SALISBURY — The Rowan County Board of Commissioners will receive public comment on Monday on the proposed budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year, which maintains the current property tax rate while increasing salaries for county staff and using the COVID-19 relief fund to allow for major expenses.

The recommended budget is $187.78 million, an increase of $14.56 million or 8.41% over the current budget. The budget is balanced with an appropriation of $9.3 million from the county fund balance, which is $3.1 million less than the appropriation from the fund balance approved last year.

The property tax rate will remain the same at 65.75 cents per $100 of assessment.

The budget will use $10 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding and $3 million from an estate sale to cover a number of expenses, including the $2.1 million bond issue for Rowan-Cabarrus Community College to build new facilities, approximately $3.5 million in principal and interest for $55 million in debt for Rowan-Salisbury Schools, $1.5 million for increased spending of operation of RSS and approximately $881,000 in principal and interest for an agricultural center at West End Plaza.

In light of rising consumer prices, the budget includes a 9.4% cost of living adjustment (COLA) for county employees. If the consumer price index exceeds 9.99% in the past year in November, an additional COLA of 1.6% will take effect on January 1. County Manager Aaron Church said the significant increase in COLA is an effort to retain employees. The county had 89 vacancies, 36 of which were public safety positions, as of April.

The budget also relies on continued sales tax revenue and the countywide property reassessment, which is expected to be completed in early 2023, to generate significant future revenue.

Funding for the operation of local schools included in the budget:

• $4.27 million for Rowan-Cabarrus Community College

• $38.2 million for Rowan-Salisbury schools

• $2.89 for Kannapolis City Schools

• $2.2 million for charter schools

The proposed budget is available online at https://www.rowancountync.gov/DocumentCenter/View/33446/Fiscal-Year-2022-2023-County-Managers-Proposed-Budget-PDF. The budget is available for inspection from the Clerk of the Board of Commissioners, Room #202 located on the second floor of the Rowan County Administration Building, 130 W. Innes St.

Council will likely take action on the budget after the public hearing. The budget will come into effect on July 1.

The commissioners will meet at 6 p.m. Monday in the J. Newton Cohen Sr. Room on the second floor of the Rowan County Administration Building. The meeting will also be webcast on https://bit.ly/rowanboc6pm. The password is 028144. The meeting can be joined by telephone by dialing 602-753-0140, 720-928-9299, 213-338-8477.

Also on the agenda

• Commissioners will consider an application by Red Rock Development for the rezoning of approximately 384 acres located along the 1700-2300 block of Long Ferry Road from rural farming and rural farming with an agricultural to commercial, commercial and industrial overlay with a conditional district. Red Rock plans to develop an industrial park that would include six buildings totaling 2.66 million square feet. The commissioners have already agreed to give Red Rock a $4.2 million incentive deal to build infrastructure at the site.

• Commissioners will consider signing an agreement between Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office for deputies to provide security on the college’s North Campus. The current salary is estimated at around $44,000 and will be reimbursed by the college every six months. RCCC also plans to use part-time officers for security as needed at a rate of $30 per hour paid directly to the officer by the college.

• The South Rowan High School baseball team will be recognized for winning the state championship.

• The curators will consider allowing the Rowan Public Library to apply for a Bright Ideas grant from the State Library of North Carolina to purchase a “Book Bike”. The tricycle would be used for community outreach at public events and festivals, according to the grant application.

• The library would like to apply for the Bright Ideas Grant, offered by the State Library of North Carolina, to obtain funds for a custom-built library tricycle to support community outreach.

• Commissioners will consider making St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church and Cemetery a Rowan County Historic Landmark. The property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

• The board will consider renewing several Rowan County ambulance franchises, which is required every three years. The county plans to renew the franchises of Med Trans Corporation, American TransMed, Rowan County Rescue Squad, Providence Ambulance and the Kannapolis Fire Department. In addition, the commissioners will consider granting a new franchise to Reliance Medical Transport. The renewal period will be from July 1 to June 30, 2023.