Dare Board decides how to spend $7M in fed funds  

By on February 23, 2022

Grant to pay salaries, benefits for several county agencies

David Clawson discusses the $7.2 million In ARPA funds.

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is popping up on agendas around the state as counties decide how to spend the allocations from the federal government to offset losses or additional needs caused by the COVID pandemic.

Dare County has received half of its roughly $7 million, with the remainder set to be delivered in May. And at its meeting on Feb. 22, the Dare County Board of Commissioners was presented with and unanimously approved a plan to spend the $7,188,564 coming its way.

County Finance Director Dave Clawson recommended a budget amendment to pay for the salaries and fringe benefits including overtime, FICA, retirement and health costs of the Dare County Sheriff’s Office, Detention, Communications 911 and Emergency Management for the remainder of the current fiscal year.

“These were chosen because they fit the amount,” Clawson told the board.

This money has already been budgeted, so paying it out of the ARPA funds would allow the county to recover the money budgeted to use for other purposes. The ARPA funds are held in a separate account and will be paid directly from there.

Rules for the funds designated that they may be used for infrastructure improvement, premium pay, COVID and revenue loss. But noting that a new rule issued last month holds that every local government “that’s gotten this grant is now allowed to assume a revenue loss of ten million dollars,” Clawson added that “you can make an irrevocable choice to say we had a revenue loss even though we didn’t, and that changes the rules.”

County Manager Bobby Outten summarized the situation by telling the board that by cutting $7 million from the budget and replacing it with ARPA funds, the county can take what was budgeted and use it for affordable housing.

Similar conversations about how to spend the money have been taking place across the state and, according to Carolina Public Press, the reasoning is varied.

Macon County Manager Derek Roland told his board that the county’s most valuable asset is its employees. The board voted to spend its $6.9 million in ARPA funds on premium pay for all county workers, except teachers who have their own Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund. Each employee will receive $2 an hour for every hour worked from April 26, 2021, through Oct. 20, 2024.

On the other side of the issue is Rutherford County which has made no plans other than to hire someone to figure out how to spend the federal money.  County Manager Steve Garrison has said the county lacks the capacity to handle such a large grant.


Barnhill Building Group has been selected as the Construction Manager @ Risk by the College of the Albemarle and is seeking to pre-qualify construction trade contractors to submit bids for the furnishing labor, materials, equipment, and tools for the new College of The Albemarle – Allied Health Sciences Simulation Lab (COA Health Sciences) located in Elizabeth City, NC. Please note: Only subcontractors who have been prequalified by Barnhill will be able to submit a Bid.

The project consists of the new construction of a 38,000-sf, 2-story expansion to the existing Owens Health Sciences Center and will house classrooms, labs, and a simulation lab. The site is just over just over 4.5 acres and is located on an active campus. This new construction will be a steel structure with a brick and metal panel veneer, curtainwall, and storefront glazing with a PVC roof membrane.

Principal trade and specialty contractors are solicited for the following Bid Packages:

BP0100: General Trades

BP0105: Final Cleaning

BP0390: Turnkey Concrete

BP0400: Turnkey Masonry

BP0500: Structural Steel & Misc. Steel

BP0740: Roofing

BP0750: Metal Panels

BP0790: Caulking / Caulking

BP0800: Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware

BP0840: Glass & Glazing

BP0925: Drywall

BP0960: Resilient Flooring

BP0980: Acoustical Ceilings

BP0990: Painting & Wallcovering

BP1005: Toilet Specialties / Accessories / Division 10

BP1010: Signage

BP1098: Demountable Partitions

BP1230: Finish Carpentry and Casework

BP1250: Window Treatment

BP1400: Elevators

BP2100: Fire Protection

BP2200: Plumbing

BP2300: HVAC

BP2600: Turnkey Electrical

BP3100: Turnkey Sitework

BP3290: Landscaping

Packages may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager. Historically underutilized business firms are encouraged to complete participation submittals.

HUB/MWBE OUTREACH MEETING: Barnhill Building Group will be conducting a HUB/MWBE Informational Session. You are encouraged to attend the following session to learn more about project participation opportunities available to you. These seminars will help to: Learn about project and scope; Inform and train Minority/HUB contractors in preparation for bidding this project; Assist in registration on the State of North Carolina Vendor link; Stimulate opportunities for Networking with other firms. Location and time TBD. Please visit our planroom at https://app.buildingconnected.com/public/54da832ce3edb5050017438b for more information.

Interested contractors should submit their completed prequalification submittals, by July 22, 2024, to Meredith Terrell at mterrell@barnhillcontracting.com or hardcopies can be mailed to Barnhill Contracting Company PO Box 31765 Raleigh, NC 27622 (4325 Pleasant Valley Road, NC 27612).


Sussex Development is soliciting bids to turnkey supply and install FF&E for the new Tulls Creek Elementary School, 125 Campus Drive, Moyock, NC27929. This project is a new ground-up 2-story, Pre-K thru 5th grade school, approximately 118,000 square feet. Bid documents may be obtained through Christopher West Interiors LLC. Request bid documents via email to interiors@cwiusa.com. Pre-Bid RFIs will be accepted via email until Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 5:00PM EST. Pricing proposals are due Wednesday, August 14, 2024 by 5:00PM EST. All bids and inquires to be sent to interiors@cwiusa.com. Certified NC Hub, MBE, WBE, DBE, SBE are highly encouraged to participate. Sussex Development is an EOE and maintains a drug-free workplace.



  • surf123

    Instead of setting the money aside for a rainy day they are going to hand it over to a private party as an incentive to build affordable housing. While it may not be a direct handout it will subsidize and unprofitable endeavor that a private company will profiteer off of. The public (us) always loses when the government participates in Public/Private partnerships.

    The government should not be in the housing industry at any level and this is going to further prove it. Any attempt to do it anywhere other than the mainland is a non-starter as someone will figure out how to rent them out as that is the best use of any housing.

    Thursday, Feb 24 @ 12:35 pm
  • Dare Employee

    Too bad Dare County doesn’t value it’s employees like Macon County.
    Pay a fair wage and we can afford a home.

    Friday, Feb 25 @ 12:05 pm
  • Spencer

    My compliments for the creative bookkeeping folks of the county. Dare County employees must be feeling the love and kiss of betrayal.
    Question: Who gets the affordable housing? The people that the Visitor’s Bureau have sent over here to work for low wages at local businesses or the actual citizens of Dare County?

    Saturday, Feb 26 @ 11:00 am
  • Billnc

    Yeah, it’s kinda ridiculous these folks do all this talking of affordable workforce housing in their meetings when the county employees aren’t paid nearly enough to afford living in this area… The salary study a few years back was a total sham… They classified the area as a “rural” remote area, and used that as the baseline of other areas to compare against.

    Wednesday, Mar 2 @ 12:13 pm