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ABC board discusses savings, profitability

By Meghan Cooke
mcooke@salisburypost.com
Saving money and cutting costs were the main points of discussion at the Rowan-Kannapolis ABC Board’s meeting Tuesday.
The meeting was the first to be led by Linda Lowman, the newly appointed chairwoman.
But Lowman, a former general manager and 30-year employee of the county ABC system, got right down to business.
“I want to find ways to make the ABC Board more profitable,” she said.
She said she believes the board’s reputation has suffered. The Rowan County Board of Commissioners recently criticized the ABC Board’s failure to distribute more profits to the county, along with credit card charges, travel expenses and reimbursements to employees without receipts.
“I want to restore its good name,” Lowman said.
In a split vote in July, the Rowan County Board of Commissioners voted to make Lowman a member of the ABC Board, replacing Gus Andrews, who had sought reappointment.
Commissioners also voted to establish Lowman as chairwoman although ABC Board member Marny Hendrick had previously held that post.
At its Tuesday meeting, the ABC Board discussed store inventories, with members pointing out that reducing inventories would increase profits.
A financial report showed that July sales were up nearly $16,000 over July 2008.
Terry Osborne, general manager of the ABC system, said the increase was a step in the right direction, especially considering the decrease in sales of more expensive alcohol, such as Crown Royal.
“You’d see much higher profit margins if we continued to sell high-end items,” Osborne said.
Lowman made a motion to freeze salaries, hiring and travel until policies are revised. The motion was unanimously supported.
“I just think now is the time, as a new board, to make new policies,” she said.

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