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May 15, 2021

County commissioners will talk Dukeville water problems

SALISBURY — Rowan County’s plan to remedy a drinking water problem for some Dukeville residents will become clearer during Monday’s Board of Commissioners meeting.

The county has been working for months to fix the elevated levels of lead found in some homes in the Dukeville area, which has previously faced water quality issues connected to coal ash. The county’s water system serves 162 connections and several hundred residents. It is owned by the county, but the water itself is treated by Salisbury-Rowan Utilities.

After the elevated levels of lead were discovered, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality told the county in June that it must build a booster station by June 12, 2021, to gain compliance with the EPA’s standards or face a penalty.

Commissioners will receive a recommendation to accept a low bid of $742,900 from Dellinger, Inc. for the Monroe-based contractor to build a chemical booster pump station along the county’s northeast water system. The booster station will inject a corrosion inhibitor, a chemical compound, into the water supply that will coat the pipes in customers’ homes, businesses and places of worship to ensure that no lead seeps into the drinking water from their pipes.

To determine what corrosion inhibitor is needed, Rowan County ordered a study to be completed by Virginia Tech in conjunction with Hazen and Sawyer engineering firm. 

Commissioners will be presented with the results of that study during the meeting Monday. The testing at Virginia Tech was overseen by Jeffrey Parks and Marc Edwards, who is known for working to help solve the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

“I have 100% in them and I think we’re going to get the problem fixed,” County Manager Aaron Church said. “(Edwards) has been great to work with, we respect what he says and we’re going to follow his recommendations.”

The Rowan County Board of Commissioners meeting will take place on Monday at 3 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 at https://bit.ly/rowanboc0405 with password 040521 or by phone at: 602-753-0140, 720-928-9299, 213-338-8477.

Also on the agenda:

Commissioners will consider adopting changes to the county’s ordinances and land use plan regarding solar energy systems.

Commissioners were poised to vote on approving the changes last month, which have been developed by the Rowan County Planning Board over the past year, but decided to delay the vote until Monday to review some revisions. Those revisions include:

• Eliminated 25-foot internal setbacks along common property lines within the system area for both conditional use permit and conditional district applications

• Modified text such that conditional district applications have approval from the N.C. Utilities Commission prior to making application with Rowan County

• Modified maximum system area acreage for conditional use permit applications to 25 from fifty 50 acres

• Modified decommissioning requirements for both conditional use permits and conditional district applications to authorize the County to have cost estimates reviewed by a third party engineer of the county’s selection; decommissioning surety and plan updates are required at 10-year anniversary and every 5 years thereafter

The moratorium on applications for new solar energy projects is set to expire on April 6.

If commissioners vote to adopt the new rules, they will be able to cancel a public hearing scheduled as a precaution in case the moratorium needed to be extended.

Commissioners will consider a request from Dorsett Chapel United Church of God for a permit to exceed for outdoor services at their church on May 16, June 20, July 11, Aug. 1, Sept. 12 and Oct. 3. The services are expected to have around 100-150 people in attendance and will feature music and preaching. The church is located at 1280 Hollywood Dr. in Spencer.

• A public hearing will be held regarding a request from Raymond McMillan Jr. on behalf of K-Town Homes to rezone a 3.84-acre property at the 1000 block of Old Beatty Ford Road from rural agricultural to commercial, business, industrial with a conditional district to allow the placement of a mini-warehouse storage facility. There was no opposition to the request as it went through the planning board. Commissioners will also consider a special non-residential intensity allocation request from K-Town Homes in tandem with their rezoning request.

• A discussion will be held about a request from Michael Barron of Tamarac Shores Drive for an extension of the no-wake zone in the vicinity of Tamarac Shores Marina. Barron said at a previous commissioners meeting he wanted the zone extended to ensure public safety and to prevent boats from speeding through the area. The N.C. Wildlife Resource Commission has recommended a no wake zone different from the one requested by Barron. Commissioners could vote to approve a resolution to extend the zone to where Barron requested or the zone the Wildlife Resource Commission requested.

• Commissioners will approve a proclamation for Child Abuse Prevention Month and will receive an annual report from the Community Child Protection Team.

• Commissioners will approve a proclamation declaring April 11-17 Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.

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