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Downtown Salisbury to request budget increase from City Council

SALISBURY — Downtown Salisbury Inc. will ask for a budget increase of $66,500 from the city of Salisbury in the coming fiscal year, including reinstating the facade grant program and moving its office to the Gateway Building.
City Council will meet at 4 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall, 217 S. Main St.
Downtown Salisbury Inc., or DSI, received $98,500 from the city this year. President Mark Lewis will request $165,000 for the coming fiscal year, which begins July 1.
Lewis will highlight downtown success stories, including Nashville Nights, the Perfect Smoke and Gritz restaurant, as well as planned development including the school central office, Integro Technologies headquarters and Lee Street Theatre and Performing Arts Center.
After shifting downtown marketing and promotions to the city’s Tourism Development Authority this year, DSI now focuses on economic development.
DSI goals include development of the Empire Hotel, a permanent home for the farmers market, additional parking, left turns at the Square, a comprehensive plan for South Main Street and more.
Also on Tuesday’s agenda:

• Recognize Salisbury High School student McKenzie Stevens for winning the North Carolina 2A swimming championship in the 200-yard freestyle event.
• Consider rezoning the former Salvation Army Thrift Store property at 520 S. Main St. from downtown mixed-use and residential to corridor mixed-use, which would allow the current sign to remain in place but is not entirely consistent with the downtown master plan.
Owner Wallace Properties is requesting the change. Council will hold a public hearing.
• Consider tougher guidelines for boarded-up residential property. Property owners would have to register boarded-up properties with the Code Services Division within 48 hours.
The code would spell out how owners should board up a vacant house. Owners would then have a maximum of six months to bring the houses up to code, have them ready for occupancy or plan for demolition.
Council will hold a public hearing.
• Receive budget requests from “special community effort groups” for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.
• Consider approving the 2013-2014 budget for CDBG and HOME program funds.
• Receive a presentation from staff regarding the Salisbury Historic Preservation Master Plan and consider setting a public hearing for April 2 to receive public comment.
The Historic Preservation Master Plan is a roadmap for improving the city’s preservation programs. It is also designed as a tool to help identify additional avenues for collaboration between organizations that are actively involved with historic preservation.
The plan includes more than 100 specific recommendations, distilled from community input that included three public forums, 50-plus stakeholder interviews and focus groups, as well as an online moderated forum.
The plan was funded by a $15,000 federal Historic Preservation Fund grant, along with $8,000 local match.
• Consider executing an updated Memorandum of Understanding regarding theorganizational structure of the Cabarrus Rowan Metropolitan Planning Organization, or MPO.
• Consider approving a $143,640 contract with N.C. Department of Transportation for repairs to Fisher and Ellis (Shober) street bridges.
• Consider approving a utility agreement with N.C. DOT for reimbursement by Salisbury-Rowan Utilities for the estimated cost of $24,538.75 for adjusting and relocating water and sanitary sewer lines in conjunction with designing a Peeler Road grade separation over the railroad right-of-way.
N.C. DOT has requested that Salisbury-Rowan Utilities reimburse the state for the cost of adjusting and/or relocating water and sanitary sewer lines that will be in conflict with proposed changes for both roadway and railway that are currently located within either the state or railroad right-of-way.
Reimbursement to N.C. DOT will be made following project completion, which will likely be in 2014-2015.
• Consider remove the parking restriction on the east side of Lake Drive between Annandale Avenue and Confederate Avenue.
• Public comments.

• City Manager Doug Paris’s comments.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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