By Michele Dotson; Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
At the September 26 Board of Commissioners meeting, a recommendation was made to rename the Mint Hill Park on Fairview.
Mayor Ted Biggers said that it has been recommended that the park be renamed in order to pay tribute to area veterans.
“It could be something like Mint Hill Veteran’s Park,” he said. “We don’t have to vote on an actual name tonight. We should involve the Parks and Recreation Committee and see if they could come up with a list of possible names.”
Commissioner Mickey Ellington agreed, saying there should be time to put some thought into it.
“The veterans deserve everything we can do for them,” he says.
Commissioner Brenda McRae said it was most appropriate to honor our veterans in this way, and it was unanimously approved to move forward with the idea.
In addition to the North Carolina Korean War Veterans Memorial that is located at the park, plans for the Armed Forces Museum and Archives of the Carolinas are still moving forward.
“Discretionary income is not as available as it was four or five years ago,” says Bill Dixon, president of the museum, “but we are still working very hard to make it happen.”
Dixons says that organizers are meeting next week to revamp the campaign. The last fund raising event was in January, 2013 when the United States Air Force Rhythm in Blue Jazz Ensemble concert drew a crowd of over 400.
Town Manager Brian Welch said if a decision could be reached at the next Board of Commissioners Meeting, there would probably be enough time to order and have a new park sign installed by the date of the Korean War Memorial dedication on November 9.
Representatives from the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Korean War Memorial and the Mint Hill VFW were at the meeting in support of the proposal.
It was also suggested that the Mint Hill VFW be approached about the idea to move a monument, currently located in front of the Mint Hill Police Station to the Park on Fairview.
Mayor Biggers sited the obvious connection to the military theme of the park, and mentioned that the traffic noise on Hwy. 51 makes it difficult to have any kind of ceremony at the site.
In other business
• CMS Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison presented an abbreviated presentation of the school system’s Strategic Plan 2014. Morrison highlighted three topics; the growing student population in CMS, aging buildings, and new academic programs that allow students to finish their high school requirements while simultaneously working toward a community college degree. These programs are known as “middle college.” The first middle college to open was on the Cato Campus of Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC), and Morrison announced there would be two more opening soon. He also stressed the importance of helping students learn to develop and market themselves, saying the jobs of the future have not been invented yet, and tomorrow’s workforce will need to be able to market themselves. To that end, workforce development will focus on areas Morrison referred to as STEAM-an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. Morrison was accompanied by School Board member Mary McRae.
• The Board unanimously approved the vehicle finance bids which will allow the town manager to move forward with a $100,000 expenditure for purchasing vehicles for the police department. Yadkin bank came in with the lowest interest rate of 1.20-1.25 percent. The first payment of $34,174.95 will be due on January 31, 2014.• The Treasurer’s Report was reviewed and unanimously approved. Manager Brian Welch indicated the budget for the police station came in about eight and a half percent under budget.
• The Independence Dream Team was sworn in by Commissioner Tina Ross. The student honor athletes from Independence High School pledged to abstain from alcohol and drug use, refrain from physical or verbal violence, pledge to resolve conflict in a nonviolent manner, uphold trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and friendship, both on and off the playing field, and commit to their community by doing community service, dedicating themselves to education, and exemplifying good leadership. They were • Commissioner Tina Ross advised the Board that she will likely miss the next couple of meetings, citing health reasons.
The next meeting is scheduled for October 10, at 7 pm at the Mint Hill Town Hall.