By Derek Lacey / Staff Writer

The moratorium on new water connections in the Goose Creek basin has been lifted after more than a decade.

The moratorium, first established in 2002 to protect the federally endangered Carolina Heelsplitter Mussel, was lifted by the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission by an unanimous vote Thursday, May 9.

The mussel lives in the Goose Creek Basin, but none have been found in Mint Hill.

The Goose Creek Basin covers the southeastern portion of the town, an area where roughly 30 percent of the Town of Mint Hill’s population resides.

The moratorium has kept a large number of Mint Hill residents from receiving water service from Charlotte Mecklenburg Utilities.

“I’m really excited that folks that have been in town for many, many years now have the option of tapping onto Charlotte Mecklenburg water,” said Town Manager Brian Welch.

The moratorium caused a number of problems for Mint Hill residents, mainly because those residents have not been able to apply for Charlotte Mecklenburg Utilities water service.

Welch said the lifting of the moratorium will help some development in town, and the area affected includes where the Bridges at Mint Hill shopping center is planned to be built.

Utilities and water are one of the first concerns of new development, but Welch said that the main concern of the town is for private residents being able to tap into Charlotte Mecklenburg water.

“At this point in time, I’m just most excited for the folks who can tap onto it that otherwise didn’t have the option,” Welch said.

If residents in Mint Hill would like to sign up for Charlotte Mecklenburg water, they should call 311 and ask for a utilities new tap request.