QBCC at June Tunes

June Tunes will end July 3 this year with its annual performance by Queen City Brass Band.  Band member Richard Spangler said their song list theme is Americana, including patriotic songs as well as some Broadway tunes and other popular songs.  Listeners can expect selections from Oklahoma, The Thunderer, Blue Tango, and Annie’s Tomorrow.

Queen City Brass Band was founded in 1992.  It currently consists of 24 members under the direction of Jason Robison, who recently completed his master’s degree in Wind Instrumental Conducting at Winthrop University.

The band is a crowd favorite in Mint Hill each year.

“We really have enjoyed coming out every year and doing that,” said Spangler.  “It’s a great crowd.”

You can catch one more June Tunes show before the QCBB.  Mint Hill native Lindsay Nicole and Highway 74 will perform June 30.

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Old and new Town Hall building plans

The Board of Commissioners met June 21 for a mini-retreat to discuss various issues regarding the plans for the new and current Town Hall buildings.

The current building will be renovated for the future police department.  Construction will be minimal.  Most walls will be kept as they are to keep costs low.  Chief of Police Tim Ledford is reported to have approved the plans.  The biggest renovations include enclosing the area between the John M. McEwen Assembly Room and the rest of the building, possibly adding a facade to the face of the building, and adding public parking at the front of the building, as the back will become enclosed.

The board considered furniture and procedures for acquiring and displaying artwork in the new Town Hall.  Cushioned, armed chairs are being considered for the new assembly room.  Commissioners expressed a desire for historical images of Mint Hill to be displayed throughout the building, as well as local art.  They considered creating an art committee to work with arts organizations and professional decorators for display guidelines.

Other topics discussed included the future of cultural events that historically took place at the Town Hall, including Movies on the Lawn, June Tunes, Mint Hill Madness, and the lighting of the Christmas tree.  They also discussed the cost effectiveness of moving the tree and the possibility of cutting it down.

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Charlotte Flute Choir at June Tunes

June Tunes welcomed the airy notes of the Charlotte Flute Choir last Saturday.  The Town Hall lawn hosted eleven members of the choir and numerous Mint Hill residents in perfect weather as the sun set.  As usual, this June Tunes performance was a perfect time to wind down and enjoy the moment.

Irene Maddox and Joe Little founded the Charlotte Flute Choir in 1964.  The two were the flute section of the Charlotte Symphony at that time, and the original trustees of the Charlotte Flute Association.  Since then the choir has worked locally and internationally.  In 1985 they flew to Belfast, Ireland for a competition in which they placed first for best conductor under Maddox.  They represented North Carolina at the World’s Fair in Tenn. in 1982, and have presented concerts in Columbia and Florence, S.C.

Local performances have included the Festival in the Park, Springfest, the Charlotte Symphony ASID House, the Mint Museum, a prelude for the Summer Pops concerts, and now June Tunes.  The group also performs weddings and receptions, and volunteers time at retirement homes and other non-profit venues.  You can catch the choir every year at the Southern Christmas Show.

The Charlotte Flute Choir does all of their work extracurricularly.  The group is comprised of teachers, nurses, a professor, a dentist, a pilot, an engineer, and others.

Members come from around the Charlotte area, including Fort Mill, Clover, Belmont, Concord, Matthews, and Mint Hill.  They rehearse every Tuesday at the Southern Park Music School on Park Road.  JoeAnn Evans is the choir director, Jeanne Jamison is associate conductor, Janice Mangum is the treasurer, and Mint Hill resident Claire Goodman is the librarian.

Watching the flute choir at June Tunes was a unique experience.  Be sure to catch next week’s performance by the Queen Charlotte Chorus, an all-lady, four-part harmony barbershop-style group chartered in 1965.

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Watershed changes

Mecklenburg County Water Quality program manager, Rusty Rozzelle, spoke to the Mint Hill Planning Board June 18 about watershed districts.

“We removed some area from the Goose Creek watershed that did not belong there,” said Rozzelle.  “Really, it’s a minimal change.”

Goose Creek is its own district. Clear Creek and Crooked Creek were combined and are now called the Yadkin district.  The other district in the area is the Catawba.  Watershed maps can be found on the Mecklenburg County website.

“It’s for the betterment of the town and the land development of the town,” said Rozzelle.

He said they did not make the changes to allow someone to develop the land.

The Planning Board will send a favorable recommendation to the Board of Commissioners on the change.

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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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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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