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Commissioners approve incentive grant for WJD Cold Storage

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Board of Commissioners on Monday approved an incentives grant that will bring 40 new jobs and $9 million in investment to Granite Quarry.

The request, prepared by the Rowan Economic Development Commission, was for the construction of a two-phase, high-tech cold-storage facility.

It’s a project to open the first facility of WJD Cold Storage, a company started in 2012 by Bryan Duncan, Joseph Emmons, William Malloy and Jacqueline Patterson.

Malloy described the operation as “a big freezer,” with the company holding products for producers and manufacturers until they are ready to ship to customers.

Phase 1 of the project would result in a 42,000-square-foot facility with space for 3,500 pallets. This phase, expected to be completed by December, will be a $5.14 million investment.

The second phase will nearly double the space to 81,000 square feet. The expansion is expected to be completed by 2021 and is valued at $3.93 million.

Commissioners approved a “Level 1” grant, or approximately 75 percent of the value of real and personal property tax revenue anticipated to be generated by the project over five consecutive years.

Over that period, Rowan County will provide incentive grants totaling $166,878 and retain $55,625 in excess revenue.

The county will retain $356,353 in new tax revenue over the next 10 years, according to plans.

“I really appreciate the opportunity you guys give us to bring this company to the area,” Malloy said. “Hopefully, we can communicate and bridge and bring things together. We really want to work with the community, with the colleges, the workforce. That’s what we’re all about. We’re really interested in developing a relationship with the county and helping it grow.”

In other business from Monday’s agenda:

• The commissioners voted to rezone a 3.76-acre tract on Northdale Avenue in Kannapolis from rural agricultural to institutional.

The request came from Walter Rumple, owner of Best of Care Assisted Living on Northdale. Rumple will use the rezoned property to expand the facility’s vehicle canopy.

• The board denied a request to rezone four parcels totaling 6.26 acres on Providence Church Road from rural agricultural to commercial business industrial with a Conditional District.

The rezoning, requested by Barry Childers, would have allowed for construction of docks and boat lifts, as well as a 2,800-square-foot storage building and a fenced, gravel parking area for the storage of construction materials and the property owner and applicant’s boats and trailers.

Seven residents voiced concern about the proposed project because of noise and a lack of benefit to the area. The commissioners voted to deny the project, with the motion carrying 3-2.

Chairman Greg Edds and Commissioner Mike Caskey voted against the motion to deny.

• The commissioners approved a permit for the fifth annual Rowan Chamber Dragon Boat Festival, to be held July 28 at theLong Ferry Road Shrine Club on High Rock Lake.

• The commissioners selected Mike Caskey as their voting delegate for the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners 111th annual conference, to be held Aug. 23-25 in Catawba County.

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