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County commissioners to vote on $45 million bond referendum

SALISBURY — Rowan County commissioners will decide Monday whether to approve a bond order on a $45 million package to finance construction and equipment for an advanced technology education complex at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

The commissioners will also vote on a resolution to schedule a public hearing on the bond package at 6 p.m. Dec. 16 in the Rowan County Administration Building. If approved Monday, the bond order calling for the issuance of the $45 million would not become effective until approved by voters.

The board has filed an application with the state Local Government Commission to issue such bonds. The college previously asked for support to put a referendum question on the March ballot to support construction of a 105,000-square-foot technology education complex.

The project is for the college’s North Campus in Salisbury and would be complete by 2024.

The facility would be known as the Technology Education Complex. Plans would relocate multiple programs, including facilities for the fire decontamination program; career and college promise building, automotive, welding and machining programs; as well as digital design. One of the buildings would contain space for Rowan County Early College.

The college wants the facilities for training in high-tech job fields such as robotic and virtual welding, advanced machining and automotive technology.

According to the commissioners’ agenda packet, the bond package would not exceed $45 million.

Rowan County would be required to repay the debt in a specified term, currently proposed for 15 years. Assistant County Manager Leslie Heidrick previously said in an interview that she projects a 3-cent tax increase would be required to pay back the bonds.

The commissioners project that the referendum will be on the March 2020 ballot.

The board will meet at 3 p.m. Monday in the Rowan County Administration Building, 130 W. Innes St.

In other business:

• The board will consider issuing a refund to Northeast Rowan County Water System customers after operating expenses were $115,860, including depreciation expenses from September 2018 to June 2019, and operating revenues were $119,548.99, excluding a one-time contribution from Duke Energy.

• The board will discuss exterior design concepts for the West End Plaza agriculture center.

• The board will hold a public hearing on an ordinance regarding subdivision street standards. The board directed county planning staff to prepare an ordinance amendment after hearing concerns about pavement width and turnaround standards from the Rowan County Fire Marshal’s Office at its June 3 meeting.

Items on the consent agenda include:

• A resolution establishing the board’s 2020 meeting schedule. If approved, exceptions to the regular schedule would change the Jan. 20 to Jan. 21 and the Sept. 7 meeting to Sept. 8.

• A request for approval of building reuse grant documents for Project Bay. The Rowan County Economic Development Commission is requesting that the board approve a resolution that states the county’s support for the grant application, its willingness to supply the local cash match and its authorization of the county chairman, county manager and staff to execute necessary documents.

• A request to approve retirement for Capt. Sam Towne, Detective Ronald Meismer, and Deputy Eric Ennis of the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.

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