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Barber may attend meeting

By Karissa Minn
kminn@salisburypost.com
SALISBURY — County commissioners plan to consider both the proposed budget and incentives for a business expansion during Monday’s meeting.
And Commissioner Jon Barber is expected to attend, according to county staff. He was absent from two board meetings while he was in an inpatient rehabilitation treatment program.
The Rowan County Board of Commissioners will discuss the fiscal year 2011-12 budget in a workshop at 4 p.m. Monday and vote on it during the 6 p.m. regular meeting, held on the second floor of the J. Newton Cohen Sr. Rowan County Administration Building.
Also during the regular meeting, a public hearing on a proposed incentive grant match will be held for “Project Tree,” which is considering an expansion that would create 49 new jobs in the county.
Since 1974, Universal Forest Products has operated a facility at 358 Woodmill Road in Salisbury, where it currently employs 144 workers.
It is now considering buying, refurbishing and occupying the vacant Maxon Furniture Building at 520 Grace Church Road, RowanWorks Director Robert Van Geons said in the board’s information packet.
“If chosen, UFP would establish a new, separate and additional location at the building,” Van Geons wrote. “The facility on Woodmill Road would also remain open.”
He said the company is considering multiple locations in the Southeast. With a planned investment of $1 million — even $2.6 million as previously stated by Van Geons — the project does not meet the minimum requirements of the county’s investment grant program.
Instead, RowanWorks is requesting that the county consider a local match of $37,500 for an incentive grant through the state’s One NC Fund.
“We are also requesting that Rowan County contribute $37,500 toward the project, to be combined with assistance from Duke Energy,” Van Geons wrote.
In addition, the board will hold a public hearing Monday for the closeout of the county’s CDBG Scattered Site Housing Project, which provided substantial rehabilitation to seven homes and emergency rehabilitation to nine homes.
Rowan County was awarded a $400,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for the program in November 2008 from the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Division of Community Assistance.
Also at Monday’s meeting, commissioners plan to:
• Consider a $50 offer from Ted Deal to purchase a county-owned house near Sloan Park on N.C. 150 West. The house is located on a lot that in November 2010 experienced a fuel oil spill, which the county has remediated except in the soil under the house. After the house is moved, the county will clean up the remaining contaminated soil.
• Consider approval of a joint resolution to add Alamance and Caswell counties to the service area of Piedmont Behavioral Healthcare.
PBH currently manages public funding for mental health, developmental disability and substance abuse services given by a network of providers in Rowan, Cabarrus, Davidson, Stanly and Union counties.
• Discuss proceedings for a quasi-judicial hearing, which commissioners have not yet scheduled, about a conditional use permit for Davidson County Broadcasting to build a radio tower in Mount Ulla.
• Approve a resolution levying a 1.2 percent tax, in lieu of property tax, on gross receipts from retail short-term lease or rental of heavy equipment.
• Approve a resolution designating deputy finance officers for the county.
• Authorize negotiations with Stewart Cooper Newell Architects for architectural services for a new Rowan County Communications E-911 facility. County staff recommended the firm from a total of 17 that applied.
• Accept an equipment grant award and memorandum of understanding for a $15,125 companion animal mobile equipment trailer, which would help the county shelter animals during disaster events.
• Approve the Home Community Care Block Grant fiscal year 2011-12 spending plan for senior services programs.
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.
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