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Board expected to reject nonprofit proposals for ARP funds


The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners on Monday is expected to make the final vote to reject service proposals from local nonprofit organizations.

On Feb. 28, the county received the proposals from Fayetteville-area nonprofit organizations after the county formally asked for them. The RFP (request for proposals) asked nonprofit organizations to submit proposals for projects that would help the community recover from the adverse economic effects due to COVID-19. Fifty-four proposals were submitted.

The Aid to Nonprofits program was to use American Rescue Plan money to fund the proposed services. However, commissioners sitting on the board’s American Rescue Plan Committee balked at funding the county staff-recommended proposals. The ARP Committee consists of Commissioners Jimmy Keefe, Glenn Adams and Toni Stewart.

After review and discussions during ARP Committee meetings, commissioners agreed that the proposals were too broad and varied for proper comparison, had varying scopes of services, and proposed budgets that ranged from less than $50,000 to more than $1 million, sometimes for the same services. Committee members also suggested some of the proposals would duplicate services already provided by the county.

However, since the proposals were a result of a formal request for proposal process, county legal experts told the commissioners they could not alter proposals or fund the proposals at other than requested budgets. County Attorney Rick Moorefield told committee members they could, however, simply reject all proposals.

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During its Oct. 13 ARP Committee meeting, members voted unanimously to recommend rejecting all bids for Aid to Nonprofit Organizations.

The county staff is recommending to the full board that it follow the ARP Committee’s unanimous recommendation to reject all bids. After rejection, the county can “close out” the project. State law allows the board to reject the proposals for any reason it deems to be in the county's best interest, according to an agenda memo from Ivonne Mendez, county deputy finance director.

The item is on the consent agenda for Monday’s meeting. The board meets at 9 a.m. in Room 118 of the Judge E. Maurice Braswell Cumberland County Courthouse. Unless a commissioner pulls the item from the consent agenda, commissioners will vote to accept the recommendation.

Under items of business, the commissioners are scheduled to consider the adoption of the 2023 Board of Commissioners' regular meeting dates and agenda session regular meeting dates. Also, the commissioners are being asked to approve the appointment of the county’s deputy clerk as acting clerk during county Clerk Candice White’s vacation and eventual retirement in December.

The commissioners also are scheduled to go into closed session to discuss items related to economic development, the acquisition of real property, and to discuss “attorney-client” matters.

Jason Brady covers Cumberland County government for CityView. He can be reached at jbrady@cityviewnc.com.

Cumberland County, Board of Commissioners, American Rescue Plan funding, nonprofits