If you live in the area of Mecklenburg County that’s northeast of Mint Hill, you could be joining the big city. That’s because Charlotte is currently in the process of annexing the Camp Stewart area–the neighborhoods around JH Gunn Elementary School and Wilgrove Airport. Charlotte is also looking into annexing two other areas on the west side of the county. A Public Informational Meeting will be held August 5, 2010, Public Hearings are August 23, 2010 and the passing of the Annexation Ordinances could take place November 22, 2010. The Ordinance becomes effective June 30, 2011.
Follow the meeting on our Twitter feed on the right side of this Web page. Library PR as well as Chris Miller of WBT are at the meeting sending live Twitter messages.
In this week’s Mint Hill Times, read about the deal Mint Hill struck with County Board of Commissioners that will give the town a certain amount of county owned land in Mint Hill in exchange for its donation of $175,000 to the library. Cornelius and the City of Charlotte have similar deals with the County.
Mecklenburg County owns several hundred acres of land in Mint Hill, including nearly 100 acres at Ezell Farm.
A press release by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, as well as other media sources, have said that boards from Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, Matthews and Mint Hill met yesterday to officially vote on how much they will give the library to keep doors open. However, Mint Hill Board of Commissioners did not meet yesterday. They voted at the previous board meeting almost two weeks ago to give the library $175,000, as long as it is equitable to what the other towns are giving. As of now, the equitability is in question. Cornelius, the only other town that was willing to give the full $175,000 in cash, voted yesterday that the donation come with several conditions:
The Cornelius board approval came with a series of conditions. Chief among those is a need to work out an “asset transfer agreement” with the county equivalent to $175,000. The agreement could include a lien, an asset swap, or a promissory note, the board said.
Other conditions, according to draft minutes of Monday’s meeting, included:
- Commitment of the Library Board of Trustees to the Contingency Plan adopted by the Mecklenburg County Commission;
- That funds be released on the staggered schedule outlined in the Contingency Plan adopted by Mecklenburg County and only upon satisfactory completion of the conditions set forth in that document;
- Emergency support participation, either financial or in-kind, by the City of Charlotte and three other towns (in addition to Cornelius);
- The town attorney will review and amend the interlocal agreement as necessary;
- That a town representative be appointed to the Steering Committee.
Expect Mint Hill to follow suit and offer conditions to giving the library $175,000. After the break: Read the press release sent by the library, as well as the Memorandum of Understanding that four of the five towns approved yesterday. Continue reading
Time Magazine recently featured an article on how the economy has affected states, counties and cities. Here’s what they say about potential library closings in Mecklenburg County:
This all comes as a shock to the folks of Charlotte, who long ago grew accustomed to seemingly endless prosperity. The seeds of Bank of America, among other empires, were sown there. “People are asking, ‘We’re Charlotte, North Carolina. We’re big banks. How did we get like this?’ ” says county budget director Hyong Yi. The answer is rooted in that once booming economy. As Charlotte burgeoned, the county approved $1.5 billion in bonds to build a new courthouse and new schools, expand its jails, improve its parks and — irony alert — open state-of-the-art libraries.
After the third meeting in less than a week yesterday between towns and library officials, a deal seems to be in the works to keep the Mint Hill library open. Library officials drafted a memorandum of understanding that calls for each town to give either cash or in-kind donations that will amount to more than $700,000 between the towns.
Mint Hill Town Manager Brian Welch attended the meeting yesterday as Mint Hill’s representative. He said the agreement between the towns and the library is not finalized because each town’s board will have to officially vote on the the plan. The Mint Hill Board of Commissioners have already voted to give the library a one time payment of $175,000 as long as it is equitable with what other towns are giving. Matthews has offered to allow the library to bypass lease payments on its building, which could amount to $200,000 in the next fiscal year. Davidson will likely offer some cash as well as in-kind donations. Cornelius will give $175,000, and Huntersville is expected give a token gift to the library.
Both Mint Hill and Cornelius may ask for something in return for the $175,000. This could mean that the library and towns work something out with the respective leases on the library buildings within the towns.
The Mint Hill Board of Commissioners will likely make a final vote on helping the library at its next meeting on Thursday.
Here’s a breakdown of what each library may give:
- Cornelius: $175,000 contribution
- Davidson: forgiveness of lease payment in the amount of approximately $37,000; and solicitation of additional donations to total $175,000
- Huntersville: in-kind contribution, yet to be determined
- Matthews: restructuring of lease to defer current payment to 2018 of $205,000
- Mint Hill: $175,000 contribution
Negotiations between Mecklenburg County towns and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library continued Tuesday in downtown Charlotte at the law offices of Robinson, Bradshaw and Hinson. Library officials have asked towns—specifically Mint Hill, Matthews, Davidson and Cornelius—to pitch in a total of $700,000 to sustain the library system for the next fiscal year. Mint Hill is the only town that is on board with donating the money—as long as Mint Hill’s library stays open—but Mayor Ted Biggers said it would be difficult for the town to give money if it meant other towns aren’t paying their fair share.
Last Friday, Biggers attended the first of the formal negotiations. Towns, including Charlotte, were represented by at least mayors and town staff, while library board members and staff including Director Charles Brown represented the library. County officials included Board of Commissioner Chairwoman Jennifer Roberts.
Towns don’t think they can sell the library plan to their boards without tweaking it considerably. The towns want to help, but the road ahead could be tricky.
“We have to think outside the box,” Davidson Mayor John Woods said. “Then I believe the towns could cobble together a plan that would be acceptable.” Continue reading