County agrees to Kesler clean-up plan

SALISBURY — Rowan County commissioners agreed to a payment plan for the clean-up of the Kesler Mills site Tuesday.

County leaders voted unanimously to defer the landfill tipping costs associated with the old Kesler Manufacturing complex off Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue. When the property is sold or redeveloped, proceeds from the sale will go to pay off the landfill tipping costs and code services fines.


Vice Chairman Craig Pierce said the county has been working with the city to develop a payment plan for the debris in recent weeks.

“I’ve been in touch with Janet Gapen, the planner of the city, and made her understand that the landfill is not a revenue stream for the county,” Pierce said. “It’s an enterprise fund, which simply means those dollars that we charge for those tipping fees are put into a escrow account and are used whenever we’re ready to enter into the next sale.”

The former plant was the last of Salisbury’s early 20th century mills, but in 2009 the property owner, FCU Urban Ministries of Atlanta, Ga., contracted Applied Abatement Demolition of King’s Mountain, to demolish the mill’s remaining structures and to harvest the historic building materials.

But after four years, the property is a sea of debris mounds.

In a memorandum of understanding, the county said the property owners have also been cited repeatedly for the roughly 4,000 tons of debris.

Pierce said the tipping costs would be in excess of $160,000 and the property owners did not have the money up front to pay for the debris clean-up.

Following a brief discussion, Pierce touted the agreement as an effort between the city and county.

“This is the county working with the city to make a better situation for our citizens as well as to show them that when they come to us with a reasonable request we are more than happy to do everything we can to work with the city so that not only is the county taken care of but so are the citizens, and in this case the citizens of Salisbury,” he said.

Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.

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