County commissioners to discuss plans for Social Services building

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Jessie Burchette
Salisbury Post
County commissioners will tackle plans Monday for a Social Services building and a zoning text change to allow wineries and wine-tasting rooms in rural agricultural districts.
Bill Burgin, architect for the planned new Social Services Building, will meet with commissioners to discuss possible options for housing all staff in one location.
Initially, the county allocated $5 million to rework and expand the mental health portion of the Health Services building on Faith Road to house Social Services.
During the board’s retreat in February, commissioners rejected Burgin’s proposed design, which was $2 million or more over budget.
In a memo to commissioners, Interim County Manager Leslie Heidrick outlined several options, including increasing funding for the project, relocating a portion of the Social Services staff now and building more space later, or upfitting other buildings such as the former Winn-Dixie at Jake Alexander Boulevard and Lincolnton Road.
She also included the option of terminating the contract with Burgin and seeking proposals from other architectural firms.
The board will meet at 7 p.m. in the J. Newton Cohen Sr. Meeting Room on the second floor of the Rowan County Administration Building, 130 West Innes St.
In other matters the board will:
– Conduct a public hearing and consider amending the county’s rural agricultural zoning to allow a winery and wine-tasting room on bona fide farms that produce grapes.
At least two families who now have vineyards want to build wineries and have wine-tasting rooms.
– Conduct a second reading and adoption of a proposed ordinance banning registered sex offenders from libraries, parks and the county fairgrounds.
The county conducted a public hearing and adopted the ordinance last month but will revisit the ordinance on advice of County Attorney Jay Dees. One commissioner had left the room when the board voted on April 7.
– Hear a presentation to the J. Newton Cohen Sr. family by Commissioner Jim Sides.
– Continue deliberations on granting a conditional-use permit for a cluster subdivision in the Atwell Community. Plantation Ridge Partnership proposes to build a 170-lot single-family subdivision on a 197-acre parcel.
The development, named Yorkshire Farms, would be one of the first cluster subdivisions permitted in the county’s jurisdiction.
Commissioners heard the request March 17 but delayed a decision to do further research.
– Consider a request from Relay for Life to exceed the county’s noise standards on May 2-3. The 10th annual fundraising event for the American Cancer Society will be held at the Rowan County Fairgrounds.
– Consider a request from Tamarac LLC for a permit to exceed the noise ordinance for a charity fundraiser, the Rally at the River, on April 25-26. The event will benefit the Children with Unique Disorders Foundation.
– Adopt policies for the single-family housing rehabilitation program. The county has received $397,000 to assist with the rehabilitation of moderately deteriorated homes owned and occupied by low-income individuals or families.
– Commissioner Jon Barber is scheduled to report on Centralina Council of Governments and the county’s continued membership.
The county currently budgets around $40,000 for membership in the multi-county organization.
– Consider approving a lease of the former Silver Eagle building to Custom Glass Products. The company was a tenant of Silver Eagle before the county purchased the property with the airport protection zone.
– Consider awarding a contract to Swanson Services Corporation to provide commissary services for the Rowan County Detention Center for 37 months.
– Consider renewing the county’s prior invitation to the Army Special Operations Command to hold military training exercises in the county.
Commissioners previously extended an invitation, but the military unit had to cancel due to a deployment.
Contact Jessie Burchette at 704-797-4254 or