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Commissioners approve additional incentive for Project Kodiak

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Board of Commissioners on Monday approved a $100,000 incentives grant for a potential e-commerce business off Interstate 85.

The money was approved for “Project Kodiak,” a NorthPoint Development speculative construction of a 700,000-square-foot facility for a warehouse and distribution operator. It will be used to purchase trade-specific equipment or fixtures or for tenant upfits.

According to Scott Shelton, vice president of operations for the Rowan County Economic Development Commission, the county is in competition for the site with other municipalities in South Carolina and Georgia.

“South Carolina is very aggressive when pursuing these projects,” Shelton said. “We’re trying to do everything we can to help us in our chance to win this.”

Monday’s approval comes in addition to a Level 2 economic development grant totaling $1.4 million that the commissioners approved earlier this month.

The requested $100,000 is structured as a loan, which will be forgiven if the unnamed company meets and maintains job-creation goals.

It is projected that the company will bring 600 jobs to the county by the end of 2022, along with a $55 million investment through construction and new equipment.

Commissioners Chairman Greg Edds said the $100,000 will come from sales tax revenue on services, which the North Carolina General Assembly requires municipalities to use for economic development or education.

The county splits its annual $2 million of these funds with the school system, Edds said, meaning the $100,000 will come from $1 million in restricted funds.

Rowan County Attorney Jay Dees said similar incentives have been offered to Gildan and New York Air Brake.

The $1.4 million previously approved is offered as an 80 percent return on property taxes paid.

In other business at Monday’s meeting:

• The commissioners approved the Rowan Transit System’s fiscal year 2020 Community Transportation Program grant application.

Rowan Transit is applying for money from the North Carolina Public Transportation Division for administrative, operating and capital funding to “support the coordination of community transportation strategies and to acquire the necessary equipment to provide transit services in Rowan County,” according to the meeting agenda.

The application is for $236,672 in administrative funds requiring a 15 percent local match, $192,500 in capital funds requiring a 10 percent match and $160,000 in operating funds requiring a 50 percent match.

• The board approved text amendments to the animal control ordinance.

The changes update acceptable leash lengths to 6 feet in public areas such as sidewalks. In more open public spaces such as fields and parks, leash lengths of as much as 16 feet will be acceptable.

Violators will be fined $25.

Animal Services Director Bob Pendergrass said the ordinance change is not intended to lead to warrantless citations but to give animal enforcement officers a tool to make sure nonvicious animals are properly restrained and controlled by their owners.

• The commissioners adopted updated flood plain mapping issued to Cabarrus County with areas extending into Rowan County through Kannapolis.

The map contains one change: the widening of a flood plain boundary near 4747 Rainbow Drive in Kannapolis. Remaining map updates for the county should be issued in 2019.

The commissioners also approved minor changes to the flood damage prevention ordinance, including clarifying language and adding objectives.

• The board approved two changes to the zoning ordinance.

The first change creates a 3 percent allowance for storage facilities on vacant lots in rural agricultural, rural residential, rural suburban and commercial, business and industrial districts, based on lot size. Property owners may apply for a conditional-use permit should a request not meet the lot percentage standard.

The second change adds “business services” as a permitted use in industrial districts.

• The commissioners approved a nonresidential intensity allocation request from Finney Builders.

The request was to construct a race shop on Lot 51 of Mooresville Motorsports Center, removing 0.84 acres from the 12 percent built-upon area limitation requirement of the Coddle Creek watershed and allowing up to 70 percent built-upon area for the project.

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