Downtown Salisbury Inc. wants 3 percent increase from city

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Mark Wineka
Downtown Salisbury Inc. has asked for a 3 percent increase in what the city of Salisbury allocates to the organization.
Various community groups are making their annual requests for funds to Salisbury City Council in advance of spring budget discussions for 2009-2010.
Downtown Salisbury Inc. is asking for $101,455, up from its current allocation of $98,500.
Dick Huffman, president of Downtown Salisbury Inc., said the extra funds are needed to conduct a feasibility study on meeting space needs and for an update of the group’s master plan.
Downtown Salisbury Inc.’s $260,350 annual budget currently relies on a $98,500 allocation from the city, $127,500 in revenues from the Municipal Service District tax and $24,600 in private donations.
The organization’s goals in the next fiscal year include the meeting space study, master plan update, the Empire Hotel redevelopment and streetscape improvements at the Square.
Additional goals involve events and promotions, business and residential recruitment, completion of revolving fund projects at 102 S. Main and 213 S. Lee St. and efforts at traffic calming and improving pedestrian access to businesses.
The tax base in the Municipal Service District, which carries a tax rate of 16 cents per $100 valuation, has grown from $31.5 million in 1989 to $45.5 million in 1995 and $72 million in 2007.
Huffman said the central business district has seen more than $100 million in investment since 1980 ($40 million since 2001), a net gain of 943 jobs and 288 building renovations.
Here are other recent requests to the city for funding:
– Students in Training, $15,000.
– Rowan Blues & Jazz Society, $3,000.
– Rowan Museum Inc., $ 15,000.
– N.C. Transportation Museum Foundation, $7,500.
– Rufty-Holmes Senior Center, $58,000.
– Horizons Unlimited, $42,342
– Smart Start Rowan, $12,600
– Waterworks Visual Arts Center, $11,250
– Communities in Schools, $15,000
– Rowan Arts Council, $55,000
Students in Training, located on South Main Street, provides training and jobs for students in fourth grade through college.
The students recycled some 40 tons of electronic waste in 2008 and repaired, reconfigured and donated more than 600 computers. They kept 225 computers completely out of landfills, and of those, 75 were donated in the community.
Rowan Museum, the keeper of the county’s history, owns and operates the 1854 courthouse on North Main Street and the Utzman-Chambers House on South Jackson Street. It provides historic tours for thousands of students, educational programs, the Antique Show and exhibits throughout the year.
The organization is in its 56th year of operation.
The Blues and Jazz Society held its 10th annual festival last year.