Hospital CEOs call on Mecklenberg County to build a field hospital, saying that there is a potential need for as many as 3,000 additional hospital beds as COVID-19 cases surge.

Discussion over the motel demolition plan

Last night, council member Lawana Mayfield encouraged Hidden Valley residents to hold the city “accountable” for its action plan after the council approved the demolition of two motels on Sugar Creek.

Rewind: On the council’s April 10 agenda, an Economy Inn and a Budget Inn were up for discussion to be purchased by the city and demolished. Within the past six months, 485 crimes were reported at the sites of these motels. 

“As a community, we have had plenty of times when people that look like us came to us and said, ‘Here’s this great thing that we are going to do for the community.’ But what we don’t tell you is that a lot of times, you’re not going to be the person that benefits,” Mayfield said, nodding to her residency in the West End. 

“If this is funded, if this is demolished, it  [should] already [be] identified which partners, what commitments [are being made and] who gets access to this new housing,” Mayfield continued. “And, to ensure — I don’t even know if we can legally do this — that this individual who is a slumlord — who we are getting ready to pay over $4 million dollars for his trash business — isn’t able to go out and buy another business in our community that in another 10 to 15 years will put us in the exact same situation.” 

Economic development director Tracey Dodson explained that the site had been identified as an affordable housing project but had to go through a request for proposal. 

“I appreciate the passion, I appreciate the arguments as to why we shouldn’t do this, but to speak to Mr. Graham’s point, I don’t know why we wouldn’t do this,” Dante Anderson said. 

The decision to purchase and demolish the properties passed by six votes. 

Council members Mayfield, Braxton Winston and Ed Driggs voted against the demolition. 

Hidden Valley residents broke out in applause following the item’s approval. 

“We’ve been praying about this for a long time,” one resident told QCity Metro. “But we were patient, and we stood on the promises so to God be the glory.” 

“It’s finally here; we know there are other opportunities, but we’ve just been waiting to give God the glory,” another said. “We need to know where we are going, and she (Lawana Mayfield) was passionate. But once they tear it down, what are we going to do?” 

Speed round

  • Shortly after being rated 97 out of 143 large cities in bike safety, Charlotte City Council approved $1.9 million for the I-277 Rail Trail bridge project. The Rail Trail Bridge is a 280-foot-long pedestrian and bicycle bridge over I-277. The trail will connect Morehead Street to the Brooklyn Village Avenue light rail station. The trail will connect to the existing Uptown Cyclelink. 
  • The City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County will partner in the ongoing redevelopment of the Eastland Mall Site. The agreement will “formalize” the County’s contribution to “constructing the public infrastructure improvements.” Council member Marjorie Molina said at last night’s meeting about the Interlocal agreement with the county, “We all feel connected to the outcome of Eastland.” 
  • The council approved up to $1 million from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund for “home rehabilitation services” in partnership with Duke Energy. Through this partnership, the City of Charlotte and Duke Energy will complete energy-efficient appliance installations in low-income homes. The $1 million from City Council will fund “critical home repairs” like plumbing and lead-based paint hazard control. 
  • City Council approved up to $1,550,000 from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund for small business support and Corridors of Opportunity fundraising. 

Daija Peeler covers arts, culture, and faith in Charlotte.

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