Railroad closings coming to Matthews
CSX Railroad will close the downtown Matthews railroad crossing on East Trade Street from June 24 to 28 for maintenance, according to a news release.
The crossing on Tank Town Road also will be closed June 24 to 26. No vehicles will be able to use the crossings and detour signs will be posted, the release said.
Crossings at Ames Street, Crestdale Drive, Campus Ridge and Stallings roads will be closed July 1 to 8.
The closings are part of a large repair project the railroad is conducting to replace aging railroad rails and tracks. It has been at least nine years since the railroad has done this extensive repair work on crossings in Matthews, the release said.
Police captain retires after 29 years of service
Matthews Police Captain Garland Amos will retire later this month after 29 years of service as a police officer.
Amos – who “never wanted to be anything but a police officer”– served as a police officer in both High Point and Matthews, according to a news release. Amos comes from a family full of law enforcement officers, with family members having served as U.S. Marshals, FBI and NCIS agents.
Following a stint as a Winn Dixie employee, Amos began working as a patrol officer in 1972. He then moved on to technical investigations, where he learned to conduct polygraph tests, and also worked as a detective.
Amos returned to work as a patrol officer in 1992 when he joined the Matthews Police Department. He was promoted to sergeant in 1995, captain of patrol in 1997 and captain of support services in 2005, where he currently oversees 9-1-1 dispatchers, animal control, officer training, vehicle maintenance and school resource officers.
“The department is my family. Over the years I have been able to watch staff marry, have children and just this weekend I went to the graduation of one of the dispatcher’s children,” he said in the release.
Amos plans to take some time off and eventually return to work part-time as a 9-1-1 dispatcher, according to the release. He also intends to return to school for Biblical studies and spend some time with his “real” family – his wife, Patty, three daughters, one son and seven
Matthews to buy Campus Ridge land
The Matthews Board of Commissioners approved Monday, June 10, a procedure that will allow the town to begin purchasing right of way for the Campus Ridge Road relocation project.
The procedure is modeled after Charlotte’s right-of-way acquisition policy, according to a memo from Public Works Director Ralph Messera. Town Manager Hazen Blodgett will be authorized to approve payments for easements and sign necessary documents when the right of way compensation is $10,000 or
In cases where the compensation is more than $10,000, or in the event or condemnation or other title issues, the transaction will be presented to town commissioners for consideration, according to the memo.
Town Attorney Charles Buckley will handle the closing or court proceedings, and Blodgett must provide a monthly summary of payments and easements settled until all easements are required.
Earlier this year, Matthews established a $3 million capital project budget ordinance to cover the planned Campus Ridge Road relocation project. The North Carolina Department of Transportation will provide $2.4 million – or 80 percent – of the funds, and $600,000 will be drawn from the town’s capital improvement fund. Of the $3 million, $1 million will go toward right of way acquisition and $2 million will cover construction costs, according to the memo.
Matthews budget vote deferred to June 24
The Matthews Board of Commissioners voted Monday, June 10, to defer a vote on the 2013-14 fiscal year’s budget to June 24.
The board was expected to vote on the budget Monday evening, but commissioners voted 6-1 to wait two weeks to adopt the budget, at the request of Commissioner Kress Query. Commissioner Jeff Miller voted against the deferral.
Query, who’s been a vocal advocate against tax increases, said he wanted more time to mull over the future of South Trade Street before approving a tax increase for the 2013-14 budget. If approved, the widening of South Trade Street could generate a tax increase as high as an additional 2 cents per $100 of taxable property, Query said.
Town commissioners didn’t discuss budget details, but Miller mentioned in his initial motion to adopt the 2013-14 budget, the proposed budget would have a 1.5-cent tax increase. Town Manager Hazen Blodgett’s original proposal called for a 2-cent tax increase and doubling the vehicle tag fee from $15 to $30.
The board plans to discuss the budget further at a special work session, expected to take place June 17.
Mint Hill commissioners were expected to vote on the 2013-14 budget Thursday, June 13, after Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly’s press deadline. Mint Hill is not proposing tax or fee increases.
Taller antennas coming to Matthews?
Matthews could soon allow higher telecommunications towers in residential districts.
The Charlotte-based Berkley Group submitted a zoning application late last month to change regulations and allow taller antennas to be placed on towers and supporting structures in the residential areas.
According to the application, the height limit for towers in residential districts is 80 feet, and that height could be increased up to an additional 40 feet at the time of the initial construction with the approval of the town’s zoning board.
A public hearing is set for July 8 at the 7 p.m. Board of Commissioners meeting.
Matthews adopts beer-brewing ordinance
Matthews has a new policy on the manufacturing of alcoholic beverages.
Commissioners voted Monday, June 10, to approve a new ordinance that will allow the manufacturing of alcoholic beverages within industrial districts. The new ordinance states the manufacturing of alcohol within a building of 5,000 square feet or greater is only allowed in I-2 districts.
Commissioners also approved allowing microbreweries and brewpubs to be established in business districts, the historic urban core district and industrial districts. The board also approved new definitions clarifying microbreweries, brewpubs, large breweries and tap rooms.
According to the text, microbreweries are establishments where beer and malt beverages are made, sold and distributed on the premises and must produce less than 15,000 barrels – or 465,000 gallons – of beer per year. Large breweries have an annual production rate of more than 15,000 barrels of beer per year.
According to the text, brewpubs are establishments where beer and malt beverages are made on the premises in conjunction with a restaurant or bar and 40 percent of the beverages are sold on site. Tap rooms are rooms that accompany brewpubs, microbreweries and large breweries, where the public can purchase and consume only the beer sold on site.
Matthews OKs downtown murals
Matthews residents may soon see murals on buildings in the downtown area.
The Matthews Board of Commissioners voted Monday, June 10, to allow murals to be placed on buildings within the downtown overlay district.
Town staff is currently working on a mural policy that will give more specific regulations regarding where the murals can be placed and what they will look like.
According to proposed plans, artists who want to create a mural would have to submit their design to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee for approval. Commissioner John Urban said at the meeting he’d like to see a policy that includes the Appearance/Tree Advisory Committee as a body that also regulates murals.
According to the proposal, all murals would have to fit with the surrounding buildings, exhibit “exceptional design quality,” contain no offensive language and include an anti-graffiti coating. The property owner would be responsible for maintaining the mural.
Matthews hosts development workshop
Area residents are invited to attend a June 18 discussion on “the true costs and benefits of development choices” in Matthews.
Joe Minicozzi, principal of the Asheville-based consulting firm Urban 3, will lead a discussion from 7 to 9 p.m. at Matthews Town Hall, 232 Matthews Station St. The event is free and open to the public.
Participants will “talk about how choices we make now about land development have a long lasting economic impact on our community,” according to the release. Minicozzi will share specific Matthews examples during the presentation and include information about how Matthews can “overcome misconceptions about efficient downtown development and make wise investments,” the release said.
Minicozzi specializes in land value economics, property tax analysis and community design. His work has been featured at the Congress for New Urbanism, the American Planning Association, the International Association of Assessing Officers and New Partners for Smart Growth conferences. He received his bachelor of architecture degree from the University of Miami and masters in architecture and urban design from Harvard University, according to the release.
County hosts free senior book club
The Mecklenburg County Senior Nutrition Program will host a summer book club in Mint Hill.
The free program is open to area seniors and features a reading list of local artists and stories based in the Carolinas. The club will meet at 11 a.m. the last Monday of the month from June to September, starting June 24, at Philadelphia Presbyterian Church’s Bigham Hall, 11501 Bain School Road.
The program will begin with a discussion of “SOS: A Peri Mason Mystery Novel” by Barbara Arntesen. An optional lunch after the meal is $5 per person, but advanced registration and payment are required.
Other club dates/titles include:
July 29: “An Independent People” by Harry Watson
Aug. 26: “The Dry Grass of August” by Anna Jean Mayhew
Sept. 30: “Justice Betrayed” by Daniel Bailey
To register, call 704-573-2490 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.