Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Lingle Hut restoration effort provides snapshots into Davidson history

aShortChronicle previously told readers about the effort to restore the "Lingle Hut" at Reeves Temple AME Zion Church on Watson Street in Davidson.  That effort has now moved into a serious fundraising phase with a series of meetings set for every other Thursday at the Davidson Library.

As this project moves forward, it provides an opportunity to showcase a bit if history here in Davidson through the stories that can be told surrounding this building.

There is no place better to start those stories than with Castella Conner, Trustee Chair of the church.  In fact the story of why the building is called the "Lingle Hut" starts with Conner's family.  aShortChronicle caught up with Conner at Reeves Temple Monday evening as she was preparing for an evening session of Vacation Bible School.  The children attending VBS used to meet in the Lingle Hut until it fell into disrepair.  Connor says they now use the basement of the church.

The story of how the church's meeting space came to be called the Lingle Hut begins with the Conner family's connections to Davidson College.  Both Castella Conner and her brother work there.  Their parents were long-time employees as well. Castella's mother Cecilia Conner and her father Talmadge Conner Sr worked for Davidson College for about 30 and 40 years each.

Cecilia Connor passed away last year at 100 years and 5 months of age.  But, back in the 1960's while at the College she read regularly to Merle Lingle, wife of College President Walter Lingle.  Merle Lingle was bedridden at the time.  Through that relationship Cecilia Conner let it be known that her church congregation was in the process of trying to buy the property on Watson Street.  A generous donation from Ms Lingle's son was able to put that fundraising effort over the top, and the Reeves Temple congregation moved into the church on Easter Sunday 1966.  As part of receiving the donation, the church renamed the structure used for fellowship as "The Lingle Hut".

Now, more than 50 years later the Hut is in need of significant repair to restore it to life - to allow it to once again be used for things like Bible School, dinners, Christmas festivals and more.

The effort to restore the building starts with repairs to the foundation.  Those are estimated to cost roughly $20,000.  Nearly, $9,000 has been raised so far, so the effort is well on its way.

If you are interested in getting involved and helping bring back some Davidson town history, stop by the Davidson Library this Thursday at 630pm.  A group of church members and other citizens will be holding planning meetings there every two weeks to get this project off the ground.

You can also donate to the effort here:


Follow the project on Facebook here:

The Lingle Hut Renovation 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Davidson Wine Co heads to DRB this week

The transformation of Davidson's Main Street continues, this time with a proposed wine store in the empty storefronts on Depot Street.  aShortChronicle reached out to the project team this past week to see if more detail was available, but did not get a response. LaBella Associates is the firm submitting the Design Review Board application for facade changes.

The project goes before the DRB this  Wednesday, 7/18.

Monday, July 9, 2018

This is what Davidson spending plans could cost you...

As mentioned in the previous post, Davidson Commissioners will consider on Tuesday moving forward on a possible November GO bond vote for public facilities.  The numbers are big.  $16.335 million to be exact.

However, the tax rate implications to fund this project are less specific.  Since GO bonds are paid using property taxes, binds almost always equal property tax increases.  Those tax rate increases will depend largely on how valuable your house is now, how much it will be valued after the 2019 revaluation, and how much of that increase Davidson Town Hall decides to "".

Davidson already has by far the highest property tax rate and solid waste fees of the North Mecklenburg towns.  The proposed public facilities bonds along with the bonds passed last November have the potential to raise taxes significantly.

The scenarios in the below chart show the combined effects of these bonds on Davidson's tax rate.  The smaller smaller $15.2 million used in scenarios 3-5 appears to be after there was some nibbling around the edges on reducing costs.  The second chart shows the property tax impact based on home values.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Draft Davidson Public Facilities GO Bond Resolution - $16,335,000

At last month's Davidson Board meeting, Commissioners got the first public glimpse of cost estimates for proposed Public Facilities expenditures to remodel the old Davidson IB Middle School building and the existing Town Hall for Town use.

The numbers were eye popping.

There was much public hand wringing around the dias at the costs of more than $16 million.  There was discussion on how to trim the number.  There seemed to be some genuine concern for the tax implications of spending this amount.

However, on Tuesday Commissioners will consider moving forward on just that.  A "draft" resolution is included in the agenda that seeks to move a GO bond of $16,335,000 to the next step of the process towards a November vote.  That number is actually a bit larger than the numbers presented last month.  Most likely that is due to including issuance costs for the bonds in the bond amount as well.  It also shows that no serious cost trimming was attempted after the public display of concern last month.  Moreover, the entire amount in the draft is in a single bond proposal with the Public Safety and Town Hall money in a single bond.  This leaves open the likelihood of leveraging needed public safety improvements to get wanted additional Town Hall space for staff.

It is hard to see this proposal getting public support when presented this way, but that appears to be where the town is headed.

Draft resolution below.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Davidson population growth set to accelerate in coming years

Recent stories on population growth in the Charlotte area conspicuously did not mention Davidson as one of the top areas for new residents.  (See here as an example.)  That may be surprising considering the number of new developments in the works around town.  As the below graph shows, the town's population has been growing at roughly the same rate over the past few years - consistently adding about 250 people per year from 2010- 2016.

According to the Census bureau website, the July 1 estimate for 2017 says 12,684 continuing that trend and adding 232 people.

However, new developments set to fully come online this year should see that number accelerate quite significantly.  Two developments in particular will drive this accelerated growth - Davidson East and WestBranch, both under construction by Lennar.

The first phase of Davidson East is platted for 249 homes with roughly two dozen already underway.  WestBranch is also about to begin selling with its model home set to open this weekend.  This development will have 305 homes when completed.

Simple math shows how this will impact the growth numbers for the town.

If over the next 3.5 years these two developments build out at an average of 158 homes per year and these homes are populated at the town average per the US Census of 2.59 people per home, then just these two developments will add something in the neighborhood of 410 people per year.  The numbers could be less if the buildout is slower, but it could be more if the average per house is higher.

This is likely in addition to the 200+ annual average that has been added to the town population in recent years.  This doesn't count other new neighborhoods also underway like Washam Neighborhood, Davidson Bay Phase II, and Narrow Passage plus the ongoing infill development that seems to be happening on every vacant lot in town.

Is Davidson ready to absorb 600-700 new residents per year?  We are about to find out.  Also, when those growth rate stories come out in future years don't be surprised to see Davidson near the top of the list.

Celebrate Independence Day in Davidson (press release)

DAVIDSON, NC -- Citizens are invited to celebrate our nation's independence by strolling from McEver Field to the town green for the Concert on the Green on Wednesday, July 4. The stroll will include a color guard, fire engine, and lots of patriotic residents.

Participants are asked to line up at McEver Field on South Street at 5:15 p.m., and the festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m. All citizens are encouraged to dress in Independence Day attire and to decorate their wagons, bicycles, tricycles, and pets in red, white, and blue. A color guard comprised of members of the police and fire departments will lead the parade up South Street onto Main Street and the town green.

"This is a fun way for our entire community to come together and show our Davidson spirit," said Economic Development Manager Kim Fleming.

The concert begins at 6:00 p.m. and features Radiojacks, a top 40 variety band.

Listen to a video clip here: http://www.concertsonthegreen.com/index_06-18_july4_radiojacks.htm

"We hope to see neighbors from all over the community -- from the Circles at 30 all the way to the extra-territorial jurisdiction -- in the parade and on the green to hear some fun music," said Fleming.

For more information on our Fourth of July activities, please visit www.townofdavidson.org/4th or contact Kim Fleming at 704-940-9622 or kfleming@townofdavidson.org.

The Davidson Police Department reminds citizens to keep their own safety and that of their neighbors in mind this holiday -- per the North Carolina General Statute, fireworks are strictly prohibited for personal use.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Lingle Hut fund raising meeting set for next week

aShortChronicle previously told readers about efforts underway to restore the Lingle Hut at the Reeves Temple AME Zion Church on Watson Street.

The "Hut" is an historic structure that has fallen into disrepair and needs some significant restoration.  The building had previously served as a fellowship hall and meeting space for the church in the heart of the Westside community.

The effort is being spearheaded by Kurt and Maria Naas of Cornelius. Like all endeavors of this kind, this one requires money.  To date, roughly $8,000 has been raised, but more is needed.  On Thursday July 5th at 6:30pm there will be a fundraising strategy/brainstorming session at the Davidson library.

If you are interested in joining this effort, please plan on attending.