from Ben Rappaport, Chatham News + Record
Chatham County has received $14 million in federal funding as part of the American Bailout Act, and so far $5 million has been properly allocated.
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) has provided federal funds to local governments to help ease the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic and help restart the economy. Chatham County has spent the funding on a variety of public services including parks, vaccine incentives and community conversation events.
The province remaining $9,390,642 from ARPA تمويل Financing all the time. The deadline for allocating funds is the end of 2024 and the deadline for spending the funds is at the end of 2026. Wednesday evening Chatham County Board of Commissioners At the meeting, board members heard an update on the plans for those funds. The ARP was signed into law on March 11, 2021, when the money was technically earmarked for the State and Local Coronavirus Recovery Fund Program, which is how the money was allocated to local governments. Chatham County received the first half of the allotment on January 12 and the second half will be available for the county to access in January 2023.
The remaining funding will address some of the key topics identified through community engagement efforts from the county ARP task force, which has received more than 900 responses. The remaining $9 million in the county is set to address some of the nine specific topics: housing, homelessness, mental health, public health, education, entertainment, broadband, water and sanitation, and small business support.
County officials said the ARP funds likely won’t process the nine due to other funding sources or legal issues. Projects will fall into some but not all of these subject categories.
The task force decided to prioritize potential projects on the basis of feasibility and impact. The most important projects for ARP funds are non-recurring expenses, which should prevent future financial hikes. This includes building Parkers Ridge ParkGREAT Grant Match and DSS Housing Assistance.
Parker’s Ridge was already a recipient of a portion of the ARP money — 147 acres of land on Moncure’s Pea Ridge Road were sold to the county at a discount in 2019. The park is expected to include multi-purpose fields, picnic shelters and a small space. Playground, dog park, fishing pier and canoe launch.
The province has also completed a number of orders for big bonus (Development of rural economies with access to technology). The funds are intended to improve broadband access and provide high-speed internet to rural North Carolina counties, including Chatham. The county is eligible for up to $8 million in funding through GREAT funding. County Administrator Dan Lamontani said at a meeting on Wednesday that Chatham has applied for the second-highest number of grants in the state, and all of its applications have been challenged.
Other counties received funding through large grants. Lamontani said he expects to hear updates next week. Meanwhile, Chatham has also registered to be considered for Complete broadband access (CAB) Grant Program, which provides an opportunity for North Carolina counties to partner with the North Carolina Department of Information Technology to fund broadband deployment projects in unserved areas.
Courtney Cooper-Leutter, county ARP task force leader and strategic initiatives analyst, told the council that a number of high-priority items must address housing. She and the team recommended that the remaining funding be used to establish a housing division to support projects related to housing and homelessness.
The next steps of the ARP process are approval and implementation of final projects and regular updates on progress to the Board of Commissioners.
- The Board of Directors unanimously agreed to recognize United Service Day On September 17 in downtown Siler City. Today it is the largest service effort in the county. Participants will help with projects that include beautifying the facilities at the Wren Family Club Center for Boys and Girls, sorting books with the Chatham Education Foundation, community building with Habitat for Humanity, gardening at Love Chatham and more. For more information visit www.unitedwayofchathamcounty.org/dayofservice.
- Part of the VinFast site has been approved for re-division from the residential and conditional industry to the heavy industry. The 47-acre site at Moncure will become part of the massive TIP (Triangle Innovation Point) site. The Chatham County Planning Board approved the redistricting last month by an 8-3 vote before submitting the proposal to the commissioners. A portion of the property is owned by General Shale Brick; Action on this segment has been delayed due to ongoing negotiations with VinFast.
- The Briar Chapel Homeowners Association will receive $73,700 from Newland Real Estate Group after the board of directors approved a waiver to accept payment in lieu of building a dock. Newland’s original plan was to build a pier from Catullo Run to Taylor Road. Newland said that when the group discussed the project with the North Carolina Department of Transportation, they decided it would be too difficult to do and put the existing route at risk of failure. The commissioners recommended that the funding issued to the Briar Chapel be used to improve pedestrian access in other areas of the community.
- The commissioners approved the proposal of the first plat for the Flatiron Forest. The plan consists of 29 plots on 42 acres, located off Hamlets Chapel Road near Pittsboro. The board was originally approved 9-1 by the Planning Board. The approval of the first plate allows the applicant to complete the engineering necessary to receive all required permits and submit the construction plan to the Planning Department for approval.
The next regular meeting of the Chatham County Board of Commissioners is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Monday, September 19, at Historic Courthouse in Pittsboro. For more information visit www.chathamcountync.gov/government/board-of-commissioners.
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