Commissioners allocate pandemic funds

·3 min read

Aug. 5—GUILFORD COUNTY — A range of Guilford County government services will get $4.3 million from a one-time appropriation from the federal government for coronavirus pandemic recovery.

The Guilford County Board of Commissioners approved $1,525,000 Thursday to recruit and train 24 new firefighters each year for the next three years, for a total of 72 firefighters, to serve unincorporated Guilford County residents.

In addition, $400,000 will support staffing, upgrading technology and purchasing additional equipment for the EMT/Paramedic Academy.

The commissioners also signed off on $1,548,901 to create a protective services team at the Family Justice Center sites in Greensboro and High Point to support adults and children who may have been subjected to abuse.

The commissioners approved $885,113 to plan and create a countywide program to improve food security, as well as $350,000 to double the number of licensed, trained foster families available to support children referred by Guilford County Social Services. The goal is to add 150 new licensed foster families.

The commissioners appropriated the money during a work session in Greensboro on requests for funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. The county government agencies had made presentations on their requests during a work session last week.

Also at the work session Thursday, the commissioners studied 14 projects presented by cities and towns in the county that total $72.5 million requested from the American Rescue Plan Act. Representatives of Greensboro, Stokesdale, Oak Ridge, Pleasant Garden, Gibsonville and Summerfield made presentations.

Board Chairman Skip Alston said that the commissioners wouldn't make any decisions on the municipal requests Thursday but plan to meet again next week.

"We know time is of the essence," Alson said.

The county has spent $12.4 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding so far. The funding was used to reimburse the cost of cleaning supplies and services and for personal protective equipment used in the response to counter COVID-19.

The county has $91.6 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding available.

The commissioners also held their regular meeting Thursday night:

—They voted to increase the maximum solid waste collection fee by $3.50 to $25.50 for the collection of solid waste in unincorporated Guilford County. Waste hauler Republic Services requested an increase to $26.56 a month, while GFL Environmental sought an increase to $26.05 a month.

The cities of High Point and Greensboro and the town of Jamestown have separate garbage and recycling services.

—Signed off on an economic development incentive of $41,630 offered to IQE Inc., which would invest $7 million and create 31 new jobs through an expansion at its facility in Greensboro.

—Approved a contract for $1 million with Central Carolina Tire Disposal for the disposal of scrap tires from county vehicles over the next year.

—Approved the purchase of 27 vehicles for the Guilford County Sheriff's Office and the cost of upfitting the vehicles for $1.3 million. — 336-888-3528 — @HPEpaul