Central office vote could come Monday

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 3, 2013

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Board of Commissioners could vote Monday on a loan that would move forward the Rowan-Salisbury School System’s plans for a downtown central office building.
But with a joint meeting already set for Thursday, they could also again delay the vote.
Monday’s meeting is the first following a 60-day period set to allow commissioners time for considering the loan the district plans to pay back using sales tax dollars allocated for capital projects.
The discussions have included ups and downs but board members say talks are improving.
The city, which purchased land at 329 South Main St. from Holding Brothers in 2007, will donate the property to the district for the project.
Gene Miller, the school system’s assistant superintendent of operations, said in November the school system went forward with the project after receiving a commitment from the Rowan County Board of Commissioners in January 2012 to take out a $6 million loan on the district’s behalf.
Salisbury City Council committed to cleaning up the project site in October when three buried gas tanks and soil contamination was found.
Two months later, additional gas tanks were discovered.
In December, the school board also voted 5-2 to move forward with the plans to build downtown, but decided to go back to the original plan to construct a 62,000-square-foot building that will house all departments.
Salisbury City Manager Doug Paris has previously told the Post the proposed central office site could be used for other projects if the school system proposal fails.

Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.