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.

You and your family are invited to help Wake Forest kick off the holiday season while “making spirits bright” by participating in the Wake Forest Community Carolers Holiday Sing-Along. Modeled after the digital sensation, “Couch Choir,” our Holiday Sing-Along is a chance for residents to lift their voices in song and “jingle all the way” as star performers in this year’s “virtual” Lighting of Wake Forest.

From now through Monday, Nov. 23, individuals and families can use the instructions provided on the Town’s website to video record themselves singing “Jingle Bells” and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” then upload their videos through an online portal.

While recording your videos, be sure to show your holiday spirit by wearing holiday attire and including props such as lights, wrapping paper and decorations.

Kino Mountain Productions, the Town’s video production partner, will synch up all the submitted videos into a virtual choir. The Town will unveil the finished product on its Facebook page and website on the evening of Friday, Dec. 4, which will be included as an important part of the virtual tree lighting program.

Again, the deadline to upload your videos is Monday, Nov. 23. 

The Wake Forest Town Hall and other administrative offices will be closed Wednesday, Nov. 11, in observance of the Veterans Day holiday. Yard waste and loose leaf collection will be suspended November 11, but trash and recycling collection will not be interrupted. Wake Forest Bus Service, including the Wake Forest-Raleigh Express and the Wake Forest Loop, will also follow the normal schedule.

During the week of November 9, yard waste crews will attempt to complete the normal five-day yard waste collection cycle in four days beginning with Monday’s route and ending with Friday’s route. So, for example, on Monday and Tuesday, crews will run the Monday and Tuesday routes and a portion of Wednesday’s route, then on Thursday and Friday, finish Wednesday’s route and complete the Thursday and Friday routes.

The Walter E. Cole American Legion Post 187 will celebrate Veterans Day on Wednesday, Nov. 11, with a community ceremony at the Wake Forest Veterans Memorial, located at 1250 Heritage Club Ave.

The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. and end at noon. For more information contact Rich Heroux.

You can make a difference in our community by applying for one of the upcoming vacancies on the Town’s advisory boards. The boards were established to give residents input into what happens in the community and to advise the Board of Commissioners (BOC) on matters that affect citizens and their town government.

Applications are being accepted through Friday, Nov. 6, for appointments to the following boards and commissions: Board of Adjustment, Historic Preservation, Human Relations, Planning, Public Art, Technology and Urban Forestry.

The Wake Forest Police Department is again urging residents to guard against becoming the victim of fraud following more reports of phone scams involving gift cards. Many times it’s hard to tell what is a scam and what isn’t. But whenever someone asks you to pay using a gift card – it’s a scam.

Recently, scammers have been calling residents claiming to be associated with an official government entity, such as the Social Security Administration, a federal law enforcement agency, or a local law enforcement agency. As part of the scam, the caller typically explains why you must purchase a gift card and provide them with the gift card numbers. The scammers will generally ask you to stay on the phone and not tell anyone what is happening. These scammers often know basic public information about the person they are calling, such as their name and address. They can even spoof the number of a legitimate government agency, so your caller ID shows the call coming from that agency.

Wake Forest Police want residents to know that no government entity would ever contact you by phone and request payment by gift card. Again, whenever someone asks you to pay using a gift card – it’s a scam.

Beginning January 1, 2021, the Town of Wake Forest will change how it charges residents for solid waste service and introduce 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.

Beginning January 1, 2021, solid waste service will no longer be 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 will also begin January 1:

  • The weekly bag limit of yard waste will increase from 10 bags to 20 bags.
  • The limit of large brush will increase 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’s website similar to the one used for scheduling bulk waste collections. 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.

The Town of Wake Forest is partnering with Paymentus to offer Wake Forest Power (WFP) customers faster, easier and more convenient ways to pay their electric bills. Beginning Monday, Nov. 30, WFP customers can pay their bills and review usage history online via a new and improved customer portal. Customers will also have the option of paying via a new automated phone system. 

The new online platform will allow 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.

Beginning November 30, current online bill pay customers will be required to set up a new login and password. An online Customer Portal Guide offering step-by-step instructions is available.

The Wake Forest Police Department (WFPD) is accepting monetary donations through Saturday, Nov. 21, as part of its 14th Annual Turkey Drive. Area residents can support this worthy cause by submitting online donations via PayPal. 

Cash and checks written to the Wake Forest Police Department are also accepted. Anyone wishing to contribute cash or a check to this year’s Turkey Drive should contact Det. M.W. Sattler at 919-795-7270. 

Due to COVID-19, the police department is currently accepting monetary donations only to this year’s Turkey Drive. Donations of frozen turkeys will not be accepted at this time. All monetary donations will be used to purchase additional turkeys. 

The Town of Wake Forest has updated the homepage of its website to enhance its ability to serve and engage the community. The new design offers residents and visitors more user-friendly and mobile-friendly access to content commonly searched for on the Town website.

The Urban Forestry Board will host a free virtual Tree Talk on Thursday, Nov. 19, at 6:30 p.m. Led by Urban Forester Luke Devores, the webinar will feature a presentation by Robert Hatfield, Arborist Representative with Bartlett Tree Experts, who will discuss common pests and other issues that affect local trees and shrubs.

There is no cost to participate, but registration is required. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email that includes information about joining the webinar.

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.-7 p.m.

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.

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.

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. 

Tuesday-Wednesday, Nov. 10-11
Opticom, a contractor working on behalf of the Town of Wake Forest, will temporarily reduce to one lane a portion of southbound South Main Street/US 1A in the vicinity of the Ligon Mill Road intersection on Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 10-11, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. each day. The temporary closure is necessary to allow Opticom crews to install underground conduit for the Town’s high-speed fiber network.

Signage and flaggers will be in place to manage traffic flow and safely direct motorists around the work area. Delays are expected, so drivers are encouraged to take an alternate route if possible. 


Now through mid-November
From now through mid-November, Fred Smith Company, a contractor working on the future Wheatfield Shopping Center, 1009 Forestville Road, will close daily from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. the portion of Rogers Branch Lane from the Harris Teeter Fuel Center to Penfield Street. The temporary road closure is necessary so crews can install a water line and storm drain.

A signed detour will be in place directing motorists around the work area. Delays are expected, so motorists are urged to avoid the area if possible.


Now through November 30
From now through November 30, 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.

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!

The Town of Wake Forest has started the process of updating the Community Plan and creating a Future Land Use Map, and we need your input. Between now and the end of November, Wake Forest residents, business owners and community stakeholders are invited to complete an online survey on current conditions within the town. Citizen feedback will be used to formulate an understanding of key issues, community desires, weaknesses and strengths of the Town that will help create the foundation for the Wake Forest Community Plan Update and Future Land Use Map. Available here, the survey takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.

The Town of Wake Forest has launched a new web-based dashboard that allows residents to view zoning enforcement violations by address. The platform also allows residents to track the type of violation, the current number of open and closed cases, and the Town’s response.

Every child loves a good bedtime story. That’s why the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre is partnering with Page 158 Books to offer a 12-week bedtime story reading series on the Renaissance Centre Facebook page for children 10 and under. On Mondays at 7 p.m., through December 28, Storytime Online will feature the reading of 12 popular bedtime stories by actors from Forest Moon Theater (FMT) and the Wake Forest mayor and board of commissioners.

The holiday season is just around the corner. With that in mind, the Downtown Development Department is selling limited edition Christmas ornaments depicting South White Street in downtown Wake Forest.

The ornaments are $22 plus tax and available for purchase at Southern Suds & Gifts, 213 S. White St., and Page 158 Books, 415-B S. Brooks St.
They may also be purchased online for $30. This price includes tax, shipping and handling.

The Triangle commuter rail line included in the transit plans of Wake and Durham counties has entered its last preliminary study phase and planners will be asking the public throughout the next 12 to 18 months what they think about the emerging project details.

First, an initial survey that seeks general thoughts on the project is available through November 6 at goforwardnc.org/commuterrail

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;
  • 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.

The Town of Wake Forest recently introduced a new video series entitled Wake Forest Perspectives. Each program in the series features a 15-20 minute conversation with a Town of Wake Forest staff member, official or Wake Forest personality. Our goal is to engage a range of local guests in one-on-one discussions to provide a variety of “perspectives” on Wake Forest events, activities and initiatives.

On Mondays at noon, we post a new conversation on the Town’s Facebook page and begin airing it on WFTV 10.

This week's guest is Wake Forest Assistant Public Works Director Allison Snyder.

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 Wake Forest Renaissance Centre is offering a series of free online visual and performing arts experiences you can enjoy from the comfort of your home.

One of the Renaissance Centre’s favorite performers, Happy Dan The Magic Man, is performing his one-of-a-kind magic show on the third Wednesday of each month at 11 a.m. These performances can be streamed via the Renaissance Centre Facebook page. They will also be available on the Renaissance Centre website.

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.

Exceptions to the mask requirement apply to children under 11, those with certain medical conditions and people exercising outdoors away from other people. Other exceptions allow for people to remove masks while communicating with someone who is hearing impaired, while receiving medical treatment, or while giving a speech for broadcast or to an audience. You are also not required to wear a mask while riding in a personal vehicle.

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.
Please...don't...litter!

The Town of Wake Forest often receives reports about trash of all kinds along our roads. It's a shame we're forced to constantly reinforce this message - but please don’t litter! We need everyone to help keep Wake Forest and North Carolina beautiful and safe, and it starts with each of us doing our part.
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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.