South Charlotte

Three companies compete for Mint Hill park-planning contract

Last year, Mint Hill commissioners paid $670,000 for 27 acres on Brief Road across from the Mint Hill Athletic Association.

The land was designated for a new park.

Half the purchase price came from a Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant, and the other $335,000 came from the town.

Commissioners now want to see the land developed and recently heard presentations from three companies interested in doing the necessary planning.

Stewart, Wirth & Associates, and Woolpert pitched to the Town Board in hopes of getting the park-planning contract.

Mint Hill Town Manager Brian Welch said he expects commissioners to choose one of the three firms at the commissioner’s Aug. 20 board meeting and authorize it to negotiate a contract.

There’s been talk for a while about an American Legion-size field.

Brian Welch, Mint Hill town manager

All three firms mentioned topographical issues with the site that could limit development options.

There also is no city water available at the site, so planners will have to decide if it is more cost-effective to dig a well or pay Charlotte Water to run additional pipe to the area so the new park can tap the public water source.

Welch said the park will hold as many rectangular fields as possible and, hopefully, an American Legion-size field.

“There’s a huge need for rectangle fields for soccer, lacrosse and football,” Welch said, “and there’s been talk for a while about an American Legion-size field.

“There’s only one across the street, and it stays booked.”

He said the park will also include walking trails and playground equipment so whole families can enjoy the space – but the primary focus will be to add playing fields.

Welch said there is $50,000 in tourism funds in the current budget to go toward park planning.

When it’s time for development, Welch said, he anticipates applying for another PARTF grant.

Formal planning for the facility should begin in late fall, and Welch said there will be opportunity for public input during the planning process.

Melinda Johnston is a freelance writer: