Mint Hill works to acquire park grant

MINT HILL – Mint Hill will host a public meeting to gather input and comments on a grant town leaders hope to secure to help with the purchase of new land for a park.

The meeting, on Thursday, Jan. 23, at 6 p.m. at the Mint Hill town hall, 4430 Mint Hill Village Lane, will give residents and community members an opportunity to speak in support of the 2014 N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, or PARTF, Grant Application and to learn more about the grant. If the grant were awarded to the town, the proceeds would be used to acquire undeveloped land for future parks and recreation development.

“It is a part of process for the grant application that the town is applying for, and this is an opportunity for residents to speak in support of the grant,” Town Manager Brian Welch said.

The PARTF grant, which would be a matching grant to help purchase park property located at 9801 Brief Road, near Caliterra Drive, would total about $335,000. The total purchase cost of the land would be $670,000,  and would not include the costs of constructing the park. The Mint Hill Board of Commissioners also will discuss the purchase of the land during its regular meeting, following the public forum, at 7 p.m., also in the town

The commissioners have not yet made a decision on what type of park will be located on the property if purchased, but many residents have expressed the need for a more active park with lacrosse, baseball or soccer fields, Welch said. Other residents in the past have expressed a need for a dog park in the area. However, Commissioner Lloyd Austin said the town is a long way from making decisions on what the park will look like.

“Our first goal is just to see if we can get this grant because that pays for half of it,” Austin said. “After that, we will apply for another grant to outfit the park, so what we are going to do with it right now isn’t even a question.”

Mint Hill currently has two parks, Wilgrove Park and Mint Hill Veterans’ Park, previously Fairview Park. The parks have some active elements such as racquetball, beach volleyball, disc golf, tennis courts and a softball field, but there are currently no open football or lacrosse fields in the town, something Austin and Welch say many residents have expressed a need for.

“We don’t really have a park that you could use for other facilities like rugby or lacrosse,” Austin said. “With this land, I think it’s like 27 acres, you could do a lot of things.”

Thursday’s public forum will only discuss the acquisition of the PARTF grant. Discussions about the possible use of the park will take place at later meetings. If the town does not receive the grant, it will not move forward with the purchase of the property on Brief Road. Mint Hill will have about three to four years to construct the park if the grant is received, according to Welch.


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