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Commissioners tacking revaluation, other big issues Monday

By Jessie Burchette
jburchette@salisburypost.com
A Rowan County commissioner is proposing a one-year delay in the property revaluation now scheduled for 2011.
The Board of Commissioners will discuss the revaluation schedule and also revisit the ownership of Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium in Kannapolis during its meeting Monday afternoon.
Vice Chairman John Barber wants to delay revaluation a year to provide time for property values to stabilize. He noted commissioners have previously changed the schedule for the countywide property value assessment. They moved a revaluation scheduled in 1994 to 1995, in part to coincide with Cabarrus County’s revaluation.
Barber cites the downturn in property values and notes that real estate values are expected to level out and remain mostly flat for the next 18 to 24 months.
In a 10-page memo to the board, Barber outlines scenarios including moving up the revaluation by one year, which would likely reflect the declining sales prices in 2008 and 2009.
Another option includes keeping the scheduled 2011 revaluation or delaying it by one or two years to 2012 or 2013, allowing time for values to stabilize.
The revaluation process takes around 18 months to complete, with most of the work for the upcoming revaluation scheduled for 2010. The effective date of the new property values would be Jan. 1, 2011.
Barber notes the board will need to make a decision by April if commissioners want to change the revaluation schedule.
Commissioners will also discuss several issues related to the baseball stadium jointly owned by Rowan County and the city of Kannapolis.
Commissioner Tina Hall, who has served on a committee trying to negotiate an extension of the Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium lease with Smith Family Baseball, is advising that all efforts have failed. Hall is recommending the county allow the lease to expire in 2010. The county would remain open for new lease talks with Smith Family Baseball, which owns the Kannapolis Intimidators Minor League baseball team.
In a memo to commissioners, County Manager Gary Page cited other issues connected to the stadium, including ownership and financial concerns.
Commissioners have attempted for nearly four years to get Kannapolis to sign an ownership agreement that shows the county owns 75 percent of the stadium based on investment. Existing legal documents show the county and city each own 50 percent.
And Page noted the county recently received a bill from Duke Energy for lights in the parking lot. The service for which Duke billed the county goes back to 1995. City and county staffs recommend using money from prior lease payments to pay the bill.
In other agenda items, the board will:
– Receive an update on the Rowan County Master Plan from Talbert & Bright engineers.
– Receive an annual report from the Community Child Protection Team.
– Consider approving a contract for digital orthophotograhy services. Kucera International has submitted the low bid for aerial photography and related services.
– Approve a change order of $44,764 for the Rowan County Justice Center project, dealing with the jail portion of the project.
– Consider rescheduling the second January meeting due to a conflict with the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
– Discuss legislative goals for the Jan. 15-16 meeting of the N.C. Association of County Commissioners.
– Discuss topics for the Feb. 25-27 commissioners’ retreat.
– Consider appointments to various county boards, including the Board of Health and the Rowan County Planning Board, Parks and Recreation Commission and various fire department panels. Among the applicants for the five open seats on the Planning Board are current office holders Mac Butner, Edwin Hammill, and Donna Poteat. Other applicants include John Burke, Chet Wojton, Steve Poteat, Jack Fisher, Larry Wright, Rod Whedbee and Charles Floyd.
– Consider approval of budget amendments
The Rowan County Board of Commissioners meets at 4 p.m. Monday in the Cohen Administrative Offices Building, 130 W. Innes St.

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