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While two special legislative sessions are expected to be called later this summer, the North Carolina General Assembly adjourned its 2017 legislative session early Friday morning. Looking back on the six-month session, Mecklenburg County enjoyed significant legislative and policy gains.
Among the County’s achievements are increased state investment in early childhood education for both NC Pre-K and the child care subsidy, protecting our local water quality along the Catawba River Basin, and achieving a DHHS policy change that will allow County confinement facilities to receive Medicaid reimbursement equal to that of state confinement facilities.
The Medicaid reimbursement piece alone will save our County about $1 million a year. At the federal level, we were the recipients of significant grant funds that will further initiatives across the County and we continue to strengthen relationships with both new and seasoned members of Congress.
The willingness of our Board members to join our lobbying team and me in advocating for our 2017 legislative priorities made a difference. While we still have work to do going forward, our 2017 gains only reemphasize the importance of the relationships that we have at the state and federal level. Jonathan Sink will discuss the County’s 2017 legislative achievements in greater detail at our Board’s July 11 meeting.
For more information, contact Legislative Affairs Liaison Jonathan Sink at 980-314-2884 or Jonathan.Sink@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov. Mecklenburg Selected as Finalist in Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge
I am excited to announce that Mecklenburg County has been selected as one of three finalists in the Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge. Cheryl Emanuel, Senior Health Manager, will represent our Public Health Department's Community Engagement Division on the panel this month at the annual NACo Conference Healthiest Cities and Counties Institute in Columbus, Ohio. Along with a member of the Board of County Commissioners, she will be sharing our engagement efforts with a focus on best practices, accomplishments and ways to overcome challenges.
The Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge has also invited us to participate in the interim awards. Our Public Health Department has an opportunity to win one of 10 grants worth $25,000 each. Awards will be given in the categories of Planning and Approach, Community Engagement, Partnerships, and Health-Related Policy Changes. Grant finalists will be awarded in November 2017. Solid Waste Management Division Wins Prestigious Award
I would like to congratulate LUESA’s Solid Waste Management Program on recently winning its 6th Platinum Award for Environmental Excellence from Charlotte Water.
The award was given to the County for excellence in water discharge from the Foxhole Landfill, 17131 Lancaster Highway. The landfill has continuously met and exceeded industrial water discharge limits for more than 10 years.
Charlotte Water extends the awards to organizations that have taken a proactive and innovative approach to protecting the quality of our water. The Foxhole Landfill received the highest and longest award out of the 28 different companies receiving excellence awards.
For more information, contact Solid Waste Management Director Jeffrey Smithberger at 980-314-3863 or Jeffrey.Smithberger@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov. The Sounds of Summer
Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation will keep you singing and dancing all summer long as it continues its free summer concerts at First Ward, Fourth Ward Freedom and Romare Bearden parks.
The popular events, which feature jazz, beach music and several other genres, take place weekly and offer great fun for the entire family.
So far, the department has seen record crowds this year, and there’s a lot of music left to hear.
I invite you to grab a lawn chair and join the fun. You can view a list of upcoming performances here.
For more information, contact Park and Recreation Director Jim Garges at 980-314-1012 or James.Garges@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov.