South Charlotte

Communication tower probably won't be moved

When Mint Hill sold its 190-foot telecommunications tower to the city of Charlotte in 2010, plans called for the tower to be taken down and moved, freeing up an area near the edge of Mint Hill Park on Fairview.

Mint Hill was considering a dog park for that area.

Now, in the interest of public safety, the FBI, the North Carolina Crime Commission - composed of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol - and other public safety agencies are asking that the tower remain in its current location.

Those agencies say tower is vital to security efforts for the Democratic National Convention, as well as long term inter-agency emergency communications.

"The All State Law Enforcement Agency has determined that the tower needs to stay where it is on a permanent basis. We have a large event coming next fall, and the FBI approached us and asked that, for homeland security purposes, they really need the site on a permanent basis," said the Charlotte's Randy Davis.

If the request is approved, the tower would not generate any revenue but would be used only by government agencies for public safety and homeland security issues. Mint Hill would be allowed to keep its public safety equipment on the tower and place additional town equipment there.

Commissioners are expected to vote on the request at a future meeting.

In other business, commissioners:

Approved up to $6,000 for structural and environmental inspections of the old Bain Elementary School auditorium to determine the feasibility of renovating the 1920s structure. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is preparing to build a new school next to the existing building, and at least one of the buildings will be torn down to accommodate bus parking and the new traffic flow. Commissioners are hoping to save the oldest building on campus, renovate it and use it for the town.

Passed a resolution opposing city/county consolidation.