This week, Guilford  County government is scheduled to enter into an interlocal agreement that’s intended to make parks in Oak Ridge safer and bring more peace of mind to residents.

The agreement calls for Guilford County to help fund new security cameras for Oak Ridge Town Park and Heritage Farm Park.

There have been some security concerns – especially in the Town Park’s parking areas – over the years.

The agreement also calls for Guilford County to help fund improvements to ramps meant to provide greater access for physically challenged park goers.

Both initiatives are part of an attempt by Oak Ridge to make improvements while the money is there to do so.  In July of last year, former Oak Ridge Town Council Member George McClellan called the coming 12 months, “the year of the big projects.” At that time, he pointed out that Oak Ridge was opening Heritage Farm Park, building a water system and starting work on a new community center at Town Park.

He also said that, between county help, state money and federal funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP), Oak Ridge has the chance to make many improvements it’s been eyeing for a while.

The ramp money will provide access to  an accessible playground project at Heritage Farm Park.

When Guilford County adopted its 2023-2024 budget in June, the Board of Commissioners set aside the $140,000 to fulfill the request of Oak Ridge to pay for the security cameras and ADA ramp improvements.

The Board of Commissioners is expected to finalize the agreement on Thursday, Jan. 4. The Town of Oak Ridge has already approved the details of the interlocal agreement.  The Town Council did so on a unanimous vote in early December 2023.