.WAFL (l&G&@%t?W8ontry(/CTReS%t?W8o%url http://townhall.townofchapelhill.org/agendas/ca041206/9a-Old%20Chapel%20Hill%20Cemetery%20Task%20Force%20Recommendations%20for%20Cemetery%20Improvements.htmmime text/htmlhntt"98fda608fd9c41:96b"hvrsdata MEMORANDUM

AGENDA #9a

 

MEMORANDUM

 

TO: Mayor and Town Council

 

FROM: Council Member Dorothy Verkerk, Old Chapel Hill Cemetery Task Force Chair

 

SUBJECT: Old Chapel Hill Cemetery Task Force Recommendations for Cemetery Improvements

 

DATE: December 6, 2004

 

 

This report provides recommendations for improvements to the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery from the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery Task Force. A summary of how the $150,000 in available funding is proposed to be allocated among several improvement projects is included in Attachment 1. The Task Force also recommends that an additional $20,000 be allocated for stone gutter improvements and that the issue of a future role for the Towns Historic District Commission in the oversight of Cemetery improvements be referred to the Commission for their consideration.

 

BACKGROUND

 

On August 26, 2003, the Council approved a resolution authorizing a revision to the Universitys Master Plan permitting construction of the Cobb parking deck and chiller plant. That resolution included stipulations that required that the University restore the perimeter stone walls of the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery and contribute $100,000 to a fund to be used for other Cemetery improvements. The stipulation also called for the creation of a joint Town and University task force to make recommendations on the use of the available funds. On November 10, 2003, the Council approved a budget ordinance allocating $50,000 from the fund balance to the Cemetery Beautification project account in the Capital Improvements Fund to provide a total of $150,000 in available funding. On January 12, 2004, the Council appointed members to the joint Old Chapel Hill Cemetery Task Force. In total, six members were appointed by the Council and six by the University.

 

In the spring of 2004, the Task Force met four times and through these discussions identified a variety of needed Cemetery improvements. In the summer of 2004, three Task Force Subcommittees were formed that met and considered prioritizing improvements related to three specific areas of identified need: historic preservation, pedestrian improvements, and archives and public information.

 

On October 11, 2004, the Task Force presented their recommendations to the Town Council. At that meeting, the Council called a Public Forum to solicit input from the public on the Task Forces recommendations. This Public Forum was held on November 8, 2004. Draft minutes of the Public Forum are included in Attachment 2. On November 23, 2004, the Task Force met to consider issues raised during the Public Forum. Minutes of that Task Force meeting are included in Attachment 3.

 

DISCUSSION

 

During its November 23, 2004 meeting, the Task Force discussed how the Towns Historic District Commission could participate in overseeing implementation of the Task Forces recommendations. The six Task Force members present agreed to recommend to the Council that they refer the issue to the Historic District Commission for further discussion of what role the Commission might play in the oversight of future Cemetery improvements.

 

The Task Force also agreed by a vote of 5 to 1 to continue to recommend that funding be allocated for restoration of the Dialectic and Philanthropic Societys cast iron fences. The Task Force noted that the fences represented two of the four historically contributing structures identified in the Cemeterys National Register of Historic Places Registration Form. Copies of the Registration Forms site description section are included in Attachment 4.

 

The Task Force also recommended a reduced allocation of $35,000 from $40,000 for future archive and public information improvements, and an allocation of $5,000 for marker restoration work. After considering funding sources for stone gutter improvements, the Task Force recommended that the Council allocate an additional $20,000 for these improvements.

 

Subsequent to the November 23, 2004 meeting, the meeting minutes and the revised Task Force recommendation were distributed to the six members that were not present at the meeting, with a request that they indicate whether they supported the proposed recommendation. Including these responses, the eleven members voting in support of the recommendation were: Chair Dorothy Verkerk, Rebecca Clark, Jill Coleman, Catherine Frank, Paul Kapp, Kirk Pelland, Bruce Runberg, John Sanders, Faison Sessoms, Bland Simpson, and Cat Williams. Member Steven Moore voted against the recommendation.

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

The Old Chapel Hill Cemetery Task Force recommends that the Council allocate $150,000 in available funding to implement improvements to the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery as described in this report. The Task Force also recommends that an additional $20,000 be allocated for stone gutter improvements and that the issue of a future role for the Towns Historic District Commission in the oversight of Cemetery improvements be referred to the Commission for their consideration.

 

ATTACHMENTS

 

  1. Task Force Recommended Improvements (p. 3).
  2. November 8, Public Forum Draft Minutes (p. 4).
  3. November 23, Task Force Meeting Minutes (p. 9).
  4. National Register of Historic Places Registration Form (p. 18).
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