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Commission Capsule for September 15, 2009

Million Dollar Day

The Board adopted a proclamation designating October 1, 2009 as "Million Dollar Day" in Mecklenburg County.

The day recognizes the County's Resource Development function in the Public Service & Information Department for reaching the $1 million threshold in underwriting and sponsorships for County programs and services. The Board adopted a Sponsorship and Underwriting Policy in 2006 as a way of offsetting costs to taxpayers. The County will recognize all those who have provided sponsorships and in-kind donations at a reception at the Mahlon Adams Pavilion at Freedom Park on October 1, 2009 at noon.

Community Block Grants

The Board voted to accept $750,000 in federal community block grants to assist with development in low income areas. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development recently designated Mecklenburg County as an urban county entitlement community because we have more than 200,000 residents living in the county but outside of the City of Charlotte.

Matthews and Cornelius have opted to participate in the entitlement program which replaces the current Scattered Site Community Development Block Grant Program.

Recovery Act Funds

The Board approved a request from staff to apply for an additional $2 million in federal dollars from the American Recovery and Reinvestment fund. The County has already received $10 million in Recovery Act funds. Several County departments have identified specific needs that would qualify for the program.

A few examples of how the recovery Act funds are used is the County's participation in the National Clean Diesel Fund that gets older, more polluting diesel road construction equipment off the road and replaced with newer, less polluting equipment. And the County Community Support Services department has received $500,000 for transitional housing for domestic violence victims.

Swimming In Parks

The Board adopted a change in the County ordinance that has prohibited swimming in County lakes since the 1970's. The prohibition was put in place after four drowning at McDowell Park. Since then, the public has been asking for a change that would allow swimming at Lake Norman, Lake Wylie, Mountain Island Lake and along the Catawba River.

With the Board's approval, a rather lengthy process begins starting with community workshops, studying which parts of he lakes would be best for swimming and negotiating with Duke Energy to lease land along the waterways. Best estimate for how long that will take – about three years. The Park and Recreation Department will keep residents up to date on progress of the project.

First Ward Park

The Board gave approval to a series of land purchases and swaps that will result in creation of a new mixed-use area in First Ward, including creation of an urban park in First Ward, which was an element of the 2010 Center City Plan.

In addition to the park, the project will provide additional uptown parking, room for UNC Charlotte's urban campus, a possible location for a center city farmers' market as well as significant retail opportunities. The area of uptown where the development will occur is bounded by 6th and 9th streets and College and Caldwell.

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