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Biz Briefs: Rowan County receives AA+ Fitch rating

Fitch Ratings affirmed an AA+ rating for Rowan County’s $10.4 million General Obligation (GO) Bonds and Issuer Default Rating (IDR). The rating outlook is stable.

In 2017, Fitch raised the rating for the county from AA to AA+, which is just below the highest rating of AAA.

The bonds constitute a general obligation of the county, payable by a pledge of its full faith and credit and unlimited taxing power. The rating allows the county to continue using lower interest rates when it issues bonds, and those bonds are safe for purchasers, as well.

Additionally, the rating accounts for the county’s ability to maintain revenue growth in line with the level of inflation, a low long-term liability and ample reserves.

The last reassessment effective fiscal 2020 resulted in an increase of 9.7% in taxable assessed valuation to $13.7 billion. Additionally, the county experienced an increase in sales tax revenues totaling $26.6 million at the end of fiscal 2019, an 8.6% increase from fiscal 2018. The county also maintains an available fund balance of 33% at approximately $48.4 million, well above the informal fund balance of 21%.

Fitch expects the county’s revenue growth to remain in line with the level of inflation based on anticipated modest tax bases and population growth. The county has high revenue raising ability, with a property tax rate currently well within the statutory cap.

The expenditure flexibility reflects low expenditure pressures, moderate carrying costs and the absence of collective bargaining.

 

Kannapolis seeking developer for Active Adult Apartment Project

KANNAPOLIS — The city of Kannapolis is seeking developers for an Active Adult Apartment development as part of the Downtown Revitalization project.

In September 2015, the city purchased 50 acres of land and buildings in the downtown area and adopted a downtown master development plan. The first of three phrases opened in October 2019, which was an infrastructure and linear park streetscape. The second phase, set to open in April, will serve as the new home of the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers within the Kannapolis Sports and Entertainment Venue. The remaining phase, set to open early 2021, is the VIDA Mixed Use District, which will include a parking deck, restaurants, brewery and apartments.

As the City begins the next phases of the plan, developers are invited to submit proposals for the Active Adult Residential Apartment Project. The location is in an Opportunity Zone. The project includes five acres of property on the western end of the former Cannon Mills Plant 4 site, located between Dale Earnhardt Boulevard, West F St. and West D Street. This location, owned by the city, is ideal for apartments as it is within walking distance of the downtown business district, churches, parks, public transportation and other amenities.

The site could ideally accommodate at least 150 apartment units.

“This project will be adjacent to the new for sale townhomes, Pennant Square, and established single family home neighborhoods,” said Kannapolis City Manager Mike Legg. “Market research shows a need for apartments in the Charlotte Metro Area for adults over the age of 55 with middle class incomes. This group of people in our metro area is expected to grow by 37 percent by 2023. They are looking for apartments that are within walking distance of a downtown, churches, and parks, without the headaches of homeownership. We look forward to working with developers to meet this need.”

Details on the solicitation for development partners is located at www.kannapolisnc.gov/activeadults

For more information contact Nicole Furnace, with the Development Finance Initiative at furnance@sog.unc.edu. The deadline for proposals is March 31, 2020.

 

Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation grants Susan G. Komen $75,000 for regional breast cancer study

CHARLOTTE — Susan G. Komen in Charlotte recently received a $75,000 grant from Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation to study community-level gaps and opportunities in breast cancer care delivery. Novant Health partially funded the two-year study that’s intended to reduce breast cancer mortality by addressing disparities and health inequities in underserved communities.

“We are proud to partner with Susan G. Komen on its mission to ensure the best breast health care reaches every individual in North Carolina,” said Ann Caulkins, senior vice president of Novant Health and president of Novant Health Foundations. “This partnership naturally ties into the work we’re already doing at Novant Health to increase mammography screenings in populations where we have identified a health equity gap, specifically in Asian and Latina-Hispanic women. We know that by focusing on closing the gap, we can improve health equity for all.”

Breast cancer is the most common cause of cancer death among women in North Carolina, where new breast cancer cases and deaths are among the highest in the country. African American women diagnosed with breast cancer are 40% more likely to die than white women and are more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage, with more aggressive forms of the disease. Latina-Hispanic women are also disproportionately affected by the disease and are more likely to be diagnosed with larger, more difficult-to-treat tumors.

“Where you live should not determine your outcome with a breast cancer diagnosis,” said Sarah Bailey, senior director, community health from Komen Charlotte. “Minority patients are less likely to have health insurance, access to transportation and regular checkups, all of which makes them more likely to get diagnosed at a later stage when breast cancer is tougher to treat. With this study, we hope to identify barriers to quality and timely care so that we can increase access and improve outcomes through breast cancer navigation.”

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