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County drops mall loan application

Rowan County Commissioners are no longer seeking a loan to replenish a fund balance withdrawal for the purchase of the former Salisbury Mall.
The Local Government Commission is set to meet on Tuesday, but its agenda doesn’t contain Rowan County Rowan county’s loan request.
The Local Government Commission, which oversees borrowing by local governments in North Carolina, delayed action on a nearly $4 million loan when it met in August until at least its October meeting.
When asked about the loan’s absence from the agenda, Rowan County Board of Commissioners vice-chair Craig Pierce said the board chose not to seek the loan after it was delayed.
“We decided to not even ask for the money, to not even reapply,” Pierce said.
Part of the reason for the decision to not continue the request until the October meeting was a new county manager taking over and three new commissioners being elected, Pierce said.
Pierce repeatedly stressed that candidates, most of whom didn’t make it through the primary process, played a part in the Local Government Commission’s decision to delay a loan and ultimately the county’s decision to not seek the loan.
Pierce said it would be up to the new county commissioners to decide if they want to reapply to the Local Government Commission.
The county bought the troubled 320,000-square-foot mall in December for $3.425 million with plans to renovate portions and move some of its departments there. The rest of the money in the loan application was to be used for renovations.
Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246

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