Matthews Alive, the three-day family festival held each Labor Day weekend in Matthews, has given more than a million dollars back.Each year, local nonprofits volunteer to staff the event, and after the final accounting, the Matthews Alive board donates the proceeds to those nonprofits. At Monday’s Board of Commissioners Meeting, Matthews Alive Chairman Jim Sander presented a check for $67,517 to be divided among the 41 nonprofits that worked the 2012 Matthews Alive festival. This means that during the 20-year life of the festival, organizers have returned more than $1 million to the community. As another way to give back, the Matthews Alive board recently formed the Matthews Alive Foundation, which will be controlled by the Matthews Alive board. Nonprofits can submit grant requests throughout the year.Sander says he hopes that approval of requests for foundation funding will become a regular agenda item at the monthly Matthews Alive board meetings.Tax-deductible gifts to the foundation will enable the nonprofits that volunteered during the festival the previous year to apply for grants throughout the next year. “It’s a great opportunity for the Matthews Alive organization to continue to provide funding to local nonprofits on a year-round basis,” said Sander.New retirement centerMatthews commissioners voted last week to allow ACTS Retirement-Life Communities to build Plantation Village, a 220-unit retirement complex on 50 acres at South Trade Street and Fullwood Lane. The original zoning, passed in 2008, was for a much larger project but was put on hold because of the economy. Now, ACTS leaders say, the time is right to proceed with a scaled-down version. “Our business is driven by the real estate market. Plantation Estates has been one of our most successful communities and the demand in Matthews has always been good, even in the down economy,” said ACTS Senior Vice President of Development Jeff Rathbun. As part of the project, ACTS has committed to creating a new entrance to the Hampton Green neighborhood. It plans to extend Talbot Court to Fullwood Lane, giving neighbors an alternate way to enter and exit the subdivision, currently accessible only off South Trade Street. Rathbun says the $140 million project will be built in four or five stages. ACTS hopes to start selling units for Phase 1 next summer but isn’t sure when construction will begin. Once construction starts, they expect each phase to take 12-14 months.