It used to be that people in the kingdom would come before the king and ask for grants and favors, and, on Friday, July 29, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners held a modern version of the same ritual.

In the Carolyn Q. Coleman meeting room – formerly the Blue Room – the board held a four-hour morning meeting to hear requests from various groups who want some of the $100 million-plus in federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) money that Guilford County is getting from the federal “rescue” plan to help with economic fallout from the pandemic.

The Guilford County Board of Commissioners listened carefully to presentations from various groups who wanted the money to go toward things like school nurses, plans to address food insecurity, NC Cooperative Extension programs, Foster Care initiatives and more.

The meeting ran from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and it became clear at the end that the board will have to meet several more times before making any final decisions on how to spend the money.

Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Skip Alston said the board should hold a series of work sessions in the coming weeks.

“Time is of the essence,” Alston said regarding the money that the board wants to get into the hands of community groups and county departments that can put it to good use.

Commissioner Justin Conrad said that there may be some programs where consensus can be reached quickly and others where commissioners may not agree.

“We have heard some great presentations today,” Conrad said at the end of the meeting.  “Each commissioner here has their individual priorities, and some may align and some may not.”

Several commissioners said there were other groups needing funding that they wanted to bring to the board for consideration.  Commissioner Carlvena Foster for instance, who represents many High Point residents, said she knew of projects in that city that should be put on the docket for funding consideration.