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Update: Commissioners OK I-85 water-sewer plan and annexation by Kannapolis

Update: Rowan County commissioners approved an agreement today to partner with Kannapolis on getting water and sewer services to the area around a new I-85 interchange in southern Rowan. Some details of the agreement described below changed in last-minute negotiations. Look for a new story in tomorrow’s Salisbury Post.

SALISBURY — Less than five hours before commissioners gathered for a special called meeting, county manager Aaron Church released a proposed interlocal agreement for consideration during the session.

Interlocal Agreement (Kannapolis-Rowan Old Beatty Ford Road Interchange)…

The agreement, to be made between the city of Kannapolis and Rowan County, details a collective plan to support water and sewer expansion along the new Interstate 85 interchange at Old Beatty Ford Road — a plan that opens the door to Kannapolis’ annexation of the site.

According to the agreement, Kannapolis intends to extend potable water lines and sanitary sewer lines to an approximately 318-acre site along the interchange, called the “High Bridge Site.”

The site will be purchased and developed by Louisiana-based Commercial Properties Realty Trust for a “multitude of residential and non-residential purposes,” the agreement reads, contingent upon the successful implementation of a plan for infrastructure extension.

To support the mutually beneficial infrastructure expansion, the county has offered a cash contribution of $1 million toward the effort. If the agreement is approved during the 3 p.m. meeting today, the county will also release the city of Kannapolis of its outstanding $2.7 million in debt obligations for the  purchase of the current minor league baseball stadium.

One half of the cash contribution will be made within 60 days of the execution of a development agreement between Kannapolis and the developer. The remaining half will be paid “upon delivery of an executed copy of the Engineer of Record Certificate of Project Completion for the Infrastructure Extension Project.”

The stadium debt release will occur with the execution of the development agreement.

The agreement also requires that the High Bridge Site be annexed into the city of Kannapolis by the North Carolina General Assembly.  According to the agreement, Rowan County will “publicly support … the city’s pursuit of municipal annexation of the High Bridge Site.”

Additional details follow in six-page agreement. Proceeds of up to $3.7 million from the future sale of the stadium shall accrue entirely to the city. Any excess will be shared between the two entities. 

The agreement commits the county to using its share of these excess proceeds to match any incentives or investments made by Kannapolis in its effort to facilitate private sector development at the site.

If the agreement is signed, the county will agree to participate equally with the city on future tax or financial incentives “deemed … necessary to attract specific quantities and qualities of job and tax base generating investments on the High Bridge Site.”

For its part, Kannapolis will assume all risks and responsibilities related to the project and be solely responsibly for the financing, design and construction of the extension effort.

The agreement also details an intent to include clawbacks in the development agreement, including provisions to establish minimum tax value increase benchmarks “tied to a repayment schedule by the developer of part of the utility costs.”

These clawback funds shall be shared with the county on a pro-rata share of contributions and obligations to the extension project.

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