August 12, 2011
Flood Response Update
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services is gathering information from owners and renters of properties that were badly damaged by flooding on August 5, 2011. This information is critical as the County considers a voluntary buyout program. The first steps have begun, which involves conducting damage assessments, determining which property owners might be interested in selling, and figuring out which properties might meet proposed criteria for a buyout.
Similar to the “Quick Buy” implemented after the 2003 and 2008 floods, this potential buyout would use 100 percent local money. County Storm Water Services has at least $2.5 million dollars in a Storm Water reserve fund that could be used to purchase qualifying property. The program is called a “Quick Buy” because it is intended to acquire eligible homes in their damaged condition (before they are repaired), does not require federal funding, and bypasses the lengthy approval process required under FEMA’s various grant programs.
It is too early to estimate the number of buildings that might qualify for a 2011 Quick Buy. To be eligible for a buyout, the flooded property must be in a regulated floodplain and have sustained significant damage.
Preliminary assessments show more than 160 buildings were damaged by the August 5 flash floods, most along Irwin and Stewart Creeks northwest and west of uptown Charlotte. Of the damaged buildings, approximately:
- 91 had living space flooding (45 apartment units, 40 single-family, 6 commercial)
- 72 had crawl space/unfinished basement flooding (2 apartment units, 68 single-family, 2 commercial)
- 110 are single-family homes
- 45 are apartment units
- 8 are commercial buildings
Local flood assessment teams have gathered data to apply to federal and state agencies for financial assistance for the flood victims. As part of that process, property owners with flood damage were notified this week about the possibility of a floodplain buyout program. Those who want information about a potential buyout have been instructed to contact Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services before August 19, 2011. Information collected from those with flood damage will be used to determine the level of interest in buyouts and which properties might qualify.
Any proposal from Storm Water Services staff to initiate a 2011 Quick Buy would likely be made to the Board of County Commissioners at its September 7, 2011 meeting.
Board members with questions should contact Storm Water Management Director Dave Canaan at 704-336-3736 or via email.
New County Agency Director Named
On July 27, 2011, Brian Cox was named the director of the newly formed Business Support Services Agency. The BSSA is a shared services agency comprised of the current functions of Human Resources, IST, Real Estate Services and Public Service and Information. Other functions of the BSSA will include organizational improvement, project management, web management, an internal customer service center and a business and financial support team.
Brian, a 25-year employee of the County, served most recently as eGovernment/Customer Service Manager and as Interim Director of Information Services and Technology (IST).
Law Enforcement Service Districts
The General Assembly passed legislation during this session broadening Mecklenburg County’s authority to create law enforcement service districts. The new legislation also provides Mecklenburg County with the opportunity to contract with different municipalities in the county for the policing of the unincorporated area. We are initiating staff-level discussions with Mecklenburg’s municipalities to determine the best way of providing law enforcement services in the unincorporated areas. To maintain a consistent approach on similar topics, these conversations will occur as part of our ongoing discussions about fire service districts. We intend to provide the Board with proposals for both fire and law enforcement service districts as part of the budget deliberations for FY2013.
Board members with questions should contact Assistant to the County Manager Brian Francis at 704-336-2611 or via email.
Center City 2020 Vision Plan Update
Staff of Mecklenburg County, Charlotte Center City Partners, and the City of Charlotte has been working with a consulting team to create a Center City 2020 Vision Plan that will guide the future growth and development of Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s urban core. The study area extends beyond the boundaries of previous vision plans to include Uptown plus the neighborhoods that are adjacent to the I-77/I-277 freeway loop and beyond. This plan is a multi-decade vision that will guide public and private investment over the next 10 to 30 years. In addition to a new focus on sustainability, the 2020 Plan recommendations include strategies to promote job growth, enhance neighborhoods, and develop 21st century infrastructure.
Developing the 2020 Plan included a comprehensive community engagement effort that gathered input from residents throughout Mecklenburg County. The City of Charlotte has sole jurisdiction over adoption of such plans, and the adoption process is underway for the 2020 Draft Plan. The Charlotte City Council reviewed the plan and held a public comment session on July 25, and the Council’s Transportation and Planning Committee will review the plan on August 22. The City Council will consider final adoption of the plan on September 12.
At its September 7 meeting, the Board of County Commissioners will be asked to receive as information a presentation of the Draft Plan. Feedback and input by the Board will be provided to the 2020 Vision Plan Executive Committee and Project Team in advance of the September 12 City Council meeting. The Board will not be asked to take action on the plan. Copies of the plan will be distributed with the Board’s agenda package for the September 7 meeting or will be available from the Clerk to the Board at any time prior to that. The plan is also available online: Center City Partners 2020 Vision Plan Synopsis.
Board members with questions should contact Real Estate Services Director Mark Hahn at 704-336-5483 or via email.
- Harry Jones, Sr., County Manager