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Manufacturer considering moving 28 jobs to Whitney Industrial Park

By Josh Bergeron
josh.bergeron@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — A manufacturing company just south of the city limits is considering moving 28 jobs to the area, and will ask county commissioners for tax incentives to aid in the move.

Commissioners on Monday will hear a tax incentive request from Premtec, which manufactures hoses and other products in the Whitney Industrial Park. The industrial park is located near the intersection of Grace Church, Camp and Roseman roads.

Commissioners will also hold a public hearing on the tax incentive request. Their Monday meeting will start at 6 p.m. in the county administration building — 130 West Innes St. in Salisbury.

Premtec’s new Rowan County jobs would come as a result of a consolidation of operations by one of Premtec’s parent companies, according to a summary prepared by RowanWorks Economic Development. Depending on decisions made by county commissioners’ and Premtec’s parent companies, the existing 28 jobs in Whitney Industrial Park wouldn’t move. An additional 28 jobs would be added to the existing 28 if the Rowan jobs aren’t moved to another location, according to the RowanWorks summary.

The new jobs would pay an average wage of $33,528 per year, with benefits. The RowanWorks summary states that the “vast majority” of the new jobs would be filled by local residents.

If chosen, Premtec’s Rowan County site would be the recipient of $1.16 million in investment. Improvements would take eight to 10 months, according to RowanWorks.

Before it commits to selecting Rowan County for the new jobs, the company will ask for incentives that rebate 75 percent of taxes over a five-year period. For example, the new investment would add $7,672 to the county’s tax revenue, but, with approval from commissioners, the company would receive a $5,754 rebate or grant, according to RowanWorks. Until the five year period ends, the net addition to Rowan County’s tax revenue would be $1,918.

The Locke Fire District could also see its tax revenue increase as a result of the expansion.

If commissioners approve tax incentives and the company selects Rowan County, RowanWorks estimates county government would retain $47,948 in new tax revenue over a 10-year period.

In other business on commissioners’ Monday agenda:

• The Rowan-Salisbury school system will present county commissioners with the cost of a consolidated western elementary school, which recent estimates show will cost roughly $300,000 more than what commissioners initially allocated.

Rowan County commissioners initially allocated $27.5 million to consolidate Cleveland and Woodleaf elementary schools into one facility.

The presentation commissioners will receive on Monday shows school construction and associated costs running $334,492 over the initial allocation, according to agenda documents. Earlier in June, the school board approved school construction with the cost overages, and School Board Chairman Josh Wagner suggested paying for additional costs out of the fund balance.

The total cost of the West Elementary School will be $27.83 million, according to Monday’s agenda documents. With all alternatives included, however, the total cost could balloon to more than $30 million.

• After delaying a decision, county commissioners will consider approving tax rates for fire departments in the county.

On June 5, county commissioners approved all parts of the 2017-2018 budget, except for fire department tax rates. Commissioners asked for more information about the Woodleaf Fire Department. Specifically, commissioners asked whether tax revenue from a solar farm project in the fire district would negate the need for a tax increase.

On Monday, commissioners will consider whether to increase the Woodleaf Fire District’s tax rate by 1 cent or half of a cent. Additionally, county commissioners will consider approving tax rates for other departments.

Enochville and Pooletown are the only other fire departments requesting a property tax increase. Enochville is asking to increase its tax rate from 7 cents per $100 in valuation to 8 cents per $100 in valuation. Pooletown wants to increase its tax rate from 7 cents to 9 cents per $100 in valuation.

• County commissioners will discuss whether to hold a forum on opioid use.

• County commissioners will discuss whether to auction 17 cows that are in the possession of animal control as a result of an animal cruelty case.

Animal Services Director Bob Pendergrass says the county has spent roughly $11,000 to care for the cows. Pendergrass says the value of the cows is estimated at $12,000.

Pendergrass is asking commissioners to give animal control the authority to sell the 17 cows at a public auction.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

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