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County looks to sell downtown building

By Jessie Burchette
jburchette@salisburypost.com
The county has declared the building that houses the downtown Post Office surplus and will make plans to dispose of it.
The Rowan County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to declare the 110 W. Innes St. building surplus after a presentation from Commissioner Raymond Coltrain.
His presentation included photos that show major problems with the roof and interior of the building.
Coltrain said Downtown Salisbury Inc. is interested in acquiring the building and preserving it.
An engineering study done in 2004 estimated repairing the building and making all three floors usable will cost between $250,000 and $300,000.
The tax value of the building is set at $95,000.
The county currently leases the first floor to the U.S. Postal Service.
Coltrain also raised the possibility the county could donate the building to Downtown Salisbury. But County Attorney Jay Dees said he isn’t sure if the county can do that.
Chairman Carl Ford said he will appoint a committee to look at the best method of disposing of the building.
In other business, the board:
– Agreed to a recommendation from County Attorney Dees to hire an attorney to assist and advise the planning staff in matters related to the proposed broadcast tower in Mount Ulla.
The first tower-related issue is set to go before the Zoning Board of Adjustment on Tuesday. Richard Parker is appealing Zoning Administrator Ed Muire’s refusal to issue a zoning permit for a radio broadcast tower.
County officials expect Davidson County Broadcasting to submit a new application for a conditional-use permit for a broadcast tower on the Parker property.
Commissioners previously turned down a permit for a 1,350-foot-tall broadcast tower, citing a potential hazard to planes using nearby Miller Air Park.
Dees advised commissioners that both the Board of Adjustment session and a conditional-use permit hearing are legal proceedings and that Davidson Broadcasting will be represented by attorneys. “It’s just like being in court,” Dees said, adding that county staff is at a disadvantage not having an attorney.
Dees said he can’t be involved in the broadcast tower issue due to a potential conflict. Prior to being hired by the county, Dees represented Davidson County Broadcasting.
Commissioners gave Dees the authority to hire an attorney at a rate not to exceed $250 per hour.
Anthony Fox, a Charlotte attorney, will continue to represent the county and commissioners in issues related to the tower.
– Set budget workshops for May 27 and May 28 at 3:30 p.m. at the Cohen Administrative Offices Building, 130 W. Innes St.
A public hearing on the proposed budget will be held June 15.
Ford said final adoption of the 2010 budget may not happen until June 30.
Ford said the N.C. Association of County Commissioners has advised counties to wait until the last minute due to “surprises” coming from state budget cuts.

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