With purchase offer on the table, commissioners will consider future of Enochville Elementary property

Published 12:05 am Sunday, June 5, 2022

SALISBURY — With a $500,000 offer to purchase the Enochville Elementary property on the table, commissioners on Monday will be given first right of refusal on the property before Rowan-Salisbury Schools moves forward with the sale process.

Enochville Elementary closed last year after the Board of Education in January 2021 declared the school surplus. The vacant school sits on about 8.44 acres of land located at 925 N. Enochville Ave. in China Grove.

The Board of Education also declared Faith Elementary surplus and closed the school last year, but the school immediately reopened as Faith Academy Charter School.

In accordance with North Carolina General Statute, the Board of Education must offer surplus properties to the Board of Commissioners prior to disposal. If the county government refuses the Enochville Elementary property, the Board of Education plans to move forward with the upset bid process for its sale.

Commissioners will meet Monday at 3 p.m. in the J. Newton Cohen Sr. Room on the second floor of the Rowan County Administration Building. The meeting will also be broadcasted online at https://bit.ly/rowanboc3pm. The password is 028144. The meeting can be joined by phone by dialing 602-753-0140, 720-928-9299 or 213-338-8477.

Purchase of Richard’s Bar-B-Q building

Commissioners will consider approving a contract for Rowan-Salisbury Schools to purchase the Richard’s Bar-B-Q building at 522 N. Main St. The district plans to use the facility, located right next to the Wallace Educational Forum, to expand and enhance the culinary curriculum it offers through its career and technical education program.

The price is $440,000 with a deposit of $44,000. Money for the purchase will come from the district’s capital fund balance, which is sitting at about $2 million. The Board of Education approved the purchase of Richard’s at a meeting in April, but major capital purchases need approval from the Board of Commissioners as well.

The board was slated to consider the contract last month, but the item was removed from the agenda at the start of the meeting to give commissioners more time to study the contract.

Amendment to industrial park incentive agreement

Commissioners on Monday will consider amending a previously approved incentive agreement with Red Rock Development. The company plans to invest approximately $198 million in the construction of six shell buildings totaling 2.6 million square feet of commercial space on Long Ferry Road. The buildings will be constructed over three phases.

Infrastructure improvements, including water and sewer main extensions, a new pump station and significant road improvements, will be necessary to serve the new buildings. 

In April, the Board of Commissioners approved an incentive request from Red Rock for the county to reimburse the company up to $4.2 million for these infrastructure improvements. 

The incentive was approved with the stipulation that the reimbursement be paid upon the lease or sale of substantially all the facilities and property in phase one of the project to a qualifying third-party job creator. Phase one would include the construction of the largest, 1.08 million-square-foot building and the 572,000 square-foot building. 

Red Rock is now requesting that the terms of the incentive agreement be amended so that the reimbursement for infrastructure be paid upon issuance of a certificate of completion for the two speculative buildings contained in phase one of the project. The company anticipates the buildings in phase one will be completed in the second quarter of 2024.

Also during the meeting Monday, commissioners are expected to set a public hearing for June 20 regarding Red Rock’s rezoning request for the industrial park. The rezoning request was initially scheduled for May 16 but was postponed.

Also on the agenda:

• Commissioners will hold three public hearing for the following road name change requests:

• Organ Church Road to Polka Dot Lane. This would not change the name of the entire Organ Church Road, just a small offshoot section near Old Beatty Ford Road that runs parallel to Organ Church Road.

• Unnamed drive off Vanderbilt Avenue to Babe Bee Lane

• Unnamed drive off Jones Road to Sills Creek Trail

• The board is slated to schedule a public hearing for June 20 to consider an application from Betsy Brown to establish St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church and Cemetery as a Rowan County Historic Landmark. St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church and Cemetery is located at 1115 St. Andrews Church Road. The applicant wishes to designate the exterior of the church and the adjacent cemetery.  

• Commissioners will consider a request from Teijin, formerly Continental Structural Plastics, to amend an incentive agreement originally approved by the board to facilitate the company’s expansion at 6701 Statesville Blvd. In August 2020, the company announced plans to invest $45 million in a building addition and new equipment, which would create 56 new jobs.

Due to supply chain issues related to the pandemic, the company was not able to begin the project until 2021. The company is requesting the incentive agreement originally approved by the board be amended to reflect the delayed start of the project.

If the amendments are approved, the company would receive the grant for five separate tax years beginning with the assessment as of Jan. 1, 2022, rather than Jan. 1, 2021. The grant would be calculated using Jan. 1, 2021 as the baseline rather than Jan. 1, 2020. Teijin will have until Dec. 31, 2023, to create and fill the 56 new jobs rather than Dec. 31, 2022. The grant amount reimbursed to Teijin is determined by property taxes paid.

• Commissioners will consider approving an agreement with Republic Services for solid waste collection services in Rowan County for an amount not to exceed $350,000. The company will start collections on July 1.

• The board will consider giving authorization for Rowan County Public Library to apply for a $25,071 grant from the Cannon Foundation to help with the library’s efforts to digitize the Salisbury Post’s physical archives, known as “the morgue.” The digitization project is underway and, when completed, will give more people access to the newspaper’s archives.

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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