This #FiveForFriday Morning Minute News Round Up is for the week of August 26 - 30, 2019.
News About Town: At Monday’s Town Council meeting (August 26), the council will approve the payment of the Pita Kebab property at 131 East John St. The Board approved the purchase during a closed session of the August 5 council meeting (item 15). The acquisition is for the tax value, $1,668,000, to be paid over five years. The town has agreed to the purchase price with a 1% due diligence deposit of $16,680 and 45 days to complete. The .58 acre lot is adjacent to a town-owned parcel that is 1.072 acre (tax value $739,700). The agenda item does not describe plans for the lot, but the Downtown Master Plan includes the area in the future build-out. ETA: The Board originally voted to buy the property, but voted down moving forward with the purchase at Monday’s meeting.
News About Town: Those familiar with the speed humps on Trade at Matthews Station know the design is problematic. Last year the town hired Alta Planning + Design to tackle the intersection to make it more functional as well as safer for pedestrians. Alta presented a proposed solution with long-term plans to the Board at the meeting last night. Changes include a shorter crossing distance by adding curb extensions, hi-visibility crosswalks, and better lighting.
News Around Town: NCDOT is on a budget freeze at least in part due to Map Act lawsuits. These lawsuits deemed one of the property acquisition approaches by NCDOT to be unconstitutional. NCDOT, in the past, has claimed land for future projects without buying the property and locking landowners into ownership without the option to sell. Some property owners have been waiting for decades for NCDOT to purchase their land. Property acquisition, legal fees, and inflation could bring settlement costs in excess of $1 billion. What does that mean for Matthews? Without money, plans are delayed, including the NC 51 widening, McKee Rd. extension, and rerouting a portion of Northeast Pkwy.
News About Town: Next time you’re in downtown Matthews, check out the newly installed mural on the side of the Planet Ballroom building. The mural is a vinyl print from an original by Matthews artist Carol Hambridge, showing off the small town joys of Matthews during Matthews Alive. With hints of the festival in the background and the parade in the foreground, the phrase inscribed in the heart (“Where love grows from the heart of the American dream.”) is a nod to the original intention of the Labor Day celebration.
News About Town: Yesterday morning the Town hosted a Coffee with Commissioners at Brakeman’s on Trade St. The conversation covered a spectrum of issues including affordable housing and the status of the relationship the Commissioners have with the CMS School Board. The gathering was not all town business, as the group paused to try and picture a college-aged Mayor Pro Tem John Higdon doing aerobics.