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Boral Composites plans expansion in East Spencer, Salisbury

By Josh Bergeron
josh.bergeron@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — As part of a deal approved Monday, Boral Composites will receive tax incentives for five years as part of an expansion at its East Spencer and Salisbury plants.

County commissioners unanimously approved the tax incentive deal, which will repay 75 percent of taxes on new investment for five years. In a presentation to county commissioners on Monday, Rowan Works Economic Development Director Robert Van Geons said Boral Composites plans to invest more than $5 million in equipment and improvements at its facilities in East Spencer and Salisbury.

The company will receive roughly $125,000 in tax incentives, Van Geons said. It will come in the form of a grant after the company pays taxes on new investments.

The 15 jobs created by the expansion will have an average starting salary in excess of $35,000, Van Geons said.

“As they continue to grow and add new product lines, they are facing continued demand and opportunities,” he said. “We want to keep them growing in Rowan County.”

During Monday’s meeting, Plant Manager Ken Bruns told county commissioners a majority of the jobs and investment will be in East Spencer. The remainder will be at Boral’s facility on Cedar Springs Road in Salisbury. The expansion is expected to be complete by Dec. 31, 2017, according to Van Geons’ presentation.

Van Geons said Boral does not plan to request incentives from the City of Salisbury or Town of East Spencer. The split in expansion between the two municipalities would make record keeping difficult, he said.

The unanimous approval by county commissioners came without lengthy discussion. Commissioners mostly asked about details of Boral Composites’ operations and the breakdown of investments between the two cities. Van Geons said the approval was consistent with the county’s goal of providing assistance to existing businesses. There was nothing in the request that should cause “concern or alarm,” he said.

Boral Composites is a division of Boral USA, which has its headquarters in Georgia. Boral Composites makes siding, trim and other exterior building products. Another subsidiary of Boral USA is Boral Bricks, which has a facility in East Spencer too.

In other news from Monday’s meeting:

• County commissioners gave formal approval to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office to purchase 49 body cameras and stun guns.

Billed together as an item called an “officer safety plan,” the sheriff’s office would pay $102,544 for the first year, according to a staff report on the purchase. In subsequent years, the cost is $62,287. The cost includes maintenance and data storage.

It’s the first large-scale purchase of body cameras for the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office. County commissioners first OK’ed the purchase of body cameras during last year’s budget discussions. Monday’s approval was required to waive a formal bidding process.

Taser International will supply the stun guns and cameras, according to a staff report on the purchase.

County Manager Aaron Church said during Monday’s meeting that the body cameras would replace in-car cameras used by the sheriff’s office.

• County commissioners made appointments to the county’s planning board.

Those appointed to the planning board include: architect Pete Bogle, businessman John Leatherman, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Chief of Facilities Jonathan Chamberlain, BB&T communications engineer Felton Goodwin and Food Lion employee and recent school board candidate Andrew Poston.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

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