Kannapolis annexation bill passes in General Assembly
By Liz Moomey
SALISBURY — Friday was a good day for Kannapolis and Rowan County as a whole, said Kannapolis Mayor Darrell Hinnant.
The N.C. General Assembly passed a bill to allow the city to annex land in the area of Old Beatty Ford Road. That will prevent double digging as the N.C. Department of Transportation continues construction there because Kannapolis can install water and sewer lines.
Hinnant said the passage of Senate Bill 63 will give the city the go-ahead for developer Carolyn Martin, of Commercial Properties Realty Trust, to make permit and zoning requests.
State Sen. Carl Ford, R-33, was the primary sponsor of the bill. He said development in his hometown has been a long time coming.
He said 10 years ago, he knew growth was coming to Rowan County, but a bad economy slowed things. Now, it’s happening.
Rep. Harry Warren, R-76, was a primary sponsor of a similar House bill, along with Rep. Julia Howard, R-77.
The Senate and House bills were initially companion bills, but a section was added to the Senate bill saying Kannapolis “may exercise extraterritorial jurisdiction in the territory described” on Old Beatty Ford Road. The Senate bill was passed unanimously in March. On Friday, it was passed 93-1 in the House.
Warren said this is the first major step for economic development for the southwestern sector of the county.
“As the area develops, Landis, China Grove and Rockwell will benefit,” Warren said.
He said in the next five to seven years, the county will see growth take off, especially in conjunction with the announcement that Chewy pet products retailer will bring more than 1,200 jobs when it builds a distribution center in Rowan County.
Hinnant said he has begun talks with Landis’ mayor and mayor pro tem about extending water and sewer lines to allow for additional development in the town.
“This will be the biggest project that has happened in southern Rowan County for decades,” Hinnant said.
Having the ability to install water and sewer lines will bring more money to Kannapolis and encourage developers, he added. He expects more commercial buildings to go up, which will offer more construction jobs, and the new businesses will need employees.
This is coupled with the city working to recruit an employer to fill the current baseball stadium. A new stadium under construction in downtown Kannapolis will open for the 2020 baseball season.
Warren said growth will increase the tax base, and the influx of people will be good for the real estate business.
Because the annexation bill was a local bill, it does not require the governor’s signature and became law Friday.
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