News

#FiveForFriday: A Morning Minute News Round Up

This #FiveForFriday Morning Minute News Round Up is for the week of April 8 through April 12, 2019.

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News About Town: Prior to [the April 8] BOC meeting, the Board had a special meeting in the Jordan room to hear the results of a workload analysis for the Matthews Police Department. The Center for Public Safety Management performed the analysis. CPSM's report details 74 recommendations to improve the safety and efficiency of MPD. The full report is available here. The presentation from the meeting is here.

 
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News Around Town: As the weather warms and outdoor activities pick up, so will snake sightings. Many snakes are beneficial to have around, eating mice and other snakes. If you find one in your home or garage that needs removing, Carolina Waterfowl of Indian Trail will come to Matthews and remove it. Text and send a photo of the snake to 704-684-9247 for help.

 
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News About Town: The Mayor and Town Council recently sent a letter to the Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization (CRTPO) asking them to amend the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) to divide the Matthews portion of the NCDOT project into two portions (Trade St. to I-485 and I-485 to the Stallings line) and to delay work on the Trade to I-485 portion of John St. until after other funded and scheduled area transportation projects have been completed. Those projects include improvements to Independence Blvd., McKee Rd. Extension, Weddington Rd. I-485 ramp, among other projects. The CRTPO will vote during their April 17 meeting, which starts at 6 p.m. in Room 267 of the CharMeck Government Center (600 E 4th St, Charlotte, NC 28202).

 
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News About Town: On March 29, Chief Clark Pennington attended a ceremony with regional community leaders to recognize April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Mecklenburg County. Hosted by the Mecklenburg Child Abuse Prevention Team, the ceremony was well-attended by many regional community leaders.
At Monday's Council meeting, Mayor Paul Bailey proclaimed April 2019 as Child Abuse Prevention month. Heather Johnson, the Director of Operations for Pat's Place Child Advocacy Center, was at the meeting and accepted a certificate for the proclamation.
Blue pinwheel gardens have been placed at parks, schools, and homes throughout the county, with several in Matthews. The web address on the accompanying sign has links to report abuse, and local resources for both prevention and healing.

 
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News Around Town: Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Superintendent Clayton Wilcox, in conjunction with the CMS Board of Education, decided to close schools May 1 and make the day an optional teacher workday. There will be no make up day for students. The decision came after nearly 2,000 CMS staff members opted to use May 1 as a personal leave day in order to rally in Raleigh for greater support for public education. Nearly 3,000 hourly employees may seek options from CMS so as not to be impacted by wage loss. For parents in need of child care assistance, Wilcox explained CMS “will do our best in this community to collaborate and coordinate with area partners to support our families.”

#FiveForFriday: A Morning Minute News Round Up

This #FiveForFriday Morning Minute News Round Up is for the week of April 1 through April 5, 2019.

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News About Town: The Great Easter Egg Expedition begins this Friday, April 5, and runs through Sunday, April 21. In the past the Town has hosted an egg hunt at Stumptown Park, but this year they’re going bigger and better by hiding several thousand eggs throughout town parks (Stumptown, Squirrel Lake, Windsor, and Sardis Parks) and Four-Mile Creek Greenway (between John Street and Chesney Glen). The eggs will contain toys and the chance to win bigger prizes if you find a Golden Egg. Consider it a town-wide game of Gamete-mon Go!

 
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News Around Town: According to the NC Constitution Article IX, Section 7, “the clear proceeds of all penalties and forfeitures...for any breach of the penal laws of the State, shall belong to and remain in the several counties, and shall be...used exclusively for maintaining free public schools." In relation to recent news, the Article dedicates the fines incurred by Taft Family Ventures along Monroe Road to Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, rather than for replanting trees cut down within the dedicated tree save area. The voluntary fee provided by the developer (in the amount of $100,000) may be used for replanting or as the Town deems appropriate.

 
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News Around Town: Windstream Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiaries have filed voluntary petitions for financial reorganization under Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection. Operations are expected to continue as normal, and employees will continue to receive their usual pay and benefits. Windstream is one primary internet service provider for Matthews.

 
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News About Town: The agenda is online for the Monday (April 8) Town Council Meeting. There are dogs on the agenda! At the beginning of the agenda is an introduction of retired Police K9 Castor, and later, under the Consent Agenda, the Town Council may approve the retirement of Police K9 Willow and sale to his/her handler. Also, the Entertainment District Small Area Plan Overlay is once again on the agenda.

 
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News Around Town: Niche.com, a website dedicated to giving insight on places to live, recently unveiled their ratings of suburbs around Charlotte. Matthews received #5 for most desirable Charlotte suburb, #23 for most diverse suburb, and #10 for best suburb to raise a family in the Charlotte area.

#FiveForFriday: A Morning Minute News Round Up

This #FiveForFriday Morning Minute News Round Up is for the week of March 25 through March 29, 2019.

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News Around Town: The ruby-throated hummingbirds are heading through the area, if not now, at least in the near future. April is really when they arrive en masse, but a few early birds are here to get the nectar. If you make your own, mix 1 part sugar to 4 parts boiling water, let cool and fill your feeders. As the weather warms and babies hatch, the newborn hummingbirds depend on insects for protein. Make sure you’re not spraying your yard and depleting their food source.

 
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News About Town: There was no reason to doubt the Board would approve the addition of a new K9 to the Police Department, but we’re here to make sure you’re left with zero doubt whatsoever. With approval byt the Board of Commissioners, Matthews PD officially welcomes Benny, a 15-month old black lab. He is a single-purpose pup (sniffing out illegal drugs), passed his certification, and has been in action with 2 arrests under his belt!

 
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News About Town: At Monday’s Board of Commissioners meeting the board voted on facade grants for two early-twentieth-century properties on West John Street. The owner of the first property, 455 West John St., requested $2,500 toward a total exterior painting cost of $7,860. Other improvements include architectural work for an ADA compliant entry, which will be designed by Commissioner John Urban (Urban recused himself from the facade grant vote). The property owner of 501 West John Street requested $2,500 which will be used for replacement of damaged siding and repainting of the exterior.

 
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News About Town: At Monday’s meeting the Town Council discussed ways to increase tree canopy despite short-term loss through development. Suggestions for future consideration include:
•Consider increasing required canopy percentage in certain districts.
•Commit to using allocated landscape funds to plant/maintain a set amount of trees on town-owned properties and rights-of-way.

 
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News Around Town: On April 5 more than 300 realtors will volunteer around the Charlotte area for the 11th Annual Realtors® Care Day. The purpose of the event is to provide and repair homes for safe, affordable housing for those in need. A portion of the time will be spent in Matthews when the group partners with Habitat for Humanity Greater Matthews onsite for a new build.

#FiveForFriday: A Morning Minute News Round Up

This #FiveForFriday Morning Minute News Round Up is for the week of March 11 through March 15, 2019.

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News About Town {updated}: Matthews police have identified the body found on East John St. as Mr. Shawn Antonio Horton (DOB – 07/14/1972) of Charlotte, NC. His body was found in a ditch on the 1800 block of E. John Street (the outer side of John St. past I-485). A damaged silver and purple Huffy bicycle was found nearby. The victim seems to have died several weeks ago. As police piece together Mr. Horton’s last few days, they’re asking for tips and leads. If you have any, call Matthews Police Department at 704-847-5555.

 
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News About Town: Last night’s council meeting, in the absence of Mayor Paul Bailey, was led by Mayor Pro Tem John Higdon. It was a rapidly moving meeting with lots of Town business covered, though perhaps most surprising was regarding the recent land-clearing on Monroe Road for Residences Galleria, a 250-unit apartment complex to be built across from Family Dollar. During the rezoning process, the developer and nearby residents agreed upon specific areas for tree save. This week as land clearing began, approximately 200 trees marked to be saved were cut down. Taft Development Group is facing a $50,000 zoning violation fine from the Town and will pay a self-imposed fine of $100,000 in addition. Taft will also plant trees approximately 6-inches in diameter when construction is complete to repopulate the tree save area.

 
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News About Town: According to the Town website, the Trade Street widening at the culvert (where Trade forks off to Weddington and Pleasant Plains) is supposed to be complete this spring. At Monday night’s Council meeting, NCDOT representative Stuart Basham provided updates and a revised completion date. Currently, the contractor, Blythe Construction, has increased the size of the crew but is incurring liquidated damages of $1,000 per day. According to Stuart, the project is expected to be completed by Labor Day.

 
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News About Town: During the NCDOT updates at the Monday Council meeting, some conversation centered on the John St. Widening. Even the Town has been formulating their own approach, NCDOT has continued moving forward with design from Matthews to Monroe. According to Mayor Bailey, NCDOT and the Town are on the same page to delay construction on the portion from I-485 to Trade. The part of John St from I-485 eastward will continue with design and ROW acquisition. Now the Town must present this preference to the CRTPO (the municipal governing body for Charlotte area transportation) to amend the official STIP (a scheduled list of funded transportation projects). It’s a bureaucratic process to change the NCDOT budget in order to delay the downtown Matthews section.

 
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News About Town: Matthews residents have a new park option. The playground equipment at Rice Road Park, a 9.5 acre parcel at 2530 Rice Road, has been installed and is ready for play! The work recently finished, Phase I, included driveway access into the park, an on-site walking trail, one sidewalk connection from Rice Road into the park, playground facilities, parking lot, lighting, benches, and picnic tables, as well as landscaping. According to the Town’s Facebook page, Phase II of the park will include a picnic shelter, additional seating, and enhanced natural areas around the walking trail.

#FiveForFriday: A Morning Minute News Round Up

This #FiveForFriday Morning Minute News Round Up is for the week of March 4 through March 8, 2019.

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News Around Town: Gov Roy Cooper appointed Donald Cureton to Judicial District 26 (Mecklenburg County) on February 28. Judge Cureton, an incumbent who lost his District 26A seat to Judge Paulina Havelka in November, fills the seat vacated by Judge Louis A. Trosch, Jr. Judge Trosch now serves the Superior Court of NC.

 
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News About Town: Child Passenger Safety Seat Technicians will perform a safety check for children’s car seats tomorrow, March 6, at the Matthews Police Station, 1201 Crews Road. From 8 a.m until 11:30 a.m. certified technicians will check seat installation for free, no appointment necessary. Bring the vehicle, seat, and child, if possible. The process will take about 20 minutes. If you can’t make it on the 6th, Safe Kids Char-Meck provides this service every other week in Matthews.

 
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One Good Thing: One Good Thing: According to SafeHomes.org, Matthews ranks as the seventh safest city in North Carolina. Admittedly not a well-known website, the site used what appears to be a comprehensive methodology to arrive at their list. We know the Police Department is continually striving to provide a safe town for Matthews and it shows. Congratulations are in order!

 
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News About Town: At Monday’s Town Council Meeting, the Council will have a Public Hearing regarding a change to the Unified Development Ordinance. This change is to the  Approved Tree List and Shrub List (Zoning Motion 2019-1). Changes to the list include the addition of several native species of trees, shrubs, vines, and groundcovers and the exclusion of the most invasive species, such as Chanticleer pears, a cousin to the shallow-rooted, ornamental Bradford pears commonly planted throughout subdivisions of the 70s and 80s.

 
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News About Town: As we indicated yesterday morning, the Monday (March 11) night Board of Commissioner’s meeting agenda is available online.  Items of note include allocating funds for Conceptual Downtown Streetscape Design Work (approved at the last meeting for the amount of $41,250.00), as well as the formal initiation of Zoning Motion 2019-2 to rezone the Stronghaven warehouse property on John Street and Brigman property in the ENT District. There will also be updates on NCDOT projects, Red Brick Partnership, and Republic Services (the Town’s solid waste provider).

#FiveForFriday: A Morning Minute News Round Up

This #FiveForFriday Morning Minute News Round Up is for the week of February 25 through March 1, 2019.

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News About Town: At tonight’s Council Meeting (7 p.m., Town Hall) Former Councilman Reverend Larry Whitley will be approved to become a voting member of the Planning Board. Larry has served on the Planning Board as an alternate member since February 2018. Prior to serving, Rev. Whitley served two years on Matthews Town Council and is the only African American elected to Town Council to date.

 
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News Around Town: Thai Tamarind (Matthews Festival) closed its doors this past Sunday after four years in Matthews. Tamarind opened as an Indian restaurant (in the same location) and, after several years, switched to a Lao/Thai street food menu. The restaurant was popular and known as a hidden Matthews gem by Charlotte-area critics.

 
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News Around Town: If it feels like we’re getting a lot of rain, well, we are. According to the USGS rain gauge at Matthews Elementary, Matthews has received 9.37 inches of rain since January 1. According to the National Weather Service Forecast, the Charlotte area averages 3.41 inches in January and 3.32 in February. If it's too early for math, we're already 2.64 inches above average. According to the site, August is typically our rainiest month averaging 4.22 inches.

 
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News Around Town: The North Carolina Youth Rugby Union will descend upon Matthews this weekend (March 2 and 3) for the 16th Annual Carolina Ruggerfest. Ruggerfest, the largest youth rugby tournament on the East Coast has approximately 1,500 athletes, ranging in age from 7 to 18 years, who will be taking to the fields of the Matthews Sportsplex. An additional 2,500 parents, coaches, and crew will be accompanying the teams, so if you notice a few extra thousand people in town, it’s #kindofabigdeal.

 
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News About Town: This past Wednesday, February 27, the Metropolitan Transit Commission (MTC), the policy board for the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), approved going forward with the 2030 Plan,which includes the Silver Line light rail. Mayor Paul Bailey represents Matthews on the MTC.

The proposed Silver Line will run from Belmont to Matthews, ending at the Central Piedmont Community College Levine campus. The line will cost at least $1 billion and is projected to be complete by 2030.

#FiveForFriday: A Morning Minute News Round Up

This #FiveForFriday Morning Minute News Round Up is for the week of February 18 through February 22, 2019.

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News About Town: The opioid epidemic has grown in staggering proportions and hasn't left Matthews untouched. Matthews emergency service responders see the effects of this routinely, and thanks to Mecklenburg County Medic, the Police Department has a line of defense against opioid overdose. Medic provided Naloxone, an opioid "antagonist", and the necessary training for the entire Matthews Police force to safely administer it.

Officers, and their canine counterparts are in danger of being exposed to drugs during search and arrest. Not only will having Naloxone on-hand benefit those who have overdosed, but will be an aid in keeping officers (and police K-9’s) safe.

The Matthews Police Department urges anyone with an opioid addiction to please seek help immediately. For more information on addiction and available resources, please see the links below.

Opioid Crisis Information (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
Naloxone Information (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
How to find Treatment (U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services)

 
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One Important Thing: If there’s more action on Wile E. Coyote’s Tinder account than usual, know that it’s because it’s coyote mating season. Coyotes are fairly common to the area, so watch out for your indoor-outdoor pets; mating season means the wild canines will need more calories than other times in the year. During mating season, with hormones running amok, they may be somewhat more aggressive than usual. Use precautions when outdoors, particularly at dawn and dusk.

 
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News About Town: The Planning Conference for the Board of Commissioners starts Friday. Pursuant to NC open meeting laws, the meeting is open to the public but there will be no portion for public comment. Items of note include: Properties of Significance with Existing “By Right” Zoning; Residential Construction and Overcrowded Schools; 4-Year Terms for Mayor and Board of Commissioners; and Hiring a Lobbyist. The full information packet can be found here.

 
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News About Town: The Board of Commissioners Agenda for the Monday, February 25 meeting was posted yesterday. The Board will revisit the Streetscape Conceptual Design contract. The Board will also hear what State Senate Bill 469 means for stormwater control on property to be redeveloped.

 
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One Good Thing: The Matthews Habitat for Humanity has expanded its reach to include critical home repairs. Moving beyond the scope of building new homes, this program is for Matthews homeowners who are current on taxes and payments and meet income criteria. The Critical Home Repair Program is for low-income residents who have repair needs around their home that create an unsafe or unhealthy living situation, such as a failing roof or necessary accessibility modifications.

#FiveForFriday: A Morning Minute News Round Up

This #FiveForFriday Morning Minute News Round Up is for the week of February 4 through February 8, 2019.

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News About Town: Tonight the Board of Commissioners will consider entering into contract with Bloc Design for streetscape improvement design work for the downtown portion of Trade Street through North End and a portion of the downtown area of John Street. The cost for design work has been estimated by Bloc Design at $37,000 and, if approved, may not exceed $41,250. Their suggestions might include sidewalk improvements, traffic calming measures, and a cohesive design. The planned design will function as a schematic for future reconstruction of sidewalks and aesthetics within the study area.

Previously the Board hired McGill Associates for a streetscape design. The 2016 renderings and document detailed designs and improvements that projected up to twenty years in the future. It is unclear why another design is being sought now.

 
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News About Town: Matthews Playhouse, in conjunction with the Town Parks & Recreation Department, and the Charlotte Post, are putting on a special performance of “Sweet Jenn” February 23rd at 7:30 pm. The play was awarded Festival Favorite at The Atlanta Black Theatre Festival in October 2018 and tells the poignant story of Jenny Butler, an emancipated woman in the antebellum south. Tickets are $5 and are on sale now.

 
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News Around Town: If you have a costly erosion problem at your home or business, the county may be able to help. The Urban Cost Share Program, a Mecklenburg County grant, provides funds for projects that will improve local water quality. Property owners throughout the county are welcome to submit applications for projects to stop stream bank erosion and address other water pollution issues. The grant may cover up to 75% of allowable costs (maximum of $7,500) for installation and implementation. More information is available here, and the application is available here.

 
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News Around Town: Over the past decade, Arts and Science Council funding has dropped 48% due to less giving (by both individuals and businesses). As a result, a study committee created by the ASC examined ways to keep the cultural sector funded and determined dedicated funding through sales tax is the best approach. ASC is asking for 1/10 of one cent from authorized-yet-unused sales tax (a portion of the quarter-cent increase approved by the NC General Assembly in 2009) as the dedicated funding. This use of sales tax requires approval and will be put to a public vote. Matthews groups that receive funds from ASC include, but are not limited to, Matthews Playhouse, Project Art Aid, and the Town of Matthews Parks and Rec department. Previous IRS Form 990s may be found here.

 
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News Around Town: On February 19, four Matthews churches - Matthews Baptist, Matthews Presbyterian, Matthews United Methodist, and Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist - are combining resources to host the next in a series of Community Forums on Racial-Bridge Building. WBTV's Tonya Rivens will moderate the discussion. Representatives from town staff, the Matthews Board of Commissioners, and housing professionals form the panel. Discussion will focus on the topic of affordable housing. Tuesday, February 19, 7:00 p.m., Brace Family YMCA, 3127 Weddington Rd.

#FiveForFriday: A Morning Minute News Round Up

This #FiveForFriday Morning Minute News Round Up is for the week of February 4 through February 8, 2019.

News Around Town: Seaboard Brewing, downtown Matthews craft beer brewer and wine bar, participated in Queen City Brew Festival this past weekend. Seaboard took just a little luster out of the Queen’s crown by bringing the Best in Show award home to Matthews.

 
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One Good Thing: Beloved Beacon writer Cyma Shapiro is a finalist in #QueenCityPodQuest, a contest sourcing WFAE’s next local podcast. Cyma’s podcast project, “Women Speak,” will be a weekly talk radio show dedicated to interviewing women in area (from the well-known to the unsung heroes), talking about real issues facing women in the #CLT. Voting begins today and runs through February 17. The proposal with the most votes wins. Please support Cyma and vote for “Women Speak”.

 
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News Around Town: Many of us leave limbs and bagged leaves at the curb for waste pick up. If pick up is delayed or if you have more yard waste than the town’s service collects (20 bags per week), you can take it to Compost Central (140 Valleydale Rd., Charlotte). This Mecklenburg County facility accepts leaves, grass clippings, and brush (should be unbagged or in clear or paper bags); clean pallets less than 5' in length; limbs and bamboo less than 5' in length; and logs over 5 inches in diameter. Curbside collection will not accept logs over five inches diameter. Other no-nos include food waste; yard waste with items contaminated with paint, plastic, or metal; tree stumps, large root balls, sod, or dirt. Root balls smaller than a basketball are acceptable.

 

News Around Town: Friday (February 8) is time once again for Carmel Baptist’s Joy Prom - a full-scale prom for the special needs individuals in our community. Partnering with other nonprofits (For Charlotte, Joni & Friends, among others) will allow the event to host 400 guests with an additional 600 volunteers to make the evening go smoothly. This Friday expect traffic delays at Reverdy Lane and Highway 51 between the hours of 5:30 and 6:45 for the arrival of participants.

 
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News Around Town: “Tank Town: A Good Place to Live” opens next week (February 16) at the Matthews Heritage Museum, 232 N. Trade Street. On display will be a year’s worth of research and findings about Crestdale, a portion of Matthews formerly known as Tank Town. The area, settled by freed slaves and post-Civil War freedmen. Learn how the area was settled by former slaves and freedmen after the Civil War, about the segregated schools, and the significant community organizations of the neighborhood.
Open Thursday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Entry fee: $4 for adults, $2 for children 10 to 17, and Free under 10. The first Saturdays of the month are free.

#FiveForFriday: A Morning Minute News Round Up

This #FiveForFriday Morning Minute News Round Up is for the week of January 27 through February 1, 2019.

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News About Town: Tonight at 5:30 there is an additional Board of Commissioners meeting prior to the regular meeting at 7. Of note at the early meeting is a presentation on affordable housing in Matthews. The regular 7 PM meeting doesn’t have much on the agenda, so citizens with general topics to speak on may want to take this opportunity to have the Board’s undivided attention. Proposed Planning Conference items will be discussed and provide insight into Board concerns. Some of these items include implementation of four-year staggered terms (following public input), the use of 27 acres at McKee Road and Pleasant Plains, rezoning “by-right” properties in town, visual plans for the future Entertainment District, and an invitation to charter schools to explain their business model. The draft Vision Statements are also worthy of a read.

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We asked our intern, Sterling, to summarize Monday’s Town Council meeting from a student’s perspective. This morning’s News About Town is her view of small-town government in Matthews (Or BOC meeting):

I walked into a room with a large crest of Matthews, NC at the head with flags adorning each side. The mayor, Paul Bailey, was seated in the middle of a large dais with the board of commissioners circling around; I never knew that all of this was right above the Matthews library, where I had been going my whole life. The crowd included everyone from firefighters who were there in support of Kerry Ernsberger, Matthew’s Employee of the Year, to a boy scout troop, who were working on their communications badge. I was surprised that the atmosphere of the meeting was both formal and casual being that it followed an ordered agenda but with the occasional joke from one of the commissioners. It was thought-provoking to see what topics were being discussed, even if most were passed unanimously; it ranged from the general issue of the effects of traffic on Matthews to the more abstract approval of Matthew’s new “vision statement” for the future. From the concerns raised here in Matthews, I could make a connection to environmental, safety, and political concerns locally as well as nationally, despite it only being considered a small town government. At the end, I shook hands with the mayor and the assistant town manager, which is something I never envisioned myself doing as a high school student.

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News About Town: At the Council meeting this past Monday, Chief Clark Pennington asked the Board of Commissioners to approve the Police Department’s pursuit of additional funding through the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP) grant program. In recent years the growth of the department hasn’t kept up with the growth of the town, and valuable police resources are being allocated to crash response rather than crime prevention. Currently, the department has 61 full-time police officers and two reserve officers (one school resource officer serves full-time at Carmel Christian School that is budget neutral). The grant would provide significant budget relief for the addition of three patrol officers and one corporal. The Board of Commissioners approved applying for the GHSP Grant.

News Around Town: Property tax valuations are a hot topic all over the county. If you’re still in sticker shock, you’re in good company: the median rate increase for residential property is 43 percent while commercial property owners saw a median increase of 77 percent. Yesterday Norah explained the who, what, and when of the new numbers. County Manager Dena Diorio posted a video to explain what the new values mean.

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News Around Town:The Environmental Advisory Board presented at Monday's Board of Commissioners meeting. EAB Board Chair Gordon Miller provided several updates to Commissioners, including the introduction of an EAB created a pamphlet for builders and landowners with suggestions for more environmentally friendly development. Some examples include strategically planted trees, re-use of rainwater, and on-site composting.

New Property Tax Valuations

Mecklenburg County posted new property tax valuations on Friday, continuing the reassessment process that has been underway since 2017. Property owners can expect to see an increase in both their assessed value and in their tax rate. The Matthews Board of Commissioners and the Mecklenburg County Commissioners both approved tax increases in 2018.

The County Commission increased property taxes by ¾ of a cent. Mecklenburg county’s website provides details on the FY2019 budget and a description of where the money will be allocated here. The 2019 budget was approved in June of 2018 by Commissioners Trevor Fuller, Ella Scarborough, Pat Cotham, Jim Puckett, Vilma Leake, George Dunlap, Dumont Clarke, Matthew Ridenhour, and Bill James.

Matthews approved their 2019 budget on June 11th, 2018, to include a 1.5 cent/$100 in value tax increase. Town Manager Hazen Blodgett’s budget presentation estimated the increase would raise town revenue by $525,000 based on 2011 property values. In the 2019-2020 budget, assuming the Board doesn’t approve any additional tax increase, that number will still be significantly higher. For example, a property in Matthews formerly assessed at $213,600 generated $726.24 in 2017-18 and $758.28 in 2018-19. With a new appraised value of $391,000 the property owners will see their Matthews taxes increase in 2019-20 to $1,388.

The Matthews Board of Commissioners received a presentation from County Tax Assessor Ken Joyner in October of 2017 detailing the valuation process and recommended at that time that property owners review their property information and file a dispute if necessary. The County had created a new system for disputes available through the assessors’ web page. Although the valuation process is over with the release of new values, disputes can still be filed and changes to information requested.

2013-2014 Tax Rate: .3175/100
2014-2015 Tax Rate: .3175/100
2015-2016 Tax Rate: .34/100
2016-2017 Tax Rate: .34/100
2017-2018 Tax rate: .34/100
2018-2019 Tax rate: .355/100

#FiveForFriday: A Morning Minute News Round Up

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There was a little excitement at Town Hall yesterday, and for once it didn’t involve a council meeting. Around 1 PM emergency services were called after the alarm system went off. Three Matthews fire trucks answered the call. After an inspection of the premises, it was determined there was a fault in the sprinkler system which caused the alarm to go off.

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Ashley HomeStore licensee Broad River Retail announced plans to open a HomeStore Outlet in the former Capel Rug Outlet store (9632 E Independence Blvd.). Just down the road, Discount Tire has requested rezoning at the former Tilted Kilt location (1625 Windsor Square), which has been vacant since 2015. The tire retail chain would like to raze the current building to construct a new store. In 2018 the ABC Board applied to rezone the site but was denied. Since the ABC Board was denied rezoning within the last 12 months, Discount Tire must request special permission from the Planning Board to apply for rezoning.

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Mark your calendar for the next HAWK meeting, Tuesday, February 5. Kim O'Shea, beekeeper, archaeologist and master gardener will change the way you see bees. Her own videos and photos provide a unique glimpse into the way bees interact with their surroundings. Kim will explain methods for gardening for and with bees through year-round sustainable practices. 7 p.m. at the Community Center.

Photo by Kim O’Shea

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USA Rugby, the national governing body for the sport of rugby in America, selected the Sportsplex at Matthews as the site for their 2019 Spring College National Championship Series. The organization worked with the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority/Visit Charlotte to determine the location of their 2018 Fall College National Championships. Visit Charlotte partnered with Sportsplex staff to deliver a professional-level experience for USA Rugby and their participating teams. The Men's D1AA, Women's D1, and Women's D2 finals will be played on the weekend of May 3.

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Did you know that Matthews Fire & EMS holds an annual awards banquet? This year's banquet had 140 attendees and honored the following members of the department:

Explorer of the Year – Jacob Rodriguez
Fire Corps Member of the Year – Sabrina Corra
SAFER Award for most hours (Fire) - Jacob Bobeng
SAFER Award for most hours (EMS)- Montana Hudgens
Rookie of the Year – Kyle “Bon Jovi” Beard
Derek E. Layman EMT of the Year – Montana Hudgens
Firefighter of the Year – Reyes Cruz Guzman
Officer of the Year – Lt. Matthew Losh
L.H. Yandel Award – Chief Rob Kinniburgh

To see a recap of the department’s accomplishments in 2018, view this YouTube video.

#FiveForFriday: A Morning Minute News Round Up

This #FiveForFriday Morning Minute News Round Up is for the week of January 13 through 19, 2019.

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The Federal Transit Authority awarded The City of Charlotte a $920,000 grant for planning the proposed LYNX Silver Line. The Silver Line, a CATS project, is a light rail extension from Gaston County through Matthews to Union County. The budget for the total project is expected to be $1 billion.

This Saturday, January 19, is Coffee With a Commissioner at the Levine Senior Center, 1050 Devore Ln., from 9 to 10 a.m. Stop by, ask some questions, chat about Matthews, and learn more about the goings on in our town.

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If you’re curious about Town Council meetings but have to get dinner on the table and kids in bed, it’s now possible to have your municipal cake and eat it too. The Town has started posting audio to the website. Find the audio file link posted beside the agenda as soon as the file is available, which will usually be a day or two after the meeting. Click audio, close your eyes and feel whisked away to the Council dais. Still want the visuals? Keep an eye on the Town’s YouTube Channel. There will be more videos in the near future.

Thursday morning (January 17) at 7 a.m. the Economic Development Advisory Council will meet. On the agenda: EDAC will discuss open broadband for the town, installing murals with funds from facade grants, and a Matthews-based website built through a partnership with developer Lat Purser, the Matthews Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Matthews.

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Although we posted this a few days ago, it’s an event worth repeating and attending. This Sunday, January 20, join Pastor Larry Whitley at Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church (381 Crestdale Rd.) at 2:00 p.m. for the Third Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, Peaceful March & Commemorative Worship. After a brief presentation about civil rights, attendees will gather outside to walk to Town Hall.

And one to grow on…Not really news, but something not to miss if you can stay awake for it: the Super Blood Wolf Moon.

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This Sunday night (well, technically Monday morning) if you stay up late you might see the Super Blood Wolf Moon. The “super” part means the moon will be in relatively close proximity to the earth. A “wolf moon” is the first full moon of the year, and the blood part comes from the color of sun’s rays as they filter through the earth’s atmosphere. For 62 minutes the moon will be in full eclipse and a red hue will bathe the moon, creating both a beautiful sight and perhaps inspiration for an epic metal band name.

Rezoning: 10816 Idlewild Road

On August 14, 2017 the Board of Commissioners (Taylor, Ross, Urban, Melton, Higdon, Miller, and Whitley) unanimously approved rezoning application 2017-661, submitted by Land Investment Resources, LLC. The property, 16 acres, at 10816 Idlewild Road (Tax Parcel 193-161-10) was rezoned from R-15 to R-15 & R-VS.

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On the property at the time of sale was a single family home built in 1978, several outbuildings (a washroom which appeared to be late 19th or early 20th century) and a barn built in the early 20th century. The R-VS rezoning permits a maximum of 29 single-family detached homes, at least eight of which will have side garages.

The property is within Crown Point Elementary, Mint Hill Middle, and Butler High School zones. The staff report to the Board presented no data for impact to those schools.

The R-VS District requires a minimum of 8% tree canopy preservation. This proposed development would achieve 25% canopy preservation with a commitment to save the tree line along Idlewild Road.

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The buildable area consists of 13 usable acres and three additional acres along the Irvins Creek floodplain (and the future Irvins Creek Greenway). During the rezoning process, there were several points where Commissioner John Higdon led the conversation toward saving the historic buildings.

The washroom was relocated to Purser-Hulsey Park Community Garden. With no feasible solution for saving the barn structure, Land Investment Resources, LLC offered to donate the materials to the Town for reuse elsewhere. The Town agreed. A subcontractor is currently disassembling the barn. The Town will store the wood planks until a suitable use arises, most likely at Purser-Hulsey Park.

Morning Minute: Thursday, December 20, 2018

News About Town: Republic Services, the waste collection service for Matthews, is on schedule for trash and recycling pick up. If you’re curious about what can or can’t go in the recyling bin (cans can!), Republic Services has that covered. Yard waste, however, is still a few days delayed. An extra crew will be on hand this Saturday to play catch up.

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News Around Town: Charlotte Water (formerly CMUD) has been tunneling under Sam Newell Road since September as part of the Beards Creek Wastewater Improvement Project. The tunneling portion is almost complete, and crews will install an 18-inch diameter pipe from Sam Newell to North East Parkway (approximately 7,000 linear feet) in effort to more efficiently move wastewater. The project is expected to be finished by September 2019.

There’s still time to gift    your new favorite mug   !

There’s still time to gift your new favorite mug!

One Fun Thing: If you can’t make it to McAdenville to enjoy the lights this holiday season, you can at least see A Sweitzer’s Christmas display at 1001 Sunnyview Circle. Stop by Sunday through Thursday 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. or Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. until 11 p.m. Tune into 107.3 for accompanying music. If you can, bring a couple bucks or a nonperishable food item to donate, the homeowners collect them to take to area nonprofits.