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.

The Wake Forest Human Relations Council (HRC) will accept youth (ages 10-18) and adult (ages 19 and older) nominations for the annual Good Neighbor of the Year Award through 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 31.

The Good Neighbor of the Year Award recognizes Wake Forest residents who work to improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods without seeking recognition for their efforts.

Nominees are sought in three divisions: adult, middle school youth and high school youth. To qualify, a nominee must be a Wake Forest resident who has made a significant contribution to the community between Sept. 1, 2019, and Aug. 31, 2020. Employees of the Town of Wake Forest are not eligible.

The online nomination form is available on the Town’s website. Again, completed nomination forms must be submitted by 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 31.

In June, the Wake Forest Board of Commissioners voted to change how the Town charges for solid waste collection. Since 2008 Wake Forest property owners have paid for solid waste service as part of their annual property tax bill. Beginning January 1, 2021, the service will no longer be covered solely by annual tax revenues, but instead by a $21 monthly solid waste fee included on residents’ water bill. The monthly fee includes weekly trash, recycling and yard waste collection, along with seasonal collections for loose leaves, Christmas trees, bulk waste pickup and large brush collection.


Several improvements to the Town's yard waste and bulk waste collection programs (described below) will begin in January. The Town has created a portal on its website that provides a complete overview of program improvements, including answers to several frequently asked questions.

Yard Waste Collection
We heard repeatedly how working in your yard provides a tremendous stress relief (especially during a pandemic). The following improvements aim to keep up with your needs. Again, all will begin in January 2021:

  • 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 (that’s about two pickup truck loads).
  • Large brush collections must be scheduled in advance via an online form on the Town’s website similar to the scheduling of bulk waste collections. Any yard waste that does not fit into bags or yard waste containers is considered “large brush” and must be scheduled in advance.

Residents in single-family and townhome communities not previously receiving yard waste service will receive service beginning in January.

Residents that contract with a landscaping company are responsible for coordinating with their contractor to ensure that any yard waste is placed in clear plastic bags, Town-provided carts or biodegradable paper bags for collection. Yard waste must be placed in front of individual homes, not in front of common areas or open space.

Bulk Waste Collection
Beginning in January, bulk waste items of any weight will be collected — so items no longer need to meet a 75 lb. minimum requirement. Bulk waste is simply any acceptable trash that does not fit into your rollout cart, such as furniture, appliances, rugs and lawn mowers.

Bulk waste pickups must be scheduled online. Residents can schedule up to two free bulk waste collections per year. After that, collections are billed at $50 each.

Stay tuned because you'll be hearing much more about these improvements over the next several months.
Wake Forest Perspectives to feature Reggie Lucas

On August 17 the Town of Wake Forest introduced a new video series entitled Wake Forest Perspectives. Each program in the new series will feature 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 Monday at noon, we’ll post a new conversation on the Town’s Facebook page and begin airing it on WFTV 10.

Our August 17 guest on “Wake Forest Perspectives” was Renaissance Centre Manager Debbie Dunn.

Join us Monday, Aug. 24, when our guest will be Wake Forest High School teacher and football coach Reggie Lucas.

Weather permitting, crews from Raleigh Water (formerly City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department) will replace a manhole along the 100 block of West Sycamore Avenue Monday-Tuesday, Aug. 24-25, from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. each day. Traffic along West Sycamore will not be impacted, but South College Street will be closed from West Sycamore to West Vernon Avenue.

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

Water and sewer customers in the area should not experience any interruption of service and will be notified of the scheduled work via door hanger.

Wake Forest Power (WFP) is reminding residential customers of a simple, yet effective way they can help neighbors struggling to pay electric bills due to COVID-19 or other financial hardships.

Helping Others by Providing Electricity or H.O.P.E. is an initiative offered by the Town of Wake Forest designed to help financially disadvantaged electric customers pay their utility bills. The program is funded by the generous donations of WFP customers and administered through a partnership between the Town and ChurchNet, a local non-profit organization assisting area people in need.

WFP now offers three ways for customers to contribute to H.O.P.E. online:

  1. Round up your bill to the next dollar. For example, a bill of $73.46 would become $74.00. Individually, this is pretty small change; on average, participants will contribute around six dollars annually to the program.
  2. Make a recurring contribution with your monthly utility payment. For your convenience, the Town of Wake Forest is happy to set up a recurring donation of as little as $1/month or whatever dollar amount you choose.
  3. Make a one-time contribution via PayPal. This option is available to everyone - not just WFP customers.

Wake County is helping its residents keep the lights on, the water running and other utility services active through a new relief program for people struggling to pay utility bills due to COVID-19. 

WakeHELPS offers up to $500 per household to pay past-due balances on bills for electricity, natural gas, water, wastewater and solid waste services. Using $5 million in federal funds, the program is projected to help at least 10,000 families pay back what they owe to utility providers. 

To qualify for WakeHELPS, applicants must:
  1. Live in Wake County;
  2. Demonstrate that they have suffered financially from COVID-19; and
  3. Provide copies of past-due utility bills from March 1, 2020, or later. 

Residents must also meet the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2020 low-moderate income limits for our region. The maximum earnings are $39,540 for an individual and $56,460 for a family of four. 

Each household may apply once, and the maximum amount of funding is $500. For approved applicants, payments will be made directly to the utility provider.

The State of North Carolina requires that all Homeowners Associations (HOAs) and commercial property owners maintain their Stormwater Control Measures (SCMs) to ensure the continued functionality of the stormwater system. SCMs are physical, engineered structures, such as bioretention ponds, underground storage and wetlands, constructed to remove pollution from stormwater runoff.

According to Chapter 12.5.6(C) of the Town of Wake Forest Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), commercial property owners and HOAs are responsible for the annual inspection of their permitted SCMs which must be performed by a qualified inspector. A complete listing of inspection requirements is provided in Chapter 2.9.5(A) of the Town’s Manual of Specification, Standards & Design

Wake Forest commercial property owners and HOAs are urged to provide a copy of their completed inspection report to the Public Works Department for the period of July 2019 through July 2020. In the event no inspection has occurred, property owners have until December 31, 2020, to submit the required report.

The Town’s Annual SCM Inspection Form is available on the Town’s website. For more information, email Stormwater Engineer Monica Sarna.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, about six out of 10 people living with dementia will wander away from their homes. As the development of the disease continues, it can become increasingly difficult and potentially impossible for the person to find their way home. Many children with autism may also wander. That’s why the Wake Forest Police Department (WFPD) has introduced a new program designed to help officers find and safely return home people with disabilities as quickly as possible when they wander away from their families or caregivers.

The Take Me Home initiative is designed to protect Wake Forest children, adults and the elderly with disabilities, such as autism, Down syndrome or Alzheimer’s and other dementia disorders, who go missing and may be unable to communicate who they are and where they live.

The program is a free, voluntary and confidential database offered, managed and maintained by Wake Forest police for Wake Forest residents. It is only accessible to law enforcement via the WFPD.

Census takers have started visiting households that haven’t responded to the 2020 Census. If you don’t want a visit, respond to the Census today online or by phone by calling 844-330-2020.

Census takers will visit each household that did not complete their 2020 Census forms. They will visit each address up to three times and may try to telephone up to three times. If the resident does not answer, a door hanger with a number resident can call will be left.

Census takers will be wearing masks and socially distancing—but if you want to avoid them altogether, complete the census online or by phone.

Census takers will have a valid ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date. Census workers may also carry Census Bureau bags and other equipment with the Census Bureau logo.

If the census taker who visits your home does not speak your language, you may request a return visit from a census taker who does speak your language.

If you have questions about a census taker’s identity, you can call 844-330-2020 to speak with a Census Bureau representative.

If you get visited by a #2020Census taker, here's what to expect:
  • Questions about name, age, race, sex
  • No questions about SSN, bank info, citizenship status
  • Availability of a census taker who speaks your language
  • A visit between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.


With tax collections lower than anticipated because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wake Transit planners need to reschedule planned transit investments through 2030. As a result, they’re asking the public to help confirm what the priorities should be. In addition to helping planners reschedule projects, the responses will be used to identify new projects should money become available.

To share your input, complete the survey by August 31.

The Wake Forest Board of Commissioners (BOC) agreed to cancel all Town-sponsored events, including those at the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, at least through October due to COVID-19. 

Many special events had already been canceled or postponed, such as Friday Night on White and Family Movie Nights at Joyner Park, but Town staff were awaiting the Board’s guidance on future happenings before initiating event planning. 

The decision to suspend these events was based on the unpredictability of the coronavirus, a desire to safeguard the health and safety of the community and an expectation that residents will not be allowed to gather safely in large groups for the foreseeable future. Currently, state law limits gatherings to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. 

The BOC’s decision does not apply to Renaissance Centre camps and workshops or Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources’ programs, including summer camps, being offered at limited capacity.

Although the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre is closed and in-person events canceled, “the show must go on-line.” As we continue adjusting to life in the midst of COVID-19, the Renaissance Centre is now 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 now 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.

Everyone laughs louder when Happy Dan the Magic Man is in the house. Happy Dan has traveled the world entertaining families for more than 30 years. His hilarious family shows are regular features at Southeastern festivals, comedy clubs, banquets, trade shows, schools, and family living rooms. He is more than an entertainer. He's that slightly silly, can't-wait-to-see-him, loving uncle that every child loves.  

Happy Dan's zany character recalls the fun of live television hosts from years gone by. He blends the gentleness and homespun comfort of Mister Rogers with the silly antics and storytelling of Captain Kangaroo. His talents stretch to thoroughly holding the attention of children as young as three years to golden age adults. Wherever laughter and a caring heart is needed, Happy Dan delivers!

To learn more about the Renaissance Centre, including our virtual programming, like us on Facebook and sign up for free updates via E-Notifier.

The Wake Forest Area Chamber Foundation is currently accepting applications for the 2020-21 class of Leadership Wake Forest. The comprehensive program is designed to engage, cultivate, and motivate individuals interested in a strong, sustainable community.

Participants meet once a month for nine months. During each session, participants receive dedicated leadership development content with a certified facilitator and in-depth instruction on such subjects as the town’s history and government structure, the economic development landscape, the local educational arena, and the ins and outs of volunteerism, among other topics. The program will begin virtually in September, with plans for face-to-face sessions when phase restrictions are lifted. The program is capped off with a group philanthropic project benefiting a local non-profit institution.

Applicants with diverse backgrounds are sought from all sectors of the Wake Forest area. The cost to participate is $500 for Chamber members and $600 for non-members. Scholarship opportunities are available to reduce tuition by 50%. For complete information, including the application, call Corey Hutcherson at 919-556-1519 or visit our website.

A contractor working to extend Ledgerock Road in the Deacons Ridge Subdivision has closed a portion of the Dunn Creek Greenway. The closure is necessary to allow crews to realign the trail. The work is expected to be completed by early November.

Signage and barricades have been posted to inform the public of the closure.

The Dunn Creek Greenway begins at the Smith Creek Soccer Center, 690 Heritage Lake Road, and runs north to the pedestrian culvert under NC-98 Bypass/Dr. Calvin Jones Highway. Measuring one mile, the 10' wide paved and boardwalk trail is designed for biking, hiking or simply enjoying nature.

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.

The Holding Park Aquatic Center (HPAC) is open daily through Friday, Sept. 11.

Patrons must register and pay online for each session at least two hours in advance. Registration instructions are provided below. Please note: No walk-ins are allowed.

The Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department wants HPAC patrons to be aware of new policies and procedures in effect for the 2020 season.

Free and open to the public, the Taylor Street Park Sprayground, 416 N. Taylor St., operates daily in two-hour sessions, then closes 30 minutes for cleaning, Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. and Sundays from 1-8 p.m. The facility is scheduled to close for the season on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Out of concern for public safety, Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources has introduced the following measures as part of the facility’s daily operations:
  • Temporary fencing has been installed around the sprayground to control the entry and exit of visitors;
  • For the purposes of contact tracing, all persons entering the sprayground must be signed in by staff;
  • Seating areas are clearly marked to ensure proper spacing and appropriate social distancing (patrons may bring their own chairs);
  • Staff is enforcing a maximum capacity of 16 people.

Again, the sprayground is open daily in two-hour sessions, then closed for 30 minutes while employees sanitize every surface. To view the daily schedule, visit our website.
Shape the future of
Wake Forest

The Town of Wake Forest is mbarking on a major update to the Wake Forest Community Plan. The updated Community Plan will shape the Town’s vision and guide development for the next 10 to 20 years. The renewed plan will also help Town leaders make substantive and thoughtful decisions on behalf of the community.

The two-year process will start this summer and include various ways for
residents to participate and offer input.

In addition, the Town of Wake Forest is also updating the Northeast Community Plan. The plan provides short and long-term recommendations for the Northeast Neighborhood. The Town has contracted with Rhodeside Harwell, Inc. to update the Northeast Neighborhood plan. The project will kick off later this summer and is expected to take 12 months to complete.

Residents will have various opportunities to provide input for the new Northeast Neighborhood Plan. Topics of considerable interest include
food security, improved public and affordable housing, workforce training,
transportation, connectivity and building partnerships.

More information on both plan updates will be announced soon.

Wake Forest Bus Service has resumed normal operations.

The Wake Forest-Raleigh Express (WRX) serves a Park and Ride Lot (located at the intersection of White Street and Elm Avenue) in Wake Forest, the Triangle Town Center Park-and-Ride at Orvis, State Government, and the Moore Square Transit Station during rush hour. Tickets can be purchased on the GoRaleigh website, in-person at the GoRaleigh Station, or at Wake Forest Town Hall. Ticket sales at Town Hall can be made by visiting the Planning Department on the 3rd Floor.

Operated using GoRaleigh vehicles, Wake Forest Loops A and B offer fare-free service for residents traveling within Wake Forest and a portion of Wakefield.

Customers are asked to board buses using the rear doors in an effort to promote greater social distancing. GoRaleigh cannot collect fares at the rear doors, therefore fare collection will continue to be suspended. Front door access will be available for persons with disabilities. 

GoRaleigh standard sized buses will allow up to 16 passengers to comply with social distancing practices. If a bus reaches full capacity and resources are available at the time, a tripper bus will be sent to pick up any remaining passengers.

For the safety of the operators and passengers, we encourage wearing a face covering of some form on all buses.  

These practices can help limit the impact of COVID-19 on our community. For more information, call 919-485-RIDE (7433).
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.
Check out our new "Wonderful Wake Forest" video
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.

All Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources' playgrounds are closed until further notice. All Town parks and greenways remain open to the public, but water fountains are turned off.
 
Parks and greenways users are urged to remember the following:
  • Refrain from using parks or trails if you are exhibiting symptoms.
  • While on trails, warn other users of your presence as you pass, and step aside to let others pass.
  • Always observe CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of 6 feet from other individuals. If this is not possible, find an alternate location or depart that space.

Police officials are reminding Wake Forest motorists to park in the direction of traffic flow or risk a $25 fine. Wording in Sec. 30-251 of the Town's Code of Ordinances addresses "Parking in direction of traffic flow."

"Parking shall be established in the direction of traffic flow on all streets within corporate limits of the Town of Wake Forest with passenger side (right) tires to the curb on two-way streets."

In summary, on a two-way road, you must park with the right-hand wheels next to the right-side curb. Otherwise, you are parked illegally. More>>
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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.