastic container similar in size and shape to the curbside recycling bin such as a laundry basket or a milk crate.
In the late 1990’s it was recognized that the Construction and Demolition (C and D) landfill on Eubanks Road was going to be filled sometime in 2003. The Orange County Board of County Commissioners agreed to build a new C and D landfill but only if certain bulky materials (those materials that take up the most room in the landfill) were required to be recycled. As a result, the Regulated Recyclable Materials Ordinance went into effect on October 1, 2002.
This ordinance is designed to regulate not a particular industry, but certain materials. Metal, wood, pallets, and corrugated cardboard from the commercial waste stream are subject to the same recycling requirement as those produced from construction and demolition projects. The Solid Waste Department staff can help you get a recycling program set up.
Demolition waste includes a great deal of wood and metal, both recyclable materials, but separating these materials is often difficult. Demolition waste must still be recycled if free of contaminants. But the waste would not be considered free of contaminants if it is attached to other material in a way that it is not reasonably possible to separate.
Payments are assigned as follows:
When you receive your 2018 tax bill, you may feel that the fee has not been accurately assessed for your property(s). Orange County has developed a formal SWPF appeals process for this type of situation. The appeal form (PDF) can be returned via email the Tax Office or by mail:Orange County Tax Office
Attention to Solid Waste Programs Fee AppealP.O. Box 8181Hillsborough NC 27278
Follow the instructions on the form, sign and submit the form by mail or fax to:
Orange County Solid Waste ManagementAttention to DirectorP.O. Box 17177Chapel Hill, NC 27516Fax: 919-932-2900
A review of the appeal will then be conducted by County Solid Waste staff utilizing information provided by County Land Records, the County Assessor’s Office and Solid Waste Management. Appellants will receive written notification of the outcome of their appeal.
Orange County feels it's important to build trust with every client seeking our services. We do not collect demographics on any clients seeking syringe exchange materials. Any client who requests syringes will receive them, no questions asked.
No, we provide clean syringes to anyone who asks for them. No enrollment or proof of residency required.
Clean syringes are distributed at the front desk window of both medical clinics. We also keep clean syringe kits in clinic for clients who may confide in their provider and express a need.
Each kit contains 20 syringes and the required state patient education. Some kits have FIT packs, FDA personal sharps containers. Clients have a choice of kit with or without the FIT container.
We were fortunate enough to buy a large syringe return bins for the front lobbies of our two buildings. Our program would be successful without this larger, more expensive bin. Smaller or portable bins would suffice. Additionally, front desk staff have a portable sharps container on the rare chance clients bring their syringes to the window. We have found that most clients box or package their syringes in laundry bottles prior to returning.
No, evidence suggests this is more harmful and an ineffective way to operate an exchange.
All staff had input into the policy development. Training on program operations were provided to all staff. Front desk staff received additional OSHA training on safe handling and blood borne pathogens as a precaution.
No, we did not recreate a policy. We used our existing safety plan and policy.
Please email Orange County Addressing for further assistance, or call:
If your address is within one of these municipalities, you can contact:
For new construction, addresses are assigned as part of the Building Permit process.
Please contact us and verify that your address is in compliance.
You can check using the Orange Address Database for a listing of street names within Orange County.
Please first contact us and verify that your road needs to be named. We can then give you more information on the next steps to take.
For all questions about your mailbox, please contact your local Post Office or mail carrier.
To see the requirements for address signs, please see section 6-35 (e) of the ordinance (PDF).Fire Stations that sell reflective signs:
There are several companies online and locally in the yellow pages that sell street signs.
For specific requirements on street signs, Section 6-34(D.1) of the Orange County Addressing Ordinance states:
“Signs for public or private roads or drives shall conform with the physical standards set forth in the United States Department of Transportation’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).”
The section reference in the MUTCD is 2D.43 - “Street Name Signs” and can be found in PDF and HTML format.
My address will be changed, what do I need to do?
Yes. Orange County Emergency Medical Services bills Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance.
Yes. You can make monthly payments. However, you must be consistent with your payments. If you are unable to make a payment, you must call us in advance.
Yes. Please call 844-435-3981 and use your run number as the tax bill number.
If you have issues with processing your credit card payment, please call the customer service number 888-891-6064 option 1 for assistance.
No. We do not process automated drafts, but you may setup automated payments with your bank through Bill Pay. Please contact your bank for assistance.
Charging for emergency services became effective for Orange County in October 1996. Your tax dollars are used to support the cost of providing ambulance service around the clock. The fees are used to offset the cost for providing emergency medical services to county citizens and to citizens that are not county residents. In addition to tax dollars, Emergency Services also seek federal funding to support operation cost. Ambulance fees assures compliance with applicable federal requirements and cost principles associated the those resources.
If the information is not collected during your initial contact with EMS personnel, you will receive a statement of charges from Orange County EMS along with a patient insurance form (PDF). You are encouraged to complete this form so we will have all the pertinent information needed to file your claim correctly. Please include the following information: The policy number, subscriber identification number, group number, insured name and complete mailing address of the insurance company.
Please mail, fax or email the completed form to our office promptly as this information is time sensitive. Please mail your completed form to the address found on top of the document. If you prefer, you may fax your form to 919-644-3091 or email the Tax Office an electronic copy. If insurance information is not provided within 6 months of the date of service, we may not be able to file your insurance due to timely filing limitations.
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) bills are mailed to the address given at the time of transport. Unless your bill is returned mail, we have no indication that you did not receive it. If your bill is returned, it is noted in our billing system, researched for a better address and re-mailed. We make every attempt to send bills and notifications to our patients. If you fail to receive your bill at the address you provided during the transport, you are still responsible for the charges.
Yes. Our office will file claims to your insurance company. We must have a signed medical release form from you on file. We may file up to the deadline imposed by the insurance companies. Medicare will accept claims up to 12 months from the date of service; Medicaid has a deadline of 12 months from the date of service. Private insurance companies require that the claim be filed within 6 months of the date of service. VA claims must be submitted within 30 days of the date of service.
Some insurance companies send checks directly to the policy holder. We will bile claims as a courtesy for the patient. It is the responsibility of the patient to make sure the bill is paid in full.
Orange County Emergency Services is not connected with the hospital or its database. Therefore, we are unable to obtain that data from the hospital. You are our only source for your insurance information, and you must provide us with it in order for us to file your claim.
The patient is responsible for providing the Workman's Compensation company's name, address and claim number in order for us to file the claim with them.
Once your bill is active in our system, you will have 30 days to make a payment.
If you disagree with charges on your bill, please contact billing at 919-245-2100 option 3. To dispute services, please contact the EMS Administration Office at 919-245-6124 to file a formal complaint.
There are different levels of service. Total charges are established according to the level or service and/or the mileage provided during the transport.
Charges are as followed:
These rates are subject to change.
Make payments out to:
Ambulance Service EMS Orange County RevenueP.O. Box 8181Hillsborough, NC 27278
Make checks payable to Orange County Revenue - Ambulance Service EMS
We do not report to the Credit Bureaus, but we may take legal action by garnishing wages if bills are unpaid.
Orange County EMS is a government agency and a Medicare provider. Federal law prohibits this.
If you are experiencing financial hardship, and you are a current Orange County Resident, we have a program called EMS Assistance that is offered through the Orange County Department of Social Services (DSS). If your balance is your true balance after all insurance has been processed and resources considered, DSS will make a determination based on income to see if you qualify. If approved, your bill will be covered through this program. If you are interested, please download the Consent of Release Form (PDF) and either mail, fax or email to our office. Our mailing address is located at the top of the document. You can fax your completed form to 919-644-3091 or email the Tax Administration. Once we receive your form, you account will be placed on hold until DSS accepts or denies your request for assistance based on qualification. You will be notified once a decision is made.
All Orange County EMS bills are considered the responsibility of the patient because the service was provided for the patient. The patient may reach out to the party that contacted the ambulance service to discuss options, but the patient remains primarily accountable for the bill.
Yes. When a patient's condition is such that the use of another method of transportation is medically inadvisable. Transportation must be deemed reasonable and medically necessary.
If Orange County EMS was dispatched and offered a billable service such as a 12 lead EKG or administered medication, you may receive a bill for treatment non-transport. The fee for treatment non-transport is $150. For treatment non-transport level 2, the fee is $225.
No. Non-transports are not a covered service with Medicare and many other insurance plans. As a courtesy, we will file non-transports to your insurance for consideration. Any balance remaining after insurance has processed our claim will become the responsibility of the patient.
Orange County EMS must have the patient's authorization on file or the patient's authorized representative consent on record in order to file to Medicare.
No. Medicare will only pay 80% of the approved amount. The patient or their supplemental insurance will be responsible for the balance or co-insurance amount.
Everyone has the option to appeal the claim within six months from the denial date. There are two ways to appeal either a Medical Necessity form completed by the doctor and / or a written letter form the patient.These are to be submitted to: Medicare's Appeal Department.
Yes. When you provide Orange County EMS with your primary insurance information, please notify us that you also have supplemental insurance as well. We will need your supplemental policy information such as policy number, group number and the mailing address.
Legal process can be pursued 120 days after transport if no insurance payment is pending and/or there has been no response made by you to the bills that we have sent out.
After 150 days of inactivity, the account becomes subject to garnishment.
The account must be paid in full to stop the process.
We will promptly process the necessary paperwork for a refund.
Anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks.
We are happy to work with you by setting up a payment arrangement.
It is the patient's responsibility to provide liability information. Attorneys can request records and bills by faxing a consent of release documentation to 919-644-3091.
We accept cash, money orders, Master Card, Visa, American Express, or Discover.
To pay in person or speak to a representative about your bill, our physical location is: Gateway Building228 S Churton StreetHillsborough, NC 27278
Yes. You are still responsible for your bill. It is your responsibility to notify us with your updated address.
Ongoing construction, whether it is new construction or repair work, must be listed on your property listing abstract that is mailed out late December each year. The area for noting the construction is on the back of the form. It asks "Is there new construction here?" and then asks "Percent Complete January 1st.." If there is construction, answer "yes" and fill in your estimate of the % of the entire dwelling that is complete.
Revaluation is mandated by the North Carolina General Statutes governing property tax assessments; and it is necessary in order to maintain equitable and uniform property values among property owners throughout the county.
The Tax Assessor's Office has an in-house appraisal team. The staff conducts field inspections, develops and analyzes sales files, and monitors market trends. The Tax Assessor works to ensure that property values have been accurately and equitably appraised throughout the county.
The Assessor and his staff are available to answer questions or discuss concerns about your value. Assessment appeal forms have been developed to assist residents in the revaluation appeals. Please visit the appeals page for more information.
A preliminary list of requirements for relief programs including the Homestead Exemption and Circuit Breaker is available online.
The Land Use Program allows for reduced tax values of individually owned property involved in agricultural, horticultural, or forestry management. Basic eligibility requirements for available on the Relief Programs page.
Licensed Motor Vehicles and Trailers are listed automatically when you register or renew your motor vehicle or trailer registration through the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. A licensed trailer includes any trailer that requires a registration, such as boat trailers, utility trailers, or camping trailers. Taxpayers receive a separate tax bill for each licensed motor vehicle or trailer approximately 3 months after it is registered.
Personal property like single wide mobile homes, campers, boats, and trailers, for example, are valued according to size and year. Motor vehicles are valued by year, make and model, in accordance with the "North Carolina Vehicle Valuation Manual."
Start your search at the Land Records Property Search page. You can use the property tax ID, subdivision, address or owner's name to obtain the information. Or use the interactive map. On the top left of the search page is a URL that takes you to the map. Search tools are located on the left and the map layers on the right. The default tool is zoom-in. On the map go to the area where the property is located and click down on the left mouse button, holding the button down. Move your cursor up and to the right of the area forming a box. Release the mouse button and it will zoom in. The closer you go the more map layers are turned on.
On the layers you will see that a black dot has appeared next to the Parcel layer. When you see the property you are interested in click on the identity tool (the middle right tool that is a black dot with the letter "i." Then click on the property and the information will pop up in a new window. The property on the map should turn yellow indicating it has been selected. If you want more information click on the Summary menu choice on the orange banner above the map. View and accept disclaimer information to go to the search page.
The best place to start your search is the Address Search page. On the Address search menu choose Find Addresses by Street Name and choose the street name from list. A list of addresses from that street will display for your choosing.
There are several ways to get a map of your property. Come to the Land Records office in Hillsborough and a staff members will assist you in printing a map. A recorded plat of your property can be obtained at the Register Of Deeds office. You can also print one from the Internet. View and accept disclaimer information to go to the search page.
Contact the Planning Department for zoning information.
We are able to put shape files and cove rages on CDs or DVD's. You can call us at 919-245-2504 to get pricing and media format options.
We have a standard county-wide map which has streets and parcels. The size is 36 inches wide by 50 inches in height and the cost is $25. Other maps are available at different sizes and cost. You can print a page-size map from our website of the area or property you are interested in.
Addresses are obtained by contacting the addressing authority for each address jurisdictions. In the County jurisdiction your new address is assigned when you apply for a building permit or when your road name changes. You can call the following numbers to request information on obtaining a new address.
Start your search with Land Records / GIS. You can choose from the list of interactive links to find information. You can use the property tax ID, subdivision, address or owner's name to obtain the information. Or use the interactive map. On the top left of the search page is a URL that takes you to the map. Search tools are located on the left and the map layers on the right. The default tool is zoom-in. On the map go to the area where the property is located and click down on the left mouse button, holding the button down. Move your cursor up and to the right of the area forming a box. Release the mouse button and it will zoom in.
The closer you go the more map layers are turned on. On the layers you will see that a black dot has appeared next to the Parcel layer. When you see the property that you are interested in, click on the identity tool (the middle right tool that is a black dot with the letter i). Then select the property and the information will pop up in a new window. The property on the map should turn yellow indicating it has been selected. If you want more information click on the Summary menu choice on the orange banner above the map. View and accept disclaimer information to go to the search page.
The best place to start your search is the Address Search page. On the Address search menu choose Find Addresses by Street Name and choose the street name from list. A list of addresses from that street will display for your choosing.
Contact the Planning and Inspections for zoning information.
We are able to put shapefiles and coverages on cds or DVDs. You can call us at 919-245-2504 to get pricing and media format options.
Revaluation is a process by which all property tax assessments within a taxing jurisdiction (Orange County) are reassessed to their market value as of a specific revaluation date. It also is sometimes called a reappraisal or mass appraisal. The tax office, in this process, reassesses all real property (land, buildings and other improvements to the land) as of the revaluation date.
Arms-length market sales are used to estimate new tax assessments during this process as well as other market data such as income/expense information and market building cost information. This updated tax assessment is effective, generally, until the next countywide revaluation. Orange County’s next planned revaluation date is January 01, 2021, and tax assessments should reflect market value as of that date once the revaluation is completed.
The State of North Carolina requires counties to conduct a revaluation at least once every eight years (NCGS 105 - 286a). Its purpose is to redistribute the tax burden based on current market data. As time elapses between revaluations, properties may increase or decrease in market value at different rates. The State of North Carolina charges counties with assessing property based on current market data as of each revaluation date.
Most likely, yes. However, not all property values will change at the same percentage. Market values may have increased or decreased more for some neighborhoods and property types than for others. One purpose of a revaluation is to ensure assessed values reflect changes that have occurred in the marketplace since the last countywide revaluation.
North Carolina General Statute 105 - 283 requires counties to assess all property, both real and personal property, at its true value in money. True value shall be interpreted as meaning market value. NCGS 105 - 284 establishes a uniform assessment standard. This standard in effect penalizes counties if they are not assessing property at market value as of the date of last revaluation.
Typical countywide revaluations take between 18 - 24 months to complete. Staff of the Orange County Tax Office has been reviewing market sales, compiling studies and maintaining a list of current tax base inventory during this revaluation effective, January 01, 2021. Tax office appraisers have begun reviewing property data for the 2021 revaluation. The resulting values will be effective January 01, 2021. Real property tax bills mailed in July, 2021 will reflect the new revaluation tax assessment.
The Orange County Tax Office is conducting this revaluation primarily “in-house.” This means our own personnel in the tax office will be evaluating properties along with current market data and establishing new tax assessments. Orange County will be working with specialized appraisal consultants to obtain additional data otherwise unavailable to staff.
New value notices should be mailed to all taxpayers who own real property in Orange County March, 2021.
Although the value of your property does affect your share of taxes, the actual amount you pay is determined by budgetary needs of the jurisdictions in which your property is located (county, city, fire districts, etc.). Governing boards of these taxing units decide what services the jurisdiction will provide in the coming year and how much money the jurisdiction will need to provide these services. A tax rate is then adopted to generate the necessary tax dollars.
Various tools are used to extract data from the market. Examples include:
The best source for establishing residential market values is arms-length sales of reasonably comparable properties. Such properties are similar in location, age, style, condition and other features that may have an effect on market value.
Instructions for appeal will be included with your new value notice. The first appeal level is an informal hearing with an Orange County Tax Office appraiser. Orange County will make personnel available to hold informal hearings with the property owner. During this informal session, the property record card is reviewed and you may request an actual site visit to your property. North Carolina General Statutes put the burden of proof on the property owner to show that a tax assessment is inaccurate.
Keep in mind that the informal review will be to ensure your property is assessed at 100% of its fair market value as of the revaluation date, January 01, 2017. Therefore, an informal appeal could result in an increase, decrease or no change in assessment. A change in assessment will be considered only if the owner can demonstrate that the assessed value is more or less than market value as of January 01, 2017, or that it is inconsistent with assessments of similar properties. Assessments cannot be appealed based on
The tax office will send results of informal appeals via mail. The second level of appeal is to the Orange County Board of Equalization and Review. North Carolina then has a State Property Tax Commission that hears advanced appeals.
Orange County does not sell Tax Lien Certificates. At one time this was the practice, but it has not been in effect since the 1980s.
Yes. There is a list available on our website. However, we do not mail out notices of sale.
No. Paying someone elses taxes will not entitle you to any legal ownership of the property.
The Tax Office schedules foreclosures throughout the year except during December and January. The Chapel Hill Townships are advertised for two weeks prior to the sale in the Chapel Hill Herald. The other townships are advertised in the News of Orange for two weeks prior to the sale. The Notices of Sale are also posted on the Courthouse bulletin board for 20 days prior to the sale.
The property is offered for sale by the Sheriff's Department at 12 Noon on the front steps of the County Courthouse on Margaret Lane in Hillsborough. The bidding starts at the judgment amount, plus interest, costs and sheriff's commission. The highest bidder at public sale shall be required to pay in full (not make a deposit) the amount of the successful bid at the conclusion of the execution sale (subject to the confirmation of the sale as by law provided). After the auction a Report of Sale is filed and there is a 10-day waiting period in which an upset bid can be filed.
No. After the tax lien advertisement in March of each year any advertised property is subject to foreclosure.
You will receive a non-warranted Sheriff's Deed. There are no warranties of title. Property is sold as is.
If you are not able to pay your tax bill on time, and it becomes delinquent, interest is added to the past due balance. A bill due on September 1st becomes delinquent and 2% interest is added to the bill the following January 6th. If the bill continues to remain unpaid, then each 1st of the month after that another 0.75% interest is added to the past due balance until the bill is paid. There are some options to help you. The Tax Office offers payment plans to help taxpayers.
We send the bill to the owner of the property, not the loan institution. We will gladly provide your loan institution with your billing information at its request, but we strongly suggest that you send them a copy of your bill.
The Solid Waste Programs Fee (SWPF), collected for the Orange County Solid Waste Department, is an annual fee that funds recycling, waste management, and waste reduction services offered by Orange County. It is not a lien on the real property. The Orange County Board of Commissioners has created an assistance fund to help citizens in financial hardship with paying the Solid Waste Programs Fee. An appeals process is available to anyone who feels that the fee was inaccurately assessed. Appeals will be reviewed by Solid Waste Management staff.
This fee is collected for the Town of Chapel Hill. The Town is responsible for managing storm water and related water resources issues within its jurisdiction, and the fee funds that management program. The fee is determined by the Town of Chapel Hill. It is not a lien on the real property. For questions regarding this fee, contact the Town of Chapel Hill. This fee is collected for the Town of Chapel Hill. The Town is responsible for managing storm water and related water resources issues within its jurisdiction, and the fee funds that management program. The fee is determined by the Town of Chapel Hill. It is not a lien on the real property. For questions regarding this fee, contact the Town of Chapel Hill.
This fee is collected for the Town of Hillsborough. The Town of Hillsborough created a storm water utility and fee to comply with expanding state and federal storm water regulations to reduce storm water runoff pollution from reaching the Eno River. The fee is determined by the Town of Hillsborough. It is not a lien on the real property. For questions regarding this fee, contact the Town of Hillsborough.
Loan institutions (or their tax-servicing agent) usually remit payment between November 15 and December 31. You are encouraged to verify your payment data with your loan institution.
Taxes are due each year for real estate, business personal property and individually owned personal property on September 1st. Payment without interest can be made prior to January 8th of the following year. Mail payments are processed based on the postmark as affixed by the U.S. Postal Service.
If the real property has been sold, please forward the tax notice to the new owner. When property is sold prior to the creation of the tax bill, it is the general practice of North Carolina attorneys to make adjustments for the payment of taxes on the closing statement. Payment is not made to the tax office at that time. After the creation of the tax bills, taxes are normally paid at the closing. Check your closing statement or contact the closing attorney if you have questions about who is responsible for payment of the bill.
There are several possibilities. We may not have received your payment from the Post Office, or your payment may have crossed in the mail with the delinquent notice. To verify the status of your account you may check online.
When a taxpayer files Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and lists the tax office as a creditor, the bankruptcy court sends a notice to the tax office. The tax office files a claim for any outstanding bills as of the date of the filing, including any outstanding Emergency Management bills. The bankruptcy court should pay the claim in full if the plan is completed and the taxpayer receives a discharge. Any taxes or EMS bills that become due after the filing of the plan are post petition debt and must be paid by the taxpayer.
A $25 or 10% penalty (whichever is greater) will be charged for any check returned due to insufficient funds, plus any additional interest and penalty, plus any criminal penalties provided by law (NCGS 105-357(b)(2)). Tax receipts are null and void if payment is made with a check that fails to clear the bank. Payment for a returned check should be made by cash, money order or certified funds. Legal process to collect funds includes issuance of a warrant for criminal offense.
It is illegal to move a mobile home without a mobile home moving permit. There are three requirements to be eligible for a permit: mobile home is listed for taxation for the current year, the current year’s taxes are paid in full, and back taxes are paid in full. Mobile Home Moving Permits are issued in the Hillsborough office only.
Orange County Tax Office is unable to assist you with your state or federal income tax questions or forms. You may contact the North Carolina Department of Revenue at 877-252-3052, or 877-252-4052 for refund information. Contact the IRS for Federal Tax Information at 800-829-1040.
If you have questions about deducting County taxes on your state or federal income tax returns, please contact your tax advisor.
Gap billing is a property tax bill that covers the months between the expiration of a vehicle’s registration and the renewal of that registration or the issuance of a new registration. The vehicle is unregistered during the gap in registration.
The registration for the vehicle listed on this notice previously expired. The vehicle registration was recently renewed or a new registration was issued. During the lapse in registration, the vehicle was considered unregistered. Orange County is required to collect property taxes for vehicles with an unregistered status.
Property taxes paid to the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles at the time of renewal or issuance are for the same 12-month period as your registration. The taxes billed on this notice are only for the months that your vehicle was not registered.
Per NCGS 105-330.3(2) vehicle value is determined as of January 1 of the year in which the taxes are computed.
Yes you can, per NCGS 105-317.1(c) appeals of value, situs and taxability must be filed with the tax office within 30 days of the billing due date on the notice.
Taxes are due by the September 1 that follows the gap property tax notice date.
Per NCGS 105-330.3(2) interest accrues for taxes paid on or after January 6 at 2% for the month of January and accrues at 3/4 of 1% for each following month.
Delinquent taxes are subject to collection actions immediately upon becoming delinquent. Taxes are delinquent on the interest begin date shown below. Collection actions may include bank attachment, wage garnishment, and levy on personal property, debt set-off, and attachment of escheats.
Business personal property includes but is not limited to machinery, computer/office equipment, furniture equipment, and farm equipment.
You can obtain a fillable form here: https://www.ncdor.gov/documents/2019-business-personal-property-listing-form.
print and complete this form: Business Personal Property Listing Form and Information.
All Forms must be submitted by January 31st.
To obtain a listing extension, the request must be in writing and received in the Tax Office by January 31*.
Once your extension request is granted, you will have until April 15** to submit your listing form.
For assistance, contact the Tax Office at 919-245-2100, option 2 and ask for Business Listing.
*NOTE: For the current year, 2019, the deadline to submit a listing form or a request for an extension is January 31, 2019.**NOTE: For the current year, 2019, the deadline to submit your listing form if an extension has been granted is April 15, 2019.
The Department of Economic Development in Orange County provides a variety of services for opening a new business. In addition, depending on the type of business you are opening, you may be required to obtain a business license from Orange County.
Under NCGS 105-366, When purchasing a business asset, it is the responsibility of that purchaser to ensure that all back taxes on the property have been paid or that money has been held in escrow until such time that it has been paid in full.
If a business is closing after January 1st, the total amount of the taxes remain the responsibility of the business owner. Taxes are required to be paid to the Tax Office at the time the business is closed. There is no proration of the taxes allowed by statute.
Recognition - the County will place signs along public roads at the property line of participating farms that identify your farm as an Orange County Voluntary Agricultural District. These signs will tell passersby that the farm owner is committed to the preservation of the agricultural way of life in Orange County. Learn more about all the benefits on our Voluntary Agricultural District Benefits page.
To become an Agricultural District, a farm must first be certified as Qualifying Farmland. Learn about this process on our Qualifying Farmland Certification page.
The Agricultural Preservation Board (APB) is composed of a number of County residents, including farmers representing Agricultural Districts. APB members are appointed by the Board of County Commissioners. The APB reviews and approves applications to the Agricultural Districts program. They also make recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners on other issues related to the preservation of farmland in Orange County.
The State of North Carolina passed the Farmland Preservation Enabling Act in 1985, authorizing counties to establish farmland preservation programs, including agricultural districts. In 1992, Orange County adopted a Voluntary Farmland Preservation Program Ordinance, creating the Agricultural Preservation Board (APB) and procedures for establishing Voluntary Agricultural Districts.