ASHEBORO — Following months of negotiations, the Republican-controlled NC Legislature and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper approved a state budget last week that some are calling “the most significant state budget in a generation.”
The bipartisan endeavor passed on a 104-10 vote in the NC House and a 41-7 vote in the NC Senate.
Randolph County’s state representatives — NC Sen. Dave Craven and NC. Rep. Allen McNeill and Rep. Pat Hurley —all voted in favor of the legislation.
The 2021 Appropriations Act, SB 105, focused on four key areas: Education, healthcare, infrastructure and savings.
What does that mean for Randolph County? Here are the takeaways. There are many.
* City of Asheboro — $1.5 million for Acme-McCrary Textile Mill.
* City of Asheboro — $1.9 million for a new third fire station.
* City of Asheboro — $1.5 million for downtown facilities.
* City of Asheboro — $200,000 for capital improvements.
* City of Archdale — $300,000 for greenway expansion.
* City of Archdale — $150,000 for greenway maintenance.
* City of Archdale — $200,000 for capital improvements.
* City of Randleman — $200,000 for capital improvements.
* Town of Liberty — $75,000 for downtown renovations.
* Town of Liberty — $50,000 for Patterson Cottage Museum.
* Randolph Hospital — $4 million for a new psychiatric unit.
* Town of Ramseur — $50,000 for Deep River Trail grant match.
* Town of Seagrove — $1.3 million economic development grant for Luck’s Cannery Project.
* City of Trinity — $5,994,000 for water and sewer improvements.
* Randolph County — $16 million Farm, Food and Family Education Center.
* Randolph County — $400,000 for Capital Improvement.
* Randolph County — $1 million Heritage Conservancy Textile Museum grant.
* Randolph County — $750,000 for Eastern Triad Workforce Development.
* Greensboro / Randolph Megasite — Sets aside $135 million for a future economic development project at the site with $100 million for site work and wetland mitigation, and $35 million for roadwork and wetland mitigation. An additional $18 million for relocation of power lines.
* Randolph Community College — $5,418,451.
* North Carolina Zoo — $75 million to build the Asia / Australia exhibits over two years and $5 million this year for additional parking, replacing existing trams and a new tramway.
The total economic benefit for Randolph County comes to $121,087,451 plus another $153,000,000 possible for economic development at the Greensboro / Randolph Megasite.
The bill also:
* Authorizes Asheboro City and Randolph County to establish a joint airport authority at the Asheboro Airport.
* Exempts Randolph Hospital from certificate of need authorization to establish behavioral health beds.
In a press release, the Randolph delegation said, “This budget makes historic investments to address some of the most crucial needs across our state, including historic education funding, a record $8 billion infrastructure plan, plans to address the healthcare needs brought to the forefront by the pandemic, all while cutting taxes and continuing to build back stronger than before.”
The General Assembly’s final budget, approved by the NC Senate and signed by Gov Cooper Nov. 18, includes $29.25 million in nonrecurring funds in FY 21-22 for the Complete the Trails Fund, marking the first time North Carolina has made a significant direct investment in trails.
This vital funding will lead to tremendous progress in building North Carolina’s 12 official State Trails, including Deep River State Trail that runs through Randolph County.
These long-distance trails range from the French Broad River Trail in the mountains to the Roanoke River Trail in the northeastern part of the state. The longest is the Mountains-to-Sea Trail which runs 1,175 miles from the Great Smoky Mountain National Park to the Outer Banks.
The Complete the Trails Fund will provide grants for state trail projects and build capacity for state trail nonprofit partner organizations. The budget also creates a new permanent Trail Coordinator position.
The Complete the Trails Fund will be managed by the NC Trails Program within the NC Division of Parks and Recreation.
There are also a number of earmarks for specific trail projects, $2 millioin for trail feasibility studies and authorization for the 12th state trail, Roanoke River Paddle Trail.
The Deepr River State Trail was birthed in 2007. When all links are connected, its path will stretch from Jamestown in Guilford County through Randolph, Moore, Chatham and Lee counties to an end point just south of the Jordan Lake State Recreation Area.