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Some final decisions on funding requests

Janet Imrick

Randolph Hub


ASHEBORO – While Randolph County Commissioners work on the 2024-25 budget, they approved some final funding requests for the fiscal year.


At their June 3 meeting, county and city staff made requests for emergency equipment, school demolition and the beginning phases of a new park in Trinity.


Randolph County Schools

Superintendent Stephen Gainey received his approval for a $550,000 request ahead of the demolition of the former Braxton Craven School building.


The county approved the creation of the Randolph County School Facilities Capital Project using funds from Construction. The school system is working to secure a contract to demolish the Braxton Craven facility, while leaving the gymnasium intact, near the end of the summer.


Gainey said they will hire a consultant to assess their attendance levels and identify population growth so they can decide where to purchase land for future schools.


Trinity Recreation

County commissioners approved additional funding for the city of Trinity to proceed with their parks and recreation master plan.


City Manager Stevie Cox said they wish to hire the firm WithersRavenel to do project inventory and analysis, site evaluation, community engagement and needs assessment, development of the master plan with recommendations and implementation guidance, and to complete the application for a Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant.


WithersRavenel's bid was $97,000, more than the $80,000 that Trinity received from the county on Nov. 6, 2023. Cox asked commissioners for $17,000 to cover the contract and another $17,000 to use for marketing and incidental costs. Commissioners balked at that extra funding due to losses they're filling in other areas to balance the 2024 budget.


"A few months ago, I wouldn't have even asked the question," Commissioner Hope Haywood said. "But now that we know we're going to be paying $3.3 million for the Medicaid Hold Harmless and using funds for the budget. We don't like doing that, but we're not going to raise taxes."


Cox said he would be willing to bargain for half, and city staff feel it's critical to create promotional materials to build public support. Commissioners agreed to provide an additional $8,500.


Cox said the Trinity board feels there is a strong need for more recreational options. He said, "Based off of initial numbers of what the county is projecting, growing at 100,000 in the next five years, we're anticipating growth by 7,000."


Senior Citizen Services

Mark Hensley, executive director of Randolph Senior Adults, presented a recommendation to continue the Home and Community Care Block Grant, provided by state and federal funding. This is the third and last year for this grant, which was approved in 2022. The state allocated $975,245 to Randolph County this fiscal year.


Hensley said they will use the grant to continue services such as adult day care, congregate nutrition, Meals on Wheels, in-home aid, counseling, transportation and home improvement services. He said they are on track to pass 100,000 meals for senior citizens in the county.


Emergency Management

Commissioners agreed to spend $218,151 to purchase the Randleman VIPER Tower building and emergency power equipment. Deputy Chief Jared Byrd said they are trying to improve coverage to the Randleman and Deep River valley area. The state will take over maintenance of the tower once construction is complete.


They also approved using unspent funds from the Northwest Randolph Human Services Center Capital Project Fund to buy new consoles for 911 dispatch, totaling $888,001. Byrd said their current equipment used by emergency telecommunicators is nearing the end of its lifespan.


The Randolph County Sheriff's Office got their request approved to keep their health care provider Mediko, Inc. for $1,670,578 this fiscal year. Chief Deputy Aundrea Azelton said they will keep all current services and staffing levels.


Employee Healthcare

Finance Officer Will Massie said the county had money left over in its Employee Healthcare Plan at the end of the 2023-24 fiscal year. He recommended awarding a one-time bonus to employees who participated in screenings. Commissioners agreed to do that, while putting away $500,000 into the General Fund in case of a catastrophic need emerges.


Haywood said, "We have spouses, different generations, parents, parents with multiple children that are employed by Randolph County. If we can make it possible for them to have a better quality of life, and they're willing to put the work in to do it, I appreciate doing this."