Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Jessie Burchette
Salisbury Post
County commissioners may hear a lot from the public Monday evening on the tax rate, the budget and the county’s incentive policy.
Commissioners have a public hearing scheduled for 6 p.m. on the proposed budget, including the 59.5-cent tax rate.
Chairman Arnold Chamberlain has urged educators, taxpayers, firefighters and anyone else to come and have their say for or against the tax rate and the budget.
Chamberlain may be getting some help in turning out speakers.
A Rowan County Chamber of Commerce committee has sent out e-mails urging members to show up and support the 59.5-cent tax rate, saying the county can’t afford a revenue-neutral rate of 57.5 cents.
“We need a really large crowd there to support the budget under consideration and the 59.5-cent tax rate. We need to let the commissioners know that education and economic development are more important than the lowest tax rate possible,” the Chamber e-mail says.
The Chamber group is also urging its members to show up for the public comment portion of the meeting and urge confidentiality in the industrial recruiting process.
Commissioners have been accused of leaking information to the Salisbury Post related to incentives for a possible wind tunnel project.
The Chamber e-mail says that two Chamber officials will make a presentation during the public comment period, which starts shortly after the meeting gets under way at 4 p.m.
Other agenda items include:
– A public hearing on a text amendment to the Historic Landmarks Commission Ordinance to remove the ability of commission members to go on private property without the owner’s consent.
– A public hearing for a conditional use permit to allow a 36-unit condominium complex on lots 1-6 in the Sunset Pointe development off the 6700 block of Goodman Lake Road. Dan Fisher, representing Smithercut LLC, is seeking the permit.
– A public hearing for a conditional-use permit for MaKenzie Properties to build two horse arenas in the Finncastle subdivision in the 9200 block of N.C. 152 West, the former Ernie Irvan property.
– The board will consider a change order for Shive Elementary School to add $89,000 to cover changes mandated by the N.C. Department of Insurance.
– The board will consider renewing a lease with Ed Watts for operation of Alpha One Flight School at the Rowan County Airport.
– Commissioners will consider renewing leases for two county-owned properties with Piedmont Behavioral Healthcare. The properties are used as group homes.
– The board will consider approving a 10-year lease extension for Rowan Museum.
– Commissioner Jon Barber will discuss the board’s requirement that commissioners provide details and supporting documentation when they place an item on the agenda.
– Commissioners will consider a series of budget amendments.
– The board will consider appointments to several boards, including the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Board of Trustees; the Rowan Tourism Development Authority; Piedmont Behavioral Healthcare Board of Directors; and the Salisbury-Rowan Economic Development Commission.
– Commissioners will discuss changing the meeting schedule in July. The board normally drops the first Monday meeting and conducts only one meeting during July.
The Rowan County Board of Commissioners meets at 4 p.m. Monday in the J. Newton Cohen Sr. Meeting Room, County Administrative Offices Building, 130 W. Innes St.
Contact Jessie Burchette at 704-797-4254 or jburchette@