Town Accomplishments 2015-16
Town of Matthews
The Town of Matthews continues to strive to provide an exceptional level of services to its citizens. These include police and fire protections, planning and zoning, economic development, parks and recreation, street and sidewalk maintenance, waste collection, storm water system maintenance and administrative services.
The Town has adopted a strategic plan, a framework that each department utilizes as a guide in providing the amenities enjoyed by more than 30,000 citizens. The seven key elements of the strategic plan include:
1. Quality of Life – to maintain our small town identity by providing a vibrant downtown, pedestrian friendly community, extensive greenspace system and recreational/cultural activities.
2. Communications – to create an informed citizenry by providing relevant information about the Town and enhancing two-way communications using traditional techniques and new technologies.
3. Transportation – to identify, plan, design, fund and build transportation facilities that efficiently and effectively serve the community in a cost effective and environmentally sensitive manner.
4. Public Safety – to provide the necessary trained personnel, equipment, and procedures to ensure the safety of Matthews’ citizens and enhance the Town’s reputation for safety.
5. Economic Development/Land Use Planning – to enhance the quality of life of the citizens by aggressively pursuing a balanced tax base by targeting businesses that will contribute sustainable, environmentally sensitive development and by planning for orderly growth and development.
6. Operational Performance – to plan, allocate resources, and operate all departments effectively and efficiently in order to meet the citizens’ needs for local government services.
7. Financial Performance- to provide financial resources in a prudent and responsible manner through traditional and alternative sources of revenue, effective budgeting, and cost control with a focus on maintaining a healthy fund balance.
Over the past year, the Town has succeeded in delivering projects, embarking on new partnerships with other municipalities, continuing responsible development, offering a safe environment for work and recreation while maintaining a conservative fiscal approach.
Each year, the Town’s Board of Commissioners work with Town staff to develop a “to-do list” – a document containing desired action items or goals of what should be accomplished in that year. Some of these accomplishments are listed below, with several satisfying more than one of the Town’s strategic plan elements.
- The “QUAD” has been formed with Mint Hill and Stallings, working together and sharing best practices among departments.
- Introduced a new website, www.matthewsnc.gov.
- Increased Fund Balance Percentage.
- Had a successful “Matthews 101” in fall of 2015, offering a citizens a glimpse into local government and its functions.
- Transition to state health plan for employees has saved significant funds.
- New solid waste contract has been executed that will save significant dollars.
- Sportsplex facility is under construction to be completed later this year for citizens and visitors to enjoy.
- CERT/Fire corps volunteers received more training to provide firefighter rehab at major incidents.
- Volunteers have converted an old ambulance into a rehab vehicle operated by the Fire Corps.
- Our Explorer Post competed in a state competition, winning two third place awards and one first place award.
- Progressed with the process of physically color- coding flow of fire hydrants, continuing through FY 16-17.
- Community Safety Education Lieutenant has established a great relationship with the County Fire Educator and has expanded our citizen outreach.
- Through the Chief’s office, we have continued to be very aggressive in pursuing grants. We have had numerous successes over the years in this area.
- Partnered with the Mecklenburg County Fire Marshal’s Office to provide smoke detectors to the community at no cost.
Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources:
- This year, the department partnered with Carolina Trailblazers to start work on a trail system at the new Purser-Hulsey Park on N.C. 51 at Phillips Road.
- A community garden is now open at Purser – Hulsey Park. The Town Board adopted this name in the spring of 2016.
- New playground equipment has been installed in Windsor Park, resulting in more activity.
- A conceptual design for the future Rice Road Park is under development.
- Additional landscape lighting and improvements to the R. Lee Myers Stage at Stumptown Park have been completed.
- Repairs are underway at the Community Center, to be completed prior to the Matthews Alive Festival.
- Recognized by NCRPA (North Carolina Recreation and Park Association) as Arts and Humanities Award recipient.
Planning and Development:
- Ongoing active staff involvement in regional studies and plans, i.e. The QUAD, East John Street/Old Monroe Road widening, U.S. 74 Express Lanes, I-485 Express Lanes, CATS Silver Line.
- Working alongside consultant through a grant opportunity to create the Downtown Streetscape Improvements Plan document.
- Coordinating efforts between planning/development and other Town departments on Crestdale Heritage Trail transportation plan/land use goals.
- Composite bike/pedestrian plan was adopted.
- Implemented new process of pre-submission development concept reviews by the Board of Commissioners.
- Undertook a new small area plan for East John Street /I-485 Outer Loop area, incorporating Winthrop University class in researching background data.
- Hired new GIS planner, new administrative assistant/deputy clerk.
- Worked with Winthrop University students on developing new cell tower/wireless technology distribution regulations consistent with latest state and federal laws.
- Coordinated zoning district change requests and text amendments, including old conditional zoned parcels into contemporary classifications.
- Researched impacts of pending legislation and provided information for Board responses.
- Staff was involved in updating and utilizing Mecklenburg County digital plan review system.
- Continued using grants to acquire land for Crestdale Heritage Trail and to build/repair affordable housing.
- Increased number of sworn officers having attained levels of law enforcement certifications to 74% - statewide average is less than 50%.
- Employees completed in excess of 7400 hours of in-service training.
- Successful FBI audit was completed that included facilities, data and information systems, receiving an exemplary report.
- Graduated members of fifth Citizens Academy, of which 8 have applied to become members of the Citizen Volunteers Corp, totaling 26 volunteers.
- Citizen volunteers contributed more than 2700 hours of service to the department in the past 12 months.
- In partnership with a local church, members of the department distributed $2,000 worth of $100 individual gifts to anonymous members of the community through the Secret Santa initiative.
- Partnered with other Town departments and several local businesses with Matthews Gives Back, a Christmas initiative that benefited 40 families and more than 100 children with food and holiday gifts.
- Partnered with all seven police departments in Mecklenburg County to start developing a countywide domestic violence/intimate partner violence prevention initiative.
- Purchased and deployed body cameras to all uniformed members of the department. Cameras will be used at all times when officers are in uniform.
- Completed large resurfacing program.
- Started construction on South Trade Street widening/Phase One.
- Completed Charles Buckley Way project.
- Started construction on Campus Ridge Relocation project.
- Pursued funding for McKee Road “A” project.
- Replace equipment through the capital improvement program process.
- Pursued new solid waste contract, providing significant savings to the Town.
- Constructed new community garden on Phillips Road as part of Purser-Hulsey Park.
- Worked with the NCDOT to construct a new superstreet on N.C. 51.
- Repaired parking lots at Fire Stations 1 and 2.
- Conservative budgeting continues into next fiscal year.
- No proposed use of fund balance (savings) in the FY 16-17 annual budget.
- GFOA (Government Finance Officers Association) Excellence in Financial Reporting Award, now for 18 consecutive years.
- Progress continues on growing the Town’s fund balance.
- No proposed increase to property tax rate in FY 16-17 annual budget.
- Proposed increase in vehicle tag fee from $25 to $30 – additional revenues will go to the Town’s street division.
- Proposed increase in storm water fees – additional revenues will go to the Town’s storm water division.