Commissioners set to finalize sales for unused buildings

Published 12:05 am Monday, July 4, 2016

By Josh Bergeron

SALISBURY — Rowan County Commissioners could finalize sales for two pieces of unused county property during their Tuesday meeting.

At 3 p.m. on Tuesday, commissioners are set to consider the sale of a building on Mahaley Avenue and a house on S. Carolina Avenue in Spencer. The meeting was moved from Monday to Tuesday because of the Fourth of July holiday. The meeting will occur in the commissioners meeting room — on the second floor of the Rowan County Administration Building on West Innes Street.

At 165 Mahaley Ave. in Salisbury, Nazareth Child and Family Connection won an auction for a building that was previously used for a division of Rowan County Social Services. Nazareth’s offer was $180,000. They’ve already paid a deposit of $9,000

At 418 S. Carolina Ave. in Spencer, Norman R. Hager won an auction for an unoccupied house with a bid of $24,000. Hager has already paid a deposit of $1,200. For a period, the house was used as a home for veterans.

The winning auction bid for both properties came in lower than the official tax value. Together, the properties are worth over $900,000. Together, the winning bids equal just over $200,000.

Commissioners will have to approve both offers before a sale is final. Mahaley Avenue has been unoccupied for a number of years, and at one point was offered to the Rowan County Board of Elections as a potential office location.

An auction for a third building located at 1236 West Innes St. occurred on the same day as the buildings on Mahaley Avenue and S. Carolina Ave. However, no one bid on the property.

On the day of the auction, buildings were open and unlocked for potential bidders to walk in and examine the facilities. At the West Innes Building, mold covered stretches of the walls and ceilings. The carpet was moist. The interior of the building was humid.

The West Innes building has housed a number of county departments over the years. It’s unclear what commissioners might do with the massive building — the largest of the three up for auction — now that no offer has been received. At one point, commissioners considered whether it would be advantageous to demolish the building and sell only the land.

County Manager Aaron Church said an unnamed party expressed interest in buying the West Innes building after the auction ended. However, an offer for the West Innes building doesn’t appear on Tuesday’s agenda.

In other business:

• Commissioners are scheduled to consider formally adding Rowan residents living near coal ash ponds to the county’s proposed water and sewer system.

Not including engineering fees and oversight costs, the total cost of construction for the water system is estimated at $4.8 million. During Tuesday’s meeting, commissioners are also scheduled to allocate an additional $180,000 to pay for expenses incurred by engineering firm McGill Associates. With the additional allocation, the engineering company would be paid about $480,000 for work on a water system in the Dukeville area.

Originally, commissioners had planned to extend water lines for an economic development site in the Dukeville area. After receiving a petition from 70 residents who requested water, commissioners decided to add houses into the water system.

The water system could cure water woes for Dukeville residents who have been living on bottled water since state regulators declared water unsafe to drink in early 2015.

Both houses of the North Carolina legislature have passed a bill that would require Duke Energy to pay the entire cost of water line extensions. So, Rowan County likely won’t pay the entire $4.8 million projected cost.

• Commissioners will hold public hearings to allow various residents to build storage facilities on their property.

The first public hearing will be for a tract of land on the 4000 block of Goodman Lake Road in eastern Rowan. At the location, Jerry Menster is requesting a conditional use permit for a recently constructed, 1,800-square-foot residential storage facility for personal belongings.

The second public hearing will be for a tract of land on the 4600 block of Old Concord Road, where Shawn Rauch is requeing a permit for an 1,800-square-foot-foot residential storage facility. He is also asking to use the site to store personal belongings. The location is located near the intersection of Peeler Road and Old Concord Road.

The final public hearing will be for a tract of land on the 300 block of Cress Loop Road, where Greg Keller is requesting a permit for three storage buildings that will total 1,446 square feet. The location is located off of Shue Road, between Corriher Gravel Road and Grace Church Road.

• Commissioners are scheduled to approve a lease with the Veterans Council for 2,700 square feet of space at West End Plaza.

The item appears on the consent agenda. The Veterans Council lease is for 5 years at $1 per year.

• Commissioners are scheduled to consider reappointing Commissioners Chairman Greg Edds to the Charlotte Regional Partnership Board for one year.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron 704-797-4246