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Chamber will host legislative Power in Partnership event featuring state lawmakers

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Chamber of Commerce will host a state legislative roundtable at this month’s virtual Power in Partnership event on Feb. 18 at 7:30 a.m.

During the event, a “wishlist” of priority projects for the county will be given to state legislators for consideration during the N.C. General Assembly session. 

“Every year, when our state legislators travel to Raleigh, we give them our community wishlist that includes any capital projects like any new transportation initiatives,” said Rowan County Chamber of Commerce President Elaine Spalding.

Four legislators representing parts of the county will also speak about their plans to help move Rowan County forward.

The legislators slated to speak at the event are Sen. Carl Ford, R-33; Rep. Julia Howard, R-77; Rep. Harry Warren, R-76; and Rep. Wayne Sasser, R-67.

The list of priority projects was developed by the Chamber’s Governmental Affairs Committee.

At the top of the priority list this year, Spalding said, are long-term transportation projects that include an exit on I-85 in East Spencer that would give travelers easier access to the town and to High Rock Lake. Legislators will also be encouraged to focus on a $13.9 million project to build a new taxiway at the Mid Carolina Regional Airport.

Other priority projects include supporting salary increases to attract and retain community college employees, fighting for more funding for Rowan-Salisbury School System and supporting tax policies that encourage growth and capital investment.

Still, the most pressing and immediate need, Spalding said, is for legislators to continue to fight for aid for small businesses as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

“We all know the hospitality industry and our small retail businesses have really suffered the most with the gathering restrictions that we’ve had and trying to keep everybody safe,” Spalding said. “We want our state legislators focused on those short term goals to make sure that the community is healthy and our businesses can survive the next couple of months.”

The Power in Partnership legislative session is open to the public; however, advance reservations are needed. The cost is $15 for members and $25 for non-members and the reservation deadline is Tuesday by 5 p.m. Contact the chamber for information on reservations or sponsorship opportunities at 704-633-4221 or info@rowanchamber.com.

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