Laurels: Plumbing replacement would solve problem

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 19, 2021

Laurel to the Rowan County Board of Commissioners for considering complete plumbing replacements in the Dukeville area.

It might be the only solution to permanently eliminate lead in the homes of some people on the county’s Northeast Rowan Water System. County officials say pipes installed just a few years ago are not the culprit of elevated lead levels. Most likely, it’s plumbing inside individual homes.

While completely replacing plumbing of a home is expensive, it will be a sure-fire way to remove the threat of lead, which is dangerous at any level in water. By voting to completely replace plumbing, commissioners would show they’re committed to solving a serious problem, even if they didn’t cause it, and help keep Rowan residents healthy. It’s understandable if testing requirements are needed to make sure plumbing replacement is the best option.

Already, the county has worked with Salisbury-Rowan Utilities, to switch to a new compound to create a barrier that could prevent lead seepage into water. They’re also moving forward with a chemical booster station to make sure the compound makes it to pipes in the Dukeville area, which is located along Long Ferry Road.

Laurel to news of a proposed development near the Landis-Kannapolis border. The development, which will add a total of nearly 1,000 homes to both sides of Kannapolis Lake, is a sign of the growth that could be come to Rowan County.

In a deal with the city of Kannapolis, about 300 of those homes are proposed to be inside adjusted Landis town limits. The remainder look to be inside of Kannapolis or its extra-territorial jurisdiction.

Some longtime Rowan County residents might react to news of the new homes with a distaste, saying 1,000 homes is way too many. If there are two people per home, it could be 2,000 people in one development. And they’re not off-base. When major developments spring up in rural countryside, it can change the character of a community and turn streets into parking lots.

If there’s any solace for those concerns, it’s that the development would fill in space between Enochville and Landis and Kannapolis. That’s not exactly urban, but it’s not rural western Rowan County either. With any luck, local leaders and municipal planners can ensure that major new developments don’t stray too far into the countryside. Infill development — building on currently vacant space in an otherwise development area — is best for keeping a community’s character as close to its current state as possible.

It’s important to also think about the residential development as a boost for tax revenue and the quality of Landis and Kannapolis services.

Laurel to the other positive economic progress in the Salisbury-Rowan community, including an announced expansion of Hexagon Agility to add 75 new jobs and invest $28 million over the next two years.

Among other things, Hexagon Agility, formerly known as Agility Fuels, builds compressed natural gas fuel systems. Its good-paying jobs are exactly the kind Rowan County leaders should aim for when trying to bring new businesses here and help existing operations expand.

When existing companies like Hexagon Agility expand, it means they’ve found the location to be good for business. As Rowan County Commissioners Chairman Greg Edds said after the announcement, it’s been good for Rowan County, too. Hexagon Agility has brought good-paying jobs and helped improve the quality of local government services through tax revenue.

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