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Editorial: Christmas gifts they’re hoping for

With less than two weeks until Christmas, here are some things local people and institutions might hope to see under their Christmas trees:

• Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and Rowan-Salisbury Schools are likely hoping county commissioners give their approval to a $45 million bond referendum that would build an advanced technology complex, with space for K-12 students and Rowan County Early College. Commissioners could offer their approval as soon as this week. So, this gift may be one that’s already wrapped. Next, the bond would need voters’ approval on the 2020 primary ballot.

• Staff at the Rowan County Economic Development Commission may be hoping for the gift of additional momentum. With online pet product retailer Chewy building a fulfillment center and several local businesses announcing expansions, this year has been a good one for economic development in the county. Now, all eyes are on southern Rowan, as the N.C. Department of Transportation has opened new lanes on Interstate 85  and an exit at Old Beatty Ford Road. The additional momentum could come in the form of new companies inquiring about relocation or expansion before the end of the year or an existing prospect saying they’re ready to finalize a deal.

• If they’ll accept it, we’d like to give state legislators the gift of compromise. They’re in dire need after failing to pass a budget this year. Sure, Republicans will argue they passed a budget that was vetoed by Gov. Roy Cooper, but in the months that followed neither Republicans nor Democrats appeared to be ready to meet in the middle on Medicaid expansion. The state is worse off because of that failure.

• The town of Spencer is hoping for 60-degree weather for a few days before the end of the year. Those temperatures are apparently necessary for paving to occur on Fourth Street, an important thoroughfare that’s been unpaved for what seems like forever. What initially started as a stormwater project was supposed to wrap up by Nov. 7, but that date came and went.

• Landis residents are hoping for closure to the state embezzlement investigation that began in February and involves town’s former manager and finance officer. No charges have been filed, but Landis residents may hope they are before the end of the year. If the State Bureau of Investigation’s probe doesn’t produce charges, locals will demand an explanation because the town has produced W-2 data for the former manager and finance officer showing exorbitant salaries for a town the size of Landis.

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