STEELE CREEK NEWS
County Announces Plans
to Spend $0 on New Projects in Steele Creek
2011) At the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners meeting on
June 21, Dena Diona, Finance Director for Mecklenburg County, laid out
a plan to spend $136.8 million on 17 ranked capital projects during the
upcoming fiscal year. None of those projects are in Steele Creek.
County voters have approved bonds for schools, parks, and other
projects but the county has been unable to sell most of those bonds,
the commissioners established a capital projects prioritization
process to identify which projects to go forward with in the
upcoming fiscal year.
Capital Projects Ranking BOCC June 21 2011
for the full list. The FY2012 Capital Project Ranking table shows
the initial ranked list. The FY2012 Recommended Capital Project
Ranking table shows the recommended priorities, which drops one
project to FY 2013 because it isn't needed this year and brings two
projects up due to contractual agreement with the Town of Matthews
and Johnson C. Smith University.
Palisades Elementary School
The top ranked
project in Steele Creek is the Palisades Elementary School, which
will be built on land the school system owns across from McDowell
Nature Preserve. Based on the amounts approved this year, the
Palisades Elementary School could possibly be built in 2013.
Also on the ranked
list is the Palisades Neighborhood Park, which was anticipated to be
built under the same construction contract as the school. This may
be a factor in determining whether this park also might be built
A new high school
also will be built on the same site as the elementary school and
park, but bonds have not been approved to build that school. Click
HERE on the image above to see a proposed layout of the
site. Also see
Plan for the Neighborhood Park at The Palisades Released.
Also on the
ranked list is Berewick Park. The ranking document describes this as
|Final build-out of this park and sports
complex. Included in the final phase will be four synthetic and
two multi-purpose fields, indoor shelter, walking and hiking
trails, parking and construction of the championship
multi-purpose field and associated stadium complex. Phase I is
currently under design and will consist of five multi-purpose
fields (2 of which will be synthetic), parking and restrooms.
In 2008, the
first phase of Berewick Park was expected to be completed by the end
of 2009, but construction could not begin because the bonds were not
First Phase of Berewick Regional Park to Open at the End of 2009.
Plans for the park apparently have changed since 2008.
McAlister Winget Park
The county has a
number of additional projects approved but not ranked. The Finance
Department asked departments to only rank those projects that had
construction start dates prior to July 1, 2013. The remaining
projects will be ranked at a later date and will follow the projects
already on the list.
The Sugar Creek
Greenway is described as follows:
|City Park Loop and Billy Graham Parkway to S
will run from the planned City Park development at the site of the
old coliseum on Tyvola Road to S Tryon St at the bottom of the hill
between Tyvola Road and Shopton Road along the northeast edge of
Steele Creek. It eventually will continue east to E. E. Waddell
School. This project has been delayed due to the delay in
construction at City Park.
Winget Park is described as follows:
|The 3rd and final phase of this park. Amenities
yet to be built per the approved site master plan include three
softball fields, amphitheatre, picnic sites, indoor shelter,
restroom, athletic field lighting, and walking trails.
Branch Greenway is an extension of the current greenway behind Best
Buy at RiverGate Shopping Center. It will continue along Walker
Branch behind Walker Creek and Southbridge neighborhoods to Smith
Road. There also will be a connection to the Steele Creek Athletic
County has not paid for the construction of any greenways in Steele
The county has
been looking for partnerships to contribute to project funding.
Walkers Branch Greenway was donated with no matching funding from
Mecklenburg County by Childress Klein, the developers of RiverGate.
Childress Klein not only donated the land, but also paid the
approximately $300,000 construction cost. Mecklenburg County could
have taken advantage of this partnership opportunity to extend the
greenway to Smith Road or at the very minimum added a bridge across
the creek to the ball fields of the Steele Creek Athletic
Association. Instead we have a very short greenway that connects one
part of the parking lot to another part of the parking lot.
Childress Klein has gone above and beyond their scope in order to be
a good neighbor, but the county has not seen this area as a
priority. A continuation of the greenway to Smith Road would have
provided neighborhoods along Choate Circle access to RiverGate and
other shopping areas along S Tryon Street. Many residents feel short
changed by the county. We can only hope that the county recognizes
the value of this greenway and takes advantage of what Childress
Klein started to create a greenway that could actually be used by
the local residents from their neighborhoods.
High School stadium project is described as follows:
|Construction of a new 4000 seat stadium and
field house including concession stands and restroom facilities.
Replacement of the existing track and installation of artificial
funding for these projects through school bonds in 2007 and park
bonds in 2008. The county Finance Department will present the final
plan for bond sales for approval by the County Commission in August,
and they likely will be sold in September. After selling the
recommended bonds this year, the county will have $579 million
authorized but unsold bond debt.
$34M for Capital Projects in Steele Creek is on Hold.
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