A summary of decisions made by the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners.
PROCLAMATIONS AND AWARDS:
The Board of County Commissioners proclaimed September 25 as Family Day - A day to eat dinner with your children; recognized Mecklenburg County as 2006 Energy Star Million Monitor Drive contributor, which saves money by placing County computers into low-power "sleep mode" during periods of computer inactivity; recognized Mecklenburg County electrical inspector Darryl Bryant as the 2006 N.C. Electrical Inspector of the Year; and recognized Partners for Parks, Inc. for presenting a check in the amount of $17,085 for Park and Recreation's therapeutic recreation summer day camp scholarships 2006.
The following people addressed the Board on items not on the agenda:
- Annette Albright on child fatalities.
- Martin Davis on the Board of County Commissioners and the 2006 general election
The Board made the following appointments:
- Robert Griffin, Michael McNamara, and Charles Stewart to the Industrial Facilities and Pollution Control Financing Authority.
- Daniel Duvall to the Mountain Island Lake Marine Commission.
SUPPORT OF FAIR LABOR PRACTICES:
The Board approved a resolution in support of fair and reasonable labor practices by all employers. This resolution mentions labor negotiations with Continental Tire of North America located in Charlotte, but acknowledges that the Board has no authority over private employer/employee relations.
VEHICLE RENTAL TAX:
Following a public hearing, the Board approved an increase in the vehicle rental tax by 5 cents, effective December 1, 2006. Funds will be provided to the City of Charlotte to fund CATS transportation services, which will allow the City to allocate funds in support of the cultural facilities plan. The agreements call for the City of Charlotte to apply 90 percent of the vehicle rental tax funds towards financing the cultural facilities with the remaining 10 percent going to the six towns based on actual vehicle rentals in the towns. The Board has the authority to levy up to a 5 cents increase in the vehicle rental tax with each penny generating approximately $1.5 million. A levy of 4 percent is needed to cover the expected cost of the cultural facilities.
EXTEND 1999 PARK BONDS:
Following a public hearing, the Board extended the period during which the 1999 park bonds may be issued. In 1999, voters approved $52 million in park bonds. Of this total, $12.5 million remain unissued. By law, the County has seven years to issue bonds, but can extend this time for up to three more years, with the concurrence of the Local Government Commission, which provides statewide oversight of capital financing by local governments. The $12.5 million is planned for issuance in January 2007.
BUSINESS INVESTMENT GRANT:
The Board approved a business investment grant to Gerdau Ameristeel for a total estimated amount of $807,640 over five years. The total City/County grant is estimated at $1.2 million. Gerdau Ameristeel of Tampa, Florida, is the fourth-largest steel company in North America. Gerdau’s Charlotte Mill, employs 266 people at an average wage of $81,000, which is in the top 1.5 percent of wages statewide and more than double the average for the region. Gerdau has committed to an additional investment of $17.3 million by the end of 2008 bringing the total investment in new taxable property to $26.3 million. Gerdau’s expansion meets the following Board-approved criteria for an eight-year Business Investment Grant:
- Investment: $26.3 million (minimum of $10 million)
- Wage rate: $81,000 ($47,000 or greater)
- Targeted Sector (manufacturing)
- Location (within the City of Charlotte)
The company does not anticipate a significant number of new jobs; however, the expansion preserves 266 highly-paid manufacturing jobs in Charlotte and anchors the company for future growth in Charlotte. The Business Investment Grant will provide a local match for a One North Carolina Fund Grant of $300,000.
The Board received an update on the work of the Mayor’s Immigration Study Commission. This volunteer group of residents was asked to deliberate on how Charlotte-Mecklenburg can address community issues associated with immigration. The report detailed that immigration law is developed at the federal level, but the impact is felt at the state and local level. North Carolina, other states, and some local jurisdictions are taking action. The update emphasized that "getting legal" is a complicated process that could take as long as a decade. The final report is expected to be completed in December and will provide a local perspective and recommendations.