Salisbury’s downtown district extended to North Lee St.

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 19, 2016

By Amanda Raymond

Salisbury’s Downtown Municipal Service District has been extended into the 400 block of North Lee Street.

At its meeting on Tuesday, the Salisbury City Council adopted a resolution to add 10 spaces on North Lee Street to the downtown MSD.

Specifically, the odd numbered addresses on the 400 block of the street in the Rail Walk area of the downtown will be added.

According to meeting documents, a North Carolina General Statute allows property owners in an area to ask for an extension of the district if all property owners are on board and all other requirements are met.

Rowan Investment Company was the petitioner and it owns all 10 parcels that were looked at for the expansion.

“I will remind everyone this is a voluntary inclusion in the MSD district. This is something that the landowner has petitioned to be included,” Councilman Brian Miller said. “Them being the property owner, they’re willing to pay the additional cost associated with it, clearly in the fact that they volunteered.”

Another requirement for the extension was that the area had to border the existing district, with at least an eighth of the area’s external boundary in the same place as the existing boundary of the district.

According to a report put together by Downtown Salisbury Inc., a Municipal Service District is a geographic area where property owners pay another tax to pay for different services that enhance, not replace, the city services already available.

Some of those services provided by Downtown Salisbury Inc. will include marketing efforts, economic development, advocacy and public policy efforts, special events and the chance to get incentives from the city.

Before the extension, Salisbury’s downtown MSD was about 25 blocks, from Jackson Street to Long Street and from Horah Street to Cemetery Street.

Downtown Salisbury Inc. will handle and carry out the addition, according to the report.

Also according to the report, the city of Salisbury will also give more services to the added area, including:

  • A dedicated policing presence
  • Getting rid of litter and debris from public areas, curbs and gutters
  • Additional trash pick-up services (two times per week)
  • General landscaping/bed replacement in public right-of-ways

Morgan Ridge Vineyards is opening a brewery at 421 S. Lee St., Paula Bohland, executive director of Downtown Salisbury, Inc., said. The owners hope to have the brewery open by this summer.

Bohland said the Rail Walk, a walkway along the rail line located in the area, has the potential to become an entertainment spot, although extending the walkway behind the brewery is still in the planning stages.

The extension, paired with the school system’s new central office, Lee Street Theatre and other locations, is “poised to really bring a new life to that area of town,” Bohland said.

The council held a public hearing during the meeting and no one spoke.

Miller made the motion and the board voted unanimously to approve the extension.

The extension will take effect on July 1, and the properties will be taxed at the current service district rate, which is $.176 per $100 valuation.

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.