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Commissioners in an approving mood

By Jessie Burchette

Salisbury Post

Rowan County commissioners have given the go-ahead to prepare land at the Rowan County Airport for additional corporate hangars.

But the county’s effort to extend sewer to lots in the Speedway Business Park have run afoul of Salisbury Rowan Utilities.

Commissioners this week unanimously approved a recommendation from County Manager Bill Cowan to award a contract to Blythe Construction to prepare an area near existing corporate hangars.

Initially, the company’s low bid of $632,000 was above the $511,000 in state funds budgeted for the project.

Negotiating with Blythe, the county made some changes in the project and reduced the cost by $129,000.

Cowan said the county will handle the sewer and water installation separately. He estimated an additional $52,000 will be needed at a future date and will likely be reimbursed by state airport funds.

Officials say there is increasing interest from companies and investors wanting to locate at the airport.

Another county project has hit a clog of sorts.

The prospect of paying $180,000 to $200,000 to provide sewer to two lots in the county’s Speedway Business Park drew little interest from commissioners.

The two lots, which remain unsold, are priced at $70,000 each.

Greg Greene, environmental specialist with the county, said Salisbury-Rowan Utilities has refused to accept the system designed by county engineers. Specifically, Salisbury-Rowan won’t accept above-ground sewer lines.

Greene said about 75 feet of line would be exposed under the current design. He noted that many utility systems have aerial crossings on gravity sewer lines.

As designed, the system would cost about $60,000.

Greene said the Salisbury-Rowan proposal would cost $180,000 to $200,000. An alternate possibility is installing pump stations on the two lots.

Greene offered possible alternatives, with commissioners choosing the option to continue negotiating with Salisbury-Rowan officials to accept the system as designed.

Five of the 10 lots in the park have been sold. Four remain available, and one sale is pending. The park also includes the N.C. Quarter Midget Association race track.

In other business this week, commissioners:

n Approved a waiver for the Coddle Creek watershed to allow Green Light Racing to exceed the impervious cover limitation. The company plans a 12,000-square-foot race shop on Wilkinson Road off N.C. 152.

* Approved a sole-source contract to purchase $367,763 worth of hardware from SunGarde HTE. The county already has bought about $800,000 worth of software from the company to upgrade dispatching and record keeping for the Sheriff’s Department and telecommunications.

Officials said the sole-source purchasing is necessary to ensure compatibility between existing and new systems.

The overall upgrade project is budgeted for $1.3 million and is under budget.

* Declared 2007 as Robert E. Lee Bicentennial Year in Rowan County. Commissioner Jim Sides read a portion of the proclamation requested by the N.C. Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Rowan Rifles Camp 405 of the Sons of the Confederacy.

n Approved a request from Betsy Webster to ask the N.C. Department of Transportation to place a Bear Poplar unincorporated sign at N.C. 801 and Hall Road.

Contact Jessie Burchette at 704-797-4254 or jburchette@salisburypost.com.

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