County commissioners to hold public hearing on $45 million bond referendum

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 15, 2019

SALISBURY — County commissioners will hold a public hearing Monday for a $45 million package to finance construction and equipment for an advanced technology education complex at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

Commissioners voted to approve the bond order and to hold a public hearing at the Dec. 2 board meeting.

The bond order says that the $45 million will provide the acquisition, construction, installation, renovation, and equipping of educational facilities at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. And that the bonds shall be an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $45 million.

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

The bond order says that the county has filed an application with the Local Government Commission of North Carolina for approval of such bonds required under the Local Government Bond Act.

The public hearing will give citizens the opportunity to provide feedback on the project.

Each citizen who has signed up for public comment will be allowed three minutes to speak.

Plans for facilities, which would total 105,000 square feet, involve the relocation of multiple programs, including facilities for the fire decontamination program; career and college promise building, which would include the Early College, too; welding and machining programs; and also digital design.

It would also provide training for high-tech job fields such as robotic and virtual welding, advanced machining and automotive technology.

The county will be required to repay the debt in a specified term that is currently proposed for 15 years. A 3-cent property tax increase is projected to be needed.

According to the Dec. 16 agenda packet, the finance department has requested the board hold the public hearing, introduce the resolution which adopts the bond order, and calls for a referendum on the bonds to be held on the March 3, 2020, ballot.

It also provides how the question will be formed on the March 2020 ballot.

County commissioners will meet at 6 p.m. Monday in the Rowan County Administration Building, at 130 West Innes Street.

In other business:

  • On the consent agenda, commissioners will consider approving permission for the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office to apply for the N.C. Transportation Bicycle Helmet Initiative Grant.
  • On the consent agenda, commissioners will consider approval of purchasing vehicle equipment and body armor for the sheriff’s office.
  • The finance department will provide a report regarding budgets for the fiscal year 2019 Homeland Security Grant, awarded to Rowan County by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, and a comprehensive annual financial report for the year.
  • Director of Facilities Management and Parks and Recreation Don Bringle will propose that the base bid, and bid alternates one and two for Ellis Park Kitchen Renovations be completed. The budgeted amount was $65,000 and the total cost needed is $100,471, with a shortfall of $35,471.