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Granite Quarry board discusses ‘Project Wheel,’ receives good news on two street projects

GRANITE QUARRY — The Granite Quarry Board of Aldermen went into closed session Tuesday to discuss Project Wheel, an economic development code name given to a potential expansion by a Rowan County employer.

In a late November letter to Mayor Bill Feather, Scott Shelton, vice president of operations for the Rowan Economic Development Commission, asked the town to consider scheduling a public hearing for an incentives request connected to Project Wheel.

The company involved already does business in Rowan County and is considering a site in Granite Quarry for an expansion, Shelton said in the memo.

“As currently proposed, this expansion will retain current employment levels and create 94 new jobs,” Shelton said. “While these numbers are preliminary, the company estimates that it will invest approximately $11 million in new construction and equipment.”

In anticipation of the project moving forward, the aldermen set a public hearing on possible incentives for 6:45 p.m. Feb. 5. That action came Tuesday during their regular monthly meeting before they went into closed session.

Earlier Tuesday, the Rowan County commissioners approved an access agreement in Summit Park related to the same expansion project.

In other business related to Granite Quarry, the N.C. Board of Transportation is expected to OK today two street projects for the town that together represent more than $183,000 in improvements.

The General Assembly recently approved contingency funds for the Veronica Lane and U.S. 52 requests, leading to the Board of Transportation’s formal approval today. The DOT will then initiate a municipal agreement for each project.

The DOT will upgrade and extend Veronica Lane to state standards at a cost of $101,040.

The town board will have to pass a resolution first to add the extension of the street to the state road system. That will be followed by a separate resolution requesting transfer of Veronica Lane to the town so it will qualify for Powell Bill funds.

The state will be responsible for the work. Veronica Lane is in an area off Legion Club Road in western Granite Quarry.

In addition, the General Assembly has approved $82,390 for improvements on U.S. 52 (Salisbury Avenue) from Church Street to the area near M&K Barbecue. The work — the town will be responsible for administration of the project — provides curb, guttering and sidewalk.

Mayor Feather said the legislative delegation from Rowan County deserves credit for its help in obtaining the money for both projects.

In other items Tuesday, aldermen:

• Set Feb. 16-17 as dates for a board retreat at Town Hall.

• Delayed action on a new policy for appointing members to boards and committees.

• Passed a proclamation for the Jan. 15 observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Town Hall will be closed Jan. 15 for the King holiday.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.

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