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Orange County supervisors and members of the Town Council intend to improve their communication with one another and share concerns over problems facing the area.
At a joint meeting Tuesday, members of both governmental bodies said improved communications are needed, and discussed ideas on how to accomplish that.
The meeting started with discussion of one sore point for the Town Council--tipping fees the county landfill charges to the commercial hauler who transports town trash, including sludge from the sewage-treatment plant.
Town Manager Greg Woods explained that fee increases passed by the supervisors had increased town costs by $50,000. He said he hoped that in the future, such changes "would be discussed a bit further between the council and supervisors, to give us time to budget for it."
Supervisor Lee Frame said the board did not understand the impact the fee increase would have on the town.
"Maybe we should have, and some discussion might have done that," he said.
"What we were trying to do was make it the same as for the rest of the county. The commercial guys dump their stuff, and they pay for it, but the citizens don't have to pay for dumping their trash."
Councilman Henry Lee Carter said the council was not asking the board to revisit the fee increase.
"To me, the crux of the question is how do we find out, ahead of time, what you intend to do that will have an impact on the town, financially or in some other way."
Supervisor Jim White said he thought this was a good example of why working together is needed. "We can have an impact on each other, whether we intend to or not," he said.
Several ideas were discussed on how to improve the dialog between the two groups.
"I think we are all on the same page with this," Orange Mayor Chuck Mason concluded.
Further discussions on economic development, broadband service, using a common accounting program and reinstating a joint planning area around the town of Orange indicated that staff members for both bodies were already communicating on a regular basis.
"It sounds like our staffs are working together very well," Board of Supervisors Chairman Teel Goodwin noted. "It's just us that need better communications. We need to have more interaction. I think this is a good first step to reopening our lines of communication."