• By Todd Luck
  • Posted Wednesday, September 28, 2022

County Commissioners approve final community investments with ARPA funds

The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners has approved major investments in the community with the final round of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocations.

The County received more than $74 million in APRA funds. Commissioners allocated a total of $52.4 million in Round One allocations, with $18.2 million to offset revenue loss due to the pandemic, $7.2 million for premium pay for eligible County workers who performed essential work during the pandemic, and $27 million for funding requests from County departments and local non-profits. For a full list of funded Round One projects, click here.

Visit Winston-Salem, Creative Center for North Carolina and Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership have withdrawn their Round One applications, so the $1.8 million that was allocated for their projects was re-allocated in the second round.

During their September 22 meeting, commissioners allocated the remaining $22.7 million in ARPA funds on Thursday, which includes funding for County projects, local non-profits and for additional revenue loss from the pandemic. Funding requests were reviewed by staff to ensure their compliance with federal guidelines and will be monitored to ensure they remain in compliance during each project.

Below are the funding requests approved in the second and final round of ARPA:

  • County Sponsored Funding Requests
    • Single Family Urgent Repair Program $120,000. To assist low-income households with special needs in addressing housing conditions that pose imminent threats to their life or safety, or to assist with accessibility modifications and other repairs necessary to prevent their displacement. This long-running program, administered by the County’s Community & Economic Development Department, is normally funded by the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, but was not awarded the state grant this year.
    • Forsyth County Emergency Services $149,250. To purchase 75 sets of EMS Protective Rescue Gear at $1,990 per set for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to protect them at car wrecks, rescue scenes, industrial incidents, and hazardous materials incidents.
    • Forsyth County Fire Apparatus $2.8 million. This project would provide funding for the purchase of a minimum of four fire engines for fire departments with aging fire engines that are limited by tax base and taxing capacity, or are currently experiencing significant maintenance issues with their frontline fire engines that prevent their response to emergency incidents.
    • Health Campus Improvements $1.5 million. To replace the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems that have passed their expected life in the departments of Public Health and Social Services, along with the Annex 1 building.
    • LEDC ION Equipment $100,000. To purchase and install ION type equipment for all Air Handling Units located at the Forsyth County Detention Center to improve the air quality at the facility and install needed AC units to the kitchen.
    • Highland Avenue Project $1.6 million. To enhance community programming on the Health and Human Services campus and add a park on an acre of land adjacent to 651 N. Highland Avenue.
    • Laptops for Digital Literacy $62,750. To place mobile laptop labs at each of the County’s nine library branches in order to provide digital literacy programming that will feature computer skills, workforce development training and instruction in online databases subscribed to by the library.
    • STREAMLab Bookmobile $497,300. To fund a new STREAMLab Bookmobile – Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art, Mathematics and Language lab that would feature a custom mobile Makerspace and prioritize disproportionately impacted communities.
    • Forsyth County Premium Pay $2.3 million. To provide eligible county employees with premium pay for pandemic work.
    • NC Cooperative Extension $150,000. For a program that provides fruit, vegetable and healthy protein food boxes, along with nutrition and wellness education, to underserved families. A total of 80 families are expected to be served over a two-year period.
    • Smart Start of Forsyth County $3.7 million. For Pre-K Priority, a coalition of organizations that will provide services and resources to 30 Pre-K classrooms, the majority of which are under-resourced and serve low-income families.
  • Funding Requests by Local Organizations
    • Affordable Housing
      • Legal Aid of NC - Economic Justice Initiative $380,235. For the Stabilizing Homeownership and Opportunities for Wealth program to help vulnerable homeowners with education, outreach and legal advocacy.
    • Arts and Tourism Projects
      • Old Salem $391,875. For repairs and renovations to existing Old Salem buildings as part of its Hidden Town Project.
    • Behavioral Health Support Projects
      • ARCA, Inc. $151,554. To allow Addiction Recovery Care Association (ARCA) to provide residential treatment for individuals on medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder.
      • Children's Home Society of North Carolina $568,450. For Child First, an evidence-based home visiting program, with proven effectiveness in achieving improved mental health outcomes for young children age 0-5 and their caregivers.
      • Community Care Center for Forsyth County - Behavioral Health Expansion $431,142. To hire staff to expand the behavioral health services at Community Care Center, which provides free medical and dental care to economically disadvantaged residents.
      • Horizons Residential Care Center $1.9 million. To build homes to house its clients with profound intellectual and developmental disabilities and complex or compounding medical needs
      • TROSA $60,701. To fund services for TROSA’s residential clients with substance use disorders like dental care, mental health counseling, over-the-counter and prescription medications, and meals.
    • Education Attainment Projects
      • The Centers for Exceptional Children $831,636. For the MILESTONES project, which will expand the Centers’ early learning child care facility and create a more equitable, sustainable and comprehensive early care program.
      • YWCA - Capital Request $85,000. For the YWCA, which?serves the community with programs for nutrition, health and education. To replace or repair buses for their Best Choice Center, a?year-round academic enrichment program for low-income children.
    • Food and Nutrition and Health and Wellness Projects
      • NC Rush Triad $43,780. To create recreation programming in underserved communities that provide youth with positive and healthy activities.
      • Senior Services, Inc. $2 million. To create an intergenerational adult day health/day care center. The 61,000 square foot Intergenerational Center for Arts and Wellness will be located next to Senior Services Shorefair Drive location and will include a new, larger home for the Williams Adult Day Center. It will provide healthcare and wellness opportunities, intentional intergenerational interaction and arts-based activities.
    • Public Health Support Projects
      • ABC of NC $601,898. To enhance outdoor spaces used in therapy for autistic individuals and improve the air quality of the indoor spaces on ABC of NC’s campus in Winston-Salem.
      • Cancer Services $55,000. To provide financial assistance to cancer patients in order to reduce the disproportionate economic impact they experienced during the pandemic and due to a cancer diagnosis.
      • Trellis Supportive Care $1 million. To replace the aging HVAC system, add new air filtration and recirculation systems and establish a negative pressure room for infectious disease control and purchase two fog machines to sanitize rooms between patients. It will also support enhanced telehealth technologies; diversity, equity, and inclusion training for staff; and veteran care training for staff and volunteers.
      • Rental, Utility, and Financial Assistance Projects
        • Habitat for Humanity $110,000. To provide down payment assistance to families purchasing homes. The down payment assistance lowers the loan amount that must be repaid to Habitat and lowers the homeowners monthly mortgage payment.
        • Legal Aid of North Carolina, Inc. $100,000. For the Eviction Diversion Program that helps low-income clients avoid eviction judgments.
        • Salvation Army $330,000. To provide emergency financial assistance to disproportionately impacted residents that includes rent, utilities, mortgage, medical expenses, child care, transportation and unforeseen expenses like car repairs that have a negative bearing on generating sufficient household income to maintain stability.
    • Small Business Support Projects
      • Work Family Resource Center $221,185. For the Child Care Resource Center to increase the availability of local child care by supporting the recruitment and startup of 20 new licensed family child care homes.
    • Workforce Development Projects
      • Delicious by Shereen $25,000. To train refugee women in English as a Second Language, personal financial management and budgeting, Communication Skills, and Civics & Government to help them prepare to become lawful Citizens of the United States of America.
      • Flourish Program $50,000. For the Shalom Project’s Flourish Program, which helps women heads-of-household and their families transition out of poverty or financial insecurity through education, holistic wellness, and goal setting. The funding will provide mental health services for clients and be used to hire a bilingual Spanish community coordinator.
      • HandsOn Northwest $63,810. To provide 50 nonprofits serving low-income and marginalized communities with the training and support they need to rebuild, strengthen, and equip their organizations.
      • MOJI Coffee + More $75,000. For the non-profit Moji Coffee, which hires individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to teach them critical skills in a work environment.
      • Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC $152,250. To enhance Second Harvest’s Providence Culinary Training and training in supply chain management and forklift operations, in partnership with Goodwill Industries.

    The commissioners also set aside $8.9 million for revenue loss. Due to ARPA’s updated revenue loss calculations, the County’s revenue loss from the pandemic is now calculated to be $27.1 million creating an additional $8.9 million the commissioners can appropriate. The additional funds are expected to be used in case there are projects that withdraw, don’t fully expend their full appropriation, extend past the grant deadline or have significant compliance burdens. Covering these possibilities with revenue loss funds will allow the County to close out its ARPA grant earlier, without having to send money back to the federal government.

    For more information about Forsyth County’s ARPA funding, visit https://www.forsyth.cc/erap/arpa.aspx

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