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Rowan-Kannapolis ABC Board agrees to seek efficiency study

By Jessie Burchette
jburchette@salisburypost.com
The Rowan-Kannapolis ABC Board has agreed to ask for an efficiency review by a state ABC panel.
The three-member board reversed its position after the Rowan County Board of Commissioners voted to ask for the review. The ABC board had previously voted unanimously against asking for a review
Marny Hendrick, chairman of the local Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, e-mailed county officials on Friday.
Hendrick wrote that he had talked with both board members, Gus Andrews and Ken Argo, and they agreed to the review.
“We have been in touch with members of the Efficiency Committee of the N.C. Association of ABC Boards and invited them to visit our operations as soon as possible,” Hendrick wrote.
Although a majority of the Board of Commissioners asked for the review, only the ABC board can request it.
Hendrick also wrote that board members agreed it would be best to delay any formal presentation to the county commissioners until the Efficiency Committee completes its review.
The ABC Board initially was scheduled to make a presentation to commissioners in mid-May explaining overall operations and why the system has a low profit margin. A state ABC listing shows the Rowan-Kannapolis system ranks 127th out of 157 systems statewide.
Since the 2005 vote by Kannapolis to approve ABC stores and the merger with the Rowan system, ABC officials have opened three new stores in Kannapolis. Combined with a previously existing store on North Cannon Boulevard, the system now has four stores in Kannapolis. The remaining three are in Salisbury and Rockwell.
After the board refused to provide detailed financial information requested by Commissioner Tina Hall, commissioners voted to delay the presentation.
Credit card statements released later showed extensive travel with thousands of dollars spent at hotels and restaurants from Florida to Washington, D.C.
In an e-mail to the county, Hendrick said all of the expenses on the credit card statements were for legitimate and valid business. And he wrote that there were no charges on credit cards or money paid for alcoholic beverages.
Hendrick noted the ABC Board will be available in July to meet with commissioners.
Hall has made additional requests for financial information.
Contact Jessie Burchette at 704-797-4254.

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