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Rowan County commissioners in support of local business expansion

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Board of Commissioners has agreed to move forward in support of a business expansion that could lead to an $11 million investment in the area.

The board met Monday to hold a public hearing on “Project Wheel.”

If the site is selected, the parent company would bring 94 new jobs to a 100,000-square-foot building in Granite Quarry.

The commissioners voted unanimously to offer a $273,281 incentives grant should the company choose to relocate to the area.

Scott Shelton, vice president of operations with the Rowan Economic Development Commission, said the state has agreed to contribute at a level comparable to the county’s investment. Duke Energy also has offered to contribute through its North Carolina Investment Fund.

Granite Quarry has not yet been asked to contribute to the project.

“I think it’s a good incentives package, and I look forward to getting those new jobs to the county,” said Commissioner Mike Caskey. “I thank EDC for their hard work preparing this.”

Chairman Greg Edds agreed.

“This is good news. It’s actually called economic development,” he said. “Ninety-four jobs starts working up the food chain, and this is a good thing for our community. … (I)t shows those folks outside of Rowan County that we are hospitable to business and we’re willing to develop.”

The proposal projects an increase of $728,750 in tax revenue over five years.

In other business at Monday’s meeting:

• The board honored two retiring county employees: Human Resources Director Darlene Boline and Emergency Services Chief Frank Thomason.

Boline has been with the county for 28 years, from a time when there were fewer than 500 employees to today’s 836.

Thomason has been with the county since 1987, when he was hired to work at the Franklin Fire Department at just 16 years old.

“It makes us feel safe knowing that we have someone like this who is organizing our response no matter what happens in this community,” Edds said.

• The board discussed the rezoning of two properties from rural agricultural to commercial, business, industrial with a conditional district.

The rezoning of property owned by Travis Cauble was tabled because of its proximity to High Rock Lake and a lack of similarly zoned parcels in the area. The commissioners are seeking to re-evaluate the neighborhood business zoning and pursue modifications that would allow this parcel to be zoned accordingly.

The parcel, owned by Rigoberto and Zulma Maldonado, was rezoned provided a list of conditions are met.

• The board agreed to seek pricing and grant proposals for construction of new T-hangars at Mid-Carolina Regional Airport.

Commissioner Craig Pierce said the airport has had a consistent waiting list for the past two years.

“We’re doing ourselves a disservice by not having the space for folks who’d like to use our airport,” Pierce said. “We’re looking at a need that’s there constantly.”



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