The federal government has given Guilford County about $104 million in American Rescue Plan money – and also given the county a wide variety of purposes the money could be used for.
The commissioners have been spending that money on all sorts of things this year – and the county commissioners say those funds are largely going toward very worthy projects that will do some real good in the community.
Republican Commissioner Justin Conrad, who’s often critical of the actions of the Democratic-led board, said this week that, in this case, he feels very good about the way the county has handled the money.
The county received a lot more requests for money than it had funds available, so the board has done a lot of work sifting through those many wants and needs. Last week and this week, the board voted to spend millions of the rescue money on projects like training emergency workers, funding projects in municipalities across the county and providing more fire protection in unincorporated Guilford County,
“Nothing is ever perfect,” Conrad said this week, “and I would have done some things differently, but there were a lot of wins for people all over Guilford County – in eastern Guilford County, southern Guilford County, northwestern Guilford County and other areas. These moves will bring a lot of long-term economic benefits.”
Conrad represents northwestern Guilford County and he said he was particularly pleased to see funding go toward efforts to expand and create municipal water service in that section of the county. That’s been something many residents have been requesting for a long time – though, particularly in Summerfield, some citizens are worried about the more concentrated development that’s likely to come with municipal water projects.
Conrad said that, in doling out the federal money, he thought the commissioners in both parties and Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Skip Alston worked together well to come up with some effective and important uses for the money.
One thing Conrad would have changed if the decision had been totally up to him, he said, is that he wouldn’t have given funds to the City of Greensboro because the city, he said, could have put bonds on the ballot this year to fund those projects.