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China Grove goes with county for planning

By Shavonne Potts
spotts@salisburypost.com
CHINA GROVE — The town council decided to end its longtime relationship with Benchmark and instead contract with the county for its planning and code enforcement.
The board voted Wednesday to have the county take over its planning. Benchmark, of Kannapolis, has provided contract planning services for the town for more than a decade.
Interim Town Manager Ken Deal said the town signed a contract with the county from an economic standpoint.
“It’s just economics. The county is here and available Monday through Friday. It’s one-stop,” he said.
In June 2010, the town reduced contracted services, including the number of days a week community planner Emily Jackson worked for the town.
The county would also handle code enforcement and inspections.
“It’s a good relationship and productive for everyone,” Deal said.
The board also:
• Approved a resolution that would reduce language barriers to people who are not proficient in English, which is a requirement of receipt of a community development block grant for the Tuscarora Yarn expansion project.
Those people who are not proficient in English are those who may come into contact with the town during the grant process. Any materials including plans and amendments will be provided in other languages.
“It’s something the town already does,” Deal said.
The town must create a language access plan as part of the conditions for the grant and once it does the project can get underway.
“We can start some of the procedures. We are limited on what we can do until we complete some of the improvements and repairs to the building and grounds,” said Phil Absher, vice president of Human Resources for Tuscarora Yarn.
The company is doing work in the building in a limited capacity.
Since January, 1,950 applicants have inquired about job opportunities.
“It’s absolutely amazing. We are blown away by the number of people who have come through the doors,” he said.
Absher said the company is eager to begin these improvements.
He added that they want to involve local contractors, who they hope will have the opportunity to do construction and renovations.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.

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