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Commissioners fill Monday’s meeting with important policy decisions

Rowan County commissioners’ meeting on Monday is jam-packed with major policy items, including discussion on the sale of three vacant county buildings, approval of a policy that would allow alcohol at West End Plaza and an agreement with a developer that would allow speculative buildings on county property.

Monday’s meeting is scheduled for 3 p.m. in the County’s Administration Building on West Innes Street. The meeting’s agenda is, by far, the longest since three new commissioners took office in December.

Perhaps the most financially significant item on the agenda is considering declaring two former locations of county departments — 1236 W. Innes St. and 165 Mahaley Ave. — and a house in Spencer as surplus. The valuation of all three properties together is about $3.68 million, according to county tax documents.

The county’s master plan and space needs study show the two former county buildings as not being needed for future office space, depending on which option is chosen. The two county buildings formerly housed divisions of Social Services.

In 2013, county officials decided to move the Board of Elections to the Mahaley Avenue building. When Rowan County in 2013 purchased West End Plaza — formerly the Salisbury Mall — plans changed. The Board of Elections is currently slated to move into West End Plaza at an uncertain date in the future.

The West Innes Street building, built in the 1960s, was previously offered to the Rowan-Salisbury School System as a central office location.

The Spencer house previously housed homeless veterans. Ownership of the property previously was transferred to a private group for veterans, but the county revoked the transfer after a notice of zoning violation was issued by the town of Spencer. Veterans were given 120 days, starting in January, to vacate the property.

A vote by commissioners on Monday wouldn’t immediately mean a building sale. Instead, R. Giles Moss Auction and Real Estate — hired by Rowan to market and sell county buildings — would begin talking to buyers. R. Giles Moss’ agreement technically allows the company to market and sell any county property.

A staff report including in Monday’s agenda recommends commissioners vote in favor of declaring the properties surplus.

Other items on Monday’s agenda include:

• A policy that would allow beer and wine at special events in West End Plaza

County Manager Aaron Church drafted the policy as part of an idea proposed by County Commissioner Craig Pierce. In June, county commissioners approved an amendment to Rowan’s ordinances to allow beer and wine at West End Plaza special events. An approval of Church’s policy would be the final step needed to make the idea a reality.

The idea was proposed as a way to attract more events to West End Plaza, which the county hopes to dedicate a portion of to a convention center.

Alcohol is only briefly addressed in the eight-page policy written by Church.

The section pertaining to beer and wine states: “Beer and Wine is permitted. Licensed bartender must serve on-site; event guests may not serve alcohol. Security must be contracted if alcohol (beer and wine) is served.”

With the policy, commissioners would also approve rental rates, which begin at $1,000 and go up to $3,000. Prices depend on hours and the occasion. For example, weekdays are less expensive than holidays.

• An agreement with Triad Commercial Properties, with offices in Greensboro and Winston Salem, to develop speculative buildings on county-owned property.

Speculative buildings are customarily built before a company agrees to locate in a community, and are used as a tool to lure business into an area.

County Commissioners Chairman Greg Edds said the speculative buildings would be privately built and owned as a part of the agreement.

• Approving Salisbury-based Ramsay-Burgin-Smith as an architect to build an office building at the Rowan County Airport

The office building would be used by Strategic Moves LLC as its corporate headquarters, which is planned for the airport.

• Approving ADW Architects as the firm to oversee renovations at West End Plaza

The firm previously completed a space needs study and master plan for the former Salisbury Mall.

• Purchasing an aircraft tug for the Rowan County Airport from Carolina ground Services Equipment at a cost not to exceed $73,715

• A closed session for an unnamed economic development matter and litigation regarding a workers compensation claim

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246








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