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January 28, 2021

Biz Roundup: Salisbury-Rowan utilities honored for exceeding drinking water standards

SALISBURY — Salisbury-Rowan Utilities was recently honored for exceeding federal and state drinking water standards for 2019.

The water and wastewater provider for the city of Salisbury and other Rowan Municipalities was one of 55 North Carolina water systems to achieve the recognition for 2019. There were 6,000 water systems in the state to achieve the recognition last year.

“SRU’s top priority has always been to provide safe, high-quality water to our customers throughout Rowan County,” SRU Director Jim Behmer said in a news release. “We have a great water resources team and I am proud of all of them for achieving this recognition from the NC Division of Water Resources. I’m especially proud of this honor because it was achieved while construction activities were ongoing at our plant.”

The award is part of the Area Wide Optimization Program (AWOP), which was developed to help water systems meet successively more stringent regulations and achieve higher levels of water quality. AWOP is a joint program between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and individual states. North Carolina has participated in AWOP since 2000.

According to the award news release from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), “Awards are given each year to water systems that demonstrate outstanding turbidity removal, a key test of drinking water quality. Turbidity is a measure of the cloudiness or haziness of water caused by individual particles that can interfere with disinfection and provide a medium for microbial growth. Microbes are microscopic particles that occur naturally but can include harmful bacteria and viruses.”

Salisbury-Rowan Utilities currently serves more than 52,000 customers in Salisbury, Granite Quarry, Rockwell, Spencer, China Grove and other unincorporated areas in the county. 

For more information, visit the NC DEQ: Area Wide Optimization Program at https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/water-resources/drinking-water/area-wide-optimization-program.

Kannapolis sells two more downtown parcels as part of revitalization plan

KANNAPOLIS — The city of Kannapolis recently sold two more parcels of downtown property as part of its downtown revitalization project.

At its meeting Monday night, the Kannapolis City Council approved the sale of Block Seven, which includes tax parcels 230, 234, 242, 246 and 250 Oak Avenue, to Oak Avenue Partners, LLC. The properties currently have two tenants, including Pizza Hut. The property, which is a little more than half an acre and is approximately 11,000 square feet, will be purchased for $930,000.

Oak Avenue Partners includes Kannapolis native Neil Goolsby and Rowan County native Lisa Hoover. Goolsby has plans to move his company, ISU Gilmore Insurance, to one of the Oak Avenue properties. Hoover will be locating her new company, Partner-Investing.com, to another of the Oak Avenue Properties.

“Neil and I are very pleased to be a part of the revitalization of downtown Kannapolis. We have already received many calls from people who would like to be tenants in the remaining Oak Avenue spaces. We will work closely with the Cabarrus County Chamber of Commerce and several new business venture groups to help other small businesses get started or expand in the area.  If there is a need, we will consider offering keyman office space at our location as well,” Hoover said in a news release.

The City Council also approved the sale of Block One on Main Street to the Lansing Melbourne Group/Kannapolis Retail Venture I, LLC, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for $1.2 million. The 115,000 square feet is divided into 14 individual spaces and includes 100, 102, 104, 108-112, 114, 116, 118, 120, 122, 124 and 128 on Main Street.

LMG has already purchased Block One, Two and Three of West Avenue. The development company is planning a significant investment in the Block One of Main Street, including extensive utility and building renovations.

“Our interest in investing in Kannapolis properties continues because of the positive relationships we have established with the community and city leadership. We have already seen success with our purchase and renovation of Block Two and Three on West Avenue. We look forward to continuing to attract great new businesses to the City,” Kent Gregory, Partner of LMG and Kannapolis Retail Venture I, LLC, said in a news release. “We have three new businesses opening soon including Chophouse 101, 3 Jem’s Boutique and Lovely Lines Boutique.”

All of the properties that were sold were first purchased by the city in 2015 as part of the Downtown Revitalization Project. At that time, Kannapolis acquired 50 acres of land and buildings in the downtown and adopted a downtown master development plan.

The first three phases of the plan included three catalyst projects that would attract private investment in the downtown: replacement of infrastructure and the construction of the West Avenue streetscape (completed and opened in October 2019); the VIDA Mixed Use District public parking deck (opening Winter 2021); and the Atrium Health Ballpark (opened April 2020), the new home of the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers. The city invested $113 million in these projects.

Kannapolis has seen an approximate investment by private developers of $80 million with more investments coming in the next year.

 “We have made tremendous progress in the last five years,” Kannapolis Mayor Darrell Hinnant said in a news release. “We developed a plan and then we took action to make that plan a reality. Without our investments in the catalyst projects we would not have private developers coming to us with their money and their ideas for businesses, restaurants and offices. The City Council and I are excited to see what new businesses will be opening in our downtown and throughout our city in 2021. The sale of these properties and the anticipated property tax revenues, which we will collect in the future, will enable us to not only pay back the costs of our initial investments in the catalyst projects but we will garner the benefits of a having a vibrant downtown filled with business owners and residents in the apartments and surrounding housing areas.”

More information about the Kannapolis revitalization project can be found by contacting Irene Sacks at 704.920.4326 or at isacks@kannapolisnc.gov.

Better Business Bureau offers advice to holiday shoppers, job seekers

As holiday shopping continues to increase, the Better Business Bureau has released its guidelines to help customers avoid scams, shop smartly and for donors to give wisely.

In recent years, Cyber Monday has become one of the top shopping days of the year. The BBB advises online customers to beware of false advertising and phony websites by keeping a close eye on the web address of sites in the internet browser and lookout for misspelled website names. The BBB has a list of secure online retail sites on its website at bbb.org. The BBB also advises customers to keep their antivirus software up to date and to price check before purchasing a product. Customers are encouraged to use credit cards instead of debit cards.

With some employers adding seasonal employees to its payroll, the BBB also wants to prevent people from falling victim to job scams. The BBB has these guidelines to follow when looking for seasonal employment:

  • Beware of businesses that ask applicants to pay for job supplies, applications, or training fees. These expenses are the responsibility of the employer.
  • Be wary of job offers that don’t require an interview.
  • Be wary of big money for small jobs.
  • Never complete work for a company before being officially hired.

For those who are seeking to donate this holiday season, the BBB offers this advice:

  • Ensure that the name of the charity is the exact name that you are attempting to donate to.
  • Review charity websites carefully by reading about the charity’s mission, programs, measurable goals and the criteria it uses to describe its achievements.
  • Avoid on-the-spot donation decisions from unfamiliar organizations.
  • Be wary of emotional appeals. Before allowing emotions to dictate the donation, do independent research on the charity.
  • Check with state charity officials. More information can be found at nasconet.org.
  • Avoid charities that don’t disclose information to the BBB. Visit give.org to find out if a charity is nondisclosure.

• Research tax status by using the IRS Tax Exempt Organization Search tool.

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