County considering Tuscarora tax incentives deal

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 31, 2016

By Josh Bergeron

SALISBURY — County commissioners on Monday may approve a deal with Tuscarora Yarns to remedy the company’s outstanding balance of $130,000 in tax incentives.

When Tuscarora announced its closure earlier this year, it triggered a repayment clause in tax incentive agreements with the Town of China Grove and Rowan County. The clause stipulates that Tuscarora would pay back incentives in the event of a mass layoff or plant closure.

Tuscarora’s incentive repayments were expected by July 8. However, County Attorney Jay Dees confirmed last week that the company hadn’t made its payments. He said that the issue “may be resolved” at commissioners meeting on Monday.

Commissioners Chairman Greg Edds last week confirmed that commissioners would consider a deal to resolve the outstanding balance. The details of the deal are unclear. However, it would address outstanding balances due to China Grove and Rowan County — a total of $130,000. If approved, the agreement would become public. It also needs to be approved by the China Grove Town Board, Edds said.

The agreement is scheduled for consideration during a closed session during Monday’s regularly scheduled 3 p.m. meeting in the county administration building — 130 West Innes St.

Tuscarora decided to relocate from its North Main Street to Thom Street in 2011. At the time, the town and the county approved incentive agreements that refunded 75 percent of property taxes on new investment. Tuscarora owes Rowan County about $70,000. The remainder is owned to China Grove.

Other items on the closed session agenda include a property purchase at an unnamed site and an economic development matter in Speedway Business Park.

In other business on Monday’s agenda:

• Commissioners will discuss a proposal from Commissioner Craig Pierce to change animal restraint requirements in Rowan County.

Pierce’s proposal would allow animals to be tethered to a distance of rope — “a run securely attached to two structures.” An illustration included in Monday’s agenda shows a dog tethered to a rope connected to two trees.

Pierce is specifically proposing that commissioners schedule a public hearing on the new ordinance before formal approval. County Manager Aaron Church and Dees would also be instructed to draft an ordinance.

• Commissioners will discuss a proposed sign that will be placed at entrances to Rowan County on I-85.

Edds and Architect Bill Burgin are scheduled to present a rendering to commissioners. Following the presentation, commissioners could move forward with further design and construction of the I-85 signs.

• Commissioners are scheduled to see a master plan concept for the West End Plaza, where the county hopes to place offices.

ADW Architects previously completed a master plan for West End Plaza. The same company is scheduled to make a presentation on Monday that will show exactly what might be placed inside of West End Plaza.

• Commissioners will discuss drawings for a Rockwell EMS Station.

Previously, bids for the EMS station came in significantly over budget. The new drawings are expected to lower the cost by using cheaper building materials.

• Commissioners will discuss whether to fund an Assistant District Attorney position that would be specifically dedicated to domestic violence cases.

• Commissioners will consider a number of appointments to citizen boards.

On the Planning Board, commissioners will consider applications from Carl Taylor Ford and Jack H. Fisher. Ford, a Kannapolis resident, isn’t the same person as the state legislator by the same name. However, Ford works for Ford Broadcasting in China Grove.

On the Tourism Development authority, there are five vacancies. Applications to fill the vacancies include: BPR Properties Sales Director Suzanne Jones, attorney Whitney Wallace, former Rowan County Extension Director Darrell Blackwelder, Morgan Ridge Vineyards owner Amie Baudoin and Gold Hill resident Vivian Hopkins.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.