Friday, August 23, 2013

National Night Out 2013 Set New Record For Sanford

Thanks to Sanford’s neighborhoods, churches, and community groups, this year’s National Night Out ranked as the best attended – and most generous – to date in the region.

With 35 official and two unofficial sites, there was no shortage of food and fellowship during the city-wide celebration on Tuesday, August 6. Each site reported record participation for both new and long-time gatherings.

Even better: In addition to creating safe neighborhoods, this year’s goal was to collect nonperishable food items for the Christians United Outreach Center (CUOC). Local coordinators enthusiastically met the challenge, donating nearly 900 pounds of food to the agency to help provide meals for local families in need.

“We are so pleased that the City of Sanford and the National Night Out coordinators chose to support the Christians United Outreach Center this year,” says Teresa Kelly, executive director for the CUOC. “We look forward working together in the future to combat hunger in Sanford.”

Mayor Olive, City Council members, the Sanford Police Department, the Sanford Fire Department, and City staff worked together to visit each National Night Out event and show the community how committed they are to making Sanford as safe as possible,” says Kelly Quinones Miller, public information officer for the City and manager of the National Night Out program.

The August 6 celebrations capped off a long summer full of National Night Out events designed to help spread the word both about the program and the safety resources available from the Sanford Police Department.

And you can expect to hear more about National Night Out in the months to come. “Our goal is to carry the spirit of National Night Out throughout the year,” says Sgt. Tony Hancox of the Sanford Police Department. “We hope the community will continue to come out and show their support.”

See photos from the night on our Facebook page.

For more information National Night Out and upcoming events, contact Miller at 919-777-1133 or

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sanford's Drinking Water Receives State Recognition

For the third year in a row, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized the City of Sanford’s Water Treatment Plant for meeting the state’s performance goals.

The NC Department of Environmental and Natural Resources’ Area-Wide Optimization Program (AWOP) monitors the state’s public water systems. Each year, systems like the Water Treatment Plant strive to improve the turbidity – or water clarity – of their drinking water.

AWOP’s goal is to ensure the safest possible water for customers of public water systems and position public water systems to handle the challenges posed by new regulations and aging infrastructure.

The Water Treatment Plant has met AWOP’s performance goals year-over-year. The plant’s continued dedication to providing Sanford with safe drinking water “signifies a commitment to excellence” that “extends beyond regulatory standards,” wrote Becky Allenbach, chief of the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Branch in an August 5, 2013 letter of recognition.

The recognition “highlights the staff’s commitment to providing the safest possible drinking water,” says Scott Christiansen, Superintendent of the Water Treatment Plant.

“The staff treats the Sanford’s water beyond what is required by the national primary drinking water regulations,” he says. “This means fewer contaminants in the water supply and the highest quality water for everyone.”

For more information or to schedule a tour of the Water Treatment Plant, contact Christiansen at 919-777-1800.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Public Art Finds Permanent Home In New Downtown Parking Lot

Downtown Sanford's newly re-paved parking lot will be home to the newest Art-Force Inc public art installation.
Art-Force, a non-profit working to stimulate and diversify development in economically distressed communities, allies artists and manufacturers to create art for public spaces.

For Sanford, Art-Force matched local specialty metals engineering firm WST Industries with designers Chandra Cox and Susan Cannon to create two modern projects in metal, one of which will be six large-scale panels. The other is a selection of tables that will be available for purchase on WST Industries' website.

The zero-waste steel panels, which feature cut-outs that were used to produce the tables, will serve as entry markers to the newly re-paved and updated downtown lot between Wicker Street and Charlotte Avenue, explains DSI executive director David Montgomery.

The art installation will be fully unveiled during the parking lot's dedication in mid-September.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Social Spotlight: Trash Cart Do's and Don'ts

Question: I've noticed several of my neighbors leaving their trash carts at the curb long after the carts are emptied. Some neighbors never roll their cart back to their houses, choosing instead to take their trash to the curb each day. Is there anything I can do to make them move their carts from the curb?

Answer: The City of Sanford's code of ordinances is very clear about empty trash containers. Sec. 28-40b states:
Empty containers shall be removed from the street by the owner, no later than the day in which garbage and recyclables are picked up by the trucks, with the exception of business areas where the time limit will be 30 minutes between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
That means homeowners and renters should roll their carts back to their homes the day of collection. Of course, things happen and sometimes the carts stay at the street an extra day or so.However, carts should not remain at the curb indefinitely.

Important: Sanford's code of ordinances is also very clear about the type of site or location from which the city will collect trash. Sec. 28-40d states:
No collection, with or without charge, shall be made from vacant lots nor shall any large rocks, tree trunks, stumps, tree limbs, soil, or any other heavy objects be collected from houses or other structures under construction or recently completed, or any property where debris has been cut or placed by a contractor.
In the case of vacant lots or residential construction, the property owner or contractor is responsible for removing trash and debris.

Code Enforcement Is Your Answer

Knowing the rules is only half the battle. The obvious questions is: What can a person do to keep their neighbors within city code?

The short answer: Call in the enforcers. The City of Sanford has a code enforcement team who are responsible for responding to residents' complaints and concerns. They will follow the City's enforcement procedures for moving any code offenders into compliance.

The City's website offers a list of potential concerns and the number you'd call to begin the resolution process. If you don't see your concern listed, you can call 919-777-1405.

Or, YourGov It

The City also offers YourGov, a mobile app that make reporting code violations -- or any service request -- easier. The app is free to download, works on both Apple and Android devices, and can be used anywhere.

For further questions or concerns about trash collection or the YourGov mobile app, please contact the City's Service Center at 919-775-8247.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Greenway Survey Follow Up

We had a question about our greenway survey over on Facebook and thought everyone would appreciate seeing the answer.

Survey Background

Our unpaid intern has been with us about a month and has been researching surveys, survey tools, and survey use. He has been on the Applebee's/Spring Lane Cinemas section of the Endor Iron Furnace Trail (greenway) every day this week implementing the survey he created from this research.

The greenway survey is a great opportunity for our intern, whose college major is Statistics, to get some hands-on experience in his field while also learning about local government.

Though his internship is unpaid, we feel the experience has been and will continue to be beneficial for both of us.

Survey Purpose & Goal

The purpose of the survey is to see how the greenway is currently being used, by what demographic, and at what times of the day. We'd also like to know what amenities users would like to see added, such as more benches, more trash cans, etc.

The goal for this survey is to ensure the greenway facility meets the needs of those who use it and to better understand any barriers to use so that we can help to remove them.

Our intern is specifically targeting areas around the greenway so that the City can get a better feel for how the existing facility is meeting users' needs.

Lee County Government's Parks and Rec department has already performed a large-scale survey of residents' needs and wants concerning recreational activity. That information is available from the county.

Results So Far

Our intern is collecting in-person and online responses to give respondents the opportunity to share their thoughts in the way that's most comfortable for them.

The survey is not limited to residents or active greenway users. We encourage everyone to share their thoughts and perspective.

At this point we have had 82 take the survey (76 online, 6 in person), have posted flyers around the greenway facility, and have handed out short-form surveys to 20 users on the greenway.

Next Steps

With that information, we do hope people will continue sharing their thoughts via the greenway survey. The link to do so is

If you have further questions about the survey, please feel free to comment here or on our Facebook page, or call 919-777-1133.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Families Learn How To Fight Back At NNO Event

Ten local families came out to First Baptist Church on Saturday, August 3 to learn self-defense techniques to help them ward off any would-be attackers.

Master Jeremy Jackson of Black Belt Leadership Academy gave families hands-on demonstrations and taught them several strategies that even the youngest children could implement.

After a demonstration and practice session, Officer Deck of the Sanford Police Department's Community Policing Division gave parents some practical advice for making themselves, their families, and their property less vulnerable.

Before and after the event, children learned more about work zone safety. They loved trying on the hard hat and vest worn by the City's crews.

Photos in Progress

Stay tuned for our big National Night Out update. We're still sifting through 500+ photos and videos from the night.

We have been on the phone with our coordinators all week and everyone reports that this year's turnout was the best yet! Thank you to everyone who has participated this year!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Detour Alert: Rail Road Crossing Closed All Week

Wicker Street will be closed between Moore Street and Chatham Street for one week beginning on Monday, August 5.

Atlantic Western & CSX have requested this section of the road be closed so that they can change out a railroad crossing near the entrance to Depot Park.

Drivers can use Carthage Street as a detour.

The Moore-Chatham section of Wicker Street will re-open on Monday, August 12.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Notice: Updated Water & Sewer Rates

Effective Aug. 1, 2013, the City of Sanford's water and sewer rates have changed. Refer to the charts below for FY 2013-14 rates.

Water Utility Rates

Monthly Consumption Level
Inside City
Outside City
Monthly Consumption Level
Inside City
Outside City
Minimum Charge for up to 3 ccf
($ / month)
Minimum Charge for up to 3 ccf
($ / month)
Over 3 ccf
($ / ccf)
3 ccf to 8 ccf 
($ / ccf)

Over 8 ccf
($ / ccf)

1 ccf = 100 cubic feet = 748 gallons

Sewer Utility Rates

Monthly Consumption Level
Inside City
Outside City
Minimum Charge for up to 3 ccf
($ / month)
Over 3 ccf
($ / ccf)

1 ccf = 100 cubic feet = 748 gallons

Sewer Only Rates

Monthly Consumption Level
Inside City
Outside City
Flat Fee

Industrial Surcharge Rates

Strength Parameter
Proposed Rate
($/1,000 lb)
$145 / 1,000 lb in excess of 250mg/l
$220 / 1,000 lb in excess of 200 mg/l
Oil & Grease
$200 / 1,000 lb in excess of 40 mg/l

Questions or Concerns?

If you have questions or concerns about FY 2013-2014 rates, call the utility billing department at 919-777-1151.