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Board of County Commissioner Highlights for June 22

Post Date:06/23/2020 12:00 PM

Durham, N.C. – The Durham Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) met virtually at 7 p.m. on June 22, 2020. The virtual option aligns with social distancing requirements to ensure the safety of citizens who wish to participate as well as Board members and Durham County staff. Highlights from this meeting includes: 


  • Chair Wendy Jacobs called the June 22 Regular Session to order.


  • Durham County Commissioners approved minutes from the April 27 and May 11 meetings.


  • A summary of the Consent Agenda follows:


    • The Board authorized the County Manager to enter into a contract with Baker & Taylor, LLC. that allows the company to serve as the primary vendor for the purchase of books and cataloging & processing services as specified for Durham County Library for a total not to exceed $810,000.00 in fiscal year 2021.


    • Commissioners voted to accept the property tax release and refund reports for May 2020 as presented and authorize the Tax Assessor to adjust the tax records as outlined by the reports.


    • The Board approved a Budget Ordinance Amendment appropriating General Fund Balance ($80,000) to fund RiverStreet Network in order to conduct a Broadband Engineering Design and Study for Durham County.


    • The County Commissioners approved the annual renewal contract between Durham County and Correct Care Solutions (CCS) for an amount not to exceed $ 3,725,041.00 to provide medical care to detainees of the Durham Detention Center and Durham Youth Home.


    • The Board of County Commissioners recognized $5,480,715 of Corona Relief Funds received from the State of North Carolina to support a portion of County COVID related costs. These funds will support already incurred costs by the County and will lower the General Fund fund balance burden in support of these COVID-19costs. These grant funds will support COVID-19 expenditures in the current fiscal year and FY 2020-21.


    • The Board appointed Commissioner Brenda Howerton as the voting delegate and Chair Wendy Jacobs as the alternate for the NACo Conference. The Board is also requested to appoint Commissioner Ellen Reckhow as the voting delegate for the NCACC Annual Conference. Both conferences are virtual due to COVID-19.


    • The Board appointed Dr. Stelfanie Williams to a four-year term on the GoTriangle Board of Directors as the Joint City-County Representative. Dr. Williams replaces Commissioner Ellen Reckhow on the board.


  • In regular business, the Board held a public hearing and voted to allocate a total of $925,000 in Economic Development funds to GRAIL, Inc and authorize the Manager to enter into preliminary negotiations and execute an agreement with the Company. GRAIL, an innovative healthcare company pioneering a test that detects more than 50 cancers with a single blood draw, will locate their new laboratory facility in Durham County, creating 739 jobs and investing $111 million.


  • The Board received a presentation on the Durham Small Business Recovery Fund Program, provide feedback and authorize the County Manager to execute a contract committing Durham County’s $1,000,000 to the Durham Small Business Recovery Fund for businesses impacted by COVID-19.


  • Commissioners received an update on an application proposal for EDA-EAA funds allocated through the CARES Act that will support the BULLS Initiative, and consider allocating $60,000 in fund balance to act as the required 20% match that would leverage $240,000 in EDA funds to purchase the equipment for Durham’s first Aseptic Training Lab.


  • The Board received information regarding Guidance for Re-opening Durham County Government and the Temporary Personal Travel & High-Risk Activities Guidelines.


  • The Board discussed the bylaws for the Joint Durham Community Safety & Wellness Task Force. This task force consists of partnership with the City of Durham and Durham Public Schools


  • The Board heard a presentation from staff on the revised (updated) FY 2020-2029 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) update. The overview shared the guiding principles used to develop the 10-year CIP, show recommended funding levels for County projects, explain potential Bond Referendums, and highlighted major changes to the CIP since its approval in June of 2019.


  • Public Health Director Rod Jenkins provided a Public Health Focused Update on the COVID-19 Crisis. The numbers are continuing to increase, and testing is becoming available at more locations. Durham County is receiving more assistance with contact tracing to help manage the pandemic.


  • The Board voted to send a letter to the leadership of the General Assembly seeking additional CARES Act CRF funds from the State to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Durham County received $5,480,715 in funding to help address expenses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Appointments were made to the following boards and commissions:


  • Alliance Board of Directors – David Curro
  • Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission – Cecilia Gonzales, Michael Moorman, Edward Rizzuto
  • Citizen Advisory Committee – Kiarash Rahmanian
  • Durham County Women’s Commission – Patti Black, Melicia Tedder, K.D. Ann Welsh, Cynthia Bland, Joy Spencer, Cheryl Ann Welsh, Sara Bausch
  • Durham Open Space and Trails Commission – Medina Minor, Mark Panny
  • Durham Planning Commission – Austin Amandolia, Jessalee Landfried
  • Durham Sports Commission – Jonathon Leach
  • Durham Technical Community College Board of Trustees – Geoff Durham
  • Durham Workforce Development Board –Roger Shumate, Rhonda Stevens
  • Environmental Affairs Board – Matt Kopac
  • Historic Preservation Commission – Tom Kreger
  • Homeless Services Advisory Committee – Angela Holmes
  • Juvenile Crime Prevention Council – Kelvin Allen, Angela Nunn, Shannon Teamer
  • Nursing Home Community Advisory Committee – Jacqueline Goeking


Commissioner Announcements

  • Funding Opportunities/Unemployment Assistance (for independent contractors and self-employed):
    • Duke Durham Fund Phase 1 - $1 Million for Emergency Relief -- Duke is now providing rapid relief grants up to $5,000 to community-based organizations that are supporting basic needs in Durham. To date, we have received more than 100 applications and have granted more than $200,000. We are actively reviewing open applications. Eligible organizations may complete the short application online at any time, and organizations that received funding in April may reapply for additional funding during round two in May and round three in June. Applications for emergency relief for the community are available at


    • New Pandemic Unemployment Assistance -- NC Independent contractors and self-employed workers out of work because of COVID-19 can apply for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance beginning Friday, April 24th.  Pandemic Unemployment Assistance is a federal program for people who are unable to work as a result of COVID-19 and not eligible for regular state unemployment benefits, such as self-employed workers and independent contractors (1099 employees).  More information to include how to apply can be found here.  To apply, please go here.


  • The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has two new mental health resources to support North Carolinians.


    • The Hope4NC Helpline (1-855-587-3463) connects North Carolinians to additional mental health and resilience supports that help them cope and build resilience during times of crisis. As part of the state’s recent hurricane recovery efforts it served over 4,400 people in the most impacted counties, and now it is being made available to everyone in North Carolina’s 100 counties during the COVID-19 crisis. This initiative is in partnership with all seven of the state’s LME/MCOs and REAL Crisis Intervention Inc. in Greenville. Hope4NC is now available 24 hours per day, seven days a week to speak to a live person.


    • The Hope4Healers Helpline (919-226-2002) is a new initiative in partnership with the North Carolina Psychological Foundation. It provides mental health and resilience supports for health care professionals, emergency medical specialists, first responders, other staff who work in health care settings and their families throughout the state who are experiencing stress from being on the front lines of the state’s COVID-19 response. Hope4Healers is also available 24 hours per day, seven days a week for people to reach out for support; they will be contacted quickly by a licensed mental health professional for follow-up.


  • Be on the Lookout for Scammers During Crisis - Attorney General Stein is urging North Carolinians to be on the lookout for scammers taking advantage of the pandemic, and his office has released a one-page guide to help consumers better understand these scams. If you think you’ve been the victim of a scam or an attempted scam, please report it to the N.C. Attorney General’s office at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or

The price gouging law that protects people from scammers is also in effect in North Carolina. Attorney General Stein and the North Carolina Department of Justice will be reviewing price gouging complaints from consumers closely and are prepared to take action against any businesses engaging in price gouging activities. Please report potential price gouging by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or by filing a complaint at


  • COVID-19 Internet Service Options - In response to COVID-19, many North Carolina residents are being asked to work and learn remotely. The North Carolina Department of Information Technology has compiled a list of new and existing free or affordable service offerings. Visit for more information.


  • How to Apply for Federal Small Business Disaster Loans - The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) granted Governor Roy Cooper’s request for a disaster declaration for small businesses that are suffering economic losses due to COVID-19. Affected businesses may apply for low interest SBA disaster loans.


Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s
secure website at Businesses and individuals may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 or 1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, or by emailing


  • Need Urgent Child Care due to COVID-19 Response? - The NC Department of Health and Human Services, the NC Department of Public Instruction, the North Carolina Child Care Resource and Referral Network and our partners across the state are working together provide these vital childcare options. If you are a parent who provides necessary services to, or cares for, members of our communities and your childcare has fallen through or is unavailable because of COVID-19 closures, call 1-888-600-1685 to be connected with the right fit for you and your child.

• Care options are for parents whose typical child care arrangements are unavailable due to school or child care closings and who cannot access other care.
• Options are available for infants up to children age 12.


  • Durham One Fund Supporting Displaced McDougald Terrace Residents - The Durham One Fund is now accepting donations to support the McDougald Terrance residents impacted by the high carbon monoxide levels and mold conditions reported last week. For those interested in donating, please visit: and for more information please visit and for more information please visit
  • The Durham Universal Pre-Kindergarten Applications are now open - Applications for the 2020-2021 school year is now open. To be eligible, you must be a Durham County resident and your child must be four (4) years old by August 31, 2020. Please call 1-833-PREK-EDU or visit for more information. 
  • The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) is now available to Durham Residents - Durham residents in need of heating bill assistance can now apply for help through the Department of Social Services. Applications are being accepted Monday - Friday from 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. in Lobby #27 of the Health and Human Services Building located at 414 E. Main St. Walk ins are welcome but appointments are preferred. Please call 919-560-8000 for additional information and assistance.  
  • Tax Administration Programs and Offerings - The Durham County Tax Administration will begin accepting applications for the Hardship Payment Plan and will begin offering Property Tax Relief Programs to qualifying elderly, disabled and U.S. Veteran Homeowners. For more information please visit, email or call 919-560-0300. 
  • Get Involved, it’s your County! Durham County Government has approximately 43 active advisory boards referred to as Boards and Commissions. Citizens of Durham County may volunteer to participate by applying for a vacancy. Interested citizens should fill out an application and send it to the Clerk to the Board’s Office. A description of the boards as well as a list of vacancies can be found on the County’s website at If you need additional information, please contact the Clerk’s Office at 919-560-0025 or send an email to:   
  • We invite you to tune in to the Durham Television Network (DTN) on AT&T U-verse channel 99, Spectrum channel 8, Google Fiber channel 8, and Frontier Communications channel 70 to see rebroadcasts of Durham County Commissioner meetings as well as other Durham County programming that may be of interest to you. Please contact the Public Information Office at 919-560-0008 or click here for more information.
  • Alert Durham - Sign Up Today - Durham County wants to keep its citizens informed and safe in the case of an emergency. Sign up for Alert Durham to receive notifications about severe weather, unexpected road closures, missing persons, and evacuations of buildings or neighborhoods. To sign up for Alert Durham, visit


The Board adjourned the regular meeting at 10:51 p.m., voted to extend the meeting until 11:30 p.m. and went into closed session to consult with an attorney.


The next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 13, 2020.  To view the agenda and recording of the BOCC Regular Session Meeting, visit the BOCC’s website. For more information about BOCC meetings, contact the Clerk to the Board's Office at 919-560-0025 or email




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