The Mint Hill Board of Commissioners and Mint Hill residents were updated on two important town issues at the meeting last Thursday, May 9.
Scott Cole, Division Traffic Engineer with the North Carolina Department of Transportation gave a presentation about roundabouts, and specifically the proposed roundabout to be built at the intersection of N.C. Hwy. 51 and Idlewild Road in Mint Hill.
Cole cited the main concerns for the construction of the roundabout, the same as the main concerns for any roundabout, are traffic efficiency and safety.
According to Cole, roundabouts are the safest intersection, can provide for high capacity and low delay, is good for all modes of transportation, including pedestrians, motorcycles, bicycles, cars, and large trucks, has a geometric flexibility to fit in any location, and the aesthetic appeal.
For safety, Cole said that a regular intersection has 32 conflict points, or places where a collision is likely to occur, and that a roundabout has only 8, and provides for slower speeds and better angles.
Cole said that typical crash reductions following installation of roundabouts in rural areas of the United States could be as high as 74 percent.
The average cost of a new roundabout, according to Cole, is $600,000, and maintenance costs are minimal, usually just landscaping for the center portion.
Funding for the roundabout has been approved, but it requires a 20 percent match from the town, but according to Cole, the proposal that Matthews has offered would be to split the match with Mint Hill.
The total funding is $1.6 million, meaning Mint Hill and Matthews will have to split the $120,000 match.
If funding is approved, NCDOT would try to begin construction in summer of 2014.
The next presentation was by Bobbie Shields, Interim Mecklenburg County Manager, on the Mecklenburg County fire service district tax.
The new fire service district tax was approved by the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners in April, and will affect Mint Hill’s Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ), or properties outside of the town limits. The tax aims to equalize rates paid by Mint Hill residents within the town limits to those outside the town limits.
“Our estimates were off not by a small amount, but by a very substantial amount,” said Shields.
The initial Mecklenburg County estimate of tax revenue to be collected in Mint Hill’s ETJ was about $500,000, but once collected was only around $276,000.
Therefore, the county overpaid Mint Hill approximately $53,000 for fire services, money which the town used to hire new personnel and fund the two volunteer fire departments in the town.
The estimate was based on the boundaries drawn by Mecklenburg County, previous revenue collected, and the parcels inside those boundaries.
Options to remedy the situation include a reimbursement by the town to Mecklenburg County of the $53,000 overpayment, or for Mecklenburg County to not make their last payment to the town.
The Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners is expected to discuss and make a decision regarding this issue at their May 21 meeting.
In other business:
The Board of Commissioners also approved petition #ZC12-10, filed by Albemarle Road Associates, LLC, for a change of conditions at Clear Creek Business Park, which includes a list of by-right uses for potential businesses that may be established there, as well as guidelines for construction and other issues.
The Board approved a tentative schedule for the June Tunes series, a series of concerts to be held at the town hall on Fridays in June. The schedule this year includes one more band than usual, due to five Fridays in the month.
At the end of the meeting, a closed session was held to discuss legal matters. The board made no announcement after.