Rowan officers review Knox Overton project grant application – Salisbury Post

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Board of Commissioners will on Monday consider approving a grant application to help Rowan-Salisbury schools advance plans for a combined Knox-Overton K-8 school.

At an education committee meeting earlier this month, the project’s contractor said estimates for the K-8 school had increased to $69.6 million — more than $14 million more than the original price. The project has been in the works for several years after being delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To offset the increased cost of the project, the district plans to apply for a grant from the state’s Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund. The district could receive up to $40 million through the grant program.

Before the district can submit a grant application, it must be approved by the Board of Commissioners. The application has already been approved by the school authorities.

The Board of Commissioners meets at 6:00 p.m. in the J. Newton Cohen Sr. Room on the second floor of the Rowan County Administration Building. The meeting can be joined virtually with the password 028144 or by calling 602-753-0140, 720-928-9299 or 213-338-8477.

Also on the conference agenda:

• Valerie Steele, director of Rowan Airport and Transit, will seek approval to use $2 million to replace components of the airport’s instrument landing system and complete the glider track project that was begun but never completed.

The instrument landing system is a precision runway approach aid that helps aircraft land. Without a well-functioning system, Steele said in a memo, the airport could lose tenants and would have to reduce flights. The $2 million in funding would come from the $5 million in capital and infrastructure funds the state is allocating to Mid-Carolina Regional Airport.

• The Board will consider approving the use of $74,000 of American Rescue Plan Act funds to pay five temporary employees of the Department of Human Services. The request for the money comes from Micah Ennis, director of social services, who said in a memo to commissioners that the department was struggling with staff absences due to COVID-19. The funding would fund the five posts through June.

• The Commissioners will hold a public hearing on an application by Deborah Wright for a special use permit to house a convention center and rental cabins on her property at 3425 Organ Church Road.

• The commissioners are considering accepting a $75,000 grant from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences to be used by Rowan Wild to fund maintenance and improvement of the facility, educational staff, educational needs and publicity. The scholarship is awarded for two years. Therefore, Rowan Wild will receive a second grant of $75,000 next year.

• The Board will consider approving the transfer of the two light transit vehicles formerly used on Rowan Express to a qualified transit system. The two vehicles have not been used by the county since Rowan Express retired on July 1, 2021, and Rowan Transit has no plans to use them in the future. If the commissioners approve the transfer of vehicles, which would not involve currency exchange, Rowan Transit’s fleet would be reduced to 26 vehicles.

• The Board will consider approving an agreement between the county and Motorola Solutions for radio system services for the Emergency Services Department. The county will pay Motorola Solutions $1.4 million through June 30, 2027.

• Commissioners will consider approving and signing a letter of support for Yadkin Valley Telephone Membership Corporation to apply for USDA broadband funding. If awarded, the funding would allow the company to expand fiber to home broadband in northern Rowan County.

• Commissioners are considering approving the purchase of 149 automated external defibrillators and 25 cardiac monitors for $1.3 million. The county will distribute 140 of the defibrillators to volunteer fire stations across the county.

• The Board will hold a public hearing on the county’s use of $1.5 million in community development block economic development fund grants to extend 5,145 linear feet of sewer line to the Chewy facility. The project is complete and the public hearing will complete the process.

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