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BOC hears presentations on roundabout, fire tax

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.

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By |May 19th, 2013|Around Town|4 Comments

HAWK: keeping Mecklenburg for the animals

Mecklenburg County can lose up to 41 acres per day to development, and one organization has started in their own backyards to get some of those acres back for the Mecklenburg area’s wildlife.

Habitat and Wildlife Keepers, or HAWK, is a grassroots organization of like-minded individuals who share an interest in conserving the environment and wildlife in the area.

HAWK is a chapter of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation, and is the first national chapter of the wildlife federation in North Carolina.

Their territory is Southeastern Mecklenburg County and parts of Union County, but they are based in Matthews, where the organization has done extensive work.

“We are an enthusiastic group of wildlife lovers,” said HAWK treasurer and co-founder  Carol Buie-Jackson.

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By |May 19th, 2013|Around Town|2 Comments

Goose Creek Moratorium lifted

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.

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By |May 15th, 2013|Around Town|0 Comments

The Rain Exchange: saving water, saving money

Water is expensive. It’s a necessity. It’s a commodity. And it falls right out of the sky.

Mark Hazen and Michael Helms realized this, and realized that water shortages can be a serious problem and expense to homeowners, and have worked for nearly the past year to establish The Rain Exchange.

The Rain Exchange installs a system to catches the rainwater that falls on a homeowner’s home or property, and stores that water in an underground storage tank for later use.

“We’re starting to see that water is getting more and more expensive, and we have customers who spend $800-900 per month on their water bill,” Hazen said, adding that this system could save 60-65 percent of that water usage.

The way the system works is simple, The Rain Exchange will install downspouts on the house’s gutters, collecting all runoff rainwater from the roof and diverting it into a buried storage tank.

Connected to that storage tank is a pump, which allows that water to be used in a number of ways, depending on what the homeowner would like to use it for.

Mainly the water is used for irrigation, washing cars, and general outdoor water use, but it can also be piped back into the home and used in toilets and washing machines, and if a special filter or purification system is installed, could even be used as drinking water.

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By |May 15th, 2013|Around Town|0 Comments