Guilford County government now has in its hands the second tranche of Local Fiscal Recovery Funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) legislation –to the tune of $52,169,876.

So far, in total, Guilford County has $104,339,752 in ARP funds.

When the COVID-19 virus first hit, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners was wondering if the county government would even be able to keep the lights on once the economy shut down – however, since then, federal aid and money have been pouring into Guilford County and other counties and municipalities around the country.

According to the law, the funds the Board of Commissioners will officially accept this week at its only July meeting may be used, “to support public health response, replace public sector revenue loss, address negative economic impacts, invest in water/sewer and broadband infrastructure and provide premium pay for essential workers.”

All funds have to be appropriated by the board by December 31, 2024 and must be spent by December 31, 2026.  If not, barring an extension, the county loses the right to spend the money.

A lot of people have plans for those funds and a comment from staff to the board stresses the importance of using it wisely.

“It is critical to the long-term success of our community and in alignment with all best practice recommendations that we (1) take great care in the oversight and administration of this funding and (2) carefully evaluate and plan for transformational one-time investments in our county that build a more resilient and equitable ecosystem of support for our residents,” the agenda item reads.

The commissioners will put the money in the county’s Community Development and Recovery Fund for now.