Board of Commissioners approves strategic funding for various projects

ASHEBORO — The Randolph County Board of Commissioners met Monday, August 14, with various budgetary and funding matters on the agenda.

The board was first presented with an updated strategic planning funding request.

“The county completed its most recent strategic planning process in 2016, and it involved citizens and communities from all over Randolph County,” said County Manager Hal Johnson. “It focused on the role of county government – and local governments also – which is the protection of the public health, the public safety and the public well-being. In 2017, the board of county commissioners made the decision to devote special funds that we received as a result of our original landfill from Waste Management to projects around the county that are helping to protect the public health, safety and well-being of Randolph County’s community.”

The board approved funding for Lydia’s Place Shelter for Women & Families in the amount of $55,494, Our Daily Bread Kitchen, Inc. in the amount of $25,000, Asheboro Shelter of Hope in the amount of $30,000, RhinoLeap Productions in the amount of $20,000, McCrary Ballpark in the amount of $500,000 and the 100 Man Project in the amount of $54,842.

“Today, almost 50 different agencies and organizations throughout Randolph County from Archdale to Trinity to Liberty to Seagrove and Asheboro and other areas of our county have been impacted in one way or another by these funds,” Johnson said. “Almost $4 million since 2017 has been allocated.”

The board also approved two requests from the Sheriff’s Office. The first was the purchase of two 2023 Chevy PPV 4×4 Silverados through the NCSA Procurement Program for $93,498, and the second to utilize $348,775 in law enforcement restricted funds, otherwise known as asset forfeiture, to purchase “Special Emergency Response Team” equipment and motorcycles/equipment.

The board then approved the funding of additional staff positions regarding the projected expansion of Medicaid.

“We expect to have about 12,000-14,000 newly eligible citizens in Randolph County who will be eligible for Medicaid expansion,” said Social Services Director Tracie Murphy. “With those new citizens that will be eligible, we are going to need additional workforce in order to support them.”

According to Murphy, a large percentage of the new eligibility can be attributed to new laws which have implemented a new standard for the poverty level.

“In order for us to provide services for this additional population, it’s going to take 22 new staff positions for us,” Murphy said. “Those 22 new staff positions would cost a total of $1.1 million. The cost to the county based on 75% federal reimbursement for the majority of those positions would be $219,000.”

The board also approved the Wooten Company’s bid for the design of a water line from the Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority.

“When we did our master water sewer plan last year, one of the projects that was identified by the Wooten Company was to take water from the Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority to Asheboro City,” said County Engineer Paxton Arthurs.

The cost of the project will be $776,200 for design, bidding and construction administration.

The board then approved the construction bid for the Balfour Human Services Building Matters.

“On July 18, we had the bid opening and had good results,” Athurs said. “Six contractors showed up and submitted a bid. The low bid went to Garanco, Inc. Their base bid and three alternates came to $1,629,300. Based on the cost estimate that was initially presented, that was $2.5 million. So we’re approximately $900,000 below that cost estimate.”

According to Arthurs, the updated budget, including design fees, furniture, technology, miscellaneous improvements and the construction bid, put the total project cost at $2,305,800.

Finally, the board approved the endorsed project for the Community Based Gold LEAF Grants Initiative.

“Randolph County was awarded funding through this initiative in 2016 with its very successful Pathways to Prosperity program,” said assistant county manager William Johnson. “This year, Golden LEAF identified various strategic priorities for funding. These included job creation and economic development, workforce preparedness and increasing the value of North Carolina’s agricultural industry.”

The Golden LEAF-endorsed project that the county will be moving forward with is a $1.5 million request for construction costs associated with the Food, Farm and Family Agricultural Center.

The Randolph County Board of Commissioners will next meet September 4.

By Ryan Henkel, North State Journal