Commissioners approve rezoning for mini-storage facility, reschedule rezoning for industrial park

Published 12:06 am Tuesday, May 17, 2022

SALISBURY — Commissioners removed a rezoning request for a major industrial park planned for Long Ferry Road from Monday’s agenda, but they did approve a rezoning request for a mini-storage facility in northern Rowan County.

The Rowan County Board of Commissioners were set to hold a public hearing and consider a request from Red Rock Development to rezone about 384 acres located along the 1700-2300 block of Long Ferry Road from rural agricultural to commercial, businesses and industrial with a conditional district. The development company is planning to invest $198 million to construct six “shell” buildings totaling 2.6 million square feet of commercial space off of exit 81.

At the start of the meeting, Chair Greg Edds removed the item from the agenda. He said Red Rock “has a couple of items to tie up” so they asked for the hearing to be delayed. Later in the meeting, Edds said the board would likely reschedule the hearing for its 6 p.m. meeting on June 20.

Commissioners will be discussing Red Rock’s planned industrial park at its next meeting on June 6. Edds said commissioners may need to adjust the incentive agreement the county previously agreed to give the company. The board in April approved giving Red Rock a $4.2 million grant for infrastructure improvements to help catalyze the development of the park. Edds said the dollar amount of the agreement won’t change, but commissioners may need to adjust the timing of the incentive deal.

Mini-storage rezoning

The board unanimously approved a rezoning request from Thaddeus Ogg to rezone two parcels located at the 4500 block of Cauble Road from rural residential to commercial, business and industrial with a conditional district. Ogg plans to build a two-building mini-storage facility on the parcel.

Commissioners approved the rezoning with a few conditions put in place by the Rowan County Planning Board, which previously gave the rezoning the green light. Per the conditions, Ogg will need to screen the chain link fence surrounding the storage facility with evergreen conifers and use motion-activated lighting instead of lights that stay on all night.

Financial update

In his financial update to the board, Rowan County Finance Director Jim Howden’s cumulative expenditures through April were $126 million, which is about $4 million more than the year prior. The county’s cumulative revenue through April was also higher than the year prior, up from $139 million in 2021 to $140 million this year. Through March, the county collected $87 million in property taxes. The county’s cumulative sales tax through January was $20.7 million, up almost $3 million from January 2021.

Howden said the rate of inflation could be helping the county’s sales tax numbers, but could also cause the county’s spending to increase as well. The country’s annual inflation rate rose to a historic 8.5% in March but decreased slightly to 8.3% in April. Vice Chair Jim Greene said he expects the sales tax revenue to decrease eventually because people will be cutting back on retail spending as the price of goods continues to rise.

Health care provider update

The board received an update from Zack Shepherd, community relations regional director for Vaya Health. Vaya Health is Rowan County’s chosen state-mandated Medicaid provider that serves people with mental health needs, substance use disorders and/or intellectual and developmental disabilities. Vaya recently absorbed Cardinal Innovations, Rowan County’s previous provider. Commissioners Mike Caskey and Judy Klusman serve on Vaya’s region three board. Klusman also serves on the company’s board of directors.

In his update, Shepherd said over half of members served in Rowan County between October and December 2021 with Medicaid services received child or adult outpatient services (64%).

Like those with Medicaid funding, over half of members served in Rowan County between October and December 2021 with non- Medicaid services received child or adult outpatient services (56%).

As of March, there were 249 members with Rowan County funding that received care management through Vaya, Shepherd said.

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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 ben.stansell@salisburypost.com.

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