Local News

New Committee To Help Solve Problems in Downtown Chapel Hill

Posted December 27, 1998 6:00 a.m. EST

— When lots of people have a problem, sometimes the best way to solve it is to have lots of people work on it. That's exactly what's starting to happen in downtown Chapel Hill.

Chapel Hill has a problem with what panhandlers do to the downtown area. Chapel Hill also has a problem with what wild victory celebrations following sporting events do to downtown.

Now a new committee made up of representatives from UNC, town businesses and town government is working on the problems.

The committee does not even have a name yet, but the person credited with getting the ball rolling says it definitely has a purpose.

"This has not been a one shot 'Let's get together and complain about what's wrong with downtown or campus or any other part.' But, 'Let's get together and talk about what we can do to address concerns we have, particularly about downtown,'" said business owner Kathleen Lord.

Relations between Chapel Hill business leaders and UNC have, at times, been strained. But with this latest effort, downtown relations are looking up.

"This is an opportunity for the private sector with their businesses and the local government, which owns some of the property, and the University, which is a huge neighbor, to work together to address issues related to downtown and try to strengthen the heart of the community," said Jonathan Howes from UNC.

The committee has met twice and has no set agenda other than talking and exchanging ideas.

One member says as long as they continue to work together, there will be visible results in the downtown area.

The committee is recruiting new members. Anyone interested should contact Chapel Hill Town Hall.