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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Park and Recreation Committee met

The Park and Recreation Committee met at the Town Hall June 12 to discuss and approve the police department’s National Night Out event to be held at Fairview Park August 7.  This event is held across the country and allows police departments to provide safety tips to the community.

The committee also discussed the Pine Lake Country Club Junior Open to be held September 7-9.  The event, sponsored by orthodontist Dr. Wesley Robinson, may be large enough to require extra tennis courts.  Free clinics the weekend before or after the event have been offered in exchange for use of the public courts.

The town attorney is looking into new contracts regarding the radio tower in Fairview Park.  Committee members brought up concerns for what the tower will mean for a future dog park.  Town Manger Brian Welch explained the town had access to the area under the tower, excluding the fenced-in area.

“We had to work out the issue of whether or not we could be under the tower, per se; now that we know we can it’s just a matter of waiting to see is there going to be a tower to be under,” said Welch.

The budget does not have funds specified for a dog park, though there may be extra money available depending on the cost of construction and what other needs come up in the town.

Welch also announced that Dwayne Dorton, Director of Public Works, will be retiring this year.  His last day will be August 31.

“Dwayne was good for this town, not just for just keeping the park squared away, but obviously we have the best streets in Mecklenburg County,” said Welch.

The committee will not meet in July.

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Library plan presented to Mint Hill Board

Carol Hull presented the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library Citizens Committee report to the Board of Commissioners last Thursday.  She is a member of the committee, a team of citizens with professional experience in real estate, process improvements, information technology, and Mecklenburg County government.
The goal of this committee was “to review the functions and utilization of the main library, consider the feasibility of consolidating, downsizing, or relocating the functions of the main library” to another site.  The committee met monthly from November 2011 to February 2012 to investigate library functions and ways to save money. Continue reading

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Mint Hill Fire Chief resigns

The time allotted for public comments during the Board of Commissioners meeting at the Town Hall last Thursday was centered around the resignation of Fire Chief Jeremy Russell.  Russell resigned from his position in the town as the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Operations Director in April and as the fire chief on the day of the board meeting.
Volunteer fire department chairman Jerry Mullis asked the commissioners to consider hiring four new personnel rather than the original three the department asked for.  He said it is a requirement to have four people each shift, but that day they had only three.  The Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department often receives double calls, but the staff limitations force more of a reliance on other organizations.
He also asked that the town release e-mails from the past chief.  Mullis explained that when Russell resigned from the town his e-mail was terminated.  He is concerned there may be issues that require the organization’s action within the e-mails, but they cannot be sure what those issues are.
Mullis said Russell resigned from the fire department so as to not bring that organization into the issues he was having with the town.
“He wanted us not to be involved with that,” said Mullis.
Russell’s mother, Virginia, also spoke during the public comments.  She asked the board to “pay my son for the vacation time he earned from the past 18 years.”
Russell was unavailable for comment.

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