July 24
​Recycling and Trash Disposal Improvements Coming Soon to Eastern Wake County

Convenience Center Site 11 will accept limited items during construction

Residents will soon see new and improved options for recycling and trash disposal in eastern Wake County.

Starting August 1, renovations will begin at Wake County’s Waste Disposal and Recycling Convenience Center Site 11, located at 5051 Wendell Blvd. between Wendell and Zebulon. The site will remain open to all residents during construction, but only household garbage, mixed recycling, cardboard, scrap metal, clothing and oyster shells will be accepted.

The project includes renovations to the existing Convenience Center, as well as the construction of permanent Household Hazardous Waste and Multi-Material Recycling facilities. These improvements will give residents a convenient option for safely discarding items such as paint, batteries and electronics. Work is scheduled to be complete in summer 2018, weather permitting.

In addition to facility improvements, changes will be made to the existing traffic pattern at the site, making it easier for customers to enter the facility and access the disposal areas they need, based on the items they are discarding. Customers are asked to pay close attention to directional signs during and after construction.

Residents can find other recycling and waste drop-off locations in the county on the Wake County Solid Waste Management website.

About the Wake County Solid Waste Management Division
The Wake County Solid Waste Management Division provides waste disposal and recycling services to residents and businesses in Wake County. The division manages 17 waste facilities including a landfill, waste transfer station, residential waste and recycling convenience centers, household hazardous waste and multi-material recycling drop-off facilities. To learn more, visit wakegov.com/recycling.

July 21
Wake County Continues Trend of Improved Fire Department Ratings

Could mean lower insurance costs for some property owners

Another fire department in Wake County has improved its rating following a state inspection. All 10 fire departments inspected since 2014 have improved their ratings, with Fairview Fire Department being the latest addition to that group. A not-for-profit fire department funded by Wake County, Fairview Fire Department operates two stations in an unincorporated area in the southern part of the county.

“This shows what we already knew—that our firefighters are professionals committed to excellence,” said Commissioner Matt Calabria, vice-chair of the Wake County Board of Commissioners and chair of the Public Safety Committee. “I congratulate the men and women of the Fairview Fire Department for keeping us safer than ever and saving people money at the same time.”

All fire departments in North Carolina are inspected by the state and assigned a rating from Class 1 to Class 10, with Class 1 being the highest rating. People who live in fire districts with rates from Class 1 to Class 6 often enjoy lower homeowners insurance rates than people who live in districts rated 7 to 10. Commercial business owners may see a reduction in their insurance costs when the local fire department’s rating improves at any level.

Fairview Fire Department has improved its rating from a Class 6 to a Class 3 for homes and businesses within five miles of a fire station. The state inspectors base their ratings on a fire department’s operations, water supply and distribution, emergency communications, and efforts to prevent and reduce fire risk.

The other nine Wake County fire departments that have improved their ratings since 2014 are Cary, Durham Highway, Fuquay-Varina, Garner, Raleigh, Rolesville, Wendell, Western Wake and Zebulon.

July 03
Family Astronomy July 28 at Harris Lake County Park

July 28, 8:30–11 p.m. – Family Astronomy Evening – Harris Lake County Park
Discover the night sky through telescopes and binoculars. See Jupiter and Saturn, among other celestial bodies. Bring your own viewing instrument if you have one, as well as a chair or blanket and water bottle. This program is for all ages. The program fee is $1 per person and preregistration is required. Meet at the Loblolly Shelter. Harris Lake County Park is located at 2112 County Park Drive, New Hill.

June 29
​Prevent Heatstroke: Never Leave a Child Alone in a Car

With temperatures often rising above 90 degrees this time of year, Wake County reminds parents and caregivers of the dangers of leaving children inside a car.

On average, one child dies from heatstroke every 10 days in the United States. In 2016 alone, 39 children nationwide died from heatstroke or suspected heatstroke while left in cars.

“Young children are especially at risk of heatstroke because their bodies heat up three times faster than an adult’s,” said Suzanne LeDoyen, a public health educator for Wake County. “Help prevent these tragedies by never leaving a child alone in a vehicle, not even for a minute.”

The acronym “ACT” is a part of the Never Leave Your Child Alone in a Car campaign, which was launched by Safe Kids Worldwide and the General Motors Foundation. The campaign reminds residents to:

  • A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. Always lock your doors and trunks – even in your driveway. Keep your keys and key fobs out of the reach of kids.
  • C: Create reminders. Place something you'll need at your next stop – like a briefcase or cell phone – next to the child safety seat. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.
  • T: Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911.

Parents and caregivers should also keep vehicles locked when they’re not in use and teach children not to play in cars.

For more information on preventing heatstroke, visit safekids.org.

June 21
​Prevent Diseases Transmitted by Ticks

Summer is a great time to enjoy the outdoors, but danger can be lurking in your favorite gardening, camping or hiking spot. Ticks are most active in the warmer months. You can protect yourself from illness by adding tick bite prevention to your summer plans.

“Ticks aren’t just annoying, they can carry disease,” said Wake County Health Educator Carla Piedrahita. “These diseases can become severe and cause long-term health problems if not treated early.”

Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease are just two of the many diseases ticks carry in Wake County. Residents can reduce their chances of getting tick-borne diseases by:

  • Knowing where to expect ticks. Ticks live in moist and humid environments across the U.S., particularly in or near wooded or areas with tall grasses. Walk in the center of trails to avoid ticks.
  • Using repellents containing 20 percent or more DEET, which can protect you from ticks for up to several hours. Permethrin can be used to treat clothing and gear. Pets need repellents, too, so they won’t bring ticks home. Talk to your vet.
  • Checking your clothing for ticks. Tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after coming indoors. Damp clothes may need more time. If the clothes require washing first, hot water is recommended.
  • Showering after being outdoors to wash off unattached ticks and repellents.
  • Checking yourself and your pets for ticks. If you find a tick, remove it as soon as you notice it by grasping with tweezers, as close to the skin as possible, and pulling it straight out.
  • Mark the date on your calendar. Watch for flu-like symptoms over the next 30 days.

Common symptoms include fever, rash, or aches and pains. Contact a health provider if you develop these symptoms.

To learn more about preventing tick-borne illnesses, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

June 19
​Wake County Adopts Fiscal Year 2018 Budget

​The Wake County Board of Commissioners at its regular meeting on Monday, June 19, adopted a $1.26 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2018, which runs from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018. The budget is an increase of $63.3 million over the FY2017 budget and would require a 1.45-cent property tax increase for a total proposed rate of 61.5 cents for every $100 of property value.

The adopted budget includes all of Wake County Manager Jim Hartmann’s recommendations and the following changes made by the Board of Commissioners:

Wake County Public Schools:

  • $5 million for the Wake County Public School System, bringing the total increase in funding from FY2017 to $21 million and the overall investment in public education in FY2018 to $430.9 million. This represents a 31.6-percent increase in the county’s contribution to the school district over four budget years;
  • A request from the Wake County Board of Commissioners to the Wake County Board of Education to collaborate on a work plan that would develop a rolling, multi-year local operating budget forecast for WCPSS. The goal is to clearly articulate, validate, and communicate the assumptions, drivers and priorities that will inform future funding requests from the school district. The Board of Education would be required to take action on this proposed partnership to launch development of the work plan;

Other Changes:

  • $80,000 to add Sunday operating hours at Richard B. Harrison, Green Road and Fuquay-Varina community libraries;
  • $50,000 in one-time funding for Legal Aid of North Carolina to provide residents in vulnerable communities with representation in legal matters related to housing; and
  • $25,000 in one-time funding to provide emergency assistance to displaced residents of the Forest Hills complex in Garner.  

The funding for these additions comes from a $1.5 million increase in projected sales tax revenue for FY2018, ABC funds, and a reduction of transfers to county debt and the school district’s capital funds.

Other significant areas the budget addresses include:

  • Supporting strategies to improve employee retention and recruitment in agencies that provide critical public safety services, including the Wake County Sheriff’s Office and Wake County Emergency Medical Services;
  • Adding positions to help protect the public from communicable disease outbreaks of emerging threats like Zika or reemerging diseases like measles or mumps;
  • Addressing the demand for services directly related to population growth and development such as plan reviews, and food, lodging and septic system inspections;
  • Funding IT infrastructure and tools for county government to deliver better and faster service in all areas of the county;
  • Budgeting for an average three-percent performance pay increase for eligible county employees, and meeting the costs of rising employee health insurance;
  • Providing direct funding to 10 non-profit partner agencies working on programs and initiatives including pre-kindergarten education, school food pantries and public art; and
  • Investing an additional $1.5 million in Wake Technical Community College, the state’s largest community college, for a total county operating appropriation of $21.2 million.

Learn more about the budget here.

June 16
​Wake County Board of Commissioners to Adopt FY 2018 Budget

The Wake County Board of Commissioners is expected to adopt a budget for Fiscal Year 2018 during its regular board meeting on Monday, June 19. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at the Wake County Justice Center at 301 S. McDowell St. in Raleigh.

County Manager Jim Hartmann presented a $1.26 billion recommended budget to the Board of Commissioners on May 15, and public hearings on the recommendation were held on June 5. The recommended budget represents an increase of $61.4 million over the FY17 budget and would require a 1.45-cent property tax increase, for a total proposed rate of 61.5 cents for every $100 of property value.

Learn more at wakegov.com/budget.

June 12
​Cool for Wake Program Offers Heat Relief to Those in Need

Community encouraged to donate fans

Scorching summer temperatures can be dangerous and lead to health emergencies for people who are unable to cool their homes.

Wake County’s Cool for Wake program is here to help. It delivers heat relief to those in need by providing one free fan per qualifying household from May through September, when temperatures are generally the highest.

“We typically see requests for fans increase with the temperatures, so we expect to be busy over the next few days,” said Denise Kissel, who runs the program. “To ensure we can continue meeting the health and safety needs of our community, we encourage residents to consider making an in-kind donation of a gently-used fan or air conditioner.”

The Cool for Wake program also accepts tax-deductible financial contributions.

The program, which typically distributes 350–400 fans per year, serves households without air conditioning that have residents over age 60 or children under the age of 12. A limited number of air conditioners are available to seniors and children who have a documented medical history of chronic respiratory illness.

For more information on how to qualify for Cool for Wake or to make a donation, contact Denise Kissel at 919-212-7083 or denise.kissel@wakegov.com.

June 08
​Stay Healthy this Summer with Free Meals for Kids

Summer is here, and it’s time to think about keeping children healthy while school is out.

“We want to provide opportunities that encourage young people to move more, sit less and eat smart over the summer break,” said Regina Petteway, director of Wake County Human Services.

This year, Wake County is partnering with local nonprofit organizations to operate the Summer Food Service Program. The program offers children and teens free, nutritious meals at participating sites throughout Wake County during the summer months. Fun activities are offered at each site.

The Summer Food Service Program also educates children and families about the importance of eating well and exercising often to help build healthy habits that can last a lifetime.

Meals are free to children and teens 18 years old and younger. There is no application necessary, and children do not have to show proof of income to receive a meal. The program will run throughout the summer, ending on Aug. 25.

Meal sites change throughout the summer, so families are encouraged to check these resources frequently to find the site most convenient to them:

  • Visit wakegov.com/humanservices and click on the “Summer Food” banner;
  • Call 1-866-3HUNGRY; or
  • Text “FOODNC” to 877-877.
June 07
North Regional Library Hosts ​Afternoon with Mary Kay Andrews on June 11

Book lovers are invited to meet beloved New York Times best-selling author Mary Kay Andrews at North Regional Library on Sunday, June 11, at 2 p.m. Andrews is the author of 24 novels, including The Weekenders, Beach Town, Ladies’ Night, Summer Rental, Deep Dish and Hissy Fit.

Her latest work, The Beach House Cookbook, features casual dishes, cooked with fresh, local ingredients. The recipes are presented with the same breezy flair that makes her novels a summertime favorite at the beach.

Andrews will talk about writing her first cookbook and discuss her life, characters and writing process. A book signing will follow the program.

Learn more about Mary Kay Andrews at marykayandrews.com.

For more information about the event, visit wakegov.com/libraries or call 919-870-4000.

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