Friday, February 28, 2014

URP Grant Helps Local Resident

Though state legislature has reduced the funding opportunities for housing grant programs that benefit income-eligible recipients, residents can still get help from the City of Sanford.

The Sanford/Lee County Community Development department recently used the NC Housing Finance Agency's Urgent Repair Housing Program (URP) to help Tamiker Jackson, a Lee County resident with severe epilepsy who was born with an IQ of 51.

Jackson and her daughter Miracle lived in a home in need of serious repair, including holes in the floor, light switches pulled out of the wall, and light fixtures falling down. Using URP funds, along with additional funding from the City of Sanford and Lee County, the home was repaired and is now safe to live in.

Read more about Johnson and the repairs made to her home here.

URP provides funds to low and very-low income households that have housing conditions which pose imminent threats to life or safety. The program also provides accessibility modifications and other repairs necessary to keep elderly or special needs homeowners in their homes.

URP is one of the department's most utilized programs and the most well received by the community. For more information about the program, contact Karen Kennedy at 919-777-1113.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Free Smoke Detectors For Homeowners

Is your home missing a smoke detector?

If you live inside Sanford's city limits, you have no excuse. If you own your home, the Sanford Fire Department will give you a smoke detector and install it in your home -- all for free.

To be eligible, you must own the home and it must be located inside the city.

If you meet these qualifications, call the Sanford Fire Department at 919-777-1300 today more information or to schedule your installation.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Sanford Channel Has Changed

Due to updates from Charter Communications, the City of Sanford's television channel has changed.

Previously, you could view City news and events on channel 11. Now, you must turn to channel 191.

City staff has petitioned Charter to return our channel to 11, but there is no definitive way to tell if and when that will happen. To ensure you don't miss our news, make sure you note the new channel.

If the channel changes back to 11, we will alert residents.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sanford Named Tree City USA

Sanford’s commitment to adding new and preserving existing trees has earned the city its first Tree City USA certification from the Arbor Day Foundation.

To achieve the recognition, the Sanford had to meet four core standards: appoint a tree board or department, create a tree care ordinance, develop a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita, and establish an Arbor Day proclamation and observance.

The City of Sanford’s Appearance Commission is the acting tree board for Sanford and was instrumental in creating the city’s tree care ordinance.

“The more trees you have, the healthier and more beautiful your city is. City of Sanford staff and the Sanford City Council understand the importance of this initiative and supported it from the beginning,” says Ken Laughinghouse, Appearance Commission chair. “Everyone worked together to bring the Tree City USA designation to Sanford.”

To maintain the designation, “the Commission will research and recommend trees for public areas to enhance Sanford’s appearance and preserve the city’s tree canopy,” says Liz Whitmore, planner with the City of Sanford.

To observe Arbor Day last year, the Appearance Commission planted a tree at the Sanford Municipal Golf Course. This year, it hopes to involve local schools. “We want to see the celebration get bigger each year,” Whitmore says.

For more information about the Arbor Day Foundation, go to

Update: Read The Sanford Herald's article about the designation in the Sunday, Feb. 16 edition.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Sanford One of NC's Best Places To Retire

Sanford's gorgeous and (somewhat) mild weather and proximity to international airports landed it in a top 10 spot in Movoto Real Estate's roundup of the Best Places To Retire In North Carolina.

Movoto ranked North Carolina's cities and towns with a population of at least 10,000 according to five main criteria:
  • Cost of living
  • Crime rate
  • Weather (average summer temperature and air quality)
  • Ease of travel (distance to nearest international airport)
  • Retiree amenities per capita (healthcare, senior centers, adult education, dining, shopping, libraries, arts & entertainment)
Based on this criteria, Sanford ranked higher than Davidson (13), Spring Lake (14), Fuquay-Varina (15), Pinehurst (20), Cary (26), Chapel Hill (38), and Asheville (59).

Advantages: Sanford's low cost of living helped it beat out other localities, according to Movoto. Sanford also has a lower crime rate than many others on the list.

Disadvantages: Movoto said Sanford would have ranked higher except that it scored 55 for "amenities." The company factors senior centers, adult education, libraries, and arts/entertainment into that score.

However, Movoto also admitted that it used online review site to determine the amenities score. Cities with a higher number of businesses registered on the site fared better than those that don't. The company stated that this is Sanford's one area that needs improvement.

Takeaway: Residents already know that Sanford is a great place to live, work, and play. Being highlighted in lists such as Movoto's only helps to spread that message to a larger audience.