Welcome to our weekly e-newsletter - What's Up in Wake Forest. Here you'll find information about Town programs, services, activities, projects, special events and more! If you haven't already, tell your friends and neighbors to visit our E-Notifier page to learn about our full array of free email offerings.
Keep trash secured in trucks

Loose trash in trucks creates litter along Wake Forest roadways.

Help keep Wake Forest roadways clean by securing any trash in your truck bed. When you throw trash in the back of your truck, it inevitably blows out and becomes litter on the roadside. Roadside litter costs millions of dollars to remove, decreases property values and has a negative impact on tourism.

The NC Department of Public Safety reports that an even bigger problem is unsecured loads in the back of trucks. At high speeds, even large items can fly out and hurt or startle other drivers causing accidents. Put trash into built-in containers. Use tarps, cargo nets and tie-downs to secure any loads. #KeepWFclean

The Town of Wake Forest is inviting residents to share their thoughts and opinions on Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources (PRCR) Department programs, services, facilities and special events by completing a comprehensive survey. The survey is available through Friday, Feb. 12, and takes less than 20 minutes to complete.

The 2021 PRCR Survey is designed to provide critical information in determining community values, satisfaction levels, needs and priorities, and demographics for the PRCR Department’s long-range planning efforts.

Data obtained from the survey will be statistically summarized and used to measure against recommendations within the PRCR Master Plan. Adopted in 2015, the Master Plan is a 10-year vision for future parks, greenways, programs and facilities. The plan is intended to help meet the needs of current and future residents by positioning Wake Forest to build on the community’s unique parks and recreation assets and identify new opportunities.

The Wake Forest Town Hall, 301 S. Brooks St., and other administrative offices will be closed Monday, Jan. 18, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Town offices will re-open Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 8 a.m. 

Police services and trash and recycling collection schedules will not be affected. However, bus service and yard waste collection will be suspended.

Yard waste will not be collected January 18 but will resume January 19 at 7 a.m. Crews will follow the normal collection schedule beginning with Monday’s route. Collection of the Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday routes will occur throughout the remainder of the week until all routes have been completed.

Wake County residents ages 65 and older and healthcare workers who are interested in getting the COVID-19 vaccine can join our waiting list, starting Tuesday, Jan. 19. To provide the best possible customer service, Wake County Public Health is using a new system to help match the demand for shots with supply of vaccine.


Wake Forest Mayor Vivian Jones, Commissioners Jim Dyer, Chad Sary, Liz Simpers, and Bridget Wall Lennon and Town Manager Kip Padgett joined Wake County Commissioners Sig Hutchinson and Shinica Thomas and local residents Thursday for the official groundbreaking for two new affordable homes scheduled for construction along East Pine Avenue.

Hosted by Builder James Montague, the ceremony featured brief remarks by Mayor Jones, Commissioners Hutchinson and Thomas, Rev. Tilda Caudle, and North State Bank Senior VP Jonathan Hand and the traditional turning of the soil to signify the start of construction.

The Town of Wake Forest sold the properties for their assessed value to James Montague Builders Limited under the condition that they construct affordable homes (approximately $250,000 each) and offer Town employees meeting the qualified home buyer income limits a 30-day period to enter into a contract to purchase a home prior to the general public.

Several local churches and community organizations will honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a virtual livestream program on Thursday, Jan. 21, at 6:30 p.m. Area residents are invited to watch the livestream on the MLK Celebration website

The evening’s theme will center around one of Dr. King’s messages: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Federal Judge Joe Webster will be the keynote speaker. Webster developed the "Court Cares" program that teaches students in grades 6-8 about the federal court system and the US Constitution. It also encourages young people to be law-abiding citizens. 

During his address, Judge Webster will direct many of his remarks towards our community and this year's youth contest participants: Recognize the achievements of our youth and continue to encourage them and provide moral support; Gaining all the knowledge you can will help prepare you for future life opportunities; Have confidence in yourself, regardless of what others think - "you are better than nobody, but nobody is better than you;" learn to love your enemies and help one another; Dr. King was a peacemaker, seek peace across all age groups; and Our future depends on our youth.

For more information on the MLK Community Celebration, email Margo Grant

The Wake Forest Human Relations Council (HRC) is celebrating Black History Month in 2021 by offering town residents the chance to recognize local African Americans who have made a difference enhancing and improving the quality of life in their community, family, church, business or other group.

From now through Saturday, Jan. 23, the HRC is soliciting nominations in several categories, including educator, actor, healthcare worker, business owner, frontline worker, musician and politician – just to name a few. The online nomination form is available at http://bit.ly/WFBHMHonorRoll.

Wake Forest residents, former residents, and business and community stakeholders are eligible. Nomination narratives describing the individual’s contributions should be 400 words or less. Nominees should demonstrate leadership and integrity and be respected by their peers. In addition, potential nominees may, for example, help neighbors and fellow Wake Forest citizens in some way, demonstrate hospitality and concern for others, support local businesses and charities, promote a sense of community in their neighborhood and beyond, or serve the community through their school, church, business or community organization.

The HRC will review the nominations and select different Wake Forest African Americans to honor throughout February. Honorees will be recognized on the Town of Wake Forest Facebook page and Town website.

The Town of Wake Forest has extended the deadline for anyone wishing to apply to serve on the Board of Adjustment (BOA), Historic Preservation Commission (HPC), Public Art Commission (PAC) and Urban Forestry Board (UFB). Residents of Wake Forest and its extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) now have until midnight Sunday, Jan. 31, to submit a completed application.

The Town extended the application deadline for these advisory boards after failing to receive a sufficient number of applications for their current vacancies.

Apply by completing and submitting the online online advisory board application. Anyone without access to a computer is invited to complete the application by using a computer kiosk in the lobby of Town Hall, 301 S. Brooks St. Hard copies are available upon request by contacting Cathi Pope at 919-435-9467. 
 
Chief Financial Officer Aileen Staples is pleased to announce that Shameshia Fennell has been named Assistant Finance Director. Fennell was selected from a pool of over 50 applicants and underwent an extensive interview process. Her first day was January 4.

As Assistant Finance Director, Fennell will serve as the Town’s chief accounting officer responsible for directing the daily accounting operations of the Finance Department and the Town. She will also oversee general ledger activities, including accounts payable, payroll, and receivables, administer activities for the annual audit and prepare the annual Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).
 
February is Black History Month, and the Wake Forest Historic Preservation Commission is celebrating by partnering with the Wake Forest Historical Museum to offer a series of free Zoom webinars on African American history in our community and state.

On Mondays, Feb. 1, 8 and 22, the public is invited to attend the Zoom webinars online or by phone. There is no cost to participate, but registration is encouraged at . After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Beginning at 6 p.m., the February 1 webinar will feature Adrienne Nirde, Associate Director at NC African American Heritage Commission (NCAAHC), who will discuss the mission of the NCAAHC and the Freedom Roads Initiative. On February 8 at 7 p.m., Senior Planner Michelle Michael and special guest Ricardo Young will discuss the Preservation of the Ailey Young House and site. The February 22 webinar will also begin at 7 p.m. and feature Dr. Sean Colbert-Lewis, Associate Professor of History and Director of Teacher Education for the History Department at NC Central University.
 
Budding business owners will again be showcased at the Wake Forest Area Chamber Foundation’s Young Entrepreneur’s Fair, sponsored by Blue Wave Pressure Washing on Saturday, May 1. The Young Entrepreneurs Fair gives students from age 9 to 14 an opportunity to manufacture, market, and sell their handmade products.

As part of its mission to support both entrepreneurship and youth programming, the Wake Forest Area Chamber Foundation invites students to participate at no charge. According to Ann Welton, Chamber president, “We’re dedicated to nurturing the next generation of business leaders, and the Young Entrepreneurs Fair is an ideal opportunity for young people to learn about marketing and selling their products.”

Again, this year there will be two workshops scheduled prior to the Fair to help students with their business and marketing plans. “By participating in the Fair, students get real-world experience in manufacturing, inventory control, branding, marketing, and sales,” said Welton. “By adding these workshops, we hope to also show them how to make a profit!” The workshops will be held online and interested students will be provided with the links.

Applications are currently being accepted through Friday, Feb. 26. For more information, call the Chamber at 919-556-1519.

Provided below are announcements about projects that will impact Wake Forest motorists over the next several weeks. Please use the information to help plan your route and move safely through the affected areas. 

Now through March 2021
From now through March, Fred Smith Company, a contractor working on behalf of Wegmans, will periodically reduce to one lane portions of Dr. Calvin Jones Highway/NC 98 from Galaxy Way to Siena Drive. The temporary lane closures are necessary to allow crews to widen the roadway and install turn lanes for the future Wegman’s. The store will be situated on the south side of Dr. Calvin Jones Highway/NC 98 Bypass between US 1/Capital Boulevard and Siena Drive, just west of Ligon Mill Road.

The January/February edition of Our Town is now available. Click on the cover image on the right to view the latest issue in digital format.

Our Town is Wake Forest's free bi-monthly newsletter. Published every other month, Our Town is mailed to every home in the 27587 zip code and residents of Wakefield. If you live in one of these areas, you should have already received the latest edition in your mailbox. The cover of the current issue is shown.

For a complete listing of all the ways you can stay informed about what's happening in and around Wake Forest, visit us online.

Beginning January 1, the Town of Wake Forest changed how it charges residents for solid waste service and introduced several improvements to its yard waste and bulk waste collection programs.

Since 2008 Wake Forest property owners have paid for solid waste service as part of their annual property tax bill. Prior to that, residents paid a monthly user fee of $14.60 as part of their monthly utility bill.

Effective January 1, solid waste service is no longer covered by annual tax revenues, but instead by a $21 monthly solid waste fee included on residents’ Raleigh Water bill. The fee includes weekly trash, recycling and yard waste collection, along with seasonal and on-demand collections for loose leaves, Christmas trees, bulk waste pickup and large brush collection.

The following improvements to the Town's yard waste collection programs also began January 1:

  • The weekly bag limit of yard waste doubled from 10 bags to 20 bags.
  • The limit of large brush doubled from four to eight cubic yards (approximately two pickup truck loads).

Large brush collections must be scheduled in advance via an online form on the Town website. Area residents without internet access may schedule a pickup by calling 919-435-9570 Monday-Friday from 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

As a general rule, “large brush” is any yard waste, including limbs over four feet in length, that does not fit into bags or yard waste containers.

After scheduling an appointment, residents are urged to observe the following guidelines to ensure collection:

  • Large brush must be loose, unbundled, and visible to the driver – not contained in a bag, cart, box or collection container.
  • Like all yard waste set out for collection, brush must be placed behind the curb in front of individual homes, not in front of vacant lots, common areas or open space.
  • Brush must be less than 10 inches in diameter and no longer than six feet. 
  • Brush exceeding six inches in diameter must not exceed two feet.
  • Brush must be set out by 7 a.m. on your collection day, but no earlier than 5 p.m. the day before collection. 
  • Drivers need a clearance of 25 feet, so avoid low-hanging power lines and do not place brush on or near mailboxes, utility boxes, utility poles, fences or other fixed objects.

While the weekly bag limit of yard waste has doubled from 10 bags to 20 bags, Public Works officials are urging residents to help ensure the safety of crews by using clear or transparent bags only. Residents may also place yard waste inside receptacles marked “YW” (Yard Waste). Again, residents must place all yard waste behind the curb in front of their homes, not in front of vacant lots, common areas or open space. Beginning Monday, March 1, yard waste not in clear or transparent bags (or receptacles marked YW) will not be collected.

The Town offers an online portal that provides a complete overview of these and other improvements to its solid waste collection program. The portal includes a historic overview of the Town’s billing history, information on starting and stopping collection service, and answers to frequently asked questions. For more information, email Solid Waste Supervisor Chad Hildebrandt

The Town of Wake Forest will host a public hearing on the proposed 2021-2026 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) Update during the Board of Commissioners (BOC) meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 19.

The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall Board Chambers, 301 S. Brooks St.
Wake Forest residents are invited to attend and provide input in this important process. The public can view a copy of the proposed CIP Update on the Town website or in the Town Clerk’s office, located in town hall, from now until Tuesday, Jan. 19.

The CIP Update is the revised CIP and covers the five fiscal years 2021-22 through 2025-26. The CIP Update document contains capital expenditure requests from each of the Town’s departments/divisions for items over $25,000 that typically have a useful life of five years or more. 

February is Black History Month, and the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre is celebrating by offering “Art That Reflects,” a series of virtual performances that pay tribute to the diversity and artistry of African American culture. Offering an outstanding lineup that includes storytelling and theater, as well as vocal, music and dance, the series will be available for free streaming on the Renaissance Centre website, Facebook and YouTube pages.
NC continues Modified Stay at Home Order

On Wednesday, Jan. 6, Gov. Roy Cooper announced that North Carolina will continue a Modified Stay at Home Order through at least January 29.

The Order requires people to stay at home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. It also requires restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, personal care businesses and more to close at 10 pm. Travel to and from work; to obtain food, medical care, fuel or social services; or to take care of a family member is exempted.


People who live and work near Wake Forest have a convenient way to get tested for COVID-19. Wake County is contracting with clinical laboratory Radeas, located at 907 Gateway Commons Circle, to provide free, drive-thru testing Monday-Saturday from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. (note the new time).

The service is free, and no appointment is necessary. The testing typically takes about seven minutes, and results are usually provided in seven to nine hours – but can take up to 24 hours.
Wake Forest's Beauty is Everyone's Duty

Everyone has an important role to play in keeping Wake Forest beautiful and safe. Let's all "show some love" to our community by properly disposing of trash and pet waste. #KeepWFClean
Find what you're looking for on Town website

At wakeforestnc.gov, everything you'd ever like to know about Wake Forest, its programs and services, is always at your fingertips. Many of the common resources you're looking for are conveniently located below the search bar on the homepage. For all other questions, just click in the search bar and start to type.
 
The Wake Forest Police Department (WFPD) regularly implores residents to help reduce motor vehicle break-ins by locking their car doors. A vast majority of the reported car break-ins in Wake Forest involve unlocked vehicles.

Those pleas are taking on an even greater sense of urgency after another rash of break-ins involving unlocked vehicles. Once again, thieves engaged in what is known as “car-hopping” in several Wake Forest subdivisions. Car-hopping occurs when criminals roam neighborhoods at night, pulling on car door handles, hoping to find an open vehicle. Police officials say it’s a numbers game. For every 10 cars a criminal checks, they expect to find at least a couple open, so there is no need to physically break a window or door lock to get in.

Simply put, the best way to avoid becoming a victim is by simply locking your unoccupied vehicles at all times, removing your valuable items and any extra set of keys from the vehicle, and double-checking to make sure your car is locked before going to bed at night. If an item can’t be removed, then it’s best to make sure it is out of sight to potential crooks looking for an easy target.

The Wake Forest Police Department (WFPD) is urging every resident to “be a good neighbor” by reporting suspicious activity this holiday season and throughout the year.

Police Chief Jeff Leonard says crimes are often prevented when citizens report suspected illegal activity.

“Wake Forest is a growing community, and unfortunately, crime can sometimes be a byproduct of growth,” said Leonard. “But that’s why it’s so important for residents and business owners to remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings. When you see something that looks suspicious, call the police department. If we investigate and no crime has occurred, that’s okay. But we would rather you call and it turn out to be nothing, than not call. It’s a proven fact that reporting suspicious activity helps prevent crime.”
 
After a 15-year run, the Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department is discontinuing the mass mailing of its biannual program guide to Town residents in the 27587 zip code. Beginning in February 2021, a limited number of RecConnect copies will be printed and available for pickup at Town Hall, 301 S. Brooks St., and PRCR facilities, such as Joyner Park Community Center, 701 Harris Road, Flaherty Park Community Center, 1226 N. White St., and Alston-Massenburg Center, 416 S. Taylor St.

In anticipation of this change, residents accustomed to receiving the program guide in the mail are encouraged to sign up to receive RecConnect via email. The publication will continue to be available to view/download online.

Although printed editions of RecConnect will no longer arrive in mailboxes, the same high-quality content will continue to be included in each issue. Published twice a year, the program guide provides complete information on parks and recreation-sponsored programs and activities for people of all ages, including youth and adult athletics, cultural programs and classes, and special events. Each edition also includes important news and contact information, along with the names and locations of Wake Forest parks, open spaces, indoor facilities and greenways.

The Town of Wake Forest has partnered with Paymentus to offer Wake Forest Power (WFP) customers faster, easier and more convenient ways to pay their electric bills. WFP customers can now pay their bills and review usage history online via a new and improved customer portal. Customers also have the option of paying via a new automated phone system

The new online platform allows customers to:

  • pay electric bills with credit cards, debit cards, or bank account and routing number;
  • make one-time payments or set up recurring automatic payments;
  • receive email reminders and emailed receipts of payment;
  • view consumption and account information;
  • view and download current and past utility bills;
  • opt out of mailed paper bills; and
  • manage multiple utility accounts with one user profile.

An online Customer Portal Guide offering step-by-step instructions is available.

The Wake Forest Planning Board typically meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m., while the Board of Commissioners typically meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m.

These meetings can be viewed both live and on demand through the Public Meetings Portal on the Town’s website.

Planning Board and Board of Commissioners meetings are also broadcast live on Wake Forest TV 10—the Town’s government access channel—then re-broadcast daily throughout the next two weeks at 9 a.m., 3 p.m., and 9 p.m.

WFTV 10 is available only to Wake Forest residents and businesses that subscribe to Spectrum Cable TV service. However, WFTV 10 can be viewed online in real-time streaming video by anyone who has internet access. To stream WFTV 10 online, visit wakeforestnc.gov and search “wftv 10.”

The Town of Wake Forest encourages local pet owners to be good neighbors and great pet owners by obeying Wake County’s leash law.

The Town regularly receives complaints from local residents about dogs running at large – particularly at Town parks. Although Wake Forest does not have an ordinance pertaining to dogs, Wake County Animal Control has jurisdiction to enforce animal control laws within the town and its park system.

Wake County Animal Control Ordinance Section 2-3-7 (A) states “It shall be unlawful for any owner to permit an animal to be at large.” Section 2-3-7 (C) further states “It shall be unlawful for any person owning or having possession, charge, custody or control of any dog to take the dog into or allow the dog to enter any public park without being at all times under the restraint of a leash unless said park is designated as a dog park.”

Any owner permitting an animal to be at large shall pay a civil penalty of $100 for the first violation.

In 2014 the Town of Wake Forest introduced SeeClickFix as a simple, yet effective way for residents to report quality of life, non-emergency issues. Since then, the Town has addressed hundreds of citizens’ concerns, ranging from damaged sidewalks and potholes to storm drain blockages and malfunctioning traffic signals.

SeeClickFix is available on the Town website, while the mobile platform is offered as a function on the Town app.

By utilizing the online or mobile reporting platform, residents can report non-emergency issues through a variety of service request categories. When submitting such issues, residents can provide locational, descriptive and photographic information as they see the issue in real time.

Once the resident submits an issue, the reporter, the Town, and anyone “watching” the area receives an alert. The Town then acknowledges the service request, routes it to the proper department, and updates the request – along with residents following the issue - once it’s been resolved. 

The Wake Forest Fire Department recently introduced a program that provides firefighters with the safe and efficient entry they need into the homes of vulnerable residents during fires or medical emergencies.

The Knox Homebox program involves homeowners buying a steel lock box and firefighters locking their house key in it. Fire crews have a master key that opens the box in the event of a medical emergency, fire or other urgent need.

The initiative saves precious time for first responders and the potential expense of costly repairs for the homeowner due to forced entry.

Whether spending a day meandering through myriad shops, sampling our delicious dining options or stopping in to see your favorite merchant for that one-of-a-kind service, shopping in downtown Wake Forest is always a great idea!

With unique products and personal attention only independents can provide, downtown Wake Forest truly is where quaint meets cool. Shopping locally also contributes to the community in ways that make buying downtown an economically-responsible decision as well!

Wake Forest residents can now go online and use the Town of Wake Forest app to request assistance and report issues related to solid waste service:

  • Request trash and recycling service;
  • Upgrade from a 48-gallon to a 96-gallon recycling cart;
  • Report damaged and/or missing carts;
  • Report a missed trash or recycling collection;
  • Request a bulk pickup;
  • Request a large brush pickup;
  • Sign up for Waste Wizard.

The Northern Wake Senior Center, 235 E. Holding Ave., offers adults age 55 and older a full schedule of recreational activities. Programming at the center is provided by Resources for Seniors, Inc. The organization serves senior and disabled adults in Wake County by providing home and community-based services and information, thereby allowing them to maximize their choices for independence, comfort, safety, security and well-being.

Check out Jennie's Weekly Jots, the senior center's weekly newsletter, for information on current programming and initiatives.

A mandatory mask requirement is in effect for all of North Carolina. As a result, every North Carolinian in an indoor public space, or in an outside public space when unable to physically distance from others, is required to wear a face covering.

In accordance with Executive Order (EO) 147, all visitors to the Wake Forest Town Hall, 301 S. Brooks St., and other Town facilities must wear a face mask or face covering. For more information, call Town Hall at 919-435-9400.
Recycling Refresher

It's time to take a fresh look at recycling and change how we think about it! It's less important to fill the bin with a mix of things we think MAY be recyclable as it is to put in things we KNOW are recyclable. Click on the video above. It's designed to help you "get the right things in the bin - for the win!"
Waste Wizard makes recycling easier

The Waste Wizard makes it easier than ever for residents to stay informed about Town of Wake Forest trash, recycling and yard waste collection programs. The Waste Wizard also helps residents know which disposable household materials can be recycled and which ones should be thrown away.

Available on the Town’s website, the “Waste Wizard” is an interactive tool that allows users to sign up for waste collection reminders and download collection schedules.

You can also type in key words related to disposable household materials and receive valuable disposal tips. From aluminum cans and phone books to popcorn bags and plastic bags, the search tool helps residents effectively sort their recyclables from their trash.

As a bonus, the Waste Wizard is provided as a function on the Town of Wake Forest app.
Stay In Touch
You have received this e-mail because you are subscribed to E-News – part of the Town of Wake Forest’s e-mail subscription service. E-News keeps you up-to-date on Town of Wake Forest news, information, events and services. If you believe you have been subscribed in error, or would like to cancel your subscription to The Week Ahead, you may unsubscribe below.
 
If you have questions or comments about the Town of Wake Forest website or E-News, please contact Bill Crabtree by email or call 919-435-9421.