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China Grove ponders utility-contract terms

By Shavonne Potts
spotts@salisburypost.com
CHINA GROVE óThe highlight of a proposed utility contract between the town and Salisbury-Rowan Utilities is a seven-year, tiered system that would see rates decrease over time.
Interim Town Manager Ken Deal and town attorney Tom Brooke met with Salisbury-Rowan Utilities officials to discuss the terms on the contract Tuesday.
Through a ěstepdown system,î customers wouldnít see a rate increase in the first year, but the contract is still being drafted, Deal said.
The town of China Grove receives water from Salisbury-Rowan Utilities. The town entered into an agreement more than a decade ago when it used more water.
The town has talked with Salisbury in the past about a possible merger that would reduce its rates.
There has also been discussion of breaking the contract with Salisbury and doing business with other systems that offered lower rates.
In February, town officials approved a resolution to transfer the water and sewer system to the control of Salisbury.
The proposed contract also calls for $50,000 a year that would be available for projects that would ěexpandî the service.
For example, if the town were to look into annexation or it could help with running the sewer lines.
The board also:
Approved to rezone property at Lentz Road from suburban residential to heavy industrial.
The property is 1.46 acres and the property adjoins Premtec, which is heavy industrial, said community planner Emily Jackson.
Discussed closing a precinct during elections.
The Rowan County Board of Elections is considering merging the two China Grove precincts, which are at China Grove Middle school and community building. It would be more economical to have just one precinct and provide a central location.
Mayor Don Bringle said it would make more sense to close the school precinct since the school remained open in recent years while people were there voting.
Director Nancy Evans said in a memo she would need to know by April 15.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.

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