What’s closed for MLK Jr. Day?
The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday Monday, Jan. 21, means some government offices will be closed.
While there are no closings in Matthews, the Mint Hill Town Hall and police administrative offices will be closed Jan. 21.
There is no change in trash or recycling pick-up schedules for either town.
The Mint Hill Planning Board’s Jan. 21 meeting has been rescheduled to 6:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Mint Hill Town Hall, 4430 Mint Hill Village Lane.
All Charlotte Mecklenburg Library branches will be closed Jan. 21.
Library hours to increase
Beginning April 1, the Matthews and Mint Hill community libraries will have expanded hours.
All Charlotte-Mecklenburg community libraries will be open Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., according to a news release. This brings the library system to about 62 percent of the hours it was open at its peak in January 2010, according to the release.
The system’s six regional locations will continue their current schedules.
With help from Mecklenburg County officials, the system has determined that sufficient funding is available within the library’s current budget to fund the expanded hours, according to the release. Available positions will soon be posted on the library website, www.cmlibrary.org.
Future of old Bain on Jan. 24 agenda
The Mint Hill town commissioners are expected to discuss the future of the old Bain school during their Thursday, Jan. 24 meeting, Mayor Ted Biggers said this week.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools said time is almost up for the town to decide whether to intervene and save the 124-year-old Bain school building or surrender it to demolition. The district plans to demolish the building by spring unless town officials intervene.
Residents will be able to have their say on the issue during the meeting’s public comments section.
The fate of the building has been in question for more than a year as CMS began expanding the adjacent Bain Elementary. Construction on a new 82,000-square-foot Bain Elementary building began spring 2012 and is expected to be substantially complete by August. As part of the project, CMS will demolish all of the current Bain Elementary except for the 1980s wing – the school’s newest portion. The section will be used as overflow classrooms.
Mint Hill commissioners will meet at 7 p.m. at the town hall, 4430 Mint Hill Village Lane.
Matthews OKs $473K for sportsplex
The Matthews Board of Commissioners voted Monday, Jan. 14, to give $437,500 to Mecklenburg County as the town’s first contribution to the under-construction Mecklenburg County Regional Sportsplex project in Matthews.
The Sportsplex, located off Tank Town Road, is a two-phase project that will cost $32 million to $34 million. Matthews has committed to giving a total of $2 million to the project.
The project’s first phase, which will include five synthetic, lit soccer fields and restrooms, is expected to be complete by late summer.
Matthews buys Post Office property
Matthews town commissioners voted Monday, Jan. 14, to pay $25,623.88 for one acre from the United States Postal Service.
The property is located between the Matthews Post Office and the Fiesta Jalisco restaurant. The town hasn’t made a decision yet on what the property will be used for, but town spokeswoman Annette Privette Keller said recently that the town wanted to secure the land so use could be made of it.
“Very little downtown property remains undeveloped and ever comes up for sale anymore, and the town wanted to secure that parcel for good planning in the future,” Privette Keller previously told Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly.
Changes coming to Matthews medians
Over the next few months, motorists are likely to see a “sprucing up” of the medians along N.C. 51 and U.S. 74 in Matthews.
Matthews town commissioners recently approved a turf management plan that will strengthen existing landscaping along the medians of N.C. 51. The changes will improve existing grass through fertilizer, aeration and lime applications. The town also will be able to do selective changes for areas with thin grass or other issues.
The cost of the project – an estimated $4,000 is budgeted for materials – is significantly less expensive than the two other options: converting the turf to Bermuda grass or fescue grass, both of which would cost the town $11,000 in the first year and another $7,000 annually.
Mayor Jim Taylor said Monday, Jan. 14, he’d like the conversion to get underway as soon as possible.
Commissioners also approved a wayfinding project that will bring color to the medians along U.S. 74 and N.C. 51. The town will soon plant knockout roses, Youpon holly and variegated uripoe along the medians to incorporate the color red into the town, matching the town’s logo.
“As part of the Wayfinding Project we are working to beautify gateway areas that are highly visible to visitors and citizens,” Matthews Communications Director Annette Privette Keller said in a memo sent to town commissioners.
The entire project will cost $147,200 to $184,000 initially, with an annual maintenance cost of $10,000 to $15,000. The money will come from the town’s tourism fund, which is supported by hotel and motel occupancy and prepared-food and beverage taxes.
Matthews wants increased penalties for tall grass, weeds
Repeat violators of the Town of Matthews’ noxious weeds and grass ordinance could soon be forking out more money.
According to the current ordinance, if a property owner violates the policy, the town will cut the grass and bill the owner for the cost of time and materials plus 10 percent. The change is necessary because the town “charged less than a landscaper would for mowing a lawn, so there was no incentive on the part of a violator to keep their property presentable,” spokeswoman Annette Privette Keller said.
Matthews commissioners approved an amendment to the ordinance Monday, Jan. 14 that will require repeat violators to pay a fee in addition to the cutting cost.
Second-time violators will be required to pay an additional $100 to the town, third-time violators will be charged a $150 fee and subsequent violations will cost $200 each. If the charges aren’t paid within 30 days upon receipt of the bill, the town will consider the funds the same as unpaid taxes.
Town commissioners could see the item on the Jan. 28 consent agenda.
Matthews reimbursed for DNC services
The Town of Matthews recently received $5,678.74 from the City of Charlotte as a reimbursement for police services the town provided during the Democratic National Convention.
Matthews sent police officers Cpl. Grant Nelson and Officer Lance Paugh – and their bikes – to uptown Charlotte for the event. The officers used their bicycle patrol training to help with crowd control and patrolling Uptown streets.
Matthews was reimbursed $1,500 for the officer’s patrol salaries, $1,800 for overtime patrol work, $925 for patrol vehicle parts and $1,453.74 for patrol law enforcement supplies.
Pine Lake ‘no parking’ signs to stay
Mint Hill commissioners voted unanimously Thursday, Jan. 10 to deny a request by Pine Hill Road homeowners to remove “no parking” signs from their street. The plea came five years after homeowners requested the signs be put up to address safety concerns.
But commissioners and town public safety officials said taking them down would cause safety concerns. Thirty-one of the 37 homeowners on the street signed a petition to have the signs removed because the original request in 2007 wasn’t carried out like homeowners intended, resident Arthur Fields said. Residents only wanted parking prohibited at the entrance to the neighborhood off Wilgrove-Mint Hill Road, not throughout the dead-end street, he said.
Commissioners never heard from the group after the 2007 decision. Police, fire and public works leaders urged the town to keep the no parking rule.
And board members listened.
“With our fire, police and public works officials against it, it gives me pause,” Mayor Ted Biggers said. “If we do change it back and something happens we’d feel guilty about that.”
Commissioner Mickey Ellington added: “You should have come back and told us that wasn’t what you wanted. Now, I think we need to listen to our public safety officials.”
Fields said the vote was “not fair. This is a dead-end street and the only people
who go in and out of there live there,” he said.