Projects could bring jobs to Rowan

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Mark Wineka
The Rowan County Board of Commissioners will hold public hearings Monday on investment grant incentives for two industrial projects.
As part of those public hearings, the Salisbury-Rowan Economic Development Commission has submitted an economic impact analysis on each project.
Sustainable Textile Group, a subsidiary of Arkansas-based Strateline Industries, has proposed locating in the former HanesBrand Inc. building in China Grove. The textile plant has been vacant since December 2008, when 185 remaining jobs were cut.
STG proposes employing 223 people and making a $10 million investment in the plant.
The company produces fiber fabric made from manufacturing waste streams such as textiles, carpet and leather. The fabric is used in items such as wet wipes and other non-woven materials for the home furnishings, medical and automotive industries.
The proposed China Grove operation would produce short fibers and weave them into yarn, then fabric, according to the EDC analysis.
The other project involves Henkel Corp., which owns a portion of the former National Starch and Chemical plant off Cedar Springs Road in Salisbury.
Henkel, headquartered in Dusseldorf, Germany, proposes a $23 million investment and the creation of 103 new jobs, while retaining 81 existing positions. Henkel is a world market leader in adhesives, sealants and surface treatments.
Meanwhile, the EDC also will ask commissioners to set a public hearing for May 18 on an even bigger potential industrial investment given the name “Project Heat.”
Robert Van Geons, executive director of the EDC, said Project Heat involves electrical power generation, proposed by “a non-publicly regulated power producer.” It would represent a $400 million investment, Van Geons said, and it also would seek an incentive grant from Rowan County.
Because of a unique construction timeline, the large investment and competitive nature, Project Heat would seek an incentive agreement “varying in structure and duration from guidelines set forth in the Rowan County Investment Grant Program,” Van Geons said in a letter to commissioners.
Commissioners meet at 4 p.m. Monday at the J. Newton Cohen Sr. Rowan County Administration Building, 130 W. Innes St.
In other agenda items, commissioners will:
– Hold a public hearing on a rezoning request for Harry and Josephine Powers at 2475 London Road. The planning staff recommends a rezoning of 2.2 acres at the rear of their property and 2.2 acres in front, to allow for a family subdivision and the construction of a single-family residence for the Powers’ grandson.
– Hold a public hearing for adoption of a digital flood insurance rate map and a revised Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance.
– Consider a request from Tamarac Marina at 9120 Bringle Ferry Road to exceed the county’s noise ordinance for the Rally at the River fundraiser May 29-31.
– Consider consolidation of animal control services between Rowan County and the city of Salisbury.
– Receive a presentation of the Local Emergency Planning committee’s annual report.
– Consider a request from the Mount Ulla Historic Preservation Society to extend the Millbridge Scenic Byway.
– Discuss the status of a county-owned building at 110 W. Innes St.
– Consider hiring a hearing officer for tower hearings and future conditional use permit hearings.
– Consider a request to the ABC Board for an efficiency review.
– Hear of Rowan Public Library’s application for a Community Giving Grant to promote early childhood reading.
– Consider recommendations for Juvenile Crime Prevention Council funding.
– Proclaim May 16 as “Let’s Get Connected Day.”
– Proclaim May 7 as “National Day of Prayer” in Rowan.
– Reschedule a public hearing to May 18 in relation to financing a new classroom building at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s Salisbury campus.
– Set a public hearing for May 18 on a budget amendment for the RDH Tire project.