Hospital sets 2016 as date of completion

The site of the new Presbyterian Hospital, at the corner of I485 and Albemarle Road. Photo by Derek Lacey

At Thursday night’s commissioner meeting, Presbyterian Hospital Matthews president Roland Bibeau gave an overview of what the hospital currently offers the residents of Mint Hill and the status of the Presbyterian Hospital to be built at I485 and Albemarle Road.

Bibeau presented the updated timeline of the construction of the planned Presbyterian Hospital in Mint Hill. The new timeline has moved the date of completion from 2018 to 2016, with construction beginning in 2014. At 165,000 square feet and $90 million, the hospital will include 50 inpatient beds, a 16-bay emergency department, four operating rooms, maternity services, rehabilitation, cardiovascular services, laboratory service, and pharmacy services.

“I’m pretty proud to share this timeline with you,” said Bibeau, adding “We owe it to the community of Mint Hill to deliver the healthcare that they’ve been expecting.”

The services that will be provided at the new location will include a medical office building that will house pediatrics, cardiology, OBGYN, general surgery, cardiology, and gastrointerology.

Construction will begin as soon as water and sewer reach the building site, and according to Bibeau, the 2014 start date is a result of the lack of water and sewer services at the location.

“I’m pretty excited about this,” Bibeau said. “Delivering healthcare closer to your community and your needs.”

 

 

 

In other matters

  • A public hearing was held on petition #ZC12-8, for a text amendment to Downtown Overlay Code authorizing administrative variation of sidewalk width.
  • Theresa Deeton, president of the homeowners association of Mint Lake Village, spoke at the meeting to oppose the construction of a 7/11 and car wash adjacent to their property.
  • Russel Bagley, of Pine Lake Lane, spoke in opposition to any revision of the current noise ordinance, saying that any new restrictions would be over-burdensome to the community.
  • Troy Pollard spoke, personally thanking Beth Hamrick for her service to the Mint Hill community, and wished her success in her retirement.
  • Jerry Mullis, of the Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department, spoke to report that MHVFD purchased property in order to build a station in the Cabarrus Road area.
  • Connie Green Johnson, candidate for county commissioner in district six, spoke to introduce herself to the community and present her platform as a conservative democrat.
  • Steven Smith, president of Mint Hill Lions Club, spoke about the progress of the Lions Club’s 5k, that has grown from 35 runners in 2008 to more than 300 runners in 2012, and presented the commissioners with T-shirts, thanking them for their support.
  • The commissioners voted to approve a contract with the Idlewild Fire Department, which deals with service district tax proceeds for non-incorporated areas. The contract distributes $180,000 to Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department, $130,000 to Idlewild Fire Department, and $5,000 to Midland.
  • The commissioners revised their meeting schedule, because of the holiday season, to meet on November 15 and December 13.
  • Chief of Police Tim Ledford spoke about the Police Department’s annual golf tournament October 6 at Lark Haven Golf Course, to support new programs and volunteer police service, with registration online at minthill.com.
  • The commissioners also discussed the change of voting precinct 219, which will go to the new town hall, and residents of the precinct should be receiving letters detailing the change within the next couple of weeks.
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Mint Hill working toward Aqua solution

Residents in Ashe Plantation and other Mint Hill neighborhoods have been working toward receiving better service from their water provider, Aqua.  Over the past few months we have reported the issues customers have with Aqua, including dirty, hard water and high monthly bills.  Ashe Plantation homeowners association president, Sharon Decker, has been working with Charlotte resident Stan Coleman to organize customers to work together for solutions.

Decker and Coleman have met with politicians, customers, town staff, and Aqua representatives.  North Carolina State Senator-elect of District 41, Jeff Tarte, N.C. House Representative, Bill Brawley, Mint Hill Mayor, Ted Biggers, Mint Hill town manager, Brian Welch, and assistant director for Clean Water for North Carolina, Katie Hicks, are working on the Aqua issue.

The Town of Mint Hill recently passed a resolution encouraging water providers to offer better services. It reads, “Be it Resolved that the Board of Commissioners of the Town of Mint Hill urges community well operators to address the concerns and expectations for the Town and its citizens by striving for exceptional industry-wide performance measures exceeding the minimum requirements set forth by State and Federal agencies; Be it Further Resolved that the Town urges State and Federal agencies to further regulate community well operators to insure those citizens who rely upon community wells are provided with clean, affordable water.”

Decker organized a meeting at the town hall September 7 at 7 pm.  Aqua president, Tom Roberts will be present.  Aqua customers are encouraged to attend the meeting.

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Democracy in action: the neighborhood Aqua meeting

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Aqua North Carolina customers met with politicians last Friday to voice their concerns about the private water company’s practices.  Sharon Decker, homeowner association president for Ashe Plantation, located on 218, hosted the meeting at the Olde Sycamore Golf Plantation clubhouse.

Residents of Mint Hill, Charlotte, Union County, and Huntersville were present.  John Aneralla and Jeff Tarte came to listen to their concerns and provide information. Katie Hicks from Clean Water for North Carolina also attended.  Decker said the president of Aqua wanted to attend the meeting, but the HOA board decided the focus of Friday’s meeting was talking with the politicians.  The president has been invited to the next meeting of the neighborhoods sometime in September. Continue reading

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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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Former Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Dept. Chief under investigation

By Amanda Waters
amandawaters@minthilltimes.com

The Town of Mint Hill received a federal subpoena May 24 and is cooperating with federal agencies in an investigation of recently resigned Fire Operations Director, Jeremy Russell.  “We are absolutely not under investigation as a town,” said Town Manager Brian Welch.  “The town is actively cooperating with them in their review.”
The Board of Commissioners passed a resolution May 24 authorizing the town staff, town attorney and members of the board “to meet with investigating agents and attorneys for the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the United States Attorneys Office.” According to the resolution they could inform investigating agents and attorneys of  “(1) the suspension, disciplinary action and later resignation of Mint Hill Fire Operations Director Jeremy Russell, (2) the reasons for and circumstances surrounding such personnel action and events, (3) the Town’s findings regarding Mr. Russell’s activities engaged in during his prior employment with the Town and as a volunteer with the Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department, and (4) any additional information requested by the Federal Bureau of Investigations and/or the United States Attorneys Office in connection with their investigation of Mr. Russell and/or any related individuals and entities.”
Russell was hired as a paramedic June 13, 1994.  The town promoted him to Fire/EMS Operations Director April 1998.  He received a disciplinary suspension April 13, 2012, and resigned the same day. The Board of Commissioners held several closed sessions last month regarding an unspecified personnel matter.
The board passed a resolution April 12 “to inform the Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department Board Chair and other members of the Board of Directors of the suspension and other disciplinary action involving Mint Hill Fire Chief Jeremy Russell and the reasons for such personnel action.”
The board also passed a resolution May 2 to make the MHVFD Board of Directors and counsel for the MHVFD aware of “the Town’s findings regarding Mr. Russell’s activities engaged in during his prior employment with the Town and as a volunteer with the Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department.”
The FBI declined comment on its involvement with the investigation of Russell.
When asked what Russell is being investigated for, Welch said he was unable to comment and directed questions to the U.S. Attorneys Office, which also declined to comment.
Chairman of the MHVFD Board of Directors, Jerry Mullis, said “Our mission here at the Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department is to be responsive to the investigation, assist in any way we can, and go on in our mission of providing fire protection and emergency medical and transport to the people in our fire district.”
The fire department held a board meeting June 4, ending with a two-hour closed session where they discussed personnel and insurance matters and the investigation.
The fire department has experienced several personnel changes since Russell resigned.  John Phillips is the new fire chief, Tommy Moore is the assistant chief in charge of fire operations, David Leath is the assistant chief in charge of EMS operations, and the chief introduced three newly-hired firemen at last night’s meeting.  There were changes in the board, too, as Henry Allison stepped down as the vice chair and member of the board.

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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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