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General Assembly Update
The General Assembly passed its third continuing resolution (CR) last week to keep state government funded while a full budget is negotiated. The newest CR extends until Sept. 18 and makes no other changes to the previously passed CR.
Budget leaders also announced progress on the negotiations on a biennial budget, sharing that spending targets by subcommittee have been agreed to for both FY16 and FY17. In addition, they announced their salary plan for state employees which features a $750 bonus for all employees including teachers, step increases for teachers, State Highway Patrol, court clerks and magistrates and an increase in starting teacher pay to $35,000. Closed door negotiations are continuing and members expressed optimism that a final budget will be approved prior to the expiration of the most recently passed CR. Improvements Made to BOCC Meetings Coverage
I am pleased to announce that on Sept. 1, we will be rolling out two improvements to our online and television broadcast coverage of Board meetings.
On Mecklenburgcountync.gov, you will notice a large “watch live” banner at the top of the page, linking to the BOCC meetings and agendas page and making it more visible to the visitor.
Once you tune in, whether online or on the Government Channel, you will notice a new graphics package that the County developed through a partnership with the City of Charlotte and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. The graphics color-correspond to the respective agency meeting (blue – County, green – City and red – CMS) and include sharper, easier to read text.
As always, you can follow each BOCC meeting on Facebook and Twitter for live updates.
Thank you for watching. Back-To-School Immunizations Update
North Carolina law mandates that all Charlotte-Mecklenburg school-aged children be up-to-date with their immunizations in order to be enrolled in school. Children who do not have the minimum immunization by the Sept. 22, 2015 deadline will not be allowed to attend school.
For more information, please contact Dr. Marcus Plescia at 980-314-9020 or Marcus.Plescia@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov. EPA Re-designates Eight-County Charlotte Area as Meeting Federal Ozone Standard
Effective last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has re-designated the eight-county Charlotte metropolitan area as in compliance with the federal health-based air quality standard for ozone, a milestone capping years of improvements in air quality across North Carolina.
Air quality improvements across the state are due to pollution reduction measures effecting motor vehicles, power plants, and other industrial sources. Mecklenburg County Air Quality, a division of the County’s Land Use and Environmental Services Agency, led local efforts in meeting and maintaining compliance with air quality standards.
The EPA is currently evaluating whether to lower the ozone standard; a decision is expected by Oct. 1, 2015. Despite improvements in local air quality, the Charlotte area may not meet the federal ozone standard if it is lowered. Park and Rec, Storm Water Services Partner for Stream Restoration Project at Reedy Creek
Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services are working together to improve the quality of life for aquatic species living in the creek and tributaries throughout Reedy Creek Nature Preserve.
The two organizations are currently designing a stream restoration project to stabilize stream bank erosion, restore the floodplains to their natural function, improve aquatic habitat and reduce pollution in the creek. During the multi-year project, a new channel will be built to help return the stream path to a more natural pattern. Trees will need to be removed to build this new channel, but it will be much smaller than the existing stream channel. Once complete, native trees and shrubs will be planted along the creek banks to provide habitat for wildlife and to help hold the banks in place while also shading the new channel from sunlight.
To learn more, contact Chris Matthews, nature preserves and natural resources division director for Park and Recreation, at 980-314-1019 or Christopher.Matthews@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing our Heroes Update
Using the federally mandated 2014 Point in Time Count, the Housing our Heroes implementation team set a goal to house 204 homeless veterans by the end of December 2015. To date, 215 veterans have received housing. During the 2015 Point in Time Count, more homeless veterans were identified than originally calculated at the launch of the initiative. A by-name registry of all remaining homeless veterans has been created which shows less than 180 still in need of housing. Currently, the implementation team, comprised of Mecklenburg County, the City of Charlotte, Veterans Administration, and community homeless service providers is ensuring eligibility and working to create a housing plan for each person on the registry.
Staff remains confident we will achieve our goal to end veteran homelessness by the end of December 2015. This means achieving and sustaining “functional zero” by creating a well-coordinated and efficient community system that assures homelessness is rare, brief, and non-recurring.
For more information, contact Stacy M. Lowry at 704-336-3784 or Stacy.Lowry@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov.