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Western elementary swap, school roof replacement top commissioners’ agenda

By Josh Bergeron
josh.bergeron@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — During the first meeting of 2017, county commissioners on Tuesday will focus on a property swap for the consolidated western elementary school and $6.5 million in roof repair projects for the school system.

Because of the new year, commissioners will meet at 3 p.m. on Tuesday instead of Monday in the Rowan County Administration Building on West Innes Street. The school system will take center stage, with two significant construction proposals.

First up, commissioners will consider giving final approval to a property swap between the Cleveland Community Volunteer Fire Department and the Rowan-Salisbury School System. Next, commissioners will consider giving final approval to $6.5 million in construction costs for roof replacements and security at various schools. The multimillion-dollar projects previously received approval as part of a settlement agreement between commissioners and the school board.

As part of the land swap, Cleveland would deed a 1.624-acre tract of land along School Street to the local volunteer fire department. The fire department would receive a piece of land that’s identical in size and sits near the other tract but isn’t directly connected to Statesville Boulevard or School Street.

Assistant Superintendent of Operations Anthony Vann is scheduled to speak to commissioners about the swap. Tuesday’s agenda documents say the swap would assist both the fire department and layout of the new elementary school.

Vann is also scheduled to speak to commissioners about the $6.5 million in roof replacements and security estimates, which were included in a prior settlement agreement. The school board approved the projects during a Dec. 12, 2016, meeting.

The roof replacements are spread throughout the school system. Tuesday’s agenda includes original cost estimates and the actual cost included with bids for construction. A majority of the roof replacements came in under initial projections. However, several individual schools came in over projections.

Engineering fees came in higher than initial projections, according to Tuesday’s agenda documents.

Bids for construction at West Rowan High came in at $739,000, which is higher than roof replacements at any other school.

The security changes included in the $6.5 million would be for video surveillance systems and entrance vestibules.

In other business from Tuesday’s agenda:

• Commissioners will consider a request to provide funding for in-house spay and neuter services at the Rowan County Animal Shelter.

The total cost of equipment would be $15,205. Once shipping is included, the cost has been estimated at $16,725. Equipment includes items such as suture material and an anesthesia machine. Some costs will be recurring, according to Tuesday’s agenda documents.

In a letter to commissioners, Animal Services Director Bob Pendergrass says roughly 65 percent of spay and neuter vouchers are redeemed. With in-house spay and neuter services, the shelter could reach 100 percent of “no pet population growth coming from animals adopted from our shelter.”

• As part of the consent agenda, commissioners are scheduled to pick Salisbury-based Ramsay, Burgin, Smith Architects to oversee construction of a conference room and other adjustments to the Rowan County Airport terminal building.

• Commissioners will schedule a public hearing to give tax incentives to an unnamed local business that plans to add 20 new jobs and invest $6 million in new construction and equipment.

The tax incentive request has been code-named “Project Carry.”

• As part of the consent agenda, commissioners are scheduled to approve a lease for the Rowan County Veterans Honor Guard at the West End Plaza.

The cost would be $1 per year. The lease would be for 2,700 square feet for five years.

• As part of the consent agenda, commissioners are scheduled to accept a $61,912 grant from the NC Museum of Natural Sciences for Dan Nicholas Park.

• Commissioners will hold a closed session. The cited reason for the closed session is attorney-client privilege.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246

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