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County to hear proposal on veteran services cuts

SALISBURY — Possible cuts for the county’s veteran services office will be back on the table during Monday’s county commission meeting.
County Manager Gary Page put a proposal on last month’s meeting agenda to reduce Veteran Services Officer Elaine Howle to part time and to eliminate a part-time clerical position.
But commissioners tabled the discussion during the September meeting. A handful of veterans turned out for the meeting to oppose the proposed cuts.
One of those critics was Howle herself, who said the funds she helps veterans recoup are often spent in the community.
“Why in the world would you reduce a job — and I make $31,000 a year — why would you reduce a job that’s bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars brought into this community that’s spent here?” Howle asked.
The county began probing the possible cuts during a closed session meeting last month, Page said.
Commissioners discussed how the potential cuts could free up funds for other departments, he said.
Some commissioners also said local veterans can seek assistance from the Salisbury VA Hospital or nearby non-profit organizations, Page said.
Commissioners will also hear a presentation for “Project East,” a proposed facility for Gildan Yarns, from RowanWORKS Economic Development Director Robert Van Geons.
“The proposed project would represent approximately $130 million of new investment and would bring approximately 184 jobs to Rowan County with an average wage of $32,279 per year,” according to a memo to county officials.
Commissioners will meet at 3 p.m. on the second floor of the county’s administration building at 130 W. Innes St.

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