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EDC may rejoin Charlotte partnership

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Economic Development Commission is negotiating to use private donations to rejoin the Charlotte Regional Partnership.
Rowan County commissioners withdrew from the partnership in December 2011 to protest a $64,000 bonus to the Charlotte-based group’s chief executive officer.
To get back in, Rowan would need to pay the current year’s dues of $36,326 to the nonprofit marketing organization.
Robert Van Geons, executive director for RowanWorks EDC, said he and partnership CEO Ronnie Bryant are discussing whether Rowan could make payments over several years, using private funds.
Most county commissioners are unwilling to use tax dollars to pay the late dues, said Chad Mitchell, chairman of the Rowan County Board of Commissioners.
Going forward, Mitchell said he hasn’t decided yet if he will support using tax dollars to pay Rowan’s membership for the coming fiscal year, which starts July 1.
Van Geons doesn’t need county commissioner approval to pay the late dues with private funds but said he will survey commissioners individually to gauge their willingness to rejoin the partnership before he raises and spends the money.
“I need a consensus from them that this is an agreeable path,” Van Geons said.
Read more in Saturday’s Post.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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