Mint Hill tables vote on four town alliance

By Charles Kelleher Harris 

Four local Boy Scouts sat in for the July 17 meeting as part of their communications project. From left: John McGarty and David McGarty with Troop 94, and Gregory Reeder and Austin Reeder with Troop 198. PHOTO BY BY CHARLES KELLEHER HARRIS

Four local Boy Scouts sat in for the July 17 meeting as part of their communications project. From left: John McGarty and David McGarty with Troop 94, and Gregory Reeder and Austin Reeder with Troop 198. PHOTO BY BY CHARLES KELLEHER HARRIS

The Mint Hill Board of Commissioners voted to pass on adopting bylaws, articles of incorporation and selecting town members for a Four-Town Economic Development Alliance.

“I have concerns over some of these bylaws,” said Mayor Ted H. Biggers, “I recommend we send these back with our recommendations.”

Almost two year ago, the town of Mint Hill met with town officials in Matthews, Indian Trail and Stallings to discuss the advantages of forming a joint economic development initiative.

For the next year a representative from each town and each town manager met to explore the benefits and potential disadvantages of a partnership.

Two key issues were identified; regionalized marketing and branding and the development of a joint business park or buildings.

In December of 2013 a draft plan was created. That plan was presented to the Mint Hill Board of Commissioners earlier this month and was met with mixed feelings.

Biggers said that he had particular concerns about the voting process and said that clarification was necessary. Town Commissioner Tina Ross also had areas of concern.

“I’m confused about the difference between membership and the board of directors,” Ross said. Ross then made a motion to withhold an approval vote which passed unanimously.

In other matters

• Heidi Pruess was present to highlight progress of the Mecklenburg County Livable Communities Plan initiative. Pruess invited the Mint Hill Board of Commissioners to become involved and insert “their voice” into the plan. The Livable Communities Plan involves investigating and implementing programs to help with quality of life, green spaces and managing growing communities

Several local Boy Scouts were on hand to record the meeting as part of their communication requirements. Mayor Bigger brought the boys forward and each introduced themselves.

• Commissioners heard a report on the recent Mint Hill Madness event. The event which raises money was attended by thousands this year and the three day festivities flowed smoothly thanks to local fire and police involvement.

• Commissioner Ross reported that she had recently attended the volunteer fire department dinner and offered praise for all members.

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Mint Hill Board approves budget for 2015

By Michele Dotson

A public hearing was held on June 12 at the monthly meeting of the Mint Hill Board of Commissioners to present and vote on the proposed budget for fiscal year 2014-15.

Highlights of the budget include merit raises for town employees, six additional Paramedics which would be funded by the Volunteer Fire Department, one town engineer, an additional public works employee and a narcotics detective, which would be funded with drug forfeiture revenues.

The proposed General Fund budget totaling $10,969,898 was presented with a proposed tax rate of $.27 per $100 of assessed valuation which is the same as the current tax rate. Continue reading

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Town of Mint Hill to donate car to Fire Department

By Michele Dotson

Screen Shot 2013-10-03 at 2.53.20 PMMint Hill Board of Commissioners met Thursday, April 24 at 7 pm to move forward with some general business items, including a resolution to donate a 2005 Ford Crown Vic to the Mint Hill Fire Department. The car had previously been used by the Town.

North Carolina General Stature 160A-280 allows any item the governing board deems to be surplus, obsolete or unused to be donated to another governmental unit.

The resolution was adopted by Mayor Biggers. Continue reading

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Park renamed, Mint Hill named Purple Heart City

Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 9.41.17 AMThe Mint Hill Town Commissioners voted unanimously at its October 17 meeting to rename the Mint Hill Park on Fairview to Mint Hill Veterans Memorial Park. The new name will be dedicated at the Korean War Memorial unveiling on November 9.

Several members of the Order of the Purple Heart were present for a proclamation naming Mint Hill as a Purple Heart City.

Mayor Biggers said, “Now, therefore, I, Ted H. Biggers, Jr., Mayor of the Town of Mint Hill, North Carolina, on behalf of the Board of Commissioners, do hereby bestow honorScreen Shot 2013-10-03 at 2.53.20 PM and gratitude upon the Military Order of the Purple Heart and proudly supports the recognition of the Town of Mint Hill as a “Purple Heart City in the State of North Carolina.”

Commander Mike Stubbs introduced accepted the proclamation and introduced the members of Wounded Warriors Chapter 634 that were present. Members represented military service from WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.

“These veterans are the reason we can live the way we live in the United States,” says Stubbs.

The Board of Commissioners came down to the floor to shake hands and congratulate the veterans at the conclusion of the presentation. Continue reading

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Mint Hill Police station open for business

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 8.31.52 PMThe Mint Hill Police station was open for business on Monday, September 23 at its new location in the former town hall building.

A few small problems were reported, but, according to Police Chief Tim Ledford, the transition has been smooth.

“We have a couple of locks not working,” says Ledford. “We had a leak in the men’s locker room that was taken care of this morning, and the phones were not working properly.”

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 8.31.58 PMAll minor inconveniences that haven’t dampened the excitement of the move.

The Board of Commissioners approved the renovations of the former Mint Hill Town Hall in March, 2012.

The architects worked hard to make effective use of the space in order to provide the police department with what they need to do their job effectively.

“We went from about 5,000 square feet to 7,800 square feet,” says Ledford. “In the old building, we had to put three units together to make one, and it wasn’t very effective.” Continue reading

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Mint Hill Fire Department holds public meetings to discuss ambulance service

MHVFDA meeting was held on Monday, September 9 at 7 pm at the Mint Hill Fire Department on Fairview Road to discuss the future of ambulance service in Mint Hill and to provide the public with information on the current challenges facing the department which serves over 27,000 people.

Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department’s board chairman Jerry Mullis welcomed the crowd and set the agenda for the evening.

“The purpose of this meeting is to explain the improvements within our department to our community,” he said. “We want to explain the approach on our plan to charge for EMS service for transportation to a hospital.”

Mullis used historical data and information about current trends across the country to explain the need to raise funds to support additional positions for staff who would be solely responsible for EMS transport services.

“For 38 years we have provided free service for transportation to a hospital,” says Mullis, “Now we’re about the only volunteer fire department that provides transportation to hospitals, period.”

Life-long Mint Hill resident and current Fire Chief John Phillips started his career in 1974 at age 16.

“A lot has changed since I joined the department,” says Phillips. “If we’re going to continue the level of service the people of Mint Hill deserve, we need to take measures to keep up with the growth.”

Population increases as well as economic growth that has come with the completion of I-485, has the department stretched to the breaking point.

In reviewing the call data, MHVFD reports a 1,323 percent increase in call volume from 1999 to 2012. According their records, the department responded to 252 calls in all of 1999.  In 2012, that number jumped remarkably to 3,334. By the end of 2013, that number is expected to keep pace with the 10 to 15 percent annual growth and reach around 3,600 calls.

The increase has not been impetus for Mecklenburg County to provide more funding. In fact, any funding that the department has been receiving from Mecklenburg County will be phased out by July, 2014.

The need to raise funds in now greater than ever, and charging insurance companies for ambulance service for transportation to a hospital for Mint Hill residents is what the department will be doing beginning around October 1, 2013.

Billing will occur for ambulance services provided to all those who reside outside of Mint Hill.

The goal is to hire six new employees whose sole responsibility will be to provide EMS transport services.

“Our current staff provides both fire suppression and EMS transport services,” says Chief Phillips.

The intention is to have the money raised through billing provide the necessary funds for hiring the additional personnel.

At this point the funding is critical to keeping the level of service citizens are used to.

“Without charging we would have to cease providing EMS transport,” says Chief Phillips.

The next public meeting will be September 23, 2013 at 7:00 pm at 8313 Fairview Road in Mint Hill. Call 704-491-6324 for more information, or email Chief Phillips at jphillips@fire.minthill.com

 

 

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