What Works Cities
The Town has been selected to join What Works Cities, a national initiative launched by Bloomberg Philanthropies in April 2015. What Works Cities is the most comprehensive philanthropic effort to improve the effectiveness of local governments by enhancing their use of data and evidence to improve services, inform local decision-making and engage residents. The initiative now partners with 90 cities across the country that are home to more than 28 million people in 37 states and have combined annual budgets exceeding $96 billion. The What Works Cities initiative will support research and development of a Cary citizen contact center by strengthening the collection and analysis of call data, and will also help develop an open data policy for the Town. Cary joins the What Works Cities’ extensive learning network of local leaders and global experts actively sharing best practices for outcomes-focused government. Cary will receive support, guidance and resources to succeed through a consortium of leading organizations assembled by Bloomberg Philanthropies: the Behavioral Insights Team, the Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University, the Government Performance Lab at the Harvard Kennedy School, Results for America and the Sunlight Foundation.
Combating Opioids in Our Community
Number of Overdoses since January 1, 2017: 100
Number of Fatalities: 4
During Q1, Cary had the first confirmed lethal overdose caused by carfentanil in Wake County.
- Heroin: 2 times more potent than morphine
- Fentanyl: 100 times more potent than morphine
- Carfentanil: 10,000 times more potent than morphine
Data provided by the DEA in April 2016
- The Cary Police Department participated in a roundtable event concerning opioid investigations hosted by the Wake County District Attorney’s Office. Numerous agencies from across the region attended the event and included a presentation from the U.S. Attorney’s Office regarding prosecution of those involved in the delivery/sale of drugs where a death has occurred.
- Deputy Town Manager Mike Bajorek spoke on the Opioid Epidemic at the Town of Cary’s Boards and Commissi
- September 13 - Approximately 250 information technology professionals attended a healthcare workshop on Town Hall Campus sponsored by Raleigh Internet of Things (“R!OT”) to learn about the opioid issue and discuss how data analytics can be used to address the epidemic.
- September 13 – In partnership with The Poe Center for Health Education, a non-profit organization dedicated to health education in North Carolina, the Town hosted a VIP Reception at the Page-Walker for Sam Quinones, author of the acclaimed book Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic.
- September 14 – Over 30 Town employees held a book club-type conversation with Sam Quinones at The Cary Theater.
- September 14 – Approximately 20 Town employees attended the “Opioid Epidemic Uncovered” conference hosted by The Poe Center for Health Education at the Raleigh Convention Center. Police Chief Tony Godwin participated in the panel discussion.
Bloomberg Mayors Challenge
Staff along with partners from the private sector, Wake County Public Health, NC Department of Health and Human Services, The Poe Center for Health Education, and the North Carolina Medical Society Alliance collaborated on an application for a Bloomberg Philanthropy grant.
The proposed project would use wastewater analysis to estimate average opioid use in Cary, and then expand this program to multiple municipalities in the state of North Carolina to establish regional trends across a spread of urban and rural areas. Just as the game of baseball was revolutionized by data-based concepts as documented in Michael Lewis’ book Moneyball, we aim to transform public health practice through state-of-the-art analytics in an open data platform. Thousands of state and local public health officials and educators will be able to view near real-time systemic trends to better understand their community, allocate resources and evaluate if programs are working. Additionally, the platform opens opportunities to integrate datasets, develop predictive analytics, promote collaboration across regions, increase civic engagement and reduce social stigma.
Cross-departmental staff worked collaboratively during Q1 to compile information for the Town’s application in preparation for the submittal deadline of October 20, 2017.
Rebranding InitiativeThe Town received 18 responses from firms across the country to the Community Branding Request for Qualifications (RFQ) issued over the summer. Following a technical requirements evaluation of these RFQs, the qualified pool was narrowed to 16 firms.
The general timeline for reviewing these candidates and bringing a recommendation to Council is as follows:
Fall 2017: Narrow the field to five semifinalists that will be referred to the Economic Development Committee who will recommend the finalists.
Winter 2018: Bring finalists to Cary to get to know our community and meet
Council. Each finalist will be paid a $5,000 stipend to meet with stakeholders, tour our community and present ideas. A consultant recommendation will be made to Council.
Interesting Website and Social Media Statistics
- Cumulative Facebook “likes” increased 6% in Q1 to over 11,000.
- 500,575 visits were recorded to www.townofcary.org this quarter, an average of more than 225 visits per hour on a 24/7 schedule.
- 5,200 visits to the Aquastar portion of the website were measured this quarter, an average of over 1,730 customers per month.
The total visits to the website were down from the same time last year by approximately 10%. While there is no firm evidence, the reason for the change in the number of visits could be that the website organization provides answers with fewer clicks or because citizens are finding a higher percentage of the value in the Town’s social media alternatives.
Public WorksPublic Works Solid Waste, Recycling, and Yard Waste divisions have been preparing for a route rebalance that will be effective November 2017. This re-route is part of maintaining our commitment to providing exceptional services and will help ensure efficiency and improved reliability of all collections. On September 29 letters were mailed to 27,000 households that will be affected by the solid waste re-route. Affected citizens will also be notified through a second letter and a cart hanger.
So, what’s changing?
- A portion of the Tuesday–Friday routes will move one day to Monday through Thursday.
- In the past, all service locations west of Highway 55 were collected on Tuesday. Now this area will be divided into Monday through Thursday routes to provide more flexibility in service management and efficiency for special collections.
Plant PerformanceAward Winners
Both the North and South Cary Wastewater Treatment Facilities have been designated as Exceptional Performing Facilities since their last National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit renewals were issued in 2014. To receive this designation, each facility had to demonstrate exceptional long-term performance. The Western Wake Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility (“WWRWRF”) is about to complete three years of wastewater treatment operations in compliance with exceptional facility criteria, and WWRWRF staff are planning to apply for this designation for the WWRWRF as well.
The City of Durham has taken their Williams Water Treatment Plant offline to complete major construction upgrades and is expected to be offline through April 2018. During this time, Cary and OWASA will provide Durham with supplemental water. Town staff have been planning for the ongoing water transfers and are prepared to provide assistance to Durham on a recurring basis for the next several months. During this time, contingency plans are in place for Raleigh, Durham and Cary to provide mutual aid assistance and support through our network of interconnected water lines as needed during the offseason maintenance and construction periods. These inter-local arrangements ensure the reliability of every partner’s supply and are consistent with the Town’s values for regional partnerships.
Reclaimed water demand for the quarter averaged approximately 77 million gallons per month, which was approximately 10 million gallons per month more than the same period in FY 2017. The increase in reclaimed demand during the summer, which is substantially influenced by irrigation and internal plant use, is likely due to less rainfall during the summer months coupled with increased utilization at the water reclamation facilities.
Pressure Zone Shift Completed
The Town is changing the water pressure zone for some citizens as part of a long term plan to provide greater transmission capacity and redundancy within the pipeline network. Citizens moving into the central pressure zone experience an increase in pressure of approximately 40-psi. Pressure zone shifts are being implemented in stages to improve our ability to assist citizens with the pressure change. The second of a series of incremental pressure zone boundary shifts occurred in August to restore central pressure to several communities in the vicinity of Davis Drive and High House Road. The first shift was initiated in May 2017 following a water main break at Waldo Rood Boulevard. Additional incremental pressure zone shifts are planned next year and in subsequent years.
A map of the areas that have been restored to central pressure is below.
Annual Wastewater Report
Once again, Cary’s water reclamation facilities performed exceptionally well at consistently treating wastewater to high standards of water quality and there were no regulatory compliance violations during the most recent reporting period. Each year the Town provides citizens an update on the activities and compliance of our water reclamation facilities and wastewater collection system. The annual report covers 12 months ending June 30, 2017 and is a regulatory requirement of the Town’s wastewater collection system permit and water reclamation facilities wastewater discharge permits. The report was posted online in August. Printed copies of the report are located at Town Hall, and in the Town’s community centers and the public libraries in Cary and Morrisville.
Key Utility Project Progress
Residential Cooking Oil Curbside Collection Program UpdateThe Town’s full-time Residential Waste Cooking Oil Disposal Program has gained in popularity, in part through the education efforts on the Cary it Green Facebook page, block leaders, staff promotion at civic events, and advertisement in letters sent in response to sanitary sewer overflows. In FY 2017 a flier promoting the program was included in the Annual Mailer packet. The program gives Cary citizens an opportunity to properly dispose of cooking oil and grease and “Turn F.O.G. into Fuel by recycling Fats, Oils, and Grease.” The chart depicts participation rates since the full-time program launched in July 2008.
Public Safety – Fire and Emergency Response
First Quarter Comparisons
First quarter fire frequency increased 23 percent in FY 2018 as compared to the same period in FY 2017. Q1 of FY 2018 experienced seven more passenger vehicle fires and seven more outside fires than Q1 of the prior fiscal year. None of the additional passenger vehicle fires in Q1 FY 2018 was related and none of the additional outside fires was in the same geographical area or related.
First quarter of emergency medical calls increased 3.26 percent in FY 2018 as compared to the same period in FY 2017.
First quarter rescue frequency decreased four percent in FY 2018 as compared to the same period in FY 2017.
EMS Output“Critical interventions” are medications or actions provided by fire department staff that without, the patient’s outcome would not have been optimal.
Fire Station 9
Fire Station No. 9, 1427 Walnut Street, is in the design phase. It was determined that the existing buildings were not suitable for renovation and should be removed as soon as possible due to safety concerns. The demolition is complete, and construction of the new fire station is anticipated to begin in summer 2018.
PoliceUnlike all other Town indicators that are on a fiscal year basis, police crime statistics are compared on a calendar year basis to match reporting requirements issued by federal and state agencies.
FBI Crime Statistics Released
The latest crime statistics (calendar year 2016) have been released by the FBI. Statistics show that crime overall in Cary was down by nine percent. However, Part I Violent Crime in Cary was up by 86 percent; this is the data typically used by various organizations to develop their "safest cities" rankings. Part I violent crimes include Murder, Rape, Robbery and Aggravated Assault. Murder decreased by 80 percent (from five in 2015 to one in 2016). The latter three types of crimes are responsible for the increase. Staff is analyzing the actual crimes involved in these Part I increases to better understand what is driving the numbers and will be able to discuss the results more in depth after the analysis is complete.
*All Other Criminal Offenses is defined as all violations of state or local laws not specifically identified as Part I or Part II offenses, except traffic violations. An example of this would be domestic related incidents and contempt of court.
Police District 3 Substation
The police department has opened the new District 3 substation in the Wellington Park Shopping Center at 6420 Tryon Road, near the intersection of Tryon and S.E. Cary Parkway. Patrol teams use the new office to conduct roll-call briefings and other activities. The new facility does not have staffed office hours, so the public is still encouraged to call 911 for emergencies and (919) 469-4012 for non-emergency requests.
Cary Hosts Area Realtors for Tour
Cary hosted 25 members of the Realtors Association to tour and share an inside perspective of the community. After an overview at the Page-Walker, participants boarded a GoCary bus for a two-hour tour. On board, staff was available to talk about the many Town services important to homebuyers, such as the permitting process, area amenities and planned transportation improvements.
For part of the tour, the group was joined by Wake County School Board representatives to provide information about schools in Cary. The Realtors expressed appreciation for the tour experience.