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Commission Capsule – September 7, 2011

Library Report

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library CEO Vick Philips updated the Board on the recommendations made by the Library Task Force and outlined plans for increasing staff and services including two additional days (Tuesday and Friday) at six regional libraries.

Revaluation

Commissioners were briefed on the 2011 revaluation by Mecklenburg County Tax Assessor Garrett Alexander. This was the first countywide reappraisal of real property in Mecklenburg County since January 2003. The value of 355,000 properties was estimated for the 2011 reappraisal, the largest revaluation effort in State history. The total value of all real property grew from $82.5 billion in 2010 to $93.2 billion in 2011. Two-thirds of the properties increased in value as a result of the reappraisal. This is the first time such a large number of parcels remained unchanged or decreased in value. Garrett explained how new technologies were implemented to improve assessment quality and revaluation efforts. The Board was very satisfied in the work that the Tax Assessor’s Office did during the revaluation process.

In addition to Alexander’s presentation the Board invited David Baker, Director of the N.C. Department of Revenue’s local government division to discuss the County’s revaluation sales ratio.

Deloitte Consulting

Finance Director Dena Diorio discussed the County’s plans to extend its contract with Deliotte, a financial consulting firm in effort to improve accounting practices. Diorio’s presentation indicated that the relationship could help the County save millions of dollars by making it easier to track purchasing across County departments. Commissioners have been pleased with the work done so far and our optimistic about future savings.

Solid Waste Special Obligation Bonds

The Board approved $15 million in special obligation bonds to finance construction of an expansion and improvements of the US521 Foxhole Landfill, various improvements to the composting site and acquisition of equipment. The obligated revenue source for these bonds will be the $15 Residential solid waste disposal Fee included on the property tax bill. The special obligation bond sale date is scheduled for October.
 

2011 Flood Quick Buy Program

The Board voted to appropriate $2.5 million from the Storm Water Services fund balance for the acquisition of properties damaged by flooding on August 5. Approximately 50-60 structures flooded within the Irwin and Sugar Creek watersheds, just west of Interstate 77. “Quick Buy” programs were implemented after similar floods impacted other parts of Charlotte-Mecklenburg in 2003 and 2008. The concept was to voluntarily acquire flood prone homes with 100% local funding while the homes were still in damaged condition. CMSWS successfully acquired and removed 46 homes from the floodplain as part of these programs. Approximately 20 single family residential buildings that had interior flooding would be eligible for the 2011 Quick Buy.

Center City 2020 Vision Plan

Real Estate Services Director Mark Hahn and Charlotte Center City partners President Michael Smith presented on the Center City 2020 Vision Plan. The plan outlines growth and development of Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s urban core, including uptown, South End and other neighborhoods just beyond the I-277 loop over the next decade. Highlights include:
 

  1. Developing of a center city urban campus to connect Johnson C. Smith University, Johnson and Wales, Central Piedmont Community College and UNC Charlotte campuses together via transit, parking and other shared programs.
  2. Establishing a dynamic shopping experience by creating strategic retail clusters along such areas as Tryon Street, Trade, and Brevard Street.
  3. Promoting a Destination Charlotte by establishing amateur sports clusters, and linking existing and new arts, cultural, and entertainment venues.

The Board will vote on this item at a future meeting.



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