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August 29, 2008
Update on Flooding
 
On August 27, 2008 Mecklenburg County experienced the most widespread flooding in more than a decade. Average rainfall exceeded 8.5 inches in 36 hours, with sections of the County receiving more than 11inches. Flooding was near the 100-year benchmark on at least 11 major creeks, with structural damage reported in at least eight of those watersheds.
 
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services (SWS) staff began preparing for the flood event several days before the remnants of Tropical Storm Fay hit the region. Charlotte-Mecklenburg's automated network of stream and rain gauges known as the Flood Information & Notification System (FINS) worked exactly as intended. Dozens of FINS notices were sent electronically to local police, fire, and other emergency responders from midday Tuesday, August 26 through dawn Wednesday, August 27. Those notices allowed responders to begin barricading flooded roads and evacuating buildings in advance of the worst flooding.
 
Throughout the storm, County SWS staff provided rainfall and creek level information to emergency responders. In addition, SWS staff members were present during evacuations of flooded structures, including those at the Doral and Cavalier Apartments. County SWS staff also participated in City-County news conference about the flooding on August 27 to inform the public about the situation and the response.
 
Yesterday, in coordination with County Code Enforcement staff, SWS employees began on-site inspections and damage assessment of flooded structures. At that time, all ground level units of the Cavalier Apartments were classified as unsafe. Therefore, residents of these first-floor units will not be allowed to reoccupy those apartments. Electricity to ground level apartments has been disconnected. Residents of those units will be allowed to gather their belongings through 5 p.m. Sunday, August 31. Relocation packages are being assembled for downstairs residents of the property. Residents of upstairs units at the Cavalier Apartments will be allowed to reoccupy those units with the understanding that the air conditioning has been disconnected and will not be operated for an undetermined length of time due to it being damaged from the flooding. The condition of the property is classified as "substandard" but efforts are being made to clean up the grounds as soon as possible.
 
As they conduct on-site inspections of flooded buildings, County staff is distributing information packets to residents regarding flood safety, post-flood cleanup, and important local telephone numbers. Since the flooding began, County staff has responded to numerous telephone calls from the public about flood-related concerns such as standing water, soil erosion, flood debris left on their property, wells and septic tank safety, mosquitoes, and health risks.
 
In the coming days, surveying will begin of every stream in Charlotte-Mecklenburg to record high water marks and compare flood elevations to existing floodplain maps. Staff will use engineering data and anecdotal reports compiled from this flood event to evaluate effectiveness of SWS flood preparedness and flood mitigation programs.
 
Recent Expansion at Time Warner Cable
 
On August 5, the State of North Carolina announced an incentive to Time Warner Cable (TWC) for the company’s latest $3.6 million expansion, which will add 200 new jobs to the Charlotte community. Given this action, I would like to update the Board on the status of the City and County Business Investment Grant awarded to TWC in 2003.
 
In 2002, the Board authorized the County Manager to negotiate a Business Investment Grant framework for TWC, to create up to 1,150 jobs and more than $65 million in new investment in Charlotte. The amount of this grant was not to exceed $8 million.
 
In 2003, the City and County awarded a $3 million Business Investment Grant to TWC for the first two phases of the expansion. The grant required the company to add 670 new jobs and invest $27.9 million. Since then, TWC has created more than 800 new jobs and invested in excess of $100 million, not counting the jobs and investment announced on August 5. To date, TWC has received $574,400 from the County and $313,600 from the City toward the $3 million total grant for the first two phases.
 
The Board-approved framework also allowed two additional phases of TWC’s expansion to qualify for additional grants (up to the $8 million maximum), subject to approval from the City Council and the Board of County Commissioners. TWC officials believe this recently announced expansion will qualify for an additional Business Investment Grant under the original framework. This grant would have a value of $3 million (City and County combined) and be paid over ten years. This item is scheduled for Board consideration at its October 7 meeting. Board members with questions about this expansion may contact General Manager Bobbie Shields, 704-336-2606.
 

Library Name Change
 
In September 2007, the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County (PLCMC) hosted members of the Board of County Commissioners and members of the County Manager’s Office at a dinner meeting at ImaginOn. The principal goal of this gathering was to ask members of the Board what they are hearing from constituents about their needs from a public library system. One of the common responses was that the key to serving the community well is actively promoting services to residents.
 
During the past year, the Library has undertaken a study with a private marketing consultant to evaluate awareness of library services. One finding of this study is that the library’s lengthy seven-word name – Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County – is a barrier to enhancing customer awareness of services. After considerable research into nomenclature and options Library Board of Trustees has decided that the public library will do business as the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.
 
The name change is intended to establish a powerful brand for the library that:
 Eliminates public confusion and inconsistency in the use of the name
 Establishes coherency and uniformity of marketing initiatives
 Raises awareness of the library’s record of innovation, creativity and service throughout the system
 
The library leadership intends to launch this name change officially in the 2009 calendar year. For additional information, please contact Charles Brown, Director of Libraries, 704-416-0605.
 

Mark Your Calendar:
Wednesday, September 3:
  • Dinner Meeting, 5 p.m., CH-14
  • Regular Meeting, 6 p.m., Meeting Chamber
Thursday, September 11:
  • NCAT Kick-off event, Wachovia Playhouse within ImaginOn, breakfast at 7:00am, program beings promptly at 7:30am.
Thursday, October 16:
Digital TV Day, CMGC
  • 4pm - Reception with BOCC, City Council, and Kevin Martin, Chairman of FCC, CMGC
  • 6pm - FCC public workshop on DTV transition, CMGC
 
- Harry L. Jones, Sr., County Manager
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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