Shawn Campion: RowanWorks represents county well
This letter and supporting documentation is in response to the article published on Aug. 20 in the Salisbury Post titled “Commissioners rip into economic development department.”
Robert Van Geons and the RowanWorks staff were extremely instrumental in Integro Technologies remaining in Rowan county and the construction of the Salisbury Business Center. We have been in communication with Mr. Van Geons for three years, working to identify and review potential facilities and building sites within Rowan County that would satisfy our requirements. Unfortunately, no pre-existing buildings were successfully identified due to the lack of industrial manufacturing or flex space in Rowan industrial parks.
Integro Technologies submitted a proposal to the Rowan County Commissioners through RowanWorks on Nov. 19, 2012, to purchase 8.7 acres within Summit Corporate park at a reduced rate with no other associated incentives. The proposal committed to constructing two buildings within a three-year period, the first 50,000 square-foot building in 2013. The proposal was rejected by the county commissioners. We were not granted the opportunity to present our proposal. Please refer to the attached proposal document for additional information.
During this three-year period leading up to and after our proposal to purchase and build within Summit Corporate Park, we were never contacted by any Rowan County Commissioners.
If we contacted any staff member of RowanWorks we always received an email or a verbal response that day or within a few business days if research was required. Based on my communication with other Rowan County business owners; RowanWorks ignores no one knowingly.
RowanWorks is not the issue! When major employers or international companies search for new facilities locations, they monitor newspapers and mine for social-economic data regarding the community past and present.
The county commissioners need to lead the community in a progressive manner to attract and retain business and manufacturing facilities. Having a reputation for not granting incentives undermines Mr. Van Geons’ efforts while competing against aggressive business-friendly counties in North Carolina (Lincolnton, Davie and Catawba) and other states. If the county commissioners would like to politically blame someone for the lack of growth or retention, they do not have to look far.
Without Mr. Van Geons, RowanWorks, the vision of the Salisbury City Council and Mr. (Doug) Paris; Integro Technologies would have relocated to Mocksville, Mooresville or Concord.
Shawn A. Campion is president of Integro Technologies Corp. Salisbury Business Center, which is building a new facility in downtown Salisbury.