There’s been a good amount of controversy among small town residents in Guilford County as to whether their towns should use American Rescue Plan (ARP) money for water projects.

However, this week, at the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Thursday, Jan. 19 meeting, the commissioners plan to make a number of those plans official.

The projects were discussed by the board during a special work session in early August of last year.

The motion the board plans to adopt  on Jan. 19 – almost certainly by a unanimous vote – reads: “Authorize the County Manager, or designee, to enter into agreements, in substantial form, for the following towns: The Town of Stokesdale (In the amount of $3,113,038 for Water Project); the Town of Oak Ridge (Water System Project in the amount of $3,265,000 and Town Park Amenities in the amount of $305,000), and the Town of Gibsonville (Water Tank Project – $2,800,000 and HWY 61 Water Connector Project $3,140,000) from the total allocation of ARPA funds.”

The projects on the list for approval are:

  • A Stokesdale water initiative that includes the installation of a dual water main as well as the addition of a diffuser/stirrer and an electronic altitude control valve on an elevated tank.
  • An Oak Ridge water system project that calls for the construction of water infrastructure including a raised water storage tank and a water main connecting the tank to other lines.

(Oak Ridge is also using just over $300,000 of the federal rescue money to enhance amenities at Oak Ridge Town Park including money to help fund the renovation of a structure that will serve as a community center.)

  • A Town of Gibsonville water tank project involving the construction of a 500,000-gallon water tank, “increasing storage capacity, increasing fire flow, eliminating the need for two outdated tanks.”

Gibsonville’s project also includes putting in a new water line along NC 61 meant to improve water quality in the town’s northwest and increase water pressure – and therefore fire flow – for the western parts of town.