Missed the Wake County Board of Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, June 21? Here are the highlights:
The Board approved a $19-million behavioral health services contract with Alliance Health. By working with community providers Alliance will increase substance use treatment in the next fiscal year and expand the School Based Mental Health Program, which serves students and families in the Wake County Public Schools System. Citizens can read the contract and details on the programs.
Wake County’s Affordable Housing Development Program will receive and additional $2 million, after the Board approved transferring the sum from the county general fund. The funding comes from sales tax revenue from the current fiscal year that exceeded projections. The $2 million will be used to develop at least 100 additional affordable housing units. More information on how the Affordable Housing Development Program will utilize the transfer is available online.
Commissioners heard a presentation from Wake County staff on two bond referenda that could be placed on the November ballot. The general obligation bonds would support upcoming capital needs for the Wake County Public Schools System and Wake Tech Community College.
- The proposed $530.7-million schools bond will go to WCPSS’s FY2024 and FY2025 capital needs, including funds to build five new schools and renovate seven existing schools, as well as other maintenance needs.
- The proposed $353.2-million Wake Tech bond will go to its FY2024 to FY2027 capital needs, including the construction of new buildings for health sciences, culinary science and cyber science.
The public can read more about the bonds and view the presentation slides here. Citizens can voice their views on the bonds during public hearings at the next Board meeting on Monday, July 11 at 2 p.m. If the Board approves the referenda at that meeting, Wake County residents will be asked to vote on the two bonds during the Nov. 8 general election.
The Board of Commissioners held a public hearing for a business development grant agreement for Blue Force Technologies. In early June, the aircraft manufacturer announced it will invest $3 million in a Wake Forest facility, creating 125 new jobs with salaries averaging $81,000. The new facility will support Blue Force Technologies’ recent $50-million contract with the US Air Force to design, build and test four Fury aircraft, which will be used in advanced training. After hearing from a company representative, the Board approved the grant, which will last five years. The agreement requires the company to meet performance criteria, including investing in the facilities and creating 125 new jobs that pay at least Wake County’s Living Wage, which will be $18.20/hour as of July 1. The full contract can be read online.
Wake County will have two new programs to help Wake County farmers maintain their agricultural lands and apply for conservation easements following the Board’s approval of a replacement ordinance that brings Wake County’s Farmland Preservation Program Ordinance in-line with new state law. The Board of Commissioners’ unanimous vote makes Wake County the 30th Enhanced Voluntary Agriculture District (EVAD) in North Carolina. EVAD is an optional 10-year agreement that allows farms to receive 25% of their sales from non-farm products and still qualify as a bona fide farm, along with other benefits to help keep Wake farms financially viable. A new Agricultural Conservation Easement Program will also will allow the reconfigured Agricultural Advisory Board to select properties for donation of agricultural conservation easements or to seek state and federal grant funding for the purchase of agricultural conservation easements. Wake Director of Soil and Water Conservation Teresa Furr told the Board that farmers are excited about the new programs, which will also supports the Board goal of economic strength through farmland protection, next generation farming, promoting local food systems and agrotourism.
The final action at the Board meeting was voting to utilize $1.4 million of 2018 Parks Greenways Recreation and Open Space bond funding to complete the 100% final design documents for the eastern section of the Triangle Bikeway. Board Chair Sig Hutchinson presented about the Triangle Bikeway plans, explaining that making the Triangle Bikeway’s eastern section plan “shovel ready” will help Wake County and partners apply for grants to fund construction. The bike pathway would connect to the Greenway network and run from I-440/Wade Avenue in Raleigh to the new transit hub on Davis Drive in Research Triangle Park in Durham County.
Want to dig deeper into the board meeting? The full recording of the meeting is available to watch, with the meeting called to order at the 42:35 mark.