The Greensboro City Council has scheduled a “hybrid” work session for 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 27.
Beginning this month, the City Council has been holding what it calls hybrid meetings where most or all of the City Council, along with city staff, is in the council chambers, but the public is not allowed to attend in person. Public participation is virtual. However, the public is rarely allowed to speak at work sessions.
The Guilford County Board of Commissioners has been holding similarly styled meetings for months with a notable exception – a limited number of the people the county commissioners represent are allowed to participate in person.
The April 27 work session has three items on the agenda. The first is a Guilford County Economic Development Alliance (GCEDA) update. GCEDA was started in 2015 and includes the governments of Greensboro, High Point and Guilford County, the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce and the High Point Economic Development Corporation who work together on economic development issues. The idea behind GCEDA is that Greensboro and High Point would have more success working together than battling against each other.
The City Council will also kick off its budget season with a discussion of the budget cycle and an overview of the Water Resources Department. Greensboro’s water has been in the news lately following the statement by Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston that he intends to use some of the $106 million Guilford County is receiving from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan COVID-19 relief money to provide water and sewer service to every part of Guilford County that wants it.
What does a new water system have to do with COVID-19 relief? Not much, but the American Rescue Plan allows local governments to use funds for infrastructure. Since Guilford County currently has no water system, one place for the county to purchase water for its system would be Greensboro.
This should be a relatively easy budget cycle since Greensboro is receiving $56 million in American Rescue Plan COVID-19 relief money and doesn’t have anywhere near $56 million in revenue loss or additional expenses because of COVID-19 that hasn’t been covered by other federal or state money.
The City Council is also scheduled to discuss the bond package that Mayor Nancy Vaughan has said she wants to put on the ballot this year. The details of what will be part of the package other than affordable housing is sketchy. Vaughan has mentioned a public safety bond.