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Landis fire service district to expand

By Jessie Burchette
jburchette@salisburypost.com
The town of Landis will be getting more money from Rowan County.
County commissioners have agreed to expand the town’s fire service district.
And commissioners reluctantly approved a lease which more than triples the monthly rent for the ambulance station.
The county rents 1,521 square feet in the former municipal building for use as an ambulance station. For the past eight years, the county has paid $125 a month, or $1,500 annually.
The new rate is $575 a month, or $6,900 a year.
County Manager Gary Page asked for clarification from town officials.
Reed Linn, the town’s administrator, responded in a letter that the rent will remain $125 a month, but the town wants the county to pay its pro-rated share for utilities ó electricity, water, sewer, garbage collection, stormwater, security lights and natural gas.
Linn said the county’s share of the utilities is $450 a month.
The building also houses the Landis Police and Fire departments.
Page said the county’s options include approving the lease; closing the EMS station and finding another location; or approving the lease with the option to terminate it with a 60-day notice.
Page recommended approving the lease and exercising the 60-day notice to terminate if the county finds another facility.
The board unanimously approved the lease.
In the other Landis issue, the board unanimously approved a recommendation to move two areas from the Mount Mitchell Volunteer Fire District to the East Landis Water District, a county-paid district served by Landis.
Both areas are on the east side of Cannon Boulevard. One is across from the former Wal-Mart shopping center. The other area is along Old Beatty Ford Road a short distance east of U.S. 29.
Fire Marshal Tom Murphy said the change was necessary because both areas are beyond the mandated 5-mile response district for Mount Mitchell.
Murphy told commissioners that an insurance evaluation turned up the problem and the residents of the area faced a major increase in the cost of insurance.
Homeowners faced insurance based on an ISO rating of 10 ó equivalent to having no fire department.
Mount Mitchell has been providing service to the area for several years. Another area between Kannapolis and Landis has fire protection provided by Enochville and China Grove through an arrangement with the county.
Murphy noted that Mount Mitchell will lose some money, but he said the arrangement is best for the citizens.
The areas contain 130 parcels. The number of homes wasn’t available.
Commissioner Jon Barber noted he has received calls from some residents in Rowan who are getting fire protection from departments outside the county. Barber asked the county manager to investigate the matter.
In other matters, the board:
– Moved the September meeting to Tuesday, Sept. 2, due to the Labor Day holiday.
– Delayed making appointments to the Rowan County Tourism Development Authority pending the receipt of additional applications. Two seats are open.

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