Board of commissioners preview: Two public hearings, presentation of county’s 2022 financial report

Published 12:10 am Sunday, January 1, 2023

SALISBURY — A public hearing will be held during the Tuesday, Jan. 3, meeting of the Rowan County Board of Commissioners to receive public comments on the application of capital grant funds that will provide the necessary equipment for transit services in Rowan County.

The county is applying to receive the Fiscal Year 2024 Combined Capital Grant, which is given out by the North Carolina Public Transportation Division. The grant funds will be used to support the Rowan Transit System, which “is a non-emergency public transportation service providing life sustaining trips for Rowan County residents.” Currently, there are 11 vehicles being used by the Rowan Transit System that qualify for replacement.

The county is requesting just over $1 million in grant funds. 90% of those funds, $956,587, would be supplied by the grant. The county will then supply $106,288 to match the remaining ten percent.

After the public hearing, the board of commissioners will receive a financial report presentation on the fiscal year 2022, which ended on June 30, 2022. A representative from Martin Starnes & Associates, an accounting firm out of Hickory will present the annual audit of Rowan County.

Finally, one more public hearing will be held on the county’s plans to finance the renovation and equipping of the West End Plaza Mall into meeting space and offices. The board of commissioners is filing an application for approval of an installment financing contract of $30 million for the project. The application must be approved by the North Carolina Local Government Commission.

The installment financing contract works similarly to a mortgage. The county will hear bids from banks who will want to supply the $30 million at a fixed interest rate. The county will award the contract to the bank with the lowest interest rate, then will have to pay the funds back overtime. County Manager Aaron Church said the funds have already been budgeted to pay the borrowed money.

Those interested can find the entire Jan 3. board of commissioners meeting agenda here.