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Tuesday, May 3, 2005 Commission Capsule

A summary of decisions made by the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners:

The Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners met in the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center on Tuesday, May 3, 2005. The meeting was televised live on The Government Channel, cable 16 and rebroadcast on WTVI at Midnight. The meeting was scheduled for re-telecast on channel 16 May 4 at 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., May 6 at 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. and May 7 at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. It also airs at various times on GOV-TV, Time-Warner Digital Cable Channel 232.

PROCLAMATIONS AND AWARDS. The Board of County Commissioners proclaimed May 20, 2005 as Meck Dec Day, a celebration of 18th century Mecklenburg County leaders who were believed to be the first Americans to declare independence from England. The Board also proclaimed the week of May 8 - 15 as Confederate History Week.

PUBLIC APPEARANCE. Representatives from the YMCA Y-Princesses spoke on their program.

APPOINTMENTS. The Board made the following appointments: Philip Bell, John E. Burton and Terry Taylor-Allen to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee; Michael C. Middleton, Thomas Witner, Mark Lisy and William Miller to the Groundwater Advisory Committee; Daryle Benson and Gary Bies to the Waste Management Advisory Board.

STORM WATER FEE PUBLIC HEARING.  The Board held a public hearing to give the public an opportunity to speak to a City of Charlotte proposal to increase the storm water fee charged to Charlotte residents. Due to the agreement between the city and the county, the Board of County Commissioners must hold a public hearing on the proposed fee increase. The Charlotte City Council will hold its public hearing on May 9.

PUBLIC HEARING ON MWSBE. The Board postponed until June 7 a public hearing on the plan to implement a revised approach to ensuring equitable opportunity for women-owned and minority-owned business to do business with Mecklenburg County. The revision to the existing MWBE Program would create the Minority, Women, Small Business Enterprise Program that incorporates various recommendations from a disparity study conducted last year. As part of this plan, the Board is creating two new positions to handle the enhanced level of services that would occur. No new funding is required to pay for these positions.

FY2005 - 2006 BUDGET: The County Manager reported to the Board the strategic choices and consequences of a budget with no property tax rate increase. Under the current tax rate, revenue available in FY2005-2006 will fund about two-thirds of the services currently provided. The County Manager detailed the services that the County is required to provide, business imperatives, and major and other discretionary spending. The strategic choices include finding efficiency savings, funding top priorities until money runs out, cutting small percentages across the board, a combination of the above, and increasing the property tax rate. The County Manager said the Board should expect his recommended budget to include a property tax rate increase. The County Manager's recommended FY2005 - 2006 budget will be presented to the Board on May 17. Those interested in details or in developing funding options can access an online interactive budget program through  beginning on May 17.

PURCHASE OF GRACE AME ZION CHURCH: The Board advanced $800,000 to the Historic Landmarks Commission to purchase the Grace AME Zion Church on South Brevard Street for historic preservation and adaptive redevelopment.  The church leadership has purchased land elsewhere and does not need its building, which was dedicated in 1902. The intent is for the Historic Landmarks Commission to repay the County for this advance from proceeds that come from the sale of other properties now for sale by the Landmarks Commission.

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