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Business expansion could create 49 jobs

By Karissa Minn
kminn@salisburypost.com
SALISBURY — The Rowan County Board of Commissioners approved an incentive grant for a business expansion that would create 49 new jobs if it moves forward.
Universal Forest Products has operated a facility at 358 Woodmill Road in Salisbury, where it currently employs 144 workers, since 1974.
It is now considering buying, refurbishing and occupying the vacant Maxon Furniture Building at 520 Grace Church Road, RowanWorks Director Robert Van Geons said at the meeting.
Van Geons said Universal Forest Products would establish a new, separate and additional location at the building, leaving its Woodmill Road facility open.
He said the company is considering multiple locations in the Southeast. It plans to invest $2.6 million in the county — $1 million of which is in new equipment.
RowanWorks is requesting that the county consider a local match of $37,500, based on job creation and paid in up to three installments, for an incentive grant through the state’s One NC Fund. It also is requesting that Salisbury contribute the same amount and seeking assistance from Duke Energy.
Commissioner Jim Sides cast the sole dissenting vote, saying he opposes incentives but not the company.
In other news, the board discussed proceedings Monday for a quasi-judicial hearing about a conditional use permit for Davidson County Broadcasting.
The company wants to build a 1,200-foot broadcast tower on property owned by Richard L. and Dorcas Parker in Mount Ulla.
Commissioners tentatively agreed on Aug. 1 as a date for the hearing. But before that can be finalized, the board must determine whether or not the new application is even valid at another quasi-judicial hearing scheduled for July 5.
Attorney Anthony Fox, who is advising the county on this issue, said a citizens’ group has filed a motion to dismiss the application because it deals with identical issues and decisions as the application denied by commissioners in November 2005.
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.
In other business
Rowan County Commissioners also:
• Accepted a $50 offer from Ted Deal to purchase a county-owned house near Sloan Park on N.C. 150 West.
In November 2010, the property experienced a fuel oil spill, which the county has remediated except in the soil under the house. After the house is moved at the new owner’s expense, the county will clean up the remaining contaminated soil.
• Approved a joint resolution to add Alamance and Caswell counties to the service area of Piedmont Behavioral Healthcare.
• Approved the closeout of the Community Development Block Grant Scattered Site Housing Project after a public hearing.
• Declined an equipment grant award for a $15,125 companion animal mobile equipment trailer to help the county shelter animals during disaster events.
The board voted against it 3-2 after raising concerns about maintenance and upkeep costs. Commissioners Raymond Coltrain and Jon Barber cast the dissenting votes to approve it.
• Approved a resolution levying a 1.2 percent tax, in lieu of property tax, on gross receipts from retail short-term lease or rental of heavy equipment.
• Approved a resolution designating deputy finance officers for the county.
• Authorized negotiations with Stewart Cooper Newell Architects for architectural services for a new Rowan County Communications E-911 facility.
• Approved the Home Community Care Block Grant fiscal year 2011-12 spending plan for senior services programs.
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