On May 10, County Manager Dena Diorio was the invited guest at the Historic West End Neighborhood Association's (HWENA) monthly meeting. HWENA is an informal collaborative gathering of the presidents of 15+ neighborhood associations and other community-based entities within the Beatties Ford Road Corridor. The meeting was held in what will be dedicated on June 4, 2014 as the Hattie B. Anthony Fighting Back Center. The Center is located on the campus of the Northwest Health Department at 2845 Beatties Ford Rd.
Topics discussed included the 2011 revaluation, gentrification, the rich history and diversity of the the corridor and some of the successes and challenges facing neighborhoods in Northwest Charlotte. Diorio acknowledged the County's responsibility to monitor unlicensed food vendors, to provide mosquito prevention and control services, discussed a major upgrade to the Lincoln Heights Community Park that will be completed by October, and discussed ways to improve the 311 information line. Economic development was also high on the list of interests of the neighborhood leaders, and Diorio emphasized Commission Chair Trevor Fuller's commitment to reducing poverty in Mecklenburg County.
HWENA members were also given an update on the planning phase of the Stewart Creek Restoration project and an overview of the difficulty of flood mitigation along the creek. County staff reported that additional property along the creek fell within the floodplain in the most recent mapping models and that an education and information campaign was being carried out for residents. County engineering staff called upon the group for their support in getting this information to those who needed it. Additional neighborhood level meetings will be held to distribute information on the flood plain, flooding, flood insurance, and the creek restoration project. The County will seek approval from residents before the project is implemented. Once begun, the estimate is that the Stewart Creek restoration work could be completed in approximately 4 years.
Finally, HWENA had questions about the Master Park and Greenway plan and asked for an update on when there might be progress in developing some of those plans in neighborhoods along the Beatties Ford Road Corridor. County Park and Recreation staff will collect that information and report back to the group in an upcoming meeting. The Historic West End Neighborhood Association (HWENA) is a well organized and highly engaged group of community leaders who pledged to continue to work with Manager Dena Dioro and all staff to build sustainable communities in Mecklenburg County.
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