Supervisors reject Community Impact Grant for Rockwood Manor

A proposal to essentially waive half of the real estate tax owed by Rockwood Manor for three years so it can instead spend the money on improvements to its facility was rejected Monday night on a split vote by the Board of Supervisors.

A resolution providing a Community Impact Grant to Rockwood was first proposed during the board’s December meeting, but was tabled to January’s meeting.

The move to table was done to give Rockwood time to provide a list of improvements it planned to make to its facility, as well as examples of how it has impacted the community.

Cloyd District Supervisor Joe Guthrie offered the proposal to assist Rockwood.

The proposed resolution stated Rockwood Manor is recognized as an “important community asset for its role in preserving the history of our unique heritage in the areas of agriculture, artisanship, music, various early trade skills and Civil War significance through experiential and interactive learning opportunities and events with area schools, organizations and clubs as well as the general public that celebrates life in Pulaski County in the late 1800’s.”

It continues that Rockwood “is a tremendous asset to the region for the purposes of education, historic preservation and economic development.”

The resolution continued that the Board of Supervisors has established a Community Impact Grant to be used as an instrument to provide such assistance for Rockwood Manor to make investments to physically improve the property, and to report annually on such investments.

The resolution proposed the grant be provided to Rockwood on an annual basis for 2018, 2019 and 2020 in an amount calculated by the Commissioner of Revenue and agreed upon by the Board of Supervisors, and “such amount shall be equal to 50 percent of the amount tendered in real estate tax on the real property occupied by Rockwood.”

Supervisors Chairman Andy McCready, speaking to Rockwood’s Frank Drummond in the audience Monday night, said while the board appreciates the contributions Rockwood has made to the county, he couldn’t vote to approve the resolution.

McCready said he still has a problem with taking property off the tax rolls, or even partially taking them off, especially as the county faces the heavy costs of financing the new middle school construction.

Guthrie offered a motion to approve the resolution providing the grant to Rockwood.  Ingles District Supervisor Ranny O’Dell – after a period of  silence – offered a second to the motion.

On a roll call vote, McCready, Draper Supervisor Dean Pratt and Robinson Supervisor Charles Bopp voted against the resolution, while Guthrie and O’Dell voted for it.