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Wednesday, November 8, 2006 Commission Capsule

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

The Board proclaimed November 2006 as American Indian Heritage Month; November 2006 as Homeless Awareness Month; November 6 - 13 as Childhood Cancer Awareness Week; and November 2006 as National Adoption Awareness Month.

The following people addressed the Board on items not on the agenda:

  • Pat Martinez on the Hispanic Scholarship Fund
  • Sam Gordon, Patsy Gordon, Paul Cook and Rory Brady on disabled American veterans
  • Martin Davis on the 2006 General Election.

The Board approved the following land acquisitions:

  • The conveyance of 28 acres on Davidson-Concord Road (Highway 73) from Hugh and Laura Hite with a deed restriction limiting the use of the property to agricultural or public open space for forty years.
  • The donation of 10.4 acres on McAlpine Creek from Strider Drive, LLC.
  • The purchase at auction of 8.442 acres at 6930 Wolf Run Drive for $40,000. The property will expand Big Rock Park acreage and potentially provide connectivity for a future greenway.
  • The purchase of 93.4976 acres on Matthews-Mint Hill Road from the Town of Matthews for $5 million, to lease back to Matthews for park use.
  • The purchase of 8.78 acres at 1030 and 1100 Remount Road from JMDJ, Inc. for $1,645,000 for the expansion of Revolution Park.

The Board received a report from Area Mental Health about cultural competencies. This refers to the ability of staff and other providers of mental health services to serve people of different cultural backgrounds. This manifests itself most obviously in serving people who speak little or no English but also extends to being better informed about other cultural differences that might result in poor customer satisfaction or ineffective treatment. Federal law requires agencies that receive federal funding to ensure people with limited English proficiency are not discriminated against in service because of their language. The report indicates how Area Mental Health is assessing its cultural competencies, including bi-lingual staff and materials, and how to reduce and eliminate any gaps in these competencies.

The Board approved in concept a series of land swaps associated with a new park in Third Ward, the potential site of a minor league baseball stadium and redevelopment in Second and Third Wards. Parties involved include the City of Charlotte, Mass Mutual, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and Mecklenburg County. The outcome for these land exchanges would allow the development of a park in Third Ward at a preferred site closer to Tryon Street, the private development of a minor league baseball stadium on County-owned property in Third Ward, and private development of Marshall Park in Second Ward as a mixed-use village. It also includes the sale and redevelopment of Spirit Square. Mecklenburg County also would assume responsibilities for providing infrastructure to support the development of the baseball stadium and other private development. The Board also authorized County Manager Harry Jones to negotiate details with the various parties and return to the Board for final approval of these agreements.

The Board received information and set a public hearing for November 21 on the proposed size of the January 2007 sale of general obligation bonds and certificates of participation (COPs). A total $219.1 million in borrowing is planned, with $102 million of that being sold as bonds. This includes:
- $152.1 million for CMS facilities
- 26.5 million for park and recreation facilities
- 17 million for CPCC facilities
- 10 million for county facilities at the former Freedom Mall site
- 4.5 million for library facilities
- 3.2 million for law enforcement facilities
- 2.2 million for mental health facilities
- 2 million for court facilities

The Board appropriated $500,000 from restricted contingency to continue and expand the air quality pilot called Clean Air Works. This pilot seeks to enlist area businesses to voluntarily change their operations to help reduce air pollution, particularly smog. The $500,000 is accompanied by the submission of an application for federal funds to continue this pilot as an ongoing effort.

The Board approved an amendment of the Transit Governance InterLocal agreement to reinstate the Board's review and approval of the transit capital and operating program and budget. The amendment now goes to the Charlotte City Council and 5 of the 6 towns that also are part of the agreement. This review and approval by the Board was part of the previous Interlocal Agreement but was eliminated as a requirement by the Board last November.

The Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners met in the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center on Wednesday, November 08, 2006. The meeting is scheduled for re-telecast at various times on the Government Channel, Time-Warner Cable Channel 16 and GOV-TV digital cable channel 232. The meeting can also be viewed online.

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