by: Allison Latos Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The fight for Ballantyne and surrounding South Charlotte neighborhoods to split from the city is gaining fuel and going to a whole new level.
Eyewitness News has followed the push to create the town of Providence for almost two years.
The group called SMART, South Mecklenburg Alliance for Responsible Taxpayers, said voting results from last week's elections, that clearly defined the South Charlotte wedge, are only fueling their efforts to break free from the city.
"It also is sad testimony to what's happening to Charlotte and what's happening to the county," said Tim Timmerman of SMART. "I wish it weren't so, but it is. We cannot sit back and be quiet."
SMART has a new partnership is its push to create a new town.
SMART is joining forces with Russell Lee Jones Vocational Training Inc. to open charter schools in South Mecklenburg County, a move it claims will strengthen its ability to stand alone.
"Students in south Mecklenburg County, because of the geographic location of where they live, are being denied opportunity for choice," said the charter's COO Ron Shepherd.
Charter officials are eyeing three spots for that potential charter school here in South Charlotte but they're keeping them a secret. And officials tell me there's a reason.
They fear Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools would shot interested in the locations if they are made public.
Officials will submit a state application next month with the hopes of opening in the fall of 2015.
SMART leaders have a timeline too.
They aim for residents to vote on de-annexation from Charlotte in the next five years.
SMART has also been conducting feasibility studies to see if South Charlotte could provide it's own services like water and trash pick-up.
It plans to release the results in January.
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