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ABC system to turn over profits of $15,000

By Jessie Burchette

Salisbury Post

The Rowan-Kannapolis Alcoholic Beverage Control system has turned over $15,000 in profits to Rowan County.

That’s the first profits given the county in more than a year, and also the first profit declared since the county system expanded to take in Kannapolis.

In recent weeks, county commissioners have raised questions about the ABC system and its failure to generate profits. Commissioners in January voted to schedule a review of the ABC operations.

The $15,000 given to the county will be the first money distributed under the new formula established by the legislation that created the Rowan-Kannapolis system.

Under that formula, the county keeps 40 percent, with Salisbury and Kannapolis getting 22.5 percent each. The remaining eight municipalities share 15 percent.

The distribution breakdown on the $15,000 is as follows:

* Rowan County, $6,000;

* Kannapolis and Salisbury, $3,375 each;

* Remaining eight municipalities share $2,250.

The ABC system recently opened its seventh store, the third in Kannapolis. The store at the Gateway Center off Kannapolis Parkway opened several weeks later than planned because of delays in construction.

General Manager Terry Osborne said the store is doing well with sales gradually increasing as the public finds the location. It’s currently the only store open in the retail center.

And plans are moving forward to open the fourth store in Kannapolis.

The store in the Renaissance Square off N.C. 73 near the Mecklenburg/Cabarrus line is tentatively scheduled to open Aug. 1.

While opening two new stores, Osborne said the ABC Board is likely to decide this month on the future of the Spencer store, which has had declining sales.

“I anticipate reaching a decision on the Spencer situation as part of our long-range goal for the northwest corridor,” Osborne said.

The staff recently completed a survey of customers at the Spencer store. Osborne said the survey and other information has been provided to the three-member board to give them time to study the results prior to the Feb. 20 meeting.

The Spencer site, a former Western Auto, is one of a few locations the ABC system owns. New stores are in leased facilities.

The ABC board recently discussed leasing a small parcel of land in East Spencer, but reached no decision. Osborne said the system apparently acquired the Spencer property in the early 1990s.

The board also approved a proposal by Board Chairman Marny Hendrick concerning vehicles provided to staffers.

The board agreed to buy a Dodge Durango driven by Osborne and assign it to Bill Belvin, the law enforcement officer. ABC will use a Ford Expedition, previously used by law enforcement, to transfer small quantities of liquor between stores, eliminating the need to use the large truck.

And the board agreed to buy Osborne a new vehicle, a 2007 Buick LaCrosse from Salisbury Motors.

The board also recently completed arrangements with First Charter Bank for a $250,000 line of credit to upfit the two new stores.

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