Everything old is new again in Guilford County government.
Over two years ago, High Point officials wrote off a request to Guilford County government as shot, dead and buried deep in the ground. That request was a call for the county to help fund the construction of High Point’s downtown multi-use stadium.
At the time, when the stadium was being built, High Point officials asked for an incentives package that would have offered the stadium around $11 million in financial help spread over a decade. Though that request was as dead as a doornail in the end, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners is now remarkably digging up the idea of stadium help and breathing new life into it in some sort of new as-yet-to-be determined incarnation.
The Guilford County Board of Commissioners has scheduled a work session for Thursday, Feb. 4, at 4:30 p.m. in the Blue Room on the first floor of the Old Guilford County Court House to discuss the matter that hasn’t been talked about in over two years.
The official stated purpose of the work session is to “discuss an economic incentive request regarding the High Point Rockers Baseball stadium.”
About three years ago, there was a major falling out between many High Point city officials and Guilford County commissioners over the fact that the county chose not to offer economic incentives for the stadium that’s now home to the High Point Rockers baseball team.
Under one proposed plan that came before the commissioners at that time, any additional property tax revenue that came from development in a pre-defined district around the stadium would go toward paying for the new ballpark. Under some estimates, that would have meant about $11 million in county money going toward the stadium over a decade or more.
The stadium was built without county help and the issue was considered done with – until early December of last year when, in the wake of the November election –Democrats took control of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners and named Skip Alston chairman of the board. Alston told the Rhino Times after the election that he wished to revisit that decision by the board even though the stadium was now complete.
The commissioners haven’t approved any help for the stadium yet or even discussed the matter publicly as a board, so it’s not clear what form of stadium aid the board will discuss at the Thursday work session.
During that afternoon meeting, the board will also consider a request from the High Point Equity Project and will discuss appropriating federal funding for a county emergency assistance program that helps people who can’t pay rent or power bills during the pandemic.