Matthews’ bond rating upgraded

Standard and Poor has upgraded the Town of Matthews’ Bond Rating from AA to AA+ which is one step below the highest rating available. The highest rating is AAA.

“The rating is reaffirmation that the Town’s financial health is stable and the general creditworthiness of the Town is great,” said Matthews Town Manager Hazen Blodgett. “We are extremely excited to receive this news.”

The Standard and Poor rating is based on their examination of the Town’s financial records, budget, low debt percentage, proposed future projects, healthy fund balance level and credit stability. Standard and Poor also looks at an organization’s ability to withstand extreme or severe stress such as the current economic situation.

“The Bond Rating of AA+ we have received is the result of careful planning and management of our budget. In the future, when we need to borrow money or obtain credit to complete projects such as roadways or parks or to buy
equipment, banks will look at us favorable. This will result in better interest rates and loan terms – which results in savings to our budget,” Matthews Finance Director Christine Surratt commented.

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Matthews Fire and EMS Department project almost complete

Parking and landscaping improvements at the Matthews Fire & EMS Department are nearing completion. This is the first major improvement to the site since the parking lot was constructed in the late 1980s. The wear and tear on a 30 year parking lot with 88,000 pound trucks entering and exiting the site had caused the lot to be in disrepair.
The parking lot has been redesigned to allow better turning radius of the fire trucks, 21 new parking spaces gained, curb and gutter and landscaping has been added, an underground stormwater detention area installed, and new concrete poured. Flagpoles are also being added. The underground stormwater detention area is composed of pervious concrete which allows rainwater from storm drains and roof drains to seep into the detention area to better the groundwater. This system is environmentally friendly and will help sustain the life of the parking areas.
The project was budgeted at $440,000 but costs have been lower than expected and $363,000 has spent on the improvements.
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Matthews wins Centralina Council of Governments award

The Mint Hill Times

From left: Hazen Blodgett, Matthews Town Manager; Annette Privette Keller, Matthews Communications Director; Jim Taylor, Mayor of Matthews; Jeff Miller, Matthews Town Board Member

The Town of Matthews won the Excellence in Service to Citizens for their Library volunteers Program. Centralina Council of Governments (CCOG) presented their Annual Awards at the Meeting of the CCOG Board of Delegates on February 9, 2011. The awards celebrate the work of member governments and honor the outstanding achievements which work collectively to achieve regional goals.

CCOG member governments were encouraged to nominate innovative projects from their jurisdictions which have contributed to significant and positive advancements in the area.

In the spring of 2010, the Town of Matthews received word from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Library System that they would not be able to meet budget needs and the closing of the Matthews branch library was imminent.

The Matthews branch, along with others in the county, were slated to close and the library system was asking the Town as well as other municipalities in the county to make significant funding contributions in order to save the closing of the branches.

Each year the library pays rent to the Town for occupying the space. During a Special Meeting of the Town Board on June 21, the Town offered to forgo the rent for the library for 2010-11. This amounted to $204,000. The Town also agreed to recruit and help train volunteers, which would allow the branch to stay open a minimum of five days a week.

Centralina Council of Governments is the state-designated lead regional organization of central Carolina’s nine-
county region.

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Renovations to Squirrel Lake Park begins Monday

Squirrel Lake Park will be getting a facelift beginning Monday. The Matthews park will get a restroom facility, new playground equipment and swing structures for children aged 2-12, improvements and additional spaces to the parking lot. Also included in the project is an asphalt connector trail that will run from Pleasant Plains Road through the park to Four Mile Creek Greenway, a handicap accessible fishing pier, a new shelter near the pond and improvements to existing trails in the park. Continue reading

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Matthews’ Four Mile Creek Greenway nears completion

The Mint Hill Times

The map of the nearly-completed greenway in Matthews

Four Mile Creek Greenway in Matthews is nearing completion. The greenway is a $1.6M joint project between the Town of Matthews and Mecklenburg County. Trail A, which goes from East John St. to Brenham Lane, is complete. Trail B, which goes from S. Trade Street to near Squirrel Lake Park should be completed within the next 30-60 days – weather permitting.

The public is welcome to use Trail A at this time. It is important to note at this time there is no signage directing you to Trail A’s neighborhood entrances and the entrance at Squirrel Lake Park. You may access Trail A by using neighborhood entrances located at Brenham Lane, Woody Creek Rd., Privette Street, Rockwell View Drive and East John Street.

Trail A and B are a combined two miles in length. After Trail B is finished amenities on the greenway such as signage, benches, trashcans, etc. will be added to both sections.

Once Trail B is completed the public will be able to find ample parking at the Matthews Community Center or Squirrel Lake Park in order to access the greenway (both Trails A and B).

“We are very pleased that we have been able to work with the county to make this greenway available for our citizens, said Matthews Mayor Jim Taylor. “Even in this cold weather we hope that you will get out and enjoy the greenway and exercising.”

The greenway is comprised of asphalt, concrete and boardwalk sections. You may walk or bike on the greenway – no motorized transportation is allowed. Pets must be on a leash. The trails will be open from dawn to dusk.

A Grand Opening Ceremony for the Greenway will be held this Spring.

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Living Legacy Tree selected in Matthews

A willow oak tree at Matthews Elementary School has been designated as the first Living Legacy Tree in Matthews. The tree is considered to be 80-100 years old. The Living Legacy Trees are trees with specific structural, species, historical or aesthetic characteristics that make them unique specimens and of value to the community.

The public is invited to nominate trees in the Town and the Appearance and Tree Commission and the Town’s Landscape Manager will evaluate the trees to see if they meet these criteria. The commission is now reviewing several other trees which have been nominated.

This program allows the Town to recognize the valuable trees we have in our community but the program does not offer any legal protection for the trees instead Town staff will work with property owners to preserve the trees.

If you would like to nominate a tree fill out an application located at
www.matthewsnc.com.

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