The Charlotte Observer from Charlotte, North Carolina on May 12, 2006 · N4
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The Charlotte Observer from Charlotte, North Carolina · N4

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Friday, May 12, 2006
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4N SUNDAY, MAY 14, 2006 LS THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER | www.lakeneighbors.comNEIGHBORS OF LAKE NORMAN C O R N E L I U SOur Towns project and Verhoeff Drive im- provements. • $475,000 for a new fire truck. • $500,000 for the new J.V. Washam Elementary gymna- sium expansion and $200,000 to widen Westmoreland Road. That’s almost $7.4 million, and it doesn’t include the $3 million for the new fire station the town wants to build. “You have to look at generat- ing revenue some sort of way or else consider cutting some other things out,” Roberts said. “That’s what we’re wrestling with now.” The transportation plan is also expected to generate a lot of discussion. Several residents showed up at an April board meeting to protest the town’s transportation plan because it recommends that Washam Potts and Westmoreland roads be significantly widened. The roads serve as major east-west connectors in the town. Widening them could help alleviate some traffic along Catawba Avenue, on which the town spent $2.2 mil- lion to beautify two years ago. But residents who live along Washam Potts and Westmore- land are worried that if the roads are widened, fast-moving traffic in their neighborhoods will increase. Under the plan, Westmore- land would be converted into a four-lane, median divided road between U.S. 21 and West Ca- tawba in five or more years. The entirety of Washam would be made four lanes. Preliminary costs for the work run between $6 million and $8 million. Westmoreland is already getting a third lane between U.S. 21 and Washam Potts to help with traffic from the new J.V. Washam Elementary open- ing in August. The transportation plan also calls for U.S. 21, N.C. 115, Bailey Road and West Catawba Ave- nue to be widen to four lanes. U.S. 21 is the top priority, ac- cording to the plan. The Westmoreland and Washam Potts areas have al- ready experienced growth, and more developmental pressure is on the way, said town Plan- ning Director Karen Floyd. Floyd said a 650-lot sub- division has been proposed in the area that could go before the Town Board for approval this summer. By Bernie Petit bpetit@charlotteobserver.com Monday night’s Town Board meeting in Cornelius is gearing up to be a good one. Town Manager Anthony Roberts will present a prelimi- nary budget for fiscal year 2006-07, and commissioners are expected to vote on a trans- portation plan that calls for the widening of Washam Potts and Westmoreland roads. In regards to the budget, Roberts said Thursday that he hadn’t determined whether he would ask for a property tax in- crease or what the rate will be if he chooses to propose one. Currently, the rate is 26 cents per $100 of value. Roberts said that’s the third-lowest tax rate in the state for towns with pop- ulations similar to Cornelius (towns with 10,000 to 25,000 residents. Cornelius has about 17,000). At a budget workshop last month, officials looked at how raising the tax rate 1 to 3 cents would help the town’s bottom line. Roberts said the town needs to find a way to pay for pro- jects to which the current and past boards committed. Those include: • $3.8 million to the West Ca- tawba utility burial. • $500,000 toward the Bailey Road extension. • $900,000 to phase one of Robbins Park. • $1 million to the North Mecklenburg Industrial Park TOWN BOARD MEETING ON MONDAY Manager not sure yet on property tax hike ject is building an indoor facility. For this project, they are most in need of any donations of materi- als such as concrete and, of course, money. They would also welcome the help of anyone who wants to assist in building this facility. Eventually, the shelter wants to make concrete pens for all of the dogs. “We always have a pretty good range of dogs, so we can find something for everyone,” said Kayla Wynn, a shelter vol- unteer. Volunteers can work any day of the week at almost any time. The shelter needs volun- teers to spend time with the dogs and help with their general daily care. You could make your daily exercise a walk with one of the shelter’s dogs. I had a tough time visiting the shelter. When I see animals in need, I want to take them all home with me, but I’ve learned that’s something I can’t do. Wynn said, “I had the same problem, too, when I first started volunteering; that’s why I have three additional dogs now and two more cats. I wound up with the island of misfit pets.” If you can’t visit the shelter, you can help the shelter in its If you’ve met a rescued dog in the Cornelius area, there’s a good chance he or she was saved by the North Mecklenburg Ani- mal Rescue. The private shelter is nonprofit and operates on do- nations and adoption fees. Because the shelter isn’t breed-specific, they can help dogs of almost any kind. They are one of the few rescues that takes heartworm-positive dogs or dogs with other health prob- lems. (The shelter doesn’t have the facilities to care for cats but has contact information for some cat rescues.) The North Mecklenburg Ani- mal Rescue was started literally with a dog. One of Terry Fillow’s rescued dogs escaped into Beth Phillips’ yard, and Phillips called the number on the dog’s tag. Although Beth and Terry live in the same area and were each rescuing dogs on a small scale, neither knew of the other. After this chance meeting, they started rescuing dogs together. A few years later, they bought enough property to start a full- scale shelter, and the North Mecklenburg Animal Shelter was born. The shelter’s big ongoing pro- support of the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act making the care of pets and service animals part of evacua- tion plans. “It broke our hearts to hear about all those poor ani- mals that weren’t helped after Katrina,” Wynn said. “The vol- unteers down there did every- thing they could, but there should have been a better plan.” More information on PETS is available at www.hsus.org. The work of the shelter would not be possible without the help of veterinarian Dr. Jean Tuttle as well as the rest of LakeCross Veterinary Hospital staff. Tuttle and staff provide what help they can at little to no cost. “It’s very different working with shelter dogs than with some- one’s pet,” Tuttle said. “But this gives me the opportunity to help in the little way I can. And I en- joy what I do.” For information on dogs avail- able for adoption, go to www.petfinder.org/shelters/ NC287.html. For more informa- tion on the shelter, check out www.northmecklenburgani- malrescue.org. Playground reopens The Bailey Road Park play- ground reopened yesterday. The new playground area has park benches for keeping an eye on the youngsters at play. Also, swings have been added that are accessible by kids of all ability levels. There is also an addi- tional six-swing area. Now that the weather is warm, make a vis- it to check out the new play- ground equipment. Hi, Mom Because my mother reads this online every Sunday from her home in Belmont, Mass., I want to wish Pat Casali a happy Moth- er’s Day. Love you, Mama! Lisa Daidone lives in Cornelius. Have an item for her? Write: ldaidone@charlotteobserver.com They save canine castoffs; now can you help out the rescuers? ––––––– North Mecklenburg Animal Rescue runs on volunteers, donations ––––––– Lisa Daidone COURTESY OF KAYLA WYNN Blade MontyDuke AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION THROUGH NORTH MECKLENBURG ANIMAL RESCUE

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