County to look at who will be on joint planning committee with school board

Despite a relatively light agenda on Easter Monday, Rowan County commissioners are considering approval of appointments to a joint planning committee with the school board as well as the sale of three sidewalk easements near West End Plaza to the city.

The board will meet at 6 p.m. in the county administration building at 130 W. Innes St.

The mediated settlement agreement approved Monday between commissioners and school board members necessitates the creation of a joint committee to work through developing a capital improvement plan.

In a memo from Rowan County Board of Commissioners Chairman Jim Sides addressed to his fellow board members, Sides appointed Vice-Chairman Craig Pierce, Commissioner Mike Caskey, County Manager Gary Page and Leslie Heidrick, assistant county manager and finance director, to the committee.

Once the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education has selected its committee members, the planning committee will begin meeting monthly until a plan is created which is acceptable to both boards before commissioners adopt it.

The joint planning committee meetings will be open to the public.

Commissioners also will consider a request from the city to purchase three sidewalk easements on the west side of Jake Alexander Boulevard near the former mall.

The segments are part of a larger effort by the city, funded with federal grants.

In 2012, the city was awarded funding through a program known as Congestion Mitigation Air Quality — a federal program aimed at funding transportation-related projects that improve air quality.

The city’s engineering department designed proposed sidewalk and safe pedestrian crossings that meet the program’s objectives, and construction is planned to begin late summer.

The city identified the county’s property near West End Plaza as necessary to complete the construction of the sidewalk.

The easement only allows the public access over the sidewalk, and the county still retains ownership of the property.

According to a letter from Salisbury Civil Engineer Bryan Alston addressed to the county, the city needs 263.3 square feet for the permanent easement along the county’s property in addition to 268.24 square feet of temporary construction easement to make any necessary adjustments and restorations to the existing ground.

The city is offering $530.59 to build the sidewalk.

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