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County commissioners will discuss, hold public hearing for 2017-2018 budget

By Josh Bergeron

SALISBURY — During a day filled with meetings, the 2017-2018 budget will take top billing for Rowan County commissioners.

First, commissioners will meet at 1 p.m. in the county administration building — 130 West Innes St. — for a budget work session. Their regular meeting will be held in the same location at 3 p.m. At 6 p.m. commissioners will hold a public hearing and could approve the 2017-2018 fiscal year budget, which starts on July 1.

The proposed budget would not increase property taxes. It would slightly increase money allocated to local school systems, but none of the proposed funding changes would match requests.

The budget spends $149.3 million, which is a 1.8 percent increase over the prior year. In compliance with state law, the budget is balanced. It uses $9.8 million from the fund balance, which is partially a savings account.

During the 1 p.m. public hearing, county commissioners are scheduled to discuss any desired changes, additions to or deletions from the budget. An agenda for the work session does not specify any changes, additions or deletions commissioners might discuss.

If Rowan County commissioners decide to approve the 2017-2018 budget, that decision would come after a public hearing at 6 p.m.

Between the work session and public hearing, commissioners will hold their regular meeting. Items on the regular agenda include the following:

• A land use plan for an area of south Rowan that’s near I-85 and part of the county’s plans for an extension of water and sewer lines

Contained in the land use plan are suggestions about the types of developments that will be located in the area, which contains parts of the Bostian Heights community and sits southeast of China Grove’s city limits.

The land use plan suggests light to heavy industrial developments in an area of China Grove Road between Daugherty Road and U.S. 29. The plan proposed commercial and residential developments along a new road that will be known as Old Beatty Ford Road and contain an I-85 interchange. The existing Old Beatty Ford Road will be renamed.

In the northeastern corner of the land use plan’s study area, near Carson High School, residential developments are proposed.

The land use plan also suggests design guidelines for future developments in the study area. For example, the plan suggests multi-family developments should have the following: dedicated open space, sidewalks, street trees, interconnected roadways, setbacks, buffers, parking lot and foundation landscaping and site design review.

After commissioners consider the land use plan on Monday, it will be assigned to the county’s planning board for further review, said Planning Director Ed Muire.

• Setting a public hearing for June 19 for an incentive request known as “Project Piggyback”

The company behind the request is an existing Rowan County employer. If Rowan County is chosen for the project, the company would create 28 new jobs with an average salary of $33,528. The company would invest $1.1 million in new construction and equipment.

• The Rowan County Declaration of Interdependence

For months, County commissioners Chairman Greg Edds and Vice Chairman Jim Greene worked to obtain support for the declaration from various Rowan County cities. Now, it’s the Rowan County commissioners’ turn to approve the document, which, at its core, encourages county government and municipal government to collaborate.

The agenda indicates Edds may also talk about Growing Rowan, a new effort focused on community improvement that will have a kick-off meeting on June 23.

• A set of minimum standards for the Rowan County Airport

The Rowan County Airport Advisory Board has worked on the standards for a number of months. The document sets future rules for commercial and non-commercial operation at the airport.

• An offer of $8,000 for a tract of county-owned land on Martha Street in Kannapolis

The property is valued at $18,410.

• A quasi-judicial hearing for a permit that would allow Frank Aquino to build a 1,200-square-foot residential storage facility along Hearthstrone Ridge Lane, off of London Road.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.



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