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City council to consider ‘Share 2 Care’ fund for locals behind on water, sewer payments

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — City council members on Tuesday will hear a presentation from staff on establishing the “Share 2 Care” water and sewer assistance fund to receive donations to help local residents make payments toward their utilities and sewer accounts.

Following discussions about the desire among city staff to establish a donation fund for utilities payments, city Finance Director Shannon Moore and Communications Director Linda McElroy will present council members with an outreach plan for donations that includes a partnership with Rowan Helping Ministries to help distribute the funds once donated. Rowan Helping Ministries currently has a crisis fund and contributes to locals’ utility bills.

Once established, the city will have a separate fund with restricted funds that will be disbursed to Rowan Helping Ministries. Rowan Helping Ministries would then distribute the funds using the same criteria in place for assisting clients in crisis.

Executive Order 142, established by Gov. Roy Cooper, prevented municipalities from executing utility disconnections and charging late fees or penalties for nonpayment due to the pandemic. That order expired on July 29, but requires municipalities to allow customers at least six months to pay off any outstanding balances accrued during the March-July time period.

At its Aug. 5 meeting, city council members rescinded the city’s own moratorium on utility disconnections as the number of accounts with outstanding balances continued to rise. City staff and council members discussed various options moving forward with delinquent accounts, but all preferred the option of establishing a donation campaign to help with repayments.

Other items on the agenda:

• Council members will make an appointment to the Rowan Economic Development Commission. One of the city’s two appointments is scheduled to expire Dec. 31,. The current appointee has served two terms and is no longer eligible to serve on the commission.

The Rowan Economic Development Commission recommends Kristin Dillard, president of Team Auto Group.

• Rowan Economic Development Commission Vice President Scott Shelton requests that council members schedule a public hearing on Nov. 3 regarding an incentive request from “Project Hero.” The company behind “Project Hero” is an existing employer in Salisbury that plans to retain current employment levels and create 30 new jobs over the next four years. Shelton said the company estimates it will invest approximately $1.5 million in new construction and equipment.

• Council members will consider adopting a resolution authorizing the upset bid process for the sale of parcel 025-013, located on the 1000 block of Barbour Street, which is jointly owned by the city of Salisbury and Rowan County. The parcel is 7,495 square feet in size and has an assessed tax value of $8,000.

• Council member David Post will provide an update on the Kiva loan program and discuss how the city might participate.

• Council members will consider approving a right-of-way encroachment by TEP Fiber for the installation of directional bored duct on West Monroe and South Craige streets per section 11-24 (27) of the City Code. They will also consider approving a right-of-way encroachment by Hotwire Communication for the installation of directional bored duct on Spruce Drive. There are no budgetary impacts with either of these items.

• City council will award Lt. Greg Beam his sidearm and badge in recognition of his retirement from the Salisbury Police Department on May 1.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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