Property maintenance big issue for some residents

The Board of Commissioners met June 14 to discuss proposed amendments to the town’s code of ordinances regarding housing and property maintenance and the nuisance abatement code.  The amendments set a timeline of action.  The amendment reads “Order by the Governing Body after failure to repair, remove, vacate, or close after one year.”  Property owners have one year to handle issues, and “after the expiration of such one-year period, the Board of Commissioners may enact an ordinance and serve such ordinance on the owner, setting forth” property repair or demolition within 90 days.

Residents spoke during the public comments section of the meeting on this topic and situations that affect their neighborhoods.  Henry Hartz lives in Farmwood where a house was damaged by a fire two and half years ago but remains untouched.

“We just don’t see anything changing.  We think it’s a health hazard, and personally I would like to see a tax reduction as a result of the impact on my property…I would like to encourage your board to do what they can to get this thing taken care of,” said Hartz.

Pat Heffernan is also a neighbor affected by the burnt house in Farmwood.

“This gentleman is jobbing the system and is very good at it…I would say that it’s not fair to the tax payers, it’s not fair to the neighbors, and it’s simply not right that we should be looking at this type of a situation for the amount of time that we’re looking at it, and then to hear legislation that says technically it could be another 15 months.  Now, I don’t know who has the linchpin, but there is one and it needs to be pulled.  I hope the board will find it for us and get this taken care of,” said Heffernan.

Town Manager Brian Welch clarified that if the town needs to demolish a residence, a lien will be put on the owner’s property.

“The town has done everything we can do within the confines of the law,” said Mayor Ted Biggers.  “We will do everything we can as fast as we can within the constraints of the law.  We will continue to push this issue.”

In other matters

  • The board accepted the treasurer’s report and the tax collector’s report.
  • They approved the budget amendments and accepted the budget for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013.
  • The town will enter in an inter-local agreement with surrounding fire departments.
  • The petition filed by Sullivan, Byrd & Roupas to construct an office building at 6332 Matthews-Mint Hill Road was approved.
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MHPD blood drive

The Mint Hill Police Department is holding a community blood drive Tuesday, June 26 from 2-5 pm in partnership with Community Blood Center of the Carolinas.  The “Community Bloodmobile” will be at the police department on Matthews-Mint Hill Road.  For every donation, CBCC will make a contribution to support military members and their families.  For more information contact Faye Fink at ffink@police.minthill.com.

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Shooting at McDonald’s

A man shot into the McDonald’s on Lawyers Road at Lebanon Road Monday around 2 am.  He approached the front door and attempted to open it, but the restaurant was closed.  He then shot the door, shattering glass.  The gunman fled the scene.  No one was injured.

Mint Hill and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police searched the area for the gunman.  They used K-9 units and sent detectives to talk with employees.  The suspect is still at large.

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Charlotte 49ers provide skills to Mint Hill players

U-7 Mint Hill soccer players scrimmage at the MHAA fields. Photo courtesy of Colleen Moss.

The Mint Hill Athletic Association has partnered with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to provide skill sessions and summer camps for young soccer players. Keenan Harward, known to MHAA players and parents at Coach K, is the soccer coordinator and a UNCC alumnus. He contacted the Charlotte soccer team for a partnership last spring.

The soccer coaches at MHAA are volunteers and usually parents. They are able to coach children, but may not have the skill set to show players how to maneuver the ball. The UNCC men’s soccer team can provide professional demonstrations and instruction, and the kids love it.

“These kids light up when they see it,” said Coach K. It is exciting for them to learn from advanced players.

Sessions are broken up into age groups. Players rotate stations to learn a variety of skills, and then they scrimmage each other.

“We’re getting the kids to use those skills. Now you’ve learned them, lets use them in a game,” said Coach K.

Kyle Gookins, assistant head coach for the Charlotte 49ers, said he and his team enjoy providing skill sessions for the Mint Hill community. Athletic teams at UNCC are expected to provide a minimum number of community service hours.

“Almost all of our guys surpass that. Our guys are active in the community almost every week,” said Gookins. “We usually donate the most community service hours for athletics.”

The Charlotte soccer team’s philosophy is that discipline in all areas of life will maintain a discipline on the field. Not only are the players active in their community, but they have a team GPA of 3.3 and they played in the NCAA championship game, coming in second to UNC Chapel Hill 0-1.

Mint Hill’s green and white colors match UNCC’s, making trips to Charlotte games fun for MHAA players. Coach K organizes game nights for Mint Hill players and families.

The 49ers are offering a summer soccer camp the last week of July. Players of all ages are invited to sign up. For more information visit www.mhaa.us.

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SonFest: Mint Hill’s summer carnival

St. John Neumann Catholic Church is kicking off summer by hosting its second-annual SonFest starting this Friday.  The church invites Mint Hill to celebrate summer and the community for this two-day festival.  It will run Friday from 5-10 pm and Saturday from noon to 10 pm.

The parking lot will hold about 10 carnival game tents, a dunking booth, a 40-foot ferris wheel, inflatables, and a bungee trampoline, among other attractions.

And it wouldn’t be a fair without food.  International foods representing the diversity of the parish and the community will be available: look for Italian, Hispanic, Vietnamese, Eritrean, Polish, and American foods and a desert tent.

To continue the international festivities, various cultural dancers will perform.  Come watch the Mexican ballet, Irish dancers, Polish dancers, and Middle Eastern belly dancers.  There will also be performances from contemporary Christian bands.

SonFest-goers will have the opportunity to enter the I’m Feeling Lucky Raffle.  Tickets are five dollars each or 25 dollars for a book of six tickets, and prizes include 200, 500, or 2500 dollars in cash.  The drawing will be held at the outside stage Saturday at 9 pm.  Prizes are also available through the silent auction, and include a beach and mountain getaway.

SonFest tickets are 20 dollars for 25 tickets when purchased in advance.  Games, rides, and food require one-dollar tickets.  Patrons can show their support for SonFest by purchasing an event t-shirt for 12 dollars.  Money raised supports the church’s efforts, but event chairman Anthony Morlando says the event is more than that.

“The main reason is to pull together for our community and to create a tradition for Mint Hill,” said Morlando.  “We want to go beyond our church boundaries.”

For more information visit 4sjnc.org/sonfest_2012.

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June Tunes spotlights local band

Horsefly – Jack Dunne, Paul Miller, Kevin Scruggs, and Fuzzy – brought the blues and classic rock to June Tunes last Saturday. Photo courtesy of Horsefly.

Mint Hill’s own Horsefly played at the Town Hall last Saturday for June Tunes, and pulled in quite a crowd.  The blues and classic rock n roll band was formed last August through the monthly jam sessions at local Forty Rod Roadhouse on Lawyers Road.  June Tunes visitors enjoyed a taste of their classic sound.

Horsefly is a foursome: Paul Miller on vocals and rhythm guitar, Kevin Scruggs on lead guitar and vocals, Fuzzy on bass, and Jack Dunne on drums.  They list Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, B.B. King, The Rolling Stones, and Jimi Hendrix as influences, which is evident in their sound and song selection.

Horsefly took listeners back to an innovative time of blues rock.  It was the perfect music for an evening’s lawn concert.

In their short existence, Horsefly has managed to become the house band for Forty Rod’s monthly Charlotte Blues Jams.  They placed second in a battle of the bands at the 2011 Stumptown Skirmish, and third place in the Charlotte Blue’s Society’s 2011 annual band competition at the Double Door Inn.

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