Council approves funds for job creation and East Greensboro community complexBy Yasmine Regester, Peacemaker Staff Writer / August 19, 2022
The newly elected Greensboro City Council held its first meeting on Tuesday night. They were sworn in on August 11.
The new council got right to business, first approving an economic development incentive grant to ImpactData for up to $530,359 for the purpose of making property improvements, purchasing new equipment and creating jobs. ImpactData is a minority-owned digital infrastructure firm, and it is considering Gateway Research Park for a Dream Center, its flagship product. This facility will include a data center component, dedicated academic space for N.C. A&T State University, and dedicated community workforce training and development space.
“I want to make sure we have community engagement around this. This would be a compliment to the businesses growing over in East Greensboro,” said District 1 council member Sharon Hightower.
Council then approved a series of economic development appropriations to: Piedmont Business Capital; Downtown Greensboro Inc.; Greensboro Chamber of Commerce; Greensboro Chamber of Commerce – Launch Lab; and Guilford County Economic Development Alliance. Council also approved a contract with the Guilford County Board of Education for School Safety Resource Officers to provide services in certain school campuses. Guilford County Board of Education will reimburse the city for a portion of the costs for 17 officers and three sworn supervisors.
GuilfordWorks identified the need to provide training and employment for Guilford County residents. Council approved a contract for $2.89 million for one year with Eckerd Connects to provide the training.
Following the voter approved bonds on July 26 totaling $135 million, council adopted a resolution declaring the results of the referendum. Council unanimously approved a resolution to authorize expenditures for eligible government services to administer the city’s full $59.4 million APRA Grant award, freeing up the city’s general revenues to support various community agencies and internal departments for projects submitted during the application process. Of the ARPA funds, $8 million was approved for the Windsor-Chavis-Nocho Community Complex Project.
The combination of Windsor Recreation Center, the Vance Chavis Library and Nocho Park is a one-stop, joint facility that will celebrate and promote innovation, education, health and wellness, recreation, art and cultural expression. In addition to enhancing three community assets, the site will honor the unique civil rights history of the neighborhood, expand program offerings through partnerships, connect with our residents and encourage future generations to reach for their dreams.
A presentation from Parks and Rec. department staff at the council’s last work session meeting, detailed plans to include indoor spaces that will enable multiple city departments and community partners to use the space and serve residents of the neighborhood. The plans also address designing the multi-purpose fields and courts to support a wide variety of activities. Additional programs and services will include the library collection, computers, a sensory room, basketball courts, a lazy river, teen spaces, teaching kitchen, game room, makerspaces and an amphitheater.
One of the last items was an ordinance amending the General Fund and the General Capital Improvements Fund for $6.1 million for maintenance needs, including roof replacement and HVAC improvements at the Central Library, roof and various maintenance repairs at the Greensboro Cultural Center and repairs and improvements to the city’s swimming pools.
District 3 council member Zack Matheny, who was the lone no vote, added he thought that repairing an HVAC system and the Greensboro Aquatic Center was not the best use of American Rescue Plan funds.
Matheny said, “I’ve said it before. If we’re not being good landlords and can’t afford to take care of our own buildings, then we shouldn’t own them. We’ve got to start working on these capital improvement projects.”