Tucker: design bill lacks ‘teeth’

The Mint Hill Times

Sen. Tommy Tucker

A bill that would limit the guidelines municipalities can have in dictating the look of homes is now in committee in the state house. If passed, it could have repercussions for municipalities across the state.
Senate Bill 731, named the Zoning/Design and Aesthetic Controls bill, passed the senate on May 17 by a vote of 38-10. It was introduced by Mecklenburg County Senator Dan Clodfelter and seeks to “clarify when a municipality or a county may enact zoning ordinances related to design and aesthetic controls.”
The bill is now in committee in the state house awaiting a vote that will send it to the floor. Representatives will then vote again and send it back to the senate for the final vote.
State Senator Tommy Tucker (Dist. 35), who represents the Mint Hill area, said the version of the bill that came of the senate was softened and lacked the “teeth” it once had. He said that is why he voted for it.
“The paragraph that was limiting to municipalities was taken out,” he said. “This is a gut check for both entities—builders and municipalities.”
He said there has been very little response to the bill from the public or towns and acknowledged that towns don’t always know what’s happening in Raleigh.
Both Mint Hill and Matthews town leadership crafted a letter that voiced opposition to the bill. It will be sent to state legislators who represent the area. Continue reading

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Presbyterian Hospital-Matthews honors the military

The Mint Hill Times

From left to right: Keynote speaker and Brigadier General (Retired), Gary Wilfong; President of Presbyterian Hospital Matthews, Roland Bibeau; President & CEO Presbyterian Healthcare, Mark Billings; Mint Hill Town Manager, Brian Welch; Mint Hill Mayor, Ted Biggers; Indian Trail Mayor, John Quinn; Matthews Mayor, Jim Taylor; Matthews Town Manager, Hazen Blodgett.

Presbyterian Hospital-Matthews held its annual Memorial Day Ceremony last Thursday. The hospital honored veterans and currently-serving military personnel. The ceremony featured an aerial demonstration, wreath laying ceremony, recognition of the Armed Services and service anthems performed by the Sun Valley High School Band. Special remarks were offered by Brigadier General Gary Wilfong of the United States Air Force (Ret). Event guests included employees, physicians, hospital leadership, volunteers, patients and guests. In addition, the mayors of Matthews, Mint Hill and Indian Trail were all in attendance.

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Manager’s budget calls for decrease in taxes, spending

Town Manager Brian Welch will present the fiscal year 2012 budget to the board of commissioners at next week’s regularly scheduled meeting. After three workshops, the commissioners are expected to approve the budget with few if any changes.
Welch is recommending $10,619,436 in spending for the next fiscal year which begins in July, down about $1 million from the previous year’s budget. Most of the drop in spending comes from a decrease in capital projects and debt which is no longer on the books.
Last year, the town spent funds on purchasing land for the new town hall, permits and testing. Construction costs this year will appear as a “capital project ordinance,” and is separate from the regular budget.
The town hall will cost about $6 million to build, but that money will come directly from the fund balance. While spending over all will be down, so will the property tax rate. Currently, residents pay .275 per $100 in property taxes. Welch is recommending to the board that the tax be decreased to .27 cents per $100.
“We will derive enough revenue to produce a balanced budget while maintaining the same level of service to the citizens,” Welch said. Continue reading

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Commissioners break ground for new town hall

The Mint Hill Times

Mayor Ted Biggers (left) and Commissioners Mickey Ellington, Tina Ross, Brenda McRae and Lloyd Austin.

The town of Mint Hill held an informal groundbreaking ceremony for the new town hall last Friday. The event was to coincide with the 40th year that the town was incorporated. Mayor Ted Biggers, commissioners Lloyd Austin, Mickey Ellington, Brenda McRae and Tina Ross as well as town staff, members of the planning board, architects from Creech and Associates and representatives from Edifice Inc. all attended the ceremony. Biggers said in addition to commemorating the town’s 40th birthday, the  board also wanted to make  people aware that they will see construction on this site for the next year.

After the groundbreaking, those in attendance enjoyed refreshments courtesy of the town.
Work on the town hall won’t officially begin for several more weeks. The $6 million building will be located at the apex of the traffic circle in Mint Hill Village. The development is located on Matthews-Mint Hill Road at the intersection of Cresthill Drive.
“As I was driving here today I thought about how beautiful this building will be and how proud the citizens of Mint Hill will be,” Biggers told those in  attendance.
It will take about a year for the completion of the building. Once finished, work will begin on the current town hall to up-fit it for
a police station. The Mint Hill commissioners weren’t the only  ones breaking ground for the new town hall. Three people who were a part of the opening of the current town hall in the 1980s helped to kick off construction for the new town hall. Mint Hill’s first mayor,
Bob Long, former commissioner Don Blackburn and longtime town clerk Beth Hamrick were asked to help with the ceremony.
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Ground breaking on new town hall is this Friday

The Mint Hill Board of Commissioners has set the groundbreaking for the new town hall for this Friday at 11 am at the Mint Hill Village site. The groundbreaking is set to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the town’s incorporation in 1971.

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