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Matthews-Mint Hill - Carolina Weekly Newspapers

Matthews-Mint Hill - Carolina Weekly Newspapers

Community Road bill

Community Road bill delay could affect Matthews, Mint Hill projects MUMPO to lose more than $18 million in anticipated federal money by Brian Carlton brian@matthewsminthillweekly.com Congress’ failure to approve a new transportation bill could mean delays or even cancellations for Matthews and Mint Hill road projects. The Federal Highway Administration announced in October that the Mecklenburg-Union Metropolitan Planning Organization won’t get $17.8 million for transportation projects or $291,642 for transportation planning it anticipated. Every six years, Congress approves a transportation spending bill that includes annual allotments for states, as well as projected allotments for future years. MUMPO and other regional planning organizations use the projected allotments to plan ahead. But the most recent bill expired Sept. 30, and lawmakers have yet to discuss a new one. That means MUMPO can’t count on the projected allotments anymore. North Carolina Department of Transportation Division 10 engineer ACT NOW AND SAVE Barry Moose said it’s too soon to say which projects could be impacted. “We’re about two months away from being able to answer that,” Moose said. “MUMPO did lose $17 million, but I will let the organization take the lead as to where that comes from.” Only projects that use federal dollars are at risk, Moose said. In Matthews and Mint Hill, that includes a new interchange at Interstate 485 and Weddington Road, extending McKee Road from John Street to Campus Ridge Road, widening John Street to four lanes from I-485 to Indian Trail Road, and widening N.C. 51 from Matthews Township Parkway to Lawyers Road. Projects funded entirely with local and state dollars, such as completing Interstate 485, are safe. Meanwhile, NCDOT officials said they’ve been told it could be 18 months before a new bill is passed. FHA spokeswoman Kathy St. Denis said lawmakers have been focused on health care reform and other bills, and the transportation bill hasn’t come up yet. The rescission, which totals $8 billion nationwide, is of unallocated dollars or, as the FHA defines it, money for projects that haven’t been contracted out, St. Denis said. Lock in today with terms that suit your financial goals, or ask about our high-yield Granite Premium Money Market account. Every account is FDIC insured to $250,000. *APY means annual percentage yield. Minimum balance required to obtain advertised APY is $5,000. Early withdrawal penalty could occur. Rate subject to change. Fees could reduce earnings. APYs valid for a limited period of time. Member FDIC “When the law expired, we were required to pull that money back,” FHA spokeswoman Kathy St. Denis said. “It’s completely in Congress’ hands now. There’s no timetable for when (a new bill) could be taken up, let alone signed.” MUMPO learned of the rescission at its Nov. 18 meeting, and Moose estimated that a decision on how to proceed won’t be made until January. “It’s possible some projects might be impacted,” MUMPO Secretary Bob Cook said. “Funds were rescinded, not projects. We have to identify projects and assume that some will in fact have to be delayed or cancelled.” Far-reaching effects The reversion’s impact on MUMPO’s long-range transportation plan is unclear. Ezell Park (continued from page 13) for bird habitats. All plans include walking trails. County Park Planner David Nelson, who’s coordinating the Ezell project, acknowledged “miscommunication” led to a delay in notices that went out before the Oct. 29 meeting, the second of three planned community meetings. The media wasn’t notified of the meeting until two days prior. But postcards were sent to the about 400 property owners within a halfmile radius of the proposed park, Nelson said. Signs also were posted in the town a few days before the meeting. “We’re going to make sure that doesn’t happen in the future,” he said, noting the next meeting will be held in January. Ross also said she’s concerned that BARGAIN HUNTER$$ $ Thrift Store 10% OFF 25% OFF MUMPO has until March 2010 to develop a long-range transportation plan that shows that the region will meet federal ozone standards. The Environmental Protection Agency measures polluting air particles in parts per billion. The region’s air, especially in the summer, can reach 90 parts per billion, exceeding the maximum 84 parts per billion allowed, according to the Charlotte Department of Transportation. New transportation projects in the long-range plan can reduce pollution by reducing congestion. But because of the rescission, some projects might have to be removed, making it harder for MUMPO to create a workable plan to curb pollution. If MUMPO’s plan isn’t approved, the region’s new transportation projects will be on hold until it can come up with one that is. q ideas residents didn’t suggest are being added to the proposed plans, such as relocating the farmers market. Nelson said he’s talking with the Mint Hill Historical Society, which runs the farmers market, about the possibility of moving to the park. But the park won’t duplicate efforts by Mint Hill organizations, Nelson said. “We’re not going to implement any plans that are already in place elsewhere,” he said. q Have your say To view proposed plans for building Ezell Farm Community Park in Mint Hill, visit www.charmeck.org/ Departments/Park+and+Rec then click “Park planning” then “Ezell.” Submit your feedback on the Web site or e-mail David Nelson at david.nelson@ mecklenburgcountync.gov. OPEN: NEW & LARGER LOCATION! 10,000 NEW ITEMS EVERY Corner of Lawyers and Albemarle Road Page 14 • Nov. 20-26, 2009 • Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly www.matthewsminthillweekly.com

Tim Steadman/MMHW photo Carrothers doesn’t want to leave Independence without a state title on the Independence senior quarterback Anthony Carrothers has had a star-studded career, but major college programs still have been hesitant to offer him a scholarship. WEEK 14 STAFF PICKS by Erica Singleton erica@matthewsminthillweekly.com Going into his senior season, Independence quarterback Anthony Carrothers had two objectives. “My expectation was to get to the 5,000- (yard passing) mark, but most importantly I want the state championship,” said Carrothers. “I want that more than anything. That’s been my expectation, really, since I came to Independence.” Carrothers is accustomed to putting up gaudy individual statistics. Last season, he had 3, 844 yards and 35 touchdowns passing, and added 812 yards and 22 touchdowns rushing, en route to being named Carolina Weekly Newspaper Group’s 2008 Offensive Player of the Year. He led the Patriots to a 14-1 record, losing only to the eventual state champion Richmond Senior in the Class 4AA semifinals. The 2009 season also has been a good one for Carrothers; he passed for 2,798 yards and 25 touchdowns, despite missing one game under center because of a concussion. “I just had to rebound and get better and look forward to our main goal, and that’s (winning) a championship,” he said. Carrothers knows the harsh reality: At Independence, success is measured by state championships. And unfortunately for Carrothers, he’s the only Patriots quarterback in the last decade not to win a state title. Despite the pressure associated with that kind of tradition, it only seems to make Carrothers hungrier. “It is either a state championship or failure,” he admitted. “My 10th-grade year, playing in the state championship and losing it, just being a step away, it kind of hurt. “We’re going to win this year, and that’s going to make it that much better when we do.” The Patriots took a step toward that goal last week, defeating East Forsyth, 56-14, in the first round of the playoffs. That set up this week’s highly anticipated rematch with Mallard Creek, which the Patriots edged 42-41 in the first game of the season, with Carrothers accounting for four touchdowns (two passing and two rushing). Beyond his aspirations to earn a state championship, Carrothers is anxious about playing college football. You’d think a Shrine Bowl selection who’ll end his career as one of the state’s all-time leading passers would be a major-college recruit. But for Carrothers, that’s not the case. “I think he’d be a solid player on (the next level),” Independence coach Tom Knotts said, “but his height is always an issue.” At 5 foot 8, 176 pounds, Carrothers has proven he can excel, but that hasn’t made him more appealing to big-time college recruiters. “Appalachian State has a quarterback (Armanti Edwards) just short of 6 foot,” said Knotts. “They’ve won two national championships with him, and I told (Mountaineer coaches) Carrothers is just like Edwards. And they said they don’t want another short quarterback.” It bothers Carrothers that many recruiters have taken that approach, but he has decided not to focus on it. “I have been disappointed,” he said. “I see all these 6-foot-3 quarterbacks. I know – and a lot of other people know – that I’m better than those quarterbacks. That’s when the critics come in with the height factor, (saying), ‘He’s only 5 foot 8,’ and things like this. It’s doesn’t bother me. I have to live with this. “This is the way God made me, so I’m happy with it.” Carrothers said one Bowl Championship Series program – the University of (more on page 16) Each week, our sports staff predicts the winners of every game involving Mecklenburg County teams. C. Jemal Horton Chris Hunt Aaron Garcia Erica Singleton Friday, NOV. 20 Charlotte Latin at Charlotte Christian Providence at Richmond Senior Independence at Mallard Creek East Mecklenburg at Olympic West Forsyth at Butler Charlotte Christian Richmond Senior Independence East Mecklenburg Butler Last week: 7-4 Overall: 152-46 Charlotte Latin Richmond Senior Independence East Mecklenburg Butler Last week: 7-4 Overall: 152-46 Charlotte Christian Richmond Senior Independence East Mecklenburg Butler Last week: 7-4 Overall: 150-48 Charlotte Latin Providence Independence East Mecklenburg Butler Last week: 7-4 Overall: 147-51 www.matthewsminthillweekly.com Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly • Nov. 20-26, 2009 • Page 15

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