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Rockwell company planning expansion, requests tax incentives

By Josh Bergeron

josh.bergeron@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — A local company has plans to add 23 new jobs and build a new manufacturing facility in Rockwell.

FillTech USA, in Rockwell, plans to build a new manufacturing facility at the intersection of Palmer Road and Industrial Avenue. Currently, the company occupies more than 35,000 square feet of space within multiple buildings along West Main Street in Rockwell. The new FillTech facility would consolidate its operations under one roof a 40,000-square-foot building.   

FillTech is a company that manufactures lip balms, sunscreens, hand sanitizers and other personal care products. Since its founding in 1995, it has operated in Rockwell. Its corporate offices are in Virginia.

When Rowan County commissioners meet on Monday, they’ll discuss FillTech’s planned expansion as part of a request for tax incentives to lower the cost of construction. Commissioners will hold a public hearing about the incentives during their 6 p.m. meeting at the county’s administration building on West Innes Street in Salisbury.

FillTech’s estimates its expansion will cost about $4 million. Its 23 new jobs will come over the next two or three years and have an average starting salary of $21,224, according to Rowan Works Economic Development’s tax incentive proposal.

Rowan Works’ proposal estimates that the new construction would result in county government receiving an additional $26,500 per year in new tax revenue. If commissioners agree to provide the requested $19,875 in tax incentives, county government would retain $6,625 in new revenue.

The proposed incentive agreement would last three years.

Construction is projected to wrap up by the end of this year.

Other items on Monday’s agenda include:

• Commissioners will have a public hearing for significant changes to its animal ordinances.

The most significant changes are proposed by Commissioner Craig Pierce. Those changes state outdoor restraints for animals “must be designed and placed so as to prevent choking or strangulation, and be of such design as to restrain the animal during its utmost physical attempts to free itself.”

Pierce’s proposed changes say dogs over six months “may” be tethered outdoors. An outdoor restraint system, as proposed by Pierce, could consist of  “an overhead trolley system, a retractible cable system or a swivel cable anchored to the ground.”

All of the options would require the dog to have a minimum restraint distance of 10 feet of travel.

The restraint line would need to be attached to the dog with a “buckle type collar” or body harness. The restraint line could not weigh more than 10 percent of the animal’s body weight.

None of the requirements would apply to sporting and working dogs, according to Pierce’s proposal.

Pierce’s changes say its preferable to keep a dog indoors or confined with a fence or kennel that’s at least 10 feet long and 10 feet wide.

• Rowan County commissioners are scheduled to approve nearly $200,000 in fees for a roofing consultant.

The fees would pay for roofing projects at the Health Department, Rowan County Jail and West End Plaza.

Fees at the Health Department and jail are $86,880. Fees at West End Plaza are $108,760.

• Commissioners are scheduled to hold a hearing for a proposed Dollar General store on the 6300 block of Bringle Ferry Road.

The Rowan County Planning Board considered the request in July. It was approved. About two dozen local residents, most of them opposed to the rezoning, showed up during the planning board meeting.

The specific request commissioners will consider on Monday includes a conditional use rezoning for a 2.21-acre portion of a 3.98-acre tracts from rural agricultural to neighborhood business. The request includes a conditional use district in order to accommodate the Dollar General store, estimated to be 9,100 square feet.

• Commissioners will have a public hearing for a request from a former county commissioner.

Jon Barber, a who served multiple terms on the Rowan County Board of Commissioners, hopes to put a solar farm on 5 acres of land he owns on Graham Road. O2 EMC, which has other solar projects in Rowan, is requesting the rezoning and would operate the solar farm.

• Commissioners will consider whether to award a contract for a Rockwell EMS station to Crescent Construction Company.

The company has bid $513,000 to build the EMS station. It has included exterior brick veneer as an option. It would be an additional $18,250.

Previously, bids for the EMS project came in over budget and county officials had to modify construction plans to lower costs.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

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