MINT HILL, NC – The Town Mayor, Brad Simmons, continues to provide leadership with the assistance of the Commissioners to move forward with meeting the duly constituted business of running our community during the pandemic. This mission is being accomplished as we adhere to the Mecklenburg County rules pertaining to opening up for business in different phases.
The leaders have held live “YouTube” meetings on May 14, 26, and recently on June 11th. The most important business activities appear to revolve around the Fire Department, Mint Hill Athletic Association, and the overall budget for FY21.
Regarding the Fire Department, the recommended budget was $3,751,492 which includes funds for reassignment of debt due to station expansion, an administrative captain, and fire apparatus/equipment. The Fire Department is to become part of the Town of Mint Hill, and the volunteer designation will no longer be applicable during the transfer. Also, two properties will remain with the Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. including the property owned on the corner of Arlington Church and Cabarrus Road.
From the operations and administrative side, there are no major changes for the leadership and staff at the Fire Department. The Town will now own all the assets, it will pick up the operating budget to run all the services. “The change will be smooth and seamless, it will not impact the quality and level of service already provided,” said Fire Chief David Leath.
Deputy Chief, John Phillips, showed the writer Engine #1 with the brand new emblem seal on the fire trucks door which looks sharp. The firefighter’s uniforms will just change to the new patch being worn. The current target date for the transfer to be complete is July 1, 2020.
The Mint Hill Athletic Association’s stability and financial strength are a concern due to debt owed on the land at Brief Road. The Mayor and Town Manager Brian Welch requested the Board to give permission for the Town staff to move forward to take over the property and lease it back to the Mint Hill Athletic Association once the Town hears from them officially. The Town would have a lease agreement where the Athletic Association would lease the property from the Town at a minimal fee. If an agreement can be reached, it would certainly benefit the youth in the community.
The Spring season had been canceled due to COVID-19. The Athletic Association has not been able to refund the money to the families because it was used to pay monthly bills to keep the property. Therefore, survival is the most important objective and the upcoming fall sports season is an important factor for success. The Board agreed, by consensus, to allow the staff to move forward with discussions with the Mint Hill Athletic Association to work out the details for an agreement.
The Town’s total proposed budget for FY21 presented by Town Manager, Brian Welch totals $21,251,404. The breakdown includes General Fund $19,703,797; Powell Bill Fund $760,000; Storm Water Fund $562,757; Infrastructure Fund $50; Tourism Fund $225,150, and the Police Department Dog Forfeiture Fund $50.
The General Fund budget includes a 4% market adjustment (mid-year), a 2.5% merit pool for qualified employees, and an additional staff person for both the Fire and Police Departments including a $3 million sidewalk grant.
Finally, another important point of interest to residents was that Town Manager, Brian Welch stated the proposed tax rate for the upcoming year remains at $.255 cents per $100 valuation and that the $10 registered motor vehicle fee would also remain unchanged.