Commissioners OK grant applications for sheriff, library; hearing set on Chewy sewer line

Published 7:08 pm Thursday, January 27, 2022

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Board of Commissioners convened virtually Thursday afternoon for a called meeting to authorize two grant applications and set a public hearing date.

All three meeting items were on the consent agenda and there was no discussion about them before commissioners voted on their approval.

The board gave the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office permission to apply for a one-time Local Law Enforcement Block Grant, with a maximum amount of $24,500. The grant application is due Monday, but the awards are for Oct. 1 through Sept. 31, 2023. The Sheriff’s Office plans to use any funding awarded to bolster its criminal and narcotic investigation units.

The Sheriff’s Office would purchase two UFED Touch 2 Ultimate Portable Cellebrite Kits. One would be used by the criminal investigative division and one by the special investigative unit. Each would be used to collect evidence and intelligence from cell phones in the field. In a memo to commissioners, Sheriff Kevin Auten said the devices could help the department tap into important potential evidence should the cell phone owner be guilty of a crime. He also said the UFED Touch 2 devices would be used to gather digital information consensually to aid investigators and make arrests quicker.

Commissioners also scheduled a public hearing for its meeting at 6 p.m. on Feb. 21 to provide citizens a chance to give their input on the county’s use of $1.5 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to install approximately 5,145 linear feet of sewer line to the Chewy facility.

Chewy opened its facility at 255 Front Creek Road in April 2020 and has since added more than 1,200 positions. The sewer line has been completed and the public hearing serves to review expenditures for the project and gather public feedback. The public hearing will be held in the J. Newton Cohen Sr. room on the second floor of the Rowan County Administration Building at 130 W. Innes St.

Commissioners also authorized the Rowan Public Library to apply for $38,000 from the state library system through its Adaptive Technology Grant Program. The grant application is due Tuesday. The library would use the funding to replace its seven current self-service checkout kiosks, which are more than seven years old and operating system that is no longer supported by Windows. The library would purchase and install four self-service kiosks, one at each of its four branches: headquarters (Salisbury), east (Rockwell), south (China Grove) and west (Cleveland).

The kiosks will increase accessibility of check out for those with disabilities and would improve protections that remain necessary do to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to a memo addressed to commissioners.

About Ben Stansell

Ben Stansell covers business, county government and more for the Salisbury Post. He joined the staff in August 2020 after graduating from the University of Alabama. Email him at

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