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Commissioners to consider appointing board for revaluation

By Josh Bergeron


Rowan Commissioners on Monday are scheduled to start the process of property revaluation.

On the Monday agenda is the appointment of nearly a dozen appointments to the Board of Equalization and Review, which will consider property tax value appeals during revaluation. The board’s applicants include a variety of professions, including several Rowan residents who are retired. One of the applicants is Jim LaFevers, the Granite Quarry Mayor Pro Tem and a retired general contractor.

On his application, LaFevers wrote: “I have experience working with people and complex issues. I consider myself both honest and fair. Working for a major construction manager for 25 years, many times we were negotiating values. I am retired and have flexible hours.”

Other applicants include: Technical consultant Jeffrey Brown; consultant and Historic Preservation Commission member Lisa Cartner; former Salisbury Board of Zoning and Adjustment chairman Donald Conner; retired computer specialist Jennifer Craft, who was on the board during 2007 revaluation; James Honeycutt, who previously served on the Board of Equalization and review; software product support specialist Randy Johnson, formerly a sheriff’s deputy and Salisbury police officer; computer consultant James Kirks, who has been active with political group La Resistance.

This year is the latest since 2011 that property taxes will be revalued. Previously, County Assessor Kelvin Byrd said the county’s overall property value projects are likely to remain flat or decline by a percentage point during revaluation. Byrd said this year’s revaluation would evaluate all of Rowan’s 78,000 parcels of land as of Jan. 1.

Property tax values are a funding mechanism in Rowan County’s budget.

This year, the board will be paid $60 per working session. The county plans for 100 sessions, with each one being about three to four hours long. Depending on the number of appeals, all of the sessions may not be needed.

Five members comprise the board, with a number of alternates needed. When the commissioners in January discussed the board as part of a resolution, Byrd said 20 to 25 applications would be ideal to ensure a proper number of alternates.

The average number of appeals is about 10 percent of the total property in a county. Normally property owners appeal to the board for a lower value, Byrd said.

Other items for consideration during Monday’s meeting include:

• A resolution from New Beginnings 2 Community Development Corporation for a charter school initiative.

A portion of the resolution states: “Whereas, socio-economic conditions in the East Spencer city limits have made it difficult for their children to afford the same opportunities as other children in the county.”

The resolution attached to Monday’s agenda asks the commissioners to support the goals of the group. It doesn’t state if the county would be asked to make any monetary contributions.

• Leasing a piece of property adjacent to Rowan-Cabarrus Community College to the Rowan County Fair Association.

During the commissioners’ meeting on February 16, the board tabled the lease, which would be for $1 per year for 15 years. The fair association would be responsible for grading the land for parking, a proposed use.
Commissioner Craig Pierce asked to table the motion during the February meeting, requesting a diagram where the timber lines were located.  Pierce said that work could be done with the fair association to identify the minimum amount of clearing needed to facilitate parking needs.

A diagram attached to Monday’s agenda proposes the fair association use the front 10 acres first.  After 5 years, the fairgrounds would use the remaining area after providing a three-month notice to the county.

• A contract for a county-wide compensation plan study.

The contract, from Springstead Incorporated, is valued at $37,250 and was the lowest of five received bids.

The cost of the study isn’t in the county’s current budget, which means a fiscal amendment is required. The money would come from the county’s contingency funds, according to agenda attachments.

• A contract for construction on a Gildan Access Road

Gildan is located on Heilig Road, between Granite Quarry and Salisbury.

Contract documents were not included in Monday’s agenda packet.

• A public hearing for 2.62 acres in the Woodleaf area owned by Martin Marietta Materials Inc.

The company requests a rezoning from Rural Agricultural to Commercial, Business, Industrial. It’s also requesting a rezoning for a.29 acre tract, located at 9025 Cool Springs Road, from RA to Industrial.

• A quasi-judicial hearing for a piece of property, located at 280 Comolli Road in the Rockwell area, owned by Carolina Quarries.

The company is requested to rezone a piece of property from Rural Agricultural to Industrial to expand its waste storage space.

In late January, the Rowan County Planning board approved the request. One condition added by the board was that the company would address dust generated as a result of operations.

• One item on the commissioners’ consent agenda is a contract amendment to a space needs study.

The contract, for $11,300, would include conducting a visual assessment of existing structural systems. Agenda attachments state engineers would identify and observe parts of the vertical and lateral load resisting structural systems to determine their condition.

• Another item on the consent agenda is allowing use of the former J.C. Penney facility at the West End Plaza for a veteran affairs volunteer appreciation luncheon.

Monday’s agenda states between 300 and 500 people would attend the event. Volunteers from 23 counties are expected at the luncheon, according to the agenda.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246




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