By Richard Sullins |

The Lee County Board of Commissioners will meet Monday for a special session to discuss several urgent items that cannot wait until the next scheduled meeting on September 12.

The most pressing of these could be a discussion that will take place during a closed session at the end of the meeting regarding the location or expansion of a business. Those topics are usually discussed behind closed doors to protect the confidential nature of the economic development process until a public announcement can be made and in accordance with provisions of the state’s Open Meetings Law.

The commissioners will hold the first of two public hearing concerning a proposed application for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding through the North Carolina Neighborhood Revitalization Program. The funding opportunity is available for the entire county and provides up to $950,000 in funding for housing or public facilities.

Staff from the county, Triangle J Council of Governments, and Brick Capital Community Development Corporation are working together on an application for a low-to-moderate income housing subdivision on Washington Avenue that would include 45 single-family lots and a 16-unit apartment complex. The application is to be submitted to the North Carolina Department of Commerce by September 30.

Also on the agenda is consideration of adding a non-voting youth member to the Board of Commissioners and the county Parks and Recreation Commission. After learning that the Cabarrus County Commissioners have a youth seated on its board in an ex officio position to provide input, feedback and represent youth there, Chairman Kirk Smith has proposed a discussion about adding such a seat to the Lee County board.

Another item that is sure to garner lots of attention is a discussion on how to spend the remaining $4 million of the county’s allocation of federal funds provided through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021. The plan provided $1.9 trillion in economic stimulus funding passed by the 117th Congress and signed into law by President Biden.

Lee County’s share was a few dollars short of $12 million and the county has already allocated nearly $8 million of those funds already to several big-ticket projects that include a new multi-purpose meeting room for the commissioners ($2 million), renovations at the Bob Hales Center ($576,000), a project with Outreach Ministries ($315,000), a full-body scanner for the jail ($159,000), and affordable housing projects in partnership with Brick Capital ($850,000).

Ready-to-go, or “actionable,” projects total just under $1.3 million and include $410,000 for a playground and a shelter with restrooms for Temple Park. A final category of projects under the general heading of “future” total $1.268 million and include a playground at OT Sloan Park and correction of stormwater runoff issues at Kiwanis Family Park.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. Monday at the McSwain Center on Tramway Road.