MINT HILL – Mint Hill voters rejected two bond proposals, totaling $18 million, that would have built a baseball stadium, athletic fields and a cultural center in town on Nov. 6. Both bonds were defeated by margins of 53 percent to 47 percent.
The $15 million parks and recreation bond was defeated 5,743 to 5,089. The bond would have funded the construction of a 2,500-seat baseball stadium at Veteran’s Memorial Park and multi-use athletic fields, a playground and a walking trail for an athletic park on Brief Road.
The $3 million public facility bond that would have renovated Bain Academy into a cultural center went down 5,634 to 5,093.
The parks and recreation bond went down to defeat in five of the six precincts in town. Only precinct 235 voted in favor of the proposal, 612 to 563. “No” votes captured 56 percent of the vote in precinct 236, 54 percent of the vote in precinct 220, 53 percent of the vote in precinct 219 and 52 percent of the vote in precincts 221 and 234.
The public facility bond, or Bain Bond as it was known, also only carried precinct 235 but by just one vote, 585-584. “No” votes captured 54 percent in precinct 234 while “no” votes captured 53 percent of the vote in precincts 220 and 236. In precinct 219, “no” votes captured 52 percent of the vote while “no” votes captured 51 percent of the votes in precinct 221.
A dozen or so supporters of the proposal to renovate Bain Academy gathered at Vinter’s Hill in downtown on election night for a watch party and expectations for victory turned somber after early voting totals showed the proposal being rejected by voters.
Carol Timblin, who helped lead the effort to pass the bond to save Bain, told a young supporter waiting for the final results to be tabulated, “We tried our best.”
“This was our one chance,” Timblin said. “I guess the town will now have to make a decision on what to do. They could do something in spite of the election or they could just respect the election.”
The baseball stadium at Veterans Memorial Park, which would have also been used for non-baseball events, would have used $9 million of the parks and recreation bond. Local businessman Alain Lillie said he would have brought a Coastal Plain League summer collegiate baseball team to Mint Hill if the bond passed. The team would have used the stadium 26 times each summer.
Several residents at two information sessions that the town sponsored said Mint Hill didn’t need a stadium that size and didn’t need a summer baseball team for college players. Several other residents expressed concern about the extra tax burden that would be placed on residents.
If both bonds had passed, a homeowner in Mint Hill with a home valued at $300,000 would have seen a tax increase of approximately $150 a year.
The proposed athletic park on Brief Road would have been a multi-use facility with four fields that would have been used for soccer, football, field hockey, lacrosse and other sports. One of the fields would have featured a synthetic turf field with lights. There also would have been picnic shelters and restrooms at the park.
The public facility bond would have been used for a cultural arts center at Historic Bain Academy. Under the proposal, the building and its auditorium would be renovated and it would have been used for such cultural events as theater productions, art gallery events, fashion shows, craft shows, family events, seminars and weddings and reunions.