At a glance: Town projects

Novant Mint Hill

Novant Health, formerly Presbyterian, is still on track to break ground on their new location in Mint Hill in 2014, and to complete the hospital in 2016, two years earlier than the initial plans. The location, at Albemarle and I485, will cost approximately $90 million, at 165,000 square feet. The original plan called for a larger and more expensive structure, but the scaled-down version will still have the same number of beds and offer the same services. At a Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce luncheon in November, Roland Bibeau, president of Novant Matthews, said the location would still be a full-service community hospital.

 

Bridges at Mint Hill

The latest development in the stalled mall project, Bridges at Mint Hill, came at a January Mint Hill Board of Commissioners meeting, where the board adopted a resolution to request assistance from the North Carolina General Assembly and the North Carolina Department of Transportation to fund roadway improvements along Lawyers Road at Interstate 485 for the development. The project began in 2008, but after problems with layout and environmental concerns, as well as a faltering economy, the project was put on hold. Work could resume as early as the end of the year.

 

Mint Hill Police Department renovation

Work is continuing on schedule to transform the old Mint Hill Town Hall into the New Mint Hill Police Department, with the completion date of fall 2013 still intact. The Mint Hill Board of Commissioners approved a $2 million budget at a March meeting, and work on the renovation began shortly after. The project is being handled by Edifice Inc., the same company that led the construction of the new town hall. The renovation includes a number of new features for the building, including street-facing parking spaces, closing in the breezeway, and transforming the commissioner’s meeting space to a conference room.

 

Korean War Veterans Memorial

The Korean War Veterans Memorial at The Park on Fairview, being built by Chapter 265 of the North Carolina Korean War Veteran’s Association, was originally scheduled to be completed in Summer of 2012. As of January this year, construction was at 85 percent completion, with small details like handicap railing, Astroturf carpeting, and more pavers waiting to be installed. The dedication date has not been finalized, but June 25, the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the war in 1953 is being considered.

 

New Bain Elementary

Construction on the new Bain Elementary facility is on track to finish JUne 14, when an opening ceremony will be held. On May 30, the school will host a fundraising recap event, where parents who bought bricks to help with school construction will be able to locate their bricks in the new facility. Starting next year, Bain students will attend school in the new building. Work began on the new building in early 2012, at a cost of approximately $15.3 million to Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. The building is a two-story, 82,000 square foot facility, with labs and media center, and even a rock climbing wall in the gymnasium.

 

Library Hours

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Mint Hill recently changed their hours of operation. The library is now open on Mondays, from 10 am to 8 pm and closed all day Thursday. Previously, the library was open on Thursday afternoon due to volunteer efforts and closed all day on Mondays.

 

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BOC hears presentations on roundabout, fire tax

The Mint Hill Board of Commissioners and Mint Hill residents were updated on two important town issues at the meeting last Thursday, May 9.

Scott Cole, Division Traffic Engineer with the North Carolina Department of Transportation gave a presentation about roundabouts, and specifically the proposed roundabout to be built at the intersection of N.C. Hwy. 51 and Idlewild Road in Mint Hill.

Cole cited the main concerns for the construction of the roundabout, the same as the main concerns for any roundabout, are traffic efficiency and safety.

According to Cole, roundabouts are the safest intersection, can provide for high capacity and low delay, is good for all modes of transportation, including pedestrians, motorcycles, bicycles, cars, and large trucks, has a geometric flexibility to fit in any location, and the aesthetic appeal.

For safety, Cole said that a regular intersection has 32 conflict points, or places where a collision is likely to occur, and that a roundabout has only 8, and provides for slower speeds and better angles.

Cole said that typical crash reductions following installation of roundabouts in rural areas of the United States could be as high as 74 percent.

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HAWK: keeping Mecklenburg for the animals


Mecklenburg County can lose up to 41 acres per day to development, and one organization has started in their own backyards to get some of those acres back for the Mecklenburg area’s wildlife.

Habitat and Wildlife Keepers, or HAWK, is a grassroots organization of like-minded individuals who share an interest in conserving the environment and wildlife in the area.

HAWK is a chapter of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation, and is the first national chapter of the wildlife federation in North Carolina.

Their territory is Southeastern Mecklenburg County and parts of Union County, but they are based in Matthews, where the organization has done extensive work.

“We are an enthusiastic group of wildlife lovers,” said HAWK treasurer and co-founder  Carol Buie-Jackson.

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Goose Creek Moratorium lifted

By Derek Lacey / Staff Writer

The moratorium on new water connections in the Goose Creek basin has been lifted after more than a decade.

The moratorium, first established in 2002 to protect the federally endangered Carolina Heelsplitter Mussel, was lifted by the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission by an unanimous vote Thursday, May 9.

The mussel lives in the Goose Creek Basin, but none have been found in Mint Hill.

The Goose Creek Basin covers the southeastern portion of the town, an area where roughly 30 percent of the Town of Mint Hill’s population resides.

The moratorium has kept a large number of Mint Hill residents from receiving water service from Charlotte Mecklenburg Utilities.

“I’m really excited that folks that have been in town for many, many years now have the option of tapping onto Charlotte Mecklenburg water,” said Town Manager Brian Welch.

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The Rain Exchange: saving water, saving money

Water is expensive. It’s a necessity. It’s a commodity. And it falls right out of the sky.

Mark Hazen and Michael Helms realized this, and realized that water shortages can be a serious problem and expense to homeowners, and have worked for nearly the past year to establish The Rain Exchange.

The Rain Exchange installs a system to catches the rainwater that falls on a homeowner’s home or property, and stores that water in an underground storage tank for later use.

“We’re starting to see that water is getting more and more expensive, and we have customers who spend $800-900 per month on their water bill,” Hazen said, adding that this system could save 60-65 percent of that water usage.

The way the system works is simple, The Rain Exchange will install downspouts on the house’s gutters, collecting all runoff rainwater from the roof and diverting it into a buried storage tank.

Connected to that storage tank is a pump, which allows that water to be used in a number of ways, depending on what the homeowner would like to use it for.

Mainly the water is used for irrigation, washing cars, and general outdoor water use, but it can also be piped back into the home and used in toilets and washing machines, and if a special filter or purification system is installed, could even be used as drinking water.

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It’s Your Business: Cottage Yarn

By Derek Lacey / Staff Writer

Lyn Millward, owner of Cottage Yarn in Mint Hill. Photo by Derek Lacey

Lyn Millward, owner of Cottage Yarn in Mint Hill. Photo by Derek Lacey

Lyn Millward first learned to knit as a teenager, an exchange student in Sweden between her junior and senior year in high school.

But as life happened, she drifted away from the art, until her daughter received yarn and knitting supplies for her eleventh birthday.

She relearned how to knit to help teach her daughter, and it wasn’t long until she was knitting, crocheting, learning new skills and even teaching classes at her LYS (local yarn shop), Cottage Yarn in Mint Hill.

Her daughter, Chloe, worked at the shop on weekends, and one day,the previous owner  called to let Chloe know she was retiring. Lyn was concerned about the future of the store, and would eventually take over as owner.

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