South Charlotte

Police: Crime down

Crime is down in Matthews.

Matthews police Chief Rob Hunter's report to commissioners shows both the number of calls and the number of crimes has decreased over the first nine months of 2011.

Hunter says the number of calls received, down 6 percent from last year, declined for the first time in several years, and the number of traffic collisions remained steady.

Hunter says the proactive patrols by officers is helping ward off crimes reported, down 4 percent from last year, in the town.

"The last year we witnessed an overall reported crime number this low was in 1999. Our staff will continue the aggressive investigation of all reported crimes, and we will also continue the proactive patrols of our commercial and residential areas," said Hunter.

In other business, Matthews commissioners:

Approved a $9,500 contract with the Construction Institute to act as Construction Manager overseeing the construction and renovation of the Agriculture Building and the Bradford Clinic. Commissioner Kress Query excused himself from the discussion and vote because his son, Scott Query, is part-owner of the company.

Approved a firearms permit for Michael Gesell for the use of bow hunting on his property at 2016 Kimway Drive. Gesell already has the necessary permits from the N.C. Wildlife Commissioner but needed a firearms permit from Matthews to fire a weapon within town limits. He plans to hunt deer on his property, saying the animals are eating vegetation. The permit limits his hunting to Saturdays and Sundays and expires Dec. 31. Since his property backs up to Butler High School, he is also required to check with the school resource officer and refrain from hunting when there is activity at the school.

Approved a $26,576 contract with Bizzell Design of Davidson to design and plan a system of Way Finding signs throughout the town. Construction and installation will be included in the 2012-2013 budget.