By Joyce Lavene
The long-term location of the public safety radio tower that was recently sold to the City of Charlotte was discussed at the January 26 meeting.
The tower continues to be in operation at the Mint Hill Park on Fairview since the sale. The original plan was for Charlotte to take down the tower and move it into the northern part of Mecklenburg County where it was needed. That site was deemed to be unsuitable for that purpose so the tower stayed in place. Since that time, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies have requested access to the tower. The reason for this request is to have the tower for interagency use during emergencies.
Because of that, Charlotte is asking for the tower to remain where it is. The City of Charlotte will hold the town harmless for any and all actions involving the tower. They will also cover all expenses relating to the tower. Mint Hill will not be responsible for use and operation of the tower. Charlotte will give one year written notice if they decide to disassemble the tower and take it down. Charlotte could also credit the town’s user fees currently charged for access to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg radio system.
Council made no decision on the matter. They are waiting for other information relating to an idea being discussed for a dog park around the tower area. They are also looking for an expert to say what can be done under the tower.
In other matters
• Two cost analyses will be done regarding the town using the Bain School auditorium as a facility. The building would have to be renovated but there are concerns about asbestos and lead in the old structure. Town Manager Brian Welch requested permission to have Walker Engineering conduct an analysis. Council approved not to exceed $6,000. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will build a new school on the site and the newest part of Bain will be kept intact. The older parts of the school will be demolished, unless the town decides to use the auditorium. The structural analysis will help decide the general condition of the building.
• A resolution to oppose the consolidation of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County governments was passed by council. They join the Town of Matthews in opposing this solution to saving money.