City council retreat includes discussion of new ‘state of the art’ civic center facility

Published 12:03 am Friday, January 27, 2023

SALISBURY — The Salisbury City Council and city employees reconvened for the second day of their 2023 goal setting retreat and heard plans for a “state of the art facility” at the site of the current Salisbury Civic Center.

Salisbury Parks and Recreation Director Nick Aceves presented a proposal to partner with the Rufty-Holmes Senior Center to make long-term improvements to the civic center. The idea is to take both centers along with the Fred M. Evans pool and construct a new facility.

They requested that council approve the use of appropriated American Rescue Plan funds estimated at $125,000-150,000 for a comprehensive site plan as the next step in this massive undertaking.

“While I know this is a mammoth project, I am very much in support of our consideration for the planning of it,” Mayor Karen Alexander said. “I think it’s one of those once in a lifetime opportunities to match three very big needs and have a really long standing partner in that process.”

Officials continued going over other topics and projects for Salisbury to address during the year.

Rowan Economic Development Council President/CEO Rod Crider spoke about previous ventures that the county has carried out and went over planned developments, attracting talent from outside Salisbury and new marketing and branding goals.

Community Planning Director Hannah Jacobson provided details on the Forward 2040 Comprehensive plan and discussed housing strategy development. Jacobson recommended that the council release a request for qualifications for a firm to complete a 10-year housing strategy and support a budget request for $150,000 to fund the study.

City staff also heard about upcoming transit system changes and from Catawba College about strategic planning processes.

Those in attendance were encouraged to write their own definition of success for Salisbury.

The city heard from many guest speakers over the course of the two days.