Sunday, September 16, 2018

1st day of Florence brings relatively light rain totals to North Mecklenburg

While a couple inches of rain in a day would be a lot under normal circumstances, for a tropical system North Mecklenburg has gotten off light so far with Florence.  By the end of the day Sunday things will likely be different, but check out these area totals as of Sunday morning.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

With rain starting keep eye on these Davidson "high hazard dams"

As Florence finally arrives locally and with several inches of rain or more expected in coming days, local dams will be under strain.  The Charlotte Observer posted a tool showing where identified "high hazard dams" are located with three in the Davidson area.  Maplecroft, Pages Pond, and Beaty.

For those wondering about Beaty, the pond was drained as recently as last week according to those who follow that closely.  Draining the pond is something that occurs regularly due to the poor rating of the dam, and should provide some excess capacity for the coming rains.  Up to six different runoff points drain into the pond which provides filtration before those waters flow downstream.

This weekend's rainfall will also be the biggest test of the new ponds built on the West Branch development.  When these ponds were first built there were some issues during major rain fall.  Here is hoping these hold as well to prevent any impacts on the now rescheduled Run for the Green which uses the adjacent greenway.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Light agenda at Davidson Town Hall this evening

After hearing a special presentation on the Lingle Hut restoration project and the regular Commissioner updates on their assigned external board duties, the Board will discuss the following:

(a) Sidewalk Project and Funding, Public Works & Projects Director Doug Wright and Finance Director Pieter Swart
Summary: At the August 28, 2018 meeting, the board of commissioners considered several options for a sidewalk project for this fiscal year. The board of commissioners preferred option 1 which was to install sidewalk along Grey Road (from Concord Road to Wolfe Street) and a portion of Spring Street. The recommended action is to proceed with the Grey Road and Spring Street projects, allocating $357,276 of fund balance to complete the projects.

(b) Joint Compensation Study Findings and Recommendations, Town Manager Jamie Justice and Consultant Susan Manning
Summary: To ensure the Town of Davidson is competitive with municipalities in the Charlotte region, a pay study was included in the FY 2018-19 budget. The last pay study was conducted in 2015 and the town’s strategy, and a human resources best practice, is to complete a pay study every three years. Staying competitive allows the Town of Davidson to recruit and retain high performing employees that provide services to the citizens. A collaborative effort was made between the towns of Huntersville, Cornelius, and Davidson to collect and analyze data from 20 local communities. The findings of the study will be presented; the implementation recommendation will be presented at a future meeting.

(c) 251 South Street Property Acquisition, Assistant Town Manager Dawn Blobaum
Summary: The town has 60 days from September 5 to complete its due diligence process prior to purchasing the property at 251 South Street. The board of commissioners will be asked approve Resolution 2018-24 to affirm the purchase of 251 South Street and appropriate $45,000 funding for deposit, legal fees, and due diligence from Public Facilities Capital Projects fund.  (Note: This is the purchase of the former Davidson IB Middle property from CMS.)

(d) Downtown Park/Davidson Farmer's Market Site Improvement Options, Economic Development Director Kim Fleming
Summary: At the September 4, 2018 work session, the board of commissioners reviewed the proposed improvements to the Downtown Park/Davidson Farmer's Market site. The board of commissioners will consider accepting the $100,000 grant from the Department of Agriculture, amend the FY2019 budget to reflect the grant, and authorize the Town Manager to move forward with up to $45,000 for construction documents phase

(e) Historic Preservation Initiatives Update, Assistant Town Manager Dawn Blobaum
Summary: Historic Preservation is one of the board of commissioners’ strategic plan goals. This is an update on our work on various initiatives to date and next steps. The board of commissioners may take action to determine the process for choosing a committee to vet the request for proposals and consultant for the local historic district expansion/creation.

(f) Rules of Procedure - Remote Participation, Town Attorney Cindy Reid
Summary: The board of commissioners have requested a brief analysis of whether it should allow commissioners to vote via phone. Currently, members are allowed to participate in board meetings by phoning in but are not permitted to vote.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Purchase signs signify West Branch building about to pick up

aShortChronicle has been following the West Branch development since its earliest phases including much of the swirl surrounding the project.  That includes the moving of a viewshed and rezoning conflicts, its relationship to speed limits and safety on Davidson-Concord Rd, its impact to the publicly owned greenway, and its future contribution to growth in the town population.

Now, that the first of the townhome buildings have started coming out of the ground, current residents will soon begin to see new neighbors and more building.  On a recent trip through the neighborhood aShortChronicle saw the first "purchased" signs on townhome units.  In addition to the spec homes that can be seen from Robert Walker Drive (one of which appears occupied) at least 8 other single family lots sported these purchased signs last week which means houses should soon start popping up elsewhere in the development.

When all done, West Branch will add 300+ homes to Davidson making it one of the largest neighborhoods in town.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Residents meet $10,000 goal in Griffith Street Hotel fight

With nearly a week to spare on their stated deadline, citizens opposed to the planned new hotel on Griffith Street in Davidson reached their $10,000 goal on Saturday to fund an appeal fight being mounted by the developer and landowner defendants.  The controversial project sandwiched between CSD's K7 building, houses on Westside Terrace, and the Spinnaker Cove neighborhood has brought together people from all across town and the LKN area in opposition.  Defendants are appealing a May Superior Court decision that invalidated the zoning allowing the project.

That opposition was on display with a "community yard sale" held Saturday morning at 341 Griffith Street.  The sale at the home of Evelyn Carr bought together people from across town who donated items for sale, their time, and money to bring this effort over the finish line.

Ms Carr (pictured bottom left at Saturday's event) has long been a stalwart voice at Davidson Town Hall, regularly speaking out on issues including safety for children walking to school along Griffith Street.

Prior to the event this weekend, she was interviewed by WSOC's Joe Bruno on why she was hosting the yard sale.  See that coverage here.

Having people in the community willing to "fight" to keep Davidson the town it is is one of the things that makes the town special.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Davidson Police Department Warns About Juvenile Enticement Incident

DAVIDSON, N.C. – Parents of a 12-year-old boy called 9-1-1 on Monday morning to report a subject attempting to entice their son into a car. The father advised that their son said an African-American male driving a dark blue or black car (possibly a Volkswagen model) asked him to get in the car and go for a ride. The boy was walking the family dog at the time of the encounter around 7:15 - 7:20 a.m. near Lake Park Drive in Davidson. The boy said he told the man “no” and the man then offered to buy him “something from Target” if the boy would come with him. The boy immediately ran home and told his parents who called 9-1-1.

Responding officers were not able to locate the subject or vehicle in the area. Contact was made with surrounding agencies about the incident. There had not been any other reports of this type of incident in Davidson or Cornelius at the time of the report.

“Their son did exactly what was needed – run away from the subject and immediately tell an adult,” said Davidson Police Chief Penny Dunn. “I’d like to reassure people that this is a rare incident in Davidson, but we are not immune from potential threats. We believe it is important for parents to have conversations with their children about potential dangers in public or from those the child knows, perhaps in a position of authority or trust. Children should always let an adult know when something is wrong, inappropriate, or makes them feel unsafe.”

There was no additional information on the subject’s appearance or direction of travel. The Davidson Police Department asks if anyone has information about this incident to please call 704-892-5131. The Davidson Police Department encourages citizens to be aware of surroundings and report suspicious behavior.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Comm Jim Puckett responds to CMS's move against North Mecklenburg towns

The below is from an email sent by Mecklenburg County Commissioner Jim Puckett who represents North Mecklenburg after CMS moved this week to withhold funding for municipalities supporting municipal charter schools.  While Davidson did not participate in the vote for this permission, the move by CMS will clearly have impacts on residents in town.

Sec. Johnson, Senator Tarte, Representative Bradford, in as much as the CMS board has codified what until now was only a thinly concealed practice of systematic denial of proper school facilities in the suburban towns of Cornelius, Huntersville and Davidson, I formally request from the North Carolina General Assembly and the Department of Public Instruction an examination and publication of the means and corollary effects rising from said examination of the formation of a separate school district for the towns of Huntersville, Cornelius and Davidson and their related Extra-Territorial Jurisdictions.   As a result of the CMS Policy:  Article II- Priority of Capital Spending in Certain Municipalities whereby the board of education has directed the Superintendent to limit future capital funding based on NCGA SL2018-3.  This wanton abuse of power to deny taxpayers adequate capital funding due to options afforded under state and federal law must be met with the only appropriate action that being the ability to have a reasonable and legally defensible expectation that tax dollars taken by force are allocated without prejudice across the district from which those taxes are collected.
While the Town of Davidson is not singled out in the above CMS policy her students will most surely be harmed as a result of denial to her neighboring towns when considering future high school building and to a lesser but still real extent middle schools as these facilities are regional and not town specific. 
CMS has put forth the argument that as a result of some towns choosing not to expand their options for providing adequate facilities even under the continued failure of CMS to do so, there should be some method of prioritization for those areas.  To that end and as using the same misguided logic, I suggest all parents who do not have the financial ability send their children to private or religious schools should have the same opportunity for prioritization of their personal capital in the pursuit of educating their children and opting to withhold the +/- 45% of their property tax that goes to CMS and direct it to that end.
I have spent most of the last 20 years trying to educate citizens of the unholy obsession at Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools to punish children who happen to live in areas of middle to upper social economic means outside the City of Charlotte.  That reality was last noticed in the recent bond package that saw a reprioritization of CMS’s own school building schedule to move schools listed in north Mecklenburg down the priority list and nearly a decade from any real chance of being built.  This inexcusable action led to the unprecedented need for the towns of Huntersville and Cornelius to request the ability to provide for their citizens in the face of clear discrimination.  Lest there be any doubt of the punitive nature of the public school system one need only look at the actions codified in policy by the CMS board with this latest action.  Not since the days of a dual school system has there been a more divisive and damaging action taken by those who claim to care about public education. 

Jim Puckett