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By Jessie Burchette
Salisbury Post
Looking for a fixer-upper on wheels?
Rowan County may have a deal for you.
County commissioners have declared more than 30 vehicles surplus, setting the stage for an auction on the morning of May 18.
In addition, dozens of other items, including desks, chairs, copiers, air compressors and paddle boats have also been declared surplus and will be sold at auction on the afternoon of May 18.
Dont expect any glowing recommendations for the vehicles or the other items.
Most of the equipment is rated poor/trash.
While most of the Sheriffs Office vehicles are being sold because of high mileage, some have other issues blown motors, bad transmissions, wrecked, burns oil or power steering doesnt work.
Two ambulances are ready for sale. One is rated OK. It was driven to the auction site on Julian Road. The other had be towed.
The mix includes vans, lift vans, pickups, along with 18 Ford Crown Victorias. All have mileage ranging from 115,000 to 145,000.
Vehicles will be sold beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the county recycling center on Julian Road. Other items will be sold beginning at 1 p.m. at the maintenance shop on East Lafayette Street.
There are at least five county residents who wont be bidding on any of the items.
County Manager Bill Cowan advised commissioners to resist the temptation to bid. While county employees can bid, Cowan said its illegal for commissioners to bid on the surplus county property. He cited incidents in other counties where commissioners have run afoul of the law.
Its the first time in anyones recollection that commissioners have been advised of the prohibition.
Chairman Arnold Chamberlain asked Cowan if he can bid at the auction.
I can, but I wont, Cowan replied.
In other matters, the board heard information or acted as follows:
Adopted the International Fire Code, which is the state adopted standard for local regulations and safeguards.
Emergency Services Director Frank Thomason said the adoption is necessary for the reorganized fire division to begin doing fire inspections instead of the codes enforcement personnel.
Commissioner Jim Sides questioned the authority of the fire inspectors to come into a business without permission. He described an encounter with a volunteer firefighter who showed up at his business and was very assertive.
County Fire Marshal Tom Kelly said inspectors will work with property owners and try to schedule the visit at a convenient time.
If we dont adopt this ordinance, you cant come on my property, Sides said.
You will be in violation of state law, Kelly responded.
Vice Chairman Chad Mitchell interceded, pointing out that the county is complying with a state mandate.
Approved a revision to an existing hazardous materials response agreement between Rowan County and the city of Salisbury.
Thomason, Emergency Services Director, said the joint venture has been a tremendous success, providing a hazmat capability that few local entities have.
Under the agreement, the county provides the vehicles a small amount of salary and the Salisbury Fire Department provides most of the manpower.
Approved an amendment to the countys neighborhood business zoning district that allows larger buildings and changes screening and buffering requirements.
County planning staff sought the change to make the district more flexible.

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