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Public hearing on electrical generator facility's expansion is Monday evening

By Jessie Burchette
jburchette@salisburypost.com
County commissioners will consider tax breaks for a $400 million expansion of Southern Company’s electrical generating facility on N.C. 801.
The Rowan County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing Monday evening and hear a detailed request on the project.
Top officials of the Salisbury-Rowan Economic Development Commission say the company is looking at several possible locations. The incentive deal may be the deciding factor.
Atlanta-based Southern Company bought the N.C. 801 facility and its 368-acre site from Progress Energy in 2006.
The current operation has a capacity of 925 megawatts.
The $400 million investment would add 630 megawatts of new power generation capacity.
The company is requesting an incentive of 68 percent for 10 years.
During that period, the facility would produce $2.2 million in new county taxes, with the county returning $1.5 million to the company. The county would retain an average of $706,000.
Over the life of the grant, the county would collect $22.1 million and rebate $15 million to Southern Company, retaining $7.1 million.
Under the current policy, Southern Company is eligible for an 85 percent grant over five years.
If approved, the company would have five years to secure a contract and begin construction.
Cleveland County approved a similar 68 percent agreement with Southern Power. The company has announced plans to to build the facility with operations to start in 2012.
Last year, commissioners approved an incentive agreement for Duke Energy’s $600 million expansion at the Buck Steam Station. Under that agreement, Duke will get 42 percent of total taxes rebated for 10 years.
In other matters, the board will:
– Discuss declaring dozens of parcels of county-owned land surplus, allowing sale to the public.
Vice Chairman Jon Barber is proposing the county sell the property to bring in more revenue.
– Hear John Brindle, Register of Deeds, on a request for software.
– Discuss financial information from the Rowan-Kannapolis ABC system.
Initially, a member of the ABC Board was scheduled to meet with commissioners, however, two of the three members are out of state.
General Manager Terry Osborne has been asked to attend to answer questions.
– Consider a request from the Rowan County Fair Association for improvements at the county-owned fairgrounds.
– Hold a public hearing on the condemnation of property at 310 Corriher Grange Road. A house on the site burned several years ago and the property owner hasn’t responded to requests to clean up the site.
– Recognize three high school groups for recent accomplishments. They include the South Rowan JROTC Raider Challenge champions, the Salisbury High School Ladies Tennis State Champions and Salisbury Men’s Track state champions.
– Consider a permit to exceed the noise standards for a gospel street party on June 20 at 151 Hawkins Loop. The event will raise money for a trip by a youth group.
The Rowan County Board of Commissioners meets at 7 p.m. Monday in the Cohen Administrative Offices Building, 130 W. Innes St.

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