CORNELIUS TODAY • February 2019 • 1
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February 2019 • VOLUME 14 NUMBER 5
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Property revaluations don’t automatically mean higher taxes
2 • CORNELIUS TODAY • February 2019
February Things to Do
Meck Tax Assessor Ken Joyner is Newsmakers speaker Feb. 20 Ken Joyner, the Mecklenburg County Assessor, will be the Newsmakers Breakfast speaker Feb. 20 at The Peninsula Club hosted by Cornelius Today and Business Ken Joyner Today. Joyner is responsible for the assessment of all real and personal property in Cornelius and throughout the county. He is also responsible for the monumental revaluation of more than 360,000 tax parcels in Mecklenburg, as well as the processes around appealing valuations. The open forum Q&A with Cornelius Today and Business Today readers includes a full country breakfast. The cost to attend is $12. Doors open at 7:15 a.m. for network-
ing. The buffet-style breakfast gets under way at 7:30 a.m. The Q&A begins at 8 a.m. and concludes at 9 a.m. sharp. The $12 cost includes a full country breakfast. Reserve a seat at 704-895-1335 with Visa or MasterCard. The Presenting Sponsor is The McIntosh Law Firm, based in Davidson. The Breakfast Sponsors are Irwin Law Group and Dixie Dean & Christina Stone Coffee Sponsors include Davidson Wealth Management and Aquesta Bank. Joyner became Assessor in 2013 and also serves on the County’s Budget Executive Team. Prior to joining the Mecklenburg County team, he spent six years as a faculty member at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in the School of Government and previously served as the Tax Administrator in Chatham, Onslow and Durham counties.
Town celebrates Black History with events Feb. 23 at Town Hall The town’s annual Black History Month Celebration will be held Saturday, Feb. 23 at Cornelius Town Hall. The event, which runs from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., will feature art, guest speakers, live performances, children’s activities and refreshments. This event is
free and open to the public. It is organized by the Cornelius PARC Dept. and the Smithville CommUNITY Coalition. For more information, call 704-892-6031 ext. 192 or visit www.cornelius.org/parc.
More local events every Thursday morning at 6am: www.corneliustoday.com Sign up to be notified about events at corneliustoday.com/membership-join Lori Hoe
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Alex is a 6-yearold brown tabby with white paws and chest. He was surrendered to the shelter recently. He is friendly and curious and would make a great addition to your family.
CORNELIUS TODAY • February 2019 • 3
Table of Contents She said, she said Our new state legislators, Rep. Christy Clark and Sen. Natasha Marcus, fielded a variety of questions during the Q&A at the Newsmakers Breakfast Page 4
Watch the SUPER BOWL here!!
The tax man cometh
It happens every year, but this year is roughly 34 percent more interesting, at least from the valuations point of view. Page 6
Our Town Five more ways to give back. There might be one that’s right for you. Page 12
Businessman of the Year
Mike Griffin pays tribute to wellknown mentors in Cornelius, as well as his mom. Page 22
The Show me guy
Columnist Jon Show wonders aloud why everyone is a worse driver than he is. Basically, it’s because they are. Page 28
NEWS-E ………….........………....PAGE 24 -26 HOME SALES ……………………….PAGES 18-21 MODERN DAD …………………..….......PAGE 28 NEW CORPORATIONS ............................ PAGE 23 SOUNDOFF ................................PAGES 29-31
Valentines Day cover by Keith Blankenship
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4 • CORNELIUS TODAY • February 2019
Clark, Marcus open up about top issues facing LKN BY ERICA BATTEN Among many other hot-button issues, education is the top priority for local legislators. Newly-elected state Rep. Christy Clark and Sen. Natasha Marcus were part of the Democratic blue wave that swept the North Carolina legislature in November. Both women represent Cornelius in the legislature. Clark is a Huntersville resident, and Marcus lives in Davidson. Both Clark and Marcus spoke at the January Newsmakers Breakfast hosted by “Business Today.” “We need more emphasis on stronger public education,” Marcus said. One strategy, which Marcus said is a bipartisan effort, is providing broadband access to rural areas, particularly so that students can access homework assignments, collaborate with classmates on projects, and conduct research online. “If the rural schools are not keeping pace, companies will [instead] come to an area where they have a skilled, educated workforce,” said Marcus. An attorney, Marcus represents District 41, which covers Davidson, Cornelius, Huntersville, Steele Creek, Pineville and parts of Ballantyne. Clark represents House District 98, which includes all of Davidson and Cornelius and part of Huntersville. Clark’s children attend the Community School of Davidson, a charter school. Charters have not traditionally garnered Democratic support. “I think they do have a place in our community,” said Clark. “They are places of innovation. They are here to stay, and I think we need to support them.” Marcus, whose daughter left Hough High School to enroll at a charter, agreed, saying “no charters” is the wrong approach for legislators to take. “My child was having major anxiety attending a school of that size,” Marcus said. While her daughter found teachers who were dedicated and energetic, “that was the first time in our lives that we felt like we needed to look for other options. It’s not a better school, it’s just better for my kid.” Marcus acknowledged that lifting the state cap on charter schools was a mistake, and she feels that, due to affordability of school meals and lack of access to transportation, charter schools are not truly open to all children. “They should be really available—not just available in theory—to every child,” Marcus said. Charlotte was recently ranked 50th out of 50 U.S. metropolitan areas for economic mobility. Through her work with Ada Jenkins, Marcus had first-hand experience with families caught caught in the middle. “They’re working families; they’re doing exactly what society expects of them,” Marcus said. But these families have limited access to affordable health care and housing. “We have to preserve what we already have and not bulldoze affordable housing…so that people who are
Christy Clark, left, and Natasha Marcus answer questions at the Jan. 24 Newsmakers Breakfast. working their way out of poverty have somewhere to live,” she said. Gun control was another personal issue, particularly for Clark, who has volunteered with Moms Demand Action for the past five years. She is an intellectual property and business paralegal at a firm with her husband. “I want to prevent North Carolina from having a mass shooting like we’ve seen in other states,” Clark said. “Because we are so concerned about school safety and because we are so focused on mental health, I do believe we can pass the red flag laws.” Clark and Marcus agreed that red flag laws, which would restrict gun access for people with mental health risks, along with increased background checks, are also bipartisan measures. “They’re very reasonable proposals,” said Marcus, who clerked for a federal judge in Greensboro. With the recent Department of Environmental Quality meetings on coal ash disposal, audience members at the Newsmakers Breakfast expressed concerns about Duke Energy’s cleanup efforts. “I have tried very hard to get people in this area even aware that there are giant coal ash ponds that are seeping into the water. It is not OK,” Marcus said. “Our lake is a huge asset. If Lake Norman is known as a place where coal ash is seeping in the water, we’re all in trouble.” Marcus would not say that there was a definite link between coal ash and the recently-exposed cancer clusters in Huntersville and Mooresville, but she did lament that the DEQ’s budget has been cut because it means there are fewer scientists monitoring the issue. “I live right on the border of the ocular cancer cluster,” said Clark, who is also a cancer survivor.
“It is a top priority for me to know where it is coming from.” Environmental hazards are not the only legislative issue specific to our region. The I-77 toll roads are also a priority for both freshmen legislators. “Natasha and I both ran on doing something about I-77, and we are still actively committed to that,” said Clark. She said she’s not certain how best to address the issue, but that discussing it in terms of safety is the most effective approach. “All three drivers in my family have been rear-ended on I-77,” she said. She and her husband also moved their law firm because of I-77 safety concerns. “It’s a mess we should never have gotten ourselves into,” said Marcus. “I read the contract in 2014. This is a contract I would never have let my clients get into. The problem is, the contract is signed.” Marcus said that, unfortunately, scrapping the toll roads contract is not an option. But one of the first bills she plans to introduce will give Gov. Cooper better negotiating power. Clark will sponsor this bill in the House if it passes the Senate. “We can’t promise that will happen,” Marcus said. “We’re freshmen in the minority.” At a recent Chamber of Commerce forum, Rep. Chaz Beasley told the audience that experience doesn’t necessarily determine what legislators can accomplish. “Our freshman class is remarkable,” said Clark. “We are all willing to work together, not coming in as adversaries, but as friends.” “We’re hoping to harness this new energy that we’re bringing to Raleigh,” said Marcus.
CORNELIUS TODAY • February 2019 • 5
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6 • CORNELIUS TODAY • February 2019
Is a tax increase inevitable?
BY DAVE VISER hile town officials are keeping their thoughts close to the vest, the possibility that your property taxes will rise is very real, due to growing needs in public safety and parks and recreation. Higher valuations don’t automatically mean higher taxes: The rate can be adjusted down to “revenue neutral,” or a little above or even a little below. Given the town’s appetite for public safety, a net decrease in your tax bill appears unlikely. Former Town Commissioner Jim Duke is a respected budget expert, having worked in top finance positions at the Pentagon and the White House. He served two terms on the town board which Jim Duke means four budget cycles. “I think it is safe to say that the rate will go down, but revenue will need to increase so there needs to be rate above revenue neutral,” Duke said. In plain English there will likely be a reduction in the rate, but not so much as to deny the Town the revenue it needs to address the fiscal challenges facing Cornelius. Municipal taxes comprise 25 percent to 30 percent of a property owners tax bill. The remainder are county taxes over which Cornelius officials have no control. Next year’s tax rate will come into focus during
the spring. By state law, the town is required to publish a revenue neutral tax rate when the preliminary budget is unveiled in May. This is the tax rate which would be needed to maintain the current amount of revenue coming into town coffers using the new tax values. There is no legal requirement to adopt this rate. The tax rate is currently 25.5 cents per $100 of tax value, which equates to about $630 in municipal taxes on a home valued at $250,000. It is one of the lowest town tax rates for a town our size in the state. Looming large are police and fire budgets. Wages lag nearby towns competing for talent. Pay is still under review, but it’s no secret that the town has lost top-notch people to places like Huntersville and Charlotte. There are other factors which could hurt plans for a revenue neutral budget: Interest rates are creeping higher and the cost of debt service will grow significantly. The town has $24 million in transportation bonds coming. The Town is also tapped out when it comes to
borrowing; its AAA Bond rating could be lost without an adequate fund balance. A full-time fire department would be a costly undertaking. “Pay issues abound, and staff levels are at austere levels,” Duke said, adding that there are millions more dollar needed by the PARC Dept. “Costs continue to rise and we end up spending more on replacement than if we had just maintained what we have. Regarding road repair, we don’t match our federal grant money so we are forced to do sidewalks one year and road work the next,” Duke said. The annual budget retreat is March 7 and 8 at Graylyn Conference Center in Winston Salem. The public may attend. Private citizens like Duke may attend. The budget for the new fiscal year must be approved before Fiscal Year 2019-2020 starts July 1. The Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners must adopt a new budget by the same date. The new tax rates, both on the town and county level, will apply to tax bills mailed out in late summer and payable by year-end.
New assessment notices to some 400,000 property owners were mailed Jan. 23. View your new assessment online at www.meckreval.com. You can also appeal your assessment at this site.
CORNELIUS TODAY • February 2019 • 7
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8 • CORNELIUS TODAY • February 2019
A Bridge Too Ridiculous: Town allocates $38,000 for ‘aesthetic enhancements’ This is in Tampa
BY DAVE VIESER The year was 2016. Mayor Chuck Travis proudly told an audience at Town Hall that a groundbreaking ceremony for the stunning new architectural statement at the gateway to Cornelius would be held early the following year, and that Gov. Pat McCrory would attend. It was a million-dollar plan to “create a true gateway” for Cornelius. What began as a $4 million plan was cut, reduced and modified into something that former NC Sen. Jeff Tarte said fell “woefully short of expectations.” That groundbreaking never happened. Travis went back to his fulltime architectural job and McCrory was voted out of office. Spending to fix the appearance of the bridge has been cut even more. No one wants to throw good money after bad. The Exit 28 Ridiculousness Facebook page has made light of the bridge ever since. Initially, some commissioners suggested spending an additional $1.2 million on “aesthetic” enhancements in the proposed 2018-2019 Town budget, but that figure was cut to $200,000 in the final adopted budget. Earlier in 2017, the Town Board approved a separate $38,000 contract with Viz LLC, whose principal owner is Gary Fankhauser, for design, bid services, and construction administration services for landscaping elements in the four quadrants of Exit 28 Under the contract all work was to be completed by the end of June that year but complications with the NCDOT delayed that completion date as well. Now fast forward to Jan. 7 of this year. The board finally approved a much smaller landscape plan for the Cornelius interstate exit. Fankhauser explained that after careful consideration, the plan for a large brick abutment to accompany the underwhelm-
Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Tampa, Florida
...and in Cornelius
Exit 28 bridge
ing masts and cables on the bridge wouldn’t work from a design standpoint. Because of the way in which this landscape is viewed by passing motorists, he came up with a plan consisting of four plant/shrub beds in the quadrants of the intersection each measuring 50 feet. Each of the beds will consist of three rows of plants and shrubs four or five feet tall. Fankhauser was confined by the NCDOT’s set back safety regulations, as well as funding. The new timetable calls for NCDOT approval of the planters in the spring, followed by completion this summer. However, with the toll lane construction running later than planned, it could mean the fall. While all five commissioners approved the proposal, at least one noted the reduction in the size and the scope of the project. “To say this has been watered down is a dramatic understatement,” said Commissioner Dave Gilroy. “I know we had budget constraints, but I actually think one of the biggest problems we had was that we labeled it wrong. ‘DDI Aesthetic improvements’ was never going to survive any budget process.” Of course, Gilroy was a member of the board when funding for the $4 million design was cut to $2 million. The masts and cables rise amidst street lights, a McDonald’s and a mattress store. The new shrubs will most likely be nice. But a tourist attraction, no, not anytime soon. Despite its failure as public art, town officials say that the Diverging Diamond Interchange itself has reduced the number and severity of accidents. In the pre-DDI years, left turns were used to enter the interstate, which by their very nature caused a higher number of accidents and injuries.
CORNELIUS TODAY • February 2019 • 9
10 • CORNELIUS TODAY • February 2019
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I-77 stanchions will be moved BY DAVE VIESER The stanchions which were recently placed in construction zones on I-77 will be moved farther away from the general purpose lanes once paving is completed. Their location close to the current traffic lanes has generated numerous complaints from motorists. “The striping and delineator/stanchion locations are both temporary as the general contractor works on rehabilitating the existing pavement and placing final pavement,” said I-77 Mobility Partners spokeswoman Jean Leier. “The delineators will be placed in the middle of the buffer once the final pavement and striping has been placed. In their final position they will be more than two feet away from the general purpose lanes.” Delineators are reflective and made of material such as plastic which will give way when contacted for safety reasons. The use of delineators for toll lanes and at toll booths actually began in 1991, when seven toll collection agencies from New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania created an alliance known as the E-ZPass. One of the organization’s first duties was to choose a way to designate the auto-paying lanes, and purple delineators was the choice. Today two dozen agencies in 13 different states use them. Meanwhile, alert motorists using I-77 have no doubt noticed that Speed Limit signs on the new toll lanes have begun to appear, with a maximum speed limit of 70 mph. Before anyone gets too excited, the new rate is not a done deal. “If the design standard allows for safe operation at a higher speed, that will be implemented, but that decision has not yet been made, said DOT spokeswoman Jen Thompson. When asked why 70 mph speed signs were being put up now, she said they would be covered up to avoid any confusion for motorists. If the DOT ultimately decides on the 70 mph limit, that would be an increase of five miles an hour over the existing speed limit. The 70 mph speed limit on I-77 currently applies only between Statesville and the Virginia State Line.
CORNELIUS TODAY • February 2019 • 11
12 • CORNELIUS TODAY • February 2019
Our Town Giving back: Options abound for charitably minded people BY DAVE YOCHUM The world of non-profits and charitable giving can be confusing if not overwhelming. Choices abound. You need to consider where your money goes, geographically speaking as well as what social cause your donation aims to remedy and how good of a steward is the group spending your donation. Some organizations are new, some have a years-long track record of serving others. Some seem like marketing platforms for entrepreneurs, others hew to a critical mission without duplicating charities with established channels of distribution. There are other ways to give back, including churches and hospital auxiliaries, not just non-profits. Non-profits or 501(c)(3)s file income and expense reports with the IRS. Here’s a look at five local non-profits that have a track record of serving people in need in Cornelius and neighboring towns and are open about finances.
Our Towns Habitat for Humanity Executive Director: Chris Ahearn
Volunteer/donor info: www.ourtownshabitat.org The local branch of Habitat for Humanity is one of the oldest and strongest. The mission, to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope, resonates with people around the world, including its most famous supporter, former President Jimmy
Ada Jenkins Executive Director: Georgia Krueger Volunteer/donor info: www.adajenkins.org Based in a former school in Davidson, the Ada Jenkins Center has served Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville residents in need for two decades. Focused on promoting the importance of education and equal opportunity for all citizens, the 501 (c) 3 non-profit seeks to help those in poverty break the cycle and gain economic independence.
The 2017 annual report says nearly 4,000 neighbors visited the center The Charlotte region is known nationally for having the least chance of upward mobility for those born or raised in poverty. Ada Jenkins addresses the root causes of the problem with tutoring, medical care and a food pantry. It also has a track record: AJC celebrated its 20th anniversary last year. Its budget is more than $3 million a year. At the helm is Georgia Krueger, a respected leader in the world of non-profits.
Carter. Its two main programs—new homeownership and critical repairs— build on sweat equity and community volunteers. Would-be homeowners serve 400 “sweat equity” hours, which are earned through working on the construction of their own home, volunteering on other build sites, in the ReStores and in the office. Habitat also helps families who already own a home and whose limited income makes it difficult, if not impossible, to afford essential repairs.
Smithville Community Coalition Smithville CommUNITY Coalition locally led by residents Smithville CommUNITY Coalition on Facebook The Smithville CommUNITY Coalition (SCC) was organized in 2011, years after its predecessor group, established in 1968 by the fathers and uncles of some of the current leaders, had become inactive. SCC is made up of residents, neighbors, non-profits and faith-based organizations. The goal is the revitalization and improvement of the historically black community just east of I-77 on either side of
Catawba Avenue. They have worked with other community partners to create a revitalization master plan, organize community clean-up events, create a community garden, repair homes and the very popular community jazz festival whose proceeds go to SendA-Kid-To-Camp. Meetings are held the last Monday of each month and are open to the public. SCC is recognized by the State of North Carolina as a 501c3 Non-Profit. If you are interested in more information and would like to become a partner or donate, contact Lisa Mayhew-Jones at nmayhew0@ email.cpcc.edu
CORNELIUS TODAY • February 2019 • 13
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Financial Tips for the New Year Ring in a new year with the right financial strategy.
Hope House Foundation Executive Director: Debbie O’Handley
Volunteer/donor info: www.hopehousefoundation.org Dr. Lee Beth Lindquist, a long-time Cornelius physician, had a dream to help “situational homeless” women who had fallen upon life’s situations and needed time to get back on their feet. Realizing that there was no temporary housing support system for this vulnerable group within a 21-mile radius of Lake Norman (including Meck-
lenburg and the surrounding counties), she rallied the community to build and operate a transitional home. The Hope House opened its doors to full capacity in December 2009 with temporary assistance from The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte. Their vision is to serve as a catalyst for social change to end homelessness in the Lake Norman area by providing and expanding transitional housing and supportive services. Hope House is run 24/7 by women volunteers who partner with a House Manager.
For many people, the New Year means new goals and resolutions. Last year, nearly one-third of Americans made New Year’s resolutions, with half reporting that they want to save more, according to the New Year Financial Resolutions study from Fidelity. You may be one of the many who created a financial resolution – but will you stick to it? The key to success when it comes to your financial resolution is to take a realistic approach and focus on consistency rather than perfection. Typical resolutions involve beating yourself up over all of the mishaps like missing a day or two at the gym or cheating on a diet, but if you take small steps and adopt realistic, long-term behavioral changes, it becomes much easier to stick to your plan. If you have big financial dreams for the year, you should break them up into minigoals. Start small and move bigger as you get more and more comfortable. Try focusing on one financial goal at a time, like paying off credit card debt. Another thing that can help you accomplish your New Year’s financial resolutions is to track your progress. Because what’s the point of resolutions if you can’t see where you started and how you are progressing? It also can help to have some personal accountability. Although talking about money is typically viewed as taboo, it can be helpful to discuss your financial goals with your friends or family. One of the benefits of living in an age of technology is that it’s easy for us to automate a lot of our life expenses, thereby keeping ourselves on track to financial success. Bill paying, saving and investing have become so much simpler these days as banks, credit card issuers, investment companies and retirement plan providers have made automation an option. On that note, if one of your goals is to save more money, a smart idea is to have your savings automatically withdrawn from your paycheck and deposited into a separate savings account.
Angels and Sparrows Executive Director: Jessika Tucker Volunteer/donor info: www.angelsandsparrows.org Angels and Sparrows Soup Kitchen was conceived a “calling” for founder Sandy Tilley, now executive director emeritus of the 12-year-old organization. She had just read “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren and began to contemplate her own purpose in life. Despite the apparent affluence of Lake Norman, she realized there were poor people all around without enough to
eat. With support from churches and civic organizations, she opened a soup kitchen with gardens and a playground. Since then, Angels and Sparrows has served more than 300,000 meals and established programs that include daily lunches, take-home meals, the Summer Bag Lunch Program for Kids and meals transported to the homebound elderly. More than 300 volunteers and business sponsors help Angels & Sparrows support children, adults and the elderly Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and year ‘round to anyone who needs their help.
If you find your finances do get off track, don’t worry. The reality is that you will likely have a moment of weakness, no matter how determined you are. Think of the times and situations that you could see yourself slipping up, and come up with a plan for how you will not let those moments completely derail you from reaching your financial goals. If you are someone who is easily tempted to spend more at the mall, grocery store or restaurant and often leave those places wondering how you spent so much, you may want to use cash instead – eliminate the temptation for yourself. At first, these small actions won’t feel natural and may even be uncomfortable, but they could save you big in the long run. At A4 Wealth, LLC, we are determined to help clients create a plan that will work for their unique situation, and can provide you with the understanding you need to feel confident and closer to your dreams.
Sincerely, John B. Balcerzak CFP® www.A4wealth.com Advisory services offered through A4 Wealth Advisory, LLC a Registered Investment Advisor in North Carolina. Insurance products and services are offered through A4 Capital Management, LLC. A4 Wealth Advisory, LLC and A4 Capital Management, LLC are affiliated companies. A4 Wealth Advisory, LLC and A4 Capital Management, LLC are not affiliated with or endorsed by the SocialSecurity Administration, or any other government agency.
14 • CORNELIUS TODAY • February 2019
More new buildings and projects are on the books for rest of 2019
Watermark Condos As 2019 gets under way, Cornelius continues to benefit from a robust national and regional economy. A wide variety of projects are in various stages of approval or development.
Under construction Starbucks: Work is moving along on
the new stand-alone Starbucks being built on the pad of the old Pizza Hut on West Catawba Avenue just west of Liverpool Parkway. This new Starbucks will include a drive-through and will be one of the largest stand-alone Starbucks in the country. Late spring completion is expected.
Washam Potts Reserve: Drainage and lot preparation continues on project calling for 22 single-family houses on the south side of Washam Potts Road. Classica Homes says the first houses will be under way soon. Watermark Condos: Tall construction equipment marks the spot behind Ozark Bank where a 48-unit luxury complex is being built on a 4.5-acre parcel. Price point on the new units is expected to start in the $800,000 range. Jetton Cove at Charles Towne: Work continues on this 22-lot subdivision behind the Harris Teeter. A number of the homes are already occupied while others are being built. Classica Homes is the builder, and prices start at approximately $700,000,
New homes on the east side of town
developments include The Forest at Bailey Glen (179 lots), Bailey’s Glen II, the Oasis and the Beverly subdivision. The Forest is a retirement development designed for those 55 and over, and homes start in the $400,000 range.
Approved but not started Knox at Catawba: This is one of two projects which will change West Catawba as well as Knox Road. The 48,000 square foot retail/office project includes enough space for a grocery store. The property is owned by Charter Cornelius, part of Charter Realty & Development Corp., a well-respected real estate investment, development and leasing company specializing in retail. Catawba and Nantz: The developer plans to build a new 7-Eleven convenience store as well as an office/ commercial building on approximately 9 acres on West Catawba Avenue at the intersection of Nantz Road. The plan is that eventually Nantz Road will be extended north and east of West Catawba to access a development of some 300 townhomes targeting empty nesters on vacant property adjoining
Construction continues at several new private home developments near Bailey Road and Hough HS, on the southeastern edge of Cornelius. These
Knox at Catawba
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Magnolia Estates. It is owned by BV Belk, the former owner of the Magnolia Shopping Center where Publix is located. Cambridge Square: Developer David Smith and Landworks Design Group of Charlotte plan to build 20 new single-family homes on 7.6 acres of primarily vacant land between West Catawba and Nantz Road. The development, which will also include two commercial buildings, will be called Cambridge Square, and the homes will be in a gated community to prevent parking overflow from the commercial buildings. The site encompasses the building currently housing the Iglesia Vida Nueva Church QuikTrip: Zoning for a 5,700-square-
Retreat at W. Catawba foot convenience store and gas station has been approved but there have been significant delays because the NCDOT design for the adjacent intersection is still not complete. It is unclear at this time when—or even if—the QuikTrip store will ever be built. Mt. Zion Senior Center: Zoning has been approved for the develop of 9.7 acres near Zion Road into a senior living community including 24 quad/ duplex units, 80 independent living apartments and a 6,000 square foot community center.
Submitted, pending board review 20151 West Catawba: The Providence Group is proposing to develop approximately 4.35 acres on West Catawba into two commercial buildings, by renovating the former bank building
into a restaurant with a drive-through and adding a 10,000 square foot office building on the site. A date for the required community meeting has not yet been set. Alexander Farm: The 54-acre site at the corner of Westmoreland Road and West Catawba was a working farm until a couple of years ago. The current application from WIN Development would subdivide all 55 acres. The proposed zoning is Conditional Zoning and an updated site plan which encompasses retail and residential was submitted to the town late last year. No meetings or hearings have been set. The Retreat at West Catawba: Demeter Properties wants to develop approximately 9.5 acres of property across of Elevation Church into 42 townhomes and two commercial buildings totaling 16,700 square feet. The first public hearing on the property has been set for Feb. 18, but recent changes in the NCDOT plans for widening West Catawba may delay the project further. Mulberry Townhomes: Mulberry Townhomes is a request by Investors Resource Management to develop a third of an acre of vacant land behind Food Lion into six units. The first public hearing on the proposal is scheduled for Monday Feb. 4
CORNELIUS TODAY • February 2019 • 15
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16 • CORNELIUS TODAY • February 2019 Cornelius, NC 28031
Davidson, NC 28036
16439 Jetton Road
1150 Concord Road
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Davidson, NC 28036
Huntersville, NC 28078
3301 Grey Road
14451 Henry Harrison Stillwell Drive
MLS#3430590 | Offered at $1,890,000
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Cornelius, NC 28031
Huntersville, NC 28078
20318 Pinehurst Drive
6335 Jim Kidd Road
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CORNELIUS TODAY • February 2019 • 17
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18 • CORNELIUS TODAY • February 2019
Home Sales These property transactions in Cornelius and Davidson were recorded by the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds.
Cornelius 12/14/18 $1,660,000 Phillip & Lena Graham to Lindsey Longo, 18619 Peninsula Club Dr. 12/14/18 $160,000 Andre & Mariette Mazzeo to Jeffrey & Amber Mulligan, 17601 Springwinds Dr. 12/14/18 $310,000 Secure Inc. to Michael & Banu Wilson, 21018 Rio Oro Dr. 12/14/18 $650,000 Michale & Randy Helms to Gregory & Stephanie Bittner, 8939 Robbins Pond Rd. 12/14/18 $245,000 Ebonie Davis to Chad Kistler, 10212 Caldwell Depot Rd. 12/14/18 $318,000 Jeremy & Alicia Fritz to Timothy May, 10112 Allison Taylor Ln. 12/17/18 $1,400,000 Edward &
18619 Peninsula Club Drive in Cornelius for $1,660,000 Marcia Pomeroy to Vui Thi Nguyen, 17519 Paradise Cove Ct. 12/18/18 $247,500 Kyosung & Bethany Kuo to AMH Properties Two, 17939 Crossing Cir. 12/18/18 $470,000 Taylor Morrison of Carolinas to Vaishak Sukumaran & Sharma Ithayarajan, 12129
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12/19/18 $217,000 Jason Hanyak to Chantha Lam, 19936 Lamp Lighters Way 12/19/18 $305,000 Diane Bernard to Rosina Conti, Lot 6 Lake Norman Cove at Jetton
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Potts Plantation Cir.
12/19/18 $240,000 Glen Wheeler to Yupiun Liu & Ai Zhou, 17213 Grand Central Way 12/19/18 $158,000 Christopher & Christal Padgett to Melvin & Sharla Crabtree, 17615 Trolley Crossing Way 12/20/18 $342,000 South Creek Homes to Mervis Small & Christopher Small, 17726 Morchampton Ave. 12/20/18 $70,000 Bluestream Partners to South Creek Homes, Lot 323 Bailey’s Glen 12/20/18 $337,500 South Creek Homes to Timothy & Debra Wilkes, 11118 Bailey Park Nature Dr. 12/20/18 $70,000 Bluestream Partners to South Creek Homes, Lot 363 Bailey’s Glen 12/20/18 $400,000 Uwe & Carol Roper to Harold & Virginia Goodall, Unit 407 Harborgate 12/20/18 $304,000 South Creek Homes to Barbara Watkins, 11134 Bailey Park Nature Dr. 12/20/18 $70,000 Bluestream Partners to South Creek Homes, 18611 Starcreek Dr. 12/21/18 $250,000 Dominick & Doris Mendolia to Nicholas & Tresa Mendolis, 8711 Westwind Point Dr. 12/27/18 $541,000 Veda Osborne to Karen Hallman, 20110 Dowry Ct. continued on page 20
CORNELIUS TODAY • February 2019 • 19
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20 â€˘ CORNELIUS TODAY â€˘ February 2019
Home Sales continued from page 18
12/27/18 $300,000 David Alexander to Connor DePhillippi, 18711-E Half Moon Bay Ln.
12/28/18 $317,000 Julia Raddatz to Christopher & Heidi Reynolds, 18940 Kanawha Dr.
12/27/18 $155,000 Audrey Langford to Sergei & Kristina Oulianov, 18809 Nautical Dr. Unit 205
12/28/18 $275,000 Rhonda & Michael Cheek to Diane & Samuel Drakulic, 19218 Lake Norman Cove Dr.
12/27/18 $286,000 John & Angela Knox to Yaron& Zviya-Crystal Ben-Yohanan, 20914 Brinkley St.
Davidson 12/17/18 $712,000 JCB Urban Co. to Benjamin & Theresa Guion, 809 Patrick Johnston Ln.
1/4/19 $105,000 Genesis Casa 1 to Mark & Sallie Myrick, 21644 Aftonshire Dr. 1/4/19 $450,000 Roland & Patricia Provost to Matt & Dana Klein, 7327 Swansea Ln. 1/4/19 $750,000 David & Deborah Pickens to David Bolsvert, 18712 Head Sail Ct. 1/7/19 $315,000 William Van Alston & Alejandro Alstona to Kevin & Amy Gais, 20200 Norman Colony Rd. 1/8/19 $390,000 Anthony & Lauren Nelson to Emily & Scott McCull-
17519 Paradise Cove Court in Cornelius for $1,400,000 och, 21503 Harken Dr. 1/9/19 $402,500 Frederick & Donna Smith to Frank & Erin Patercity, 20027 Northport Dr. 1/10/19 $399,000 Robert & Nancy Mattes to Damian & Kelly Latta, 13322 Edenmore Ln. 1/10/19 $278,000 Opendoor Prop-
erty D to Neal Goodnight, 10412 Conistan Pl. 1/11/19 $450,000 Richard & Carolyn Walker to Steven & Theresa Selling, 1911 Mary Ardrey Cir. 1/14/19 $285,000 Susanne Rutzinski to Cynthia Plyler, 18609 Cloverstone Cir. 1/14/19 $740,000 Michael & Karen Cooper to Matthew & Cynda Wilmesher, 16606 America Cup Rd. 12/31/18 $499,000 Taylor Morrison of Carolinas to Erik & Jennifer Hendrickson, 12243 Potts Planta-
12/19/18 $530,000 James & Diana Hall to Ryan & Sonja Romano, 18211 Dembridged Dr. 12/20/18 $414,500 Standard Pacific of the Carolinas to Richard & Lauren Halfmann, 17416 Shearer Rd. 12/21/18 $475,000 Andrea Davis to Cathy & Billy Henry Jr., 19014 Cypress Garden Dr. 12/28/18 $410,000 Opendoor Property N to Jeffrey & Ricciann Sheridan, 18537 Boulder Rock Loop 12/28/18 $459,000 Standard Pacific of the Carolinas to Aaron & Theresa Lee, 14423 Grundys Way 12/28/18 $460,000 Standard Pa-
18712 Head Sail Court in Cornelius for $750,000
CORNELIUS TODAY • February 2019 • 21
Home Sales Joe Kruschek
Joe.firstname.lastname@example.org 18825 W. Catawba Ave. Cornelius, NC 28031
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16606 America Cup Road in Cornelius for $740,000 cific of the Carolinas to Andrew & Anne McColgan, 17513 Julees Walk Ln. 12/31/18 $720,000 Carolinas Cottage Homes to David & Anita Watson, 719 Patrick Johnston Ln. 12/28/18 $377,500 Standard Pacific of the Carolinas to Mark Moore & Lori McPherson, 16713 Setter Point Ln.
12/28/18 $900,000 Peachtree Residential LLC to Christopher & Vanessa Christiansen, 17033 Stuttgart Rd. 1/3/19 $288,000 Ellen & Robert Thompson to Heather McClow, 126 Kinderston Dr.
More Sales Transactions online at www.CorneliusToday.com
19018 Serenity Point Lane - $740,000 MLS # 3461077
DebbieM@LakeNormanRealty.com Broker/REALTOR®, SFR
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22 • CORNELIUS TODAY • February 2019
LKN Chamber recognizes business leaders at annual dinner
Business Person of the Year: Mike Griffin, second from right, received the award from Bill Russell, CEO of the Lake Norman Chamber, far left. With them are Louise Cashion, the wife of the late Robert Cashion, for whom the award is named, and Joshua Dobi, the 2018 chair of the chamber. The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce named Mike Griffin the Businessperson of the Year at the annual dinner at The Peninsula Club. He is one of the principals of the Griffin Brothers Cos., based in Cornelius. The company, which began in the tire business almost 60 years ago, is now involved in commercial real estate, waste management and, more recently, ZoomUp Consulting Services. The Griffin family sold the tire business an Alabama company in 2016 for an undisclosed amount. It was an icon in Charlotte business, with 10 locations. The company dates back to 1961 when Larry Griffin Sr. opened the first tire store. In accepting the award, Mike Griffin mentioned Cornelius luminaries of days gone by including businessmen Robert T. Cashion and Roddy Brandes as well as Rev. John Edwin “Didi” Wayland, the long-time pastor of Bethel Presbyterian Church. All three men, who have passed way, were “special mentors,” Griffin said. He choked up when he talked about his mother’s influence on his own life. The 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year award was given to Joe Douglas of Captiva Restaurant Group, which launched in Cornelius in 2004 with 131 Main. Douglas, who also opened the Cowboy restaurant on
Hwy. 21, now has five restaurants employing 400 people and serving some 60,000 customers every month. Former WBTV news anchor Paul Cameron was the keynote speaker. Outgoing chamber board chairman Joshua Dobi, CEO of North Main Financial Group in Cornelius, presided over the event, while Tricia Sisson, from the the Range at Lake Norman as well as Clorox, was installed as the 2019 chairwoman. The two locations of The Range have two full-time and 22 part-time employees, some of whom work in both loca-
Joe Douglas with Captiva Restaurant Group, was selected as the McIntosh Law Firm Passion to Succeed Entrepreneur of the Year for 2018.
tions. Sisson is a sales pro. Her full-time job is National Account Manager for Clorox, with responsibility for Kingsford and Brita at Lowe’s as well. She also works with broker partners managing the Clorox businesses at hardware customers like Menards, Ace and True Value. Margi Kyle, founder of Little Smiles, received the Duke Citizenship & Service Award from John Crutchfield, director of public safety and recreation strategy planning services at Duke. Little Smiles helped serve 5,300 sick children in our area this past year. As an unpaid volunteer and director of the organization, she provides toys, electronic devices, birthday parties and whatever is needed to bring a smile to the face of a sick child. In receiving the award, Kyle said she was “honored and humbled to receive this prestigious and distinguished award.” “I am living my passion every day I work with Little Smiles, for I know what it is like to be a child in a hospital and what it is like to have a child in the hospital,” the Cornelius resident said. Also, Dr. John Powderly received the John R. Cherry Community Award recipient for 2018. He operates the only independent Phase I Cancer Clinic plus human application lab
in the United States. He founded Carolina BioOncology Institute in Huntersville in 2005. Over the last 13 years, he has provided access to cutting edge cancer treatment for some 3,000 patients through 80 clinical trials. His research on early phase immunotherapy research has led to over 100 publications. “My goal was and remains to provide cancer patients access to the latest immunotherapy trials in a warm and caring environment. We are the only independent Phase I cancer research clinic in the US and work with multiple, leading biotech partners to develop equipment and processes for the future,” he said. The Chamber also recognized Charles Knox Jr., of The Knox Group in Huntersville with the Scott Hinkle Servant Leadership Award named for the late Chamber Board Chair Scott Hinkle.
Charles Knox, Jr. with The Knox Group, received the Scott Hinkle Servant Leadership Award The award is presented to an individual who has made a lasting impact on the Lake Norman region. Knox was board chair in 2000 and served as cochair of the Regional Roads Committee. He has been a member of the N.C. Highway 73 Council of Planning since 2005. Other business leaders recognized were Don Oaks with Our Towns Habitat for Humanity as the Volunteer of the Year; John McHugh, Ocaid Photography was named Ambassador of the Year; and Richard Pappas, First National Bank, who was recognized as the Most Outstanding Chamber Board Member.with ProctorFree.
CORNELIUS TODAY • February 2019 • 23
New Corporations These are new corporations, as recorded by the NC Secretary of State.
Cornelius 12/11/18 Ashlock, Fortune, Milbredt LLC, Casey Ashlock, 21005 Sterling Bay Ln. E #K 12/12/18 Blue Skies LKN LLC, United States Corporation Agents Inc., 21228 Lakeview Cir. 12/12/18 Red Carpet Cut N Shave LLC, Andrew Szphyhulsky, 20830 Torrence Chapel Rd. Ste. E 12/12/18 SpecMat7 LLC, Scott C. Hauser, 20205 Lola Cir. 12/13/18 White Acre Consulting LLC, Matthew J. Whitaker, 20320 Deep Cove Ct. 12/14/18 Cornelius Custom Closets LLC, Brian R. Holland, 17701 Mesa Range Dr. 12/14/18 LLeshaj Estates LLC, Geta Lleshaj, 18825 W. Catawba Ave. #150 12/17/18 Chabad Lubavitch of Lake Norman, Chaim Meir Greenberg, 20120 Colony Point Ln. 12/17/18 EcoStyle Lawn Care, Ryan Eibeler, 19511 S. Main St. 12/17/18 Springer Capital LLC, David C. Teague, 18706 Peninsula Cove Ln. 12/18/18 Kayzo Creations LLC, Kristina Odom, 10107 Victoria Blake Dr. 12/19/18 Burrow and Associates LLC, Wiley Burrow, 19429 Laurel Glen Ave. 12/19/18 North State Office LLC, Christopher Shane Buckner, 16930 W. Catawba Ave. Ste. 205 12/20/18 Brad Little Trucking LLC, Brad Anderson Little, 17716 Harbor Walk Dr. 12/20/18 Changing Lanes Logistics Inc., Nykine Kewaun Houston, 11328 Heritage Green Dr. 12/20/18 Corridor Management Group LLC, Kamaria Walker, 20619 Torrence Chapel Rd. Ste. 116-502 12/21/18 C4 Performance Sports LLC, Thomas C. Jeter III, 18525 Statesville Rd. Unit D-2 12/21/18 M4 Talent Strategies LLC, Jeffrey Mulligan, 17601 Springwinds Dr. 12/27/18 Spire Hockey LLC, Jeffrey Dickerson, 19510 Jetton Rd. Ste. 300
S S E N I S U B 1/1/19 Juan Zambrano Photography LLC, Juan Zambrano, 10633 Trolley Run Dr. 1/1/19 NewTech Accounting LLC, Andrea Beaver, 19823 Henderson Rd. Unit C 1/1/19 SWCM LLC, Sean Herndon, 8714 Westmoreland Lake Dr. 1/1/19 The Perfect Shade LLC, John F. Hanzel, 19425 Liverpool Pkwy. Ste. G 1/2/19 House of TRES LLC, Spencer Harris, 18111 Bluff Inlet Rd. 1/2/19 Magi Holdings LLC, Gabor Halasz, 19701 Bethel Church Rd. #103-143 1/2/19 Woodland Group Partners Inc., Matthew Flatow, 20916 Torrence Chapel Rd. 2nd Floor Box B16 1/4/19 Lake Norman Dispensary LLC, Greg Hero, 21333 Catawba Ave. 1/9/19 CSR Management LLC, Dontavious Thomas, 19110 Chandlers Landing Dr. #101 1/9/19 Fifth Fairway Fortune Fund LLC, Lake Norman Lake Firm, 9606 Bailey Rd. Ste. 260 1/10/19 Cambium Contracting LLC, Kurt Stabasefski, 10143 Washam Potts Rd. 1/11/19 BHL Garage and Home Solutions LLC, Darren S. Conway, 20619 Torrence Chapel Rd. Ste. 116501 1/11/19 Carolinas Title Service Inc., Ronald Creigh Hill, 19901 W. Catawba Ave. Ste. 104 1/11/19 European Skin Solutions LLC, Marianna Gibbons, 10329 Danesway Ln. 1/11/19 Just Run LLC, Bobby Aswell Jr., 19042 Southport Dr. 1/11/19 Libby at the Lake LLC, Robert B. Newkirk III, 19425-A Liverpool Pkwy. 1/11/19 Sunny Daze VII LLC, Beverly Holmes, 21407 Catawba Ave.
Davidson 12/12/18 Addyson Layne Baby LLC, Sharon Mead, 5475 Deer Run Ct. 12/13/18 Catnic Holdings LLC, Cheri Swain, 710 NE Dr. Ste 7 12/13/18 Tide Investment Group LLC, Michael Seferyn, 19347 Overleaf Ln. 12/13/18 XBC Holdings LLC, Michael Baker, 710 NE Dr. Ste. 7 12/14/18 Atkinson Consulting LLC, Paul Atkinson, 107 Peters Pl. 12/14/18 Cynthia Beiler Consulting LLC, Cynthia Beiler, 19718 Wooden Tee Dr. 12/14/18 Team Nixxy LLC, Jason Nixdorf, 16830 Reinsch Dr.
12/18/18 Kerns Shop LLC, Evan Kern, 5433 Ashbury Ln. 12/18/18 Toastery of Riverbend LLC, Ben J. Cassarino, 445 S. Main St. Ste. 400 12/18/18 Tower New Homes Construction Inc., Richard D. Enderby, 1153 San Michele Pl. 12/19/18 Brandi Flittner Inc., Brandi Flittner, 952 Southwest Dr. 12/19/18 LKM Holdings LLC, Jonathon Kas Matos, 13120 Appolinaire Dr. 12/20/18 Red Bird Multimedia Group Inc., Laura E. Schumacher, 210 Delburg St. 12/20/18 TSG Commercial LLC, Gregory S. Fallon, 215 S. Main St. Ste. 306 12/21/18 Infinity Project 8 LLC, Nicole Sheehan, 20021 Callaway Hills Ln. 12/21/18 MPK II LLC, Daniel J. McDonough, 1328 Hudson Pl. 12/27/18 Infinity Project 8 Partners, Nicole Sheehan, 20021 Callaway Hills Ln.
More New Corporations online at www.CorneliusToday.com
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24 • CORNELIUS TODAY • February 2019
News from www.CorneliusToday.com
Town board OKs rezoning on Hill St. Jan. 8. The Cornelius Town Board unanimously OK’d an amendment to the Smithville Land Use Plan which will remove the neighborhood commercial designation for properties on the west side of South Hill. The change, which takes effect immediately, gained unanimous approval from the Planning Board in October. The community requested the change, according to Planning Director Wayne Herron. “This is consistent with other changes being considered to evaluate and ensure both sides of South Hill Street have the same or similar land use patterns,” Herron said. Both sides of Hill Street are lined with a mix of about a dozen homes, along with vacant parcels, but the homes on the west side also have substantial property between their rear properties and Statesville Road.
Since Statesville Road is commercially developed, the 2014 version of the town’s land use plan had designated the west side of Hill Street as neighborhood commercial. The town’s land use plan, originally adopted in December 1999 and revised in 2014, is a policy to guide growth and development of land in the town’s jurisdiction.
Three more officers promoted
Jan. 15. With Kevin Black rising to Chief of Police in Cornelius, three other officers are on the rise: Major David Baucom began his career in law enforcement with the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office in December of 1992 and came to work for the Cornelius Police Department in April of 1999. He has worked assignments in Patrol, Support Services, and Communications. He is a
Power out for 900 homes Jan. 11. Power to more than 900 electric customers down Jetton Road was restored about 7:05 pm after a 10-hour outage. There was no official word back from the utility, but unspecified damage to underground lines were at fault. The power outage extended down much of Jetton Road to Serenity Point and Ramsey Creek Park on Nantz Road. A spokeswoman earlier today said the failure occurred underground. Utility workers were actively digging on Jetton opposite Peninsula Point Drive at around 5 pm. Cable and phone services provided
by Continuum, formerly known as MI Connection, were also out of commission in the area, according to the company. Cable popped back on at 7:05. The outage was caused by unspecified damage to Duke equipment, sometime around 9 am Thursday. Most power outages are restored in about 3-4 hour; this one lasted about 10 hours. The Peninsula Club and the Peninsula Yacht Club closed for lack of electricity. Solo-preneurs and those who work from home found power and internet at Waterbean and Aquesta as well as PostNet in Jetton Village.
graduate of the Management Development Program and holds an Associate Degree from Central Piedmont Community College. He also serves as a Specialized Instructor in Firearms, Less Lethal Munitions, Chemical Munitions, Distraction Devices, and OC Pepper Spray. In addition, he is one of the Commanders of the North Mecklenburg SWAT Team.
Power outage near sub-station Jan. 15. UPDATE 915 pm. Duke Power is reporting some 363 customers in Cornelius are without power because of “required equipment maintenance.” Power went off in an area between the Lake Norman Cove at Jetton townhomes, parts of Edinburgh Square and Ramsey Creek Park on Nantz Road soon after 5 pm. While residents are
questioning why maintenance began near the end of the day, this outage is in about the same area as another outage last week caused by an underground cable failure. Power was originally expected to be back on by 8:30 pm; now Duke says 10 pm. See Soundoff pg. 29
News from www.CorneliusToday.com
CORNELIUS TODAY • February 2019 • 25
New police cruisers on duty
Aquesta reports sharply higher earnings Jan. 7. Start saying goodbye to those big old Crown Victorias, and hello to nine new Dodge Chargers prowling the streets of Cornelius. The Cornelius Police Department has eight new black and whites and one unmarked cruiser—it’s solid black and the officer inside might just sneak up on speeders. The CPD’s Ford Taurus’ are still on duty, as well as the Ford Explorers, none of which have problems with exhaust fumes leaking into the cabin, says CPD Major Kevin Black. For a long time, Ford Crown Victoria police interceptors were the squad car
of choice in the world of law enforcement, but Ford stopped making them in 2013. “The switch from the Police Interceptor Utility (Explorer) was a financial decision. The cost of a Charger is much lower than the cost of the Utility,” explains Black, who says officers like the new Chargers. Each base car cost $23,670.00 through a state contract. The vehicles are up-fitted with all the necessary equipment—about $20,000 worth—to make them response ready. The retired police cars will be sold as surplus town equipment.
Bailey’s Glen-Hough High Partnership online auction Jan. 21. The Bailey’s Glen/Hough High School Partnership will hold an on-line auction to raise funds to benefit students and teachers. The auction will go live on Feb. 8 and run through Feb. 15 at www/biddingowl.com/baileysglenhoughhigh. The auction will include general interest items, gift cards to local businesses and restaurants, unique sports memorabilia and event tickets.Unique Hough auction items include: Principal for a day, being the school mascot at a school event, a catered lunch with a favorite teacher, and lunch delivered to a student from local restaurants. To register, go to www.biddingowl. com, and select register as a bidder. There will also be an auction display
and event at the Hough High/Mallard Creek basketball games on Feb. 12 at the Hough gym from 4:30 to 8:30 pm.Bailey’s Glen residents have been collaborating with Hough High for several years. Bailey’s Glen homeowners have helped reduce the financial burden on teachers by paying for classroom materials, certification and training. In addition, they help students in need participate in extra-curricular activities, sports, and school trips. Hough teachers and students have been offering art classes, foreign language lessons, musical programs. For more information, contact Jeannie Phillips at bghhpartnership@ gmail.com
Jan. 16 Aquesta Financial Holdings, the parent company of Aquesta Bank, reported record earnings and loan growth for the fourth quarter of 2018 as well as the full year. The Cornelius-based bank reported net income of $942,000 compared to $204,000 during the last quarter of 2017. For the full year 2018, net income was $4.2 million compared to $1.9 million in 2017. The increase in Aquesta’s 2018 net income was primarily due to the sale of Aquesta Insurance Services during
the second quarter. Net income for the year includes a one-time after tax gain of $1.3 million or 32 cents per share. Normalized earnings were $3.0 million for 2018, more than 50 percent ahead of 2017. Jim Engel, CEO & President of Aquesta said “excellent earnings combined with excellent growth for the final quarter capping an outstanding year.” He added that core deposit growth was “enviable” compared to peer groups.
Works For Me! “Aquesta’s own advertising in Cornelius Today and Business Today has helped us succeed far more than other forms of advertising. I love seeing the new businesses that Aquesta Bank has financed in the ads and articles in Business Today and Cornelius Today. Local residents and local businesses supporting each other for a better and more prosperous community – this is what Cornelius Today, Business Today and Aquesta Bank are all about!”
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26 • CORNELIUS TODAY • February 2019
News from www.CorneliusToday.com
Public hearing on ‘Retreat at W. Catawba’ pushed to Feb. 18
Jan. 20. The public hearing on the Retreat at West Catawba project, originally scheduled for Tuesday Jan. 22 at Cornelius Town Hall, is expected to be delayed until Monday Feb. 18 at 7 pm. The proposal calls for as many as 42 townhomes and two commercial buildings on a 9.5 acre parcel. The property is largely vacant except for a handful of homes, one of which is run-down. It gained notoriety in 2016 when Classica Homes planned 40 age-restricted homes there, but the application was withdrawn. The town at the time offered little support for a residential project, stymieing the long-time owners who wanted to sell. The plan was officially withdrawn when there were too many challenges around the plans to widen West Catawba. Demeter Properties, the developer, hosted a required community meeting at Town Hall on Jan. 8. “Following that meeting, the Town and the applicant received an update from NCDOT for the West Catawba widening project which reflects a new u-turn on the applicant’s property. This impacts the
current plan to a point that it is not viable as proposed,” said Cornelius Assistant Planning Director Aaron Tucker. Tucker said that the new u-turn had been added to address citizen concerns regarding the lack of a U-turn for properties on the west side of West Catawba Avenue. As a result, the applicant is requesting that the public hearing be continued until Feb. 18 so they can meet with the DOT and evaluate alternate uses and designs parcel. At the community meeting, representatives from Demeter indicated that each of the townhomes would be approximately 2,200 square feet, and that the selling price would range from $400,000 to $500,000. Meanwhile, the town’s transportation advisory board reviewed the project at their January meeting. “We basically reported that the Catawba widening will effectively address the traffic impact associated with this development” said Kurt Naas, TAB member, “but until such time as the widening is completed, the project will significantly impact traffic congestion.”
CORNELIUS TODAY • February 2019 • 27
News from www.CorneliusToday.com
Get artsy Jan. 26 with Cain Center for the Arts Jan. 20. The Cain Center for the Arts will host a day of culture during Connect with Culture Days, an annual Arts & Science Council event that provides the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community with free cultural experiences and activities. The Cain Center will present multiple free visual arts experiences Saturday Jan. 26 at Cornelius Town Hall from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The visual arts experiences planned include activities that will evoke such artists as Piet Mondrian, Alexander Calder, Diego Rivera, Henri Matisse,
Faith Ringgold and Georgia O’Keefe. ASC’s Connect with Culture Days provide free access to arts, science, history experiences across Charlotte-Mecklenburg. “Everyone deserves to experience arts and culture regardless of where they live or what they can afford,” ASC President Robert Bush said. “Connect with Culture Days brings a sampling of our vibrant cultural community beyond Charlotte’s Center City and directly into neighborhoods.”
Meeting will shore up public access to Lake Cornelius Jan. 21. There will be a 2-hour, dropin community meeting Jan 23 to discuss how to provide kayaking and fishing on Lake Cornelius to the public. The project, which would be paid for by Duke Energy, would bring unfettered public access to Lake Cornelius. Of course, the YMCA on Davidson Street provides access, but the organization requires a membership. There’s no formal presentation
Wednesday, but there will be a public survey open to all Cornelius residents and business owners, which will remain open through Feb. 23. The Jan. 23 informational meeting at Town Hall runs from 6:30 to 8:30 pm Lake Cornelius, a 112-acre body of water with roughly 4.5 miles of shoreline, is east of I-77 between Cornelius and Davidson.
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28 • CORNELIUS TODAY • February 2019
Automorons...Did that pedestrian put a dent in my car? road. The traffic light turns green and the crosswalk signal turns green at the same time. Slam the accelerator to the floor and get through the intersection before the pedestrians advance far enough into the crosswalk to run into your car. Be careful, walkers can be willowy but they’re very dangerous.
If you’re new to Cornelius I’d like to offer some advice on how to navigate the roads in and around Lake Norman. You’re probably already familiar with the traffic laws, but perhaps you haven’t been informed about the unwritten rules that kick in around here when you have places to be and can’t be bothered with things like the speed limit. Or children in the road. Let’s get on with it. Buckle up. Seriously, buckle up.
Bicycles Perhaps you’re unaware but each automobile is equipped with a horn that warns others around you that you’re impatient. If you encounter a person on a bicycle, just push the center of your steering wheel to activate the horn. Press long and hard. The cyclist will either move to the gravel on the shoulder or fall over out of sheer fear that he or she is about to die. Proceed on your route.
Stop signs Where you’re from people might stop at those signs. Here the word S-T-O-P is pronounced MERGE. That means when you come to one of these you can just slow down for a nanosecond and then accelerate into traffic. Or don’t slow down and take the turn at Mach 3. It’s ok, you’re late to the afternoon carpool line.
Center turn lanes Like other places in the country, we have center turn lanes that are limited to left turns, but feel free to use them however you see fit. Want to ride the lane 1/2 mile to pass backed up traffic so you get home 30 seconds sooner? Go right ahead. Are there markings clearly indicating that the left turn lane is restricted to traffic in one direction? That’s merely a suggestion. Hop right out there in the middle and go. Pickleball starts in five minutes.
Parking lot shortcuts Cutting through business parking lots at a stop light is illegal in most places, including here, but feel free to do it anyhow. Don’t want to wait one or two rotations at a stop light? Just peel off into the gas station right there and pop out on the other side. Never mind the mother who clotheslined her kid to keep the absent-minded child from getting run over. You saved yourself like 45 seconds, you stud.
No Right on Red Where Catawba intersects Sam Furr
Road you’ll notice a No Right On Red sign above the stop light. It was installed because it’s a busy intersection prone to bad car accidents. Like the letter w in the word wreck, the “No” is silent in this instance. Feel free to turn right whenever you’re ready. You have places to be!
Pedestrians Please, do not drive on the sidewalks. It’s just rude. But when you encounter a pedestrian walking down a neighborhood road you’re allowed to drive within inches of them. It’s ok. If they get angry just roll down your window and yell things like, “WELL GET THE *#$& OUT OF THE ROAD,” and you’re covered. Who walks, anyway? The nerve of some people.
Megachurch Rush Hour This is more informational than anything else. Don’t leave your house at 11am or 1pm on a Sunday unless you want to hit wait hit the rush hour brought on by our megachurches. You may ask yourself, “Why is a police officer holding up traffic for a half mile so that last Chevy in the back of the lot can leave without being inconvenienced?” Let me know if you ever get
So there you go – some advice about how to navigate the roads of Lake Norman.
School bus stops These can get confusing depending upon whether you’re on a two-lane road, four-lane road or four-lane road with a median, so play close attention. When that little red STOP sign pops out behind the bus, you can wait, or just go ahead and drive around the bus. That Kindergartener meandering across the street can’t fathom how upset your guru is when you show up three minutes late for hot yoga.
Passing on the Left Sometimes you’ll find yourself in a neighborhood where someone is driving 25 miles per hour in a 25 mile an hour zone. Waiting on these people is unrequired. Just put your front bumper inches from their rear bumper and make angry gestures. Once you feel you’ve made your point, yank the steering wheel and proceed to pass the car on the left. You are now free to resume your day.
Crosswalks Here’s the situation. You’re at a stop light with crosswalks and there are pedestrians on the other side of the
Please note that our police force is trying as hard as they can and if they catch you doing any of these things you’ll probably get pulled over and ticketed. Why don’t they write more tickets? Because it would take the all-seeing powers of the League of Justice to clamp down on the drivers around here. If you do get pulled over, especially in a neighborhood, and see a bald guy roll down his window, point and laugh at you, and give the cop a thumbs up?
That’s me. Welcome to town.
Jon Show lives in Robbins Park with his wife, who he calls the “Mother of Dragons.” His 9-year-old son is “Future Man,” and 5-year-old daughter is “The Blonde Bomber.”
CORNELIUS TODAY • February 2019 • 29
Your comments and opinions since 2006
Online Headline Jan. 15
Power outage near sub-station on Jetton Cotton Baker Ct. is named for Howard “Cotton” Baker Sr., who launched the town ambulance service in the early 1960s. As town characters go, there aren’t very many like Howard “Cotton” Baker Sr. At well over 300 lbs., he was a “whale of a man,” according to his friend and the man who buried him, Rev. Didi Wayland, the retired pastor of both Bethel Presbyterian Church and Cornelius Presbyterian Church. Some people thought Cotton Baker was tough, Wayland said, but Baker was kind and generous. They were fast friends, although sometimes Baker would not attend church. When the two men were out in a boat, Wayland challenged the much larger man to fight him. If Baker fell into the lake, Wayland declared, the big man would agree to come to church for six weeks straight. Needless to say, Wayland tossed Baker in the water and wouldn’t let him back into the boat until he agreed to come to church. “You never heard such cussing,” Wayland recalls. “He told me I was the craziest preacher there ever was, but Cotton came to church the next Sunday.” Another time, when a couple of local boys ran into trouble, they called Rev. Wayland late one night to bail them out of jail. They needed $200. The preacher didn’t have that kind of cash, but the one person Wayland could count on for cash, no questions asked, was Baker. He called Baker and said he would be there in seven minutes. B a k e r answered the door in his u n d e r -wear and h a n d e d over $200.
From Steve Lowe A little advanced notice would have been nice. Thanks Duke. From Allen Tunget Fresh Market? Ok? Power on? • Duke Energy spokesperson Paige Layne shed some light on what happened when the lights went out. First of all, there was another outage Jan. 11 that affected 900 customers in the same area. That one was caused by a bad underground cable.
The outage Jan. 15 was an emergency repair. “Our techs were back in the location doing routine thermal scanning of the underground lines and came across a spot that was too hot (temperature) which meant that it was getting ready to fail. They had to repair it immediately – which
required the power outage affecting about 360 customers – to avoid equipment damage that could have resulted in a prolonged outage that could have affected more customers,” Layne said. Duke Energy apologized for the inconvenience. “We try to plan maintenance in advance so we can notify affected customers, but in this situation, the engineers determined an immediate fix was the best option,” Layne said. And, finally, a chipper tip of the hat to Allen. Whether Fresh Market is open or not in all kinds of crazy circumstances is a running joke on Exit 28 Ridiculousness, the Facebook page. *The Fresh Market reference is to a town commissioner’s spouse who complained on social media about the power being out at Fresh Market after a storm. Life is tough to varying degrees for all of us.
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30 • CORNELIUS TODAY • February 2019
email@example.com Your comments and opinions since 2006
MAKE YOUR New traffic system should improve Catawba LIFE FULL Online Headline Jan. 10
Schedule of Catawba widening from Jetton to Sam Furr
• Right-of-way acquisition - 2019 • Start construction - 2020 • End construction - 2021 Source: NCDOT From Marc Cintra says? From Pete Would be a fairly easy job as the shoulders are already widened. Push out an extra lane on each side and paint a stripe down the middle. Wouldn’t even have to move many poles. But NCDOT will turn it into yet another over-engineered mess. Maybe with wings this time.
From Michael Need 3 lanes each way. 2 lanes was appropriate 20 years ago. From Jeff Hmmm catawba having as many general purpose lanes as i77. ...... i77 is a disgrace. From Cindy Absolutely need 2 lanes in each direction on Catawba Ave to 73. The sooner the better.
From Vernette Seriously? The fact that this question is even being asked shows how much everything is a mess. Catawba is a parking lot past Jeton. From Angelo Catawba Ave Eastbound and Westbound severely need better access to 77. Once cars stack up on DDI, entry to I-77 is severely limited.
Follow Up West Catawba widening gets under way in earnest next year. It means challenges for motorists and merchants both as a median is installed and the road is widened from two lanes to four. Some left turns will be eliminated. What might not be eliminated are the overhead power lines, which were eliminated in Phase One widening from Torrence Chap-
el to Jetton. The problem is the price: Upwards of $13 million that taxpayers would have to pay. Here’s what Mayor Washam says: “Unfortunately, with the multimillion dollar price tag, I don’t expect that to initially happen. Utility burial could significantly improve the beauty of this im-
Online Headline Jan. 10
Are drive-in theaters making a comeback? From Sound Off Cornelius You could have ‘virtual’ or pop-up drive-in theaters in any parking lot with people in self-driving cars watching any flick they want on their phones! (Kidding!) From Cassandra Pop up drive in isn’t a terrible idea. Honestly, if a food truck could get on board, that would be genius. From April I would def go.
portant corridor. However, I do hope we can configure the relocation of the lines to be far less visible and easier to bury in the future assuming funding could ever be found. Also, the board could look at smaller or partial segments being buried over time.”
CORNELIUS TODAY • February 2019 • 31
Your comments and opinions since 2006
Online Headline Jan. 7
New Cornelius Police Chief ready to roll
NEWSMAKERS b r e a k f a s t
2019 Property Revaluation Wednesday, February 20
Police Chief Black From Jim Congratulations Chief and good luck. Keep the men and the community safe. From Dennis Congratulations “Chief” Be Safe and “Gitter Done.”
From Eileen Good luck and congratulations! From Sue Congratulations and good luck. Keep our community safe and keep your men safe as well.
Online Headline Jan. 7
Ken Joyner Mecklenburg County Assessor
Crosswalks. When you see the yellow lights, do you stop?
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From Angelo No different than a school bus, I always stop. From Shelia Sorry to say, but after being here for the last 11 years and having dogs that I walk several times a day... I have to say that the regard for pedestrians is almost non existent around here anymore. From April Always stop. Even if there are no lights, I am watching to see walkers/cyclist crossing. From Cassandra As a frequent pedestrian, I am astounded at the amount of drivers that won’t stop when I am in
the MIDDLE of the crosswalk. If a police officer followed my daily encounter of crosswalks, Im confident they would meet some goals.
From Susan I always stop but I also learned growing up to look both ways while crossing the street regardless of crosswalk. From Vernette Drivers in the south don’t realize what a pedestrian is and that they have the right of way as long as they are walking within their allowable lights. When I lived in the Peninsula , pedestrians were a nuisance.
32 • CORNELIUS TODAY • February 2019