Wednesday, 19 March 2014 17:23

Town board urged to preserve old jail

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. -- The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission has endorsed the designation of the old Huntersville jail as a structure worthy of preservation, but the pending final decision is up to the town.

At Monday’s Huntersville Town Board session, a public hearing provided a forum for comments about the 79-year-old facility that is the town’s oldest surviving municipal building, but no commissioners joined the conversation. A vote on the jail’s fate is expected at an upcoming meeting.

Town Principal Planner Zac Gordon said the building was constructed around 1935 and was last used as a jail in the 1960s. It was later used as a polling place, he said, and for at least some period of time appears to have been the only town-owned building. He also provided a brief outline of the Landmarks Commission report, which states the jail “reflects the municipal development of the (then) small town ... and was constructed during the Great Depression, a time of unprecedented public works projects in Mecklenburg County.”

Wednesday, 19 March 2014 15:56

Remember these Titans

Remember these Titans
Hopewell High School’s “Titan Battalion” claimed top honors among Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools at the CMS JROTC Field Day competition held Saturday at Hough High School in Cornelius. Hopewell’s Army JROTC unit, under the direction of First Sgt. (Ret) Daniel Ferriero (far left) finished first in the female and male categories on the way to a comfortable 160-point victory in the overall competition among units from 20 CMS high schools.

WINSTON-SALEM -- Cornelius Town Manager Anthony Roberts got it out of the way early on the first day of his town board’s planning and budget retreat last Thursday. He will recommend the town’s property tax rate remain at 24 cents per $100 valuation next fiscal year. And barring any unforeseen moves by this or a future board, he forecasts it will remain the same the year after that. And the year after that. And maybe even the year after that.

That comes as little surprise for a town its size that has historically had one of the lowest property tax rates in the state. With oversight by fiscally conservative boards, Roberts and Finance Director Jackie Huffman have kept a tight rein on the town’s spending for years. Still, those tax rate projections even take into account issuing upwards of $10 million of $20.4 million in voter-approved bonds that appear headed for use in the coming budget cycle — new debt that Roberts had initially predicted could have a one-cent impact on the tax rate.

CORNELIUS, N.C. -- Refunds are rolling in for Cornelius residents and the town coffers are only in the beginning stages of feeling the fiscal pinch for having to refund hundreds of property owners within its borders for inflated and erroneous value assessments from the 2011 Mecklenburg County revaluation.

Even if it’s only 28 cents — including interest — at a time.

At Monday night’s meeting of the Cornelius Town Board of Commissioners, the board voted to issue 324 refund checks to current and/or former property owners totaling $6,572.82. It’s only the beginning, as the town is set to refund perhaps as much as $2 million in tax overages as the county goes about its business of readjusting property value assessments.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014 15:51

Covekeepers to hear about coal ash spills

DENVER, N.C. -- A topic straight from the local headlines will be the primary point of discussion at the next meeting of the Lake Norman Covekeepers. The meeting, to be held Thursday, March 27, at the East Lincoln Volunteer Fire Department will feature a presentation about the current coal ash controversy from Rick Gaskins, executive director of the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation.

Gaskins will address the coal ash crisis in the state — its history, the environmental danger to drinking water and wildlife, and what actions are being taken. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at the fire department at 406 South Pilot Knob Road in Stanley. For more information, contact Ben Benoit, 704-489-6249.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014 15:50

Playing golf for A Child’s Place

DAVIDSON, N.C. -- The third annual Swing Fore A Child’s Place golf tournament to help the region’s homeless children will be held Monday, May 19, at River Run Country Club in Davidson. The benefit tournament, founded and organized by several local families, is a major fundraiser for the My Place summer camp program designed for children who are clients of A Child’s Place.

The tournament will begin at 1 p.m. and the day’s activities will include lunch, drinks, heavy hors d’oeuvres during and after the tournament and putting and longest-drive contests. Specialty items, including Duke University basketball tickets complete with a behind-the-scenes tour of Cameron Indoor Stadium on Duke’s campus, also will be raffled off.

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. -- Spring may be creeping in slower than usual, but at Blythe Elementary School in Huntersville the colorful patches of green and gold are spreading fast as the school nears the completion of its 2014 “Shamrocks for the Cure” drive in honor of student Tyler Allen.

Tyler, a fifth grader at Blythe, has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a degenerative muscular disease. Five years ago, when Tyler was a first grader at Blythe, his mother, Brenda, helped initiate a school campaign to raise awareness of the disease and generate financial support for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

DAVIDSON, N.C. -- Like many local business gatherings, last week’s meeting of the Lake Norman Transportation Commission was replete with the usual trappings of an evening work session: an informal roundtable setting, a tasty dinner buffet, the familiar faces of commission members and regular participants, and congenial sidebar discussions.

But one addition to last Wednesday’s LNTC meeting might have been a first for the group.

A “door prize,” as Rodger Rochelle called it, pointing to the 1,500-page, multi-volume, double-sided Request for Proposal (RFP) for the looming I-77 managed lane project that would stretch from Charlotte to Mooresville.

Thursday, 13 March 2014 17:22

Torrence-Lytle plans put on hold

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. -- The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission (HLC) has put plans to revitalize the former Torrence-Lytle School in Huntersville on hold.

HLC set a Feb. 20 deadline for proposals on how to use the 3.6-acre complex as a catalyst for development in the neighborhood while also commemorating its history as the school that black students in north Mecklenburg attended for nearly three decades during the era of segregation.

Thursday, 13 March 2014 17:21

Starlight, star bright at Fisher Farm Park

DAVIDSON, N.C. -- Amateur astronomers of all ages are invited to a night of star gazing Friday, April 4, from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. at Fisher Farm Park in Davidson. This event is sponsored by World of Wonder (WOW), Woodland Discovery and Davidson Lands Conservancy. The Physics Department at Davidson College and the Charlotte Astronomy Club will provide equipment and expertise for the event.