County begins process of expanding Gold Hill, Pooletown fire districts by reducing Richfield district

Published 12:08 am Thursday, May 9, 2024

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Board of Commissioners have begun the process of changing the service districts in southeastern Rowan County to add more area to the Gold Hill and Pooletown fire service districts by reducing the Richfield district.

County Manager Aaron Church said that the idea was conceived by county and fire department officials in order to expand the potential funding for the two Rowan County fire service districts. In order to do that, the county is looking into reducing Richfield’s district and partitioning it between Gold Hill and Pooletown.

“This ultimately is to help Gold Hill and Pooletown. It’ll increase their tax base and decrease the tax base of the Richfield service district, which is in Stanly County. In order to do that, this is the first step in the process,” said Church

Monday’s decision does not change the districts, instead the commissioners voted to direct Church to begin preparing a report on how the change would affect the districts. State law mandates that the report include:

  • A map of the service district and adjacent territory, displaying the current and proposed boundaries of the district.
  • A statement stating that the proposed redistricting meets the requirements of subsection (a) of the state law governing service district changes.
  • A plan for providing services to the areas affected by the changing of the district boundaries.
  • The changes in the amount of taxable property and the effect that it would provide on the ability of the districts to provide services or serve any debt.

“If the board decides to do this, we’ve all looked at this language and we think it’s the right way to get to the solution of helping Gold Hill and Pooletown,” said Church.

Once the county manager’s office has prepared that report, the commissioners will hold a public hearing during a future meeting and vote on the changes.

“I believe everything that (the commissioners) need will be in the report and we will have any, and hopefully all, the answers to your questions on the 20th of May when we come back,” said Deb Horne, the county’s fire division chief.

At the end of the discussion, the commissioners voted unanimously to begin the process by requiring the county manager’s office to create a report that fulfills the four criteria required by state law.