Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly News Briefs August 2

Matthews OKs roundabout
Matthews commissioners approved and interlocal agreement Monday, July 29. with Mint Hill and the North Carolina Department of Transportation to build a roundabout at the Idlewild Road/N.C. 51 intersection.
Mint Hill commissioners approved a similar agreement on July 18.
According to the agreement, both towns will pay $162,500 toward the estimated $1.6-million project, with about $1.3 million stemming primarily from federal funding. Matthews will be required to pay $81,250 in advance to allow NCDOT to proceed with engineering, according to Matthews Public Works Director Ralph Messera.
The state agency will manage the project at no cost to the towns, but the towns will pay 30 percent of any sidewalks built with the project, according to the agreement. The towns will assume responsibility for all maintenance of the sidewalks.
Two lanes – a left turn/thru lane and a right turn/thru lane – will feed into the roundabout from both the northbound and southbound sides of N.C. 51, according to draft plans. Both sides of Idlewild Road would have a single left turn/thru lane and a right turn-only lane feeding into the roundabout.
Construction is expected to begin in the summer of 2014, and the intersection will likely be closed to all traffic for six to eight weeks.

Drainage improvements coming to N.C. 51
The Matthews Board of Commissioners approved a resolution Monday, July 29, in support of the North Carolina Department of Transportation proceeding with drainage improvements along N.C. 51.
According to Ralph Messera, director of public works, Matthews has seen a continuing problem with drainage on N.C. 51 near Novant Health Matthews Medical Center, previously known as Presbyterian Hospital Matthews. Issues have included water running across the northbound lane after rains, frequent icing problems in the winter and flooded lanes, Messera said.
Improvements would include the installation of a new drainage system along N.C. 51 from Paces Avenue to the entrance of the medical center.
The project has an estimated price tag of $198,300 – to be paid by the state. A construction schedule has not been set.

Budget, engineering agreement approved for South Trade
As Matthews proceeds with plans to widen South Trade Street, town commissioners approved a working budget for the project Monday, July 29.
The budget assumes the expected full amount of $5.5 million in bonds will be issued for the project and also factors in $200,000 ACTS Retirement Communities is required to put toward the road improvements. ACTS owns land at the corner of Fullwood Lane and South Trade Street and plans to build on the property.
“This is a working budget at this point that will take us through the redesign period, where costs will be further refined, and most engineering and utility estimates and right-of-way purchase will have been completed,” Public Works Director Ralph Messera said in a memo to commissioners.
Commissioners also approved a re-engineering agreement with Kimley-Horn and Associates identifying the phases needed to take the project from re-engineering through construction.
Plans are to widen South Trade Street from just north of Matthews United Methodist Church to just beyond its intersection with Chesney Glen Drive and the Matthews Athletic and Recreation Association. The project is expected to be complete by late 2016, town officials said previously, and will likely generate a 1.5-cent tax increase in fiscal year 2015-16.
To view the project budget, go to and click on “working budget” under “consent agenda.”

Two historic markers coming to downtown Matthews
Downtown Matthews will soon be home to new bronze markers identifying two historic
The Matthews Board of Commissioners approved a request from the Fullwood Station Questers on Monday, July 29, to install two historic markers within the downtown area.
The bronze markers will be 15 inches by 12 inches. One will be placed on the grassy area in front of the Massey-Clark House in a cement encasement, while the other will be placed on the sidewalk in front of the Heath and Reid General Store. The signs will identify the sites and the years they were
Fullwood Station previously purchased and installed historic markers for the Matthews First Post Office, Matthews Bank and Matthews

Matthews OKs budget amendment for special programs
The Matthews Board of Commissioners approved a budget amendment Monday, July 29, allocating $31,200 from the town’s tourism fund to pay for special town
Corey King, the town’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resource Department director, recommended the amendment because line items for the programs didn’t exist in the previously approved town budget.
Programs and their designated funding amounts include:
• Camp Funshine – $21,000
• Lunch with the Easter Bunny – $1,000
• Other Easter events – $3,000
• Breakfast with Santa – $1,200
• Fun Family on July Fourth – $1,000
• Halloween events – $3,000
• The Haunted Trail – $1,000

Matthews contracts with Williams Wrecker Service
The Matthews Board of Commissioners voted Monday, July 29, to approve a contract with Williams Wrecker Service to provide vehicle wrecker services within the town. The contract is a three-year agreement with the option of two successive one-year
Matthews entered into a similar contract with Williams in June 2009, but changes in leadership raised questions as to whether the town should continue with the company. The town re-evaluated Williams and also considered awarding the contract to Smith’s Wrecker Service
Matthews Police Chief Rob Hunter recommended awarding the contract to Williams, stating in a memo to commissioners the company “proposed staffing hours and staffing levels beyond that required by the town, and … their company’s performance exceeded our contract requirements in several areas, including response times, customer service and types of
equipment …”

Heritage Museum seeks historic drug store photos
Organizers at the Matthews Heritage Museum are looking for information, stories and photos of people who worked at the Matthews Drug Store or family members of people who worked at the drug store.
The Matthews Drug Store opened in 1909 and was destroyed by a fire in 1972.
Also at the museum, Stumptown Festival T-shirts will be on display through the end of August.  A school-focused exhibit will be up in September.
For more information about the Matthews Heritage Museum, call 704-708-4996 or email info@matthewsheritagemuseum.

Matthews Chamber to host business luncheon
The Matthews Chamber of Commerce will host its monthly networking luncheon at Carmel Baptist Church on Aug. 14, a Wednesday, from 11 a.m. to 1
Networking will take place from 11 to 11:30 a.m. followed by lunch from Chick-fil-A and the program for the meeting.  Matthews Mayor Jim Taylor will speak at the meeting about economic development in the town, a sports complex update, plans for the future and transportation plans.  The event costs $15 to attend if registered by Aug. 13, or $20 at the door.
To RSVP for the luncheon, email lsboorsma@matthewschamber.

24 Hours of Booty raises more than
$1 million
The 12th annual 24 Hours of Booty saw 1,200 cyclists come out to support the event, raising $1.37 million for cancer research and survivorship.
The event took place in Charlotte from July 26 to 27 in the Myers Park neighborhood where participants and volunteers camped and cheered on the cyclists.  The event was presented by the Levine Cancer institute and is the official event for the LIVESTRONG Foundation.  Money raised during the event will go to local organizations such as The Keep Pounding Fund at Carolinas Medical Center, the Brain Tumor Fund for the Carolinas and
For more information about 24 Hours of Booty, go to

Squirrel Lake ready for fishing
Officials with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission recently stocked channel catfish, bass and sunfish in the lake at Matthews’ Squirrel Lake Park, 1631 Pleasant Plains Road.
The town participates in the state’s Community Fishing Program to allow fishing with a N.C. fishing license for residents over the age of 16. Fishermen under 16 must be accompanied by an adult with a fishing license.
Fishing in Squirrel Lake is allowed year round dawn to dusk from the handicapped-accessible pier. Boats and canoes aren’t allowed. Fishing rods are available for rent at the Matthews Community Center, 100 E. McDowell St., for a $5 refundable deposit per
For more information, call the Matthews Community Center at 704-321-7275 or visit

State launches ‘Tag & Tax Together’
North Carolina vehicle owners with September vehicle registration renewals are the first residents to receive the new Tag and Tax Together combined tag and tax notices in the mail.
Now vehicle owners will receive bills requiring vehicle property taxes be paid in full before a vehicle’s registration can be renewed. The new combined payment program was passed by the North Carolina General Assembly. By mid-2014, the program should include all North Carolina vehicles.
An online “Vehicle Property Tax Estimator” is available to help residents calculate the property tax for individual vehicles based on their identification, age and address. The estimator is located on the DMV website,, and accessible to vehicle owners, car dealers and those registering their vehicles online. Information is available in English and

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