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County board approves well study for Gray’s Creek, opioid grant funding


The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners met Monday night. Here’s a summary of action taken:

Grant funding approval

The board held four public hearings and took action on two grants.

The board unanimously approved $763,075 in grant funding to be allocated in 2024-25 for a transportation program for residents in rural areas of Cumberland County. The funds will be used to provide trips to work, school, medical appointments and general errands. The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Commissioners also approved the receipt of a federal Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant. It will allocate about $240,000 to be used by both the Fayetteville Police Department and the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office. The departments plan to use the funds to purchase riot gear, ballistic shields, gas masks and a tactical robot, among other things.

The Byrne grant is the leading source of federal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions and named for a 22-year-old New York City police officer who was murdered in 1988 while protecting a witness who had agreed to testify in court against drug dealers. Since 2005, the grant has funded more than 24,000 awards totaling more than $7.6 billion.

The board also approved a rezoning proposal of 2 acres of agricultural land to residential zoning.

The public hearings drew no speakers.

Opioid fund contracts

After a lengthy discussion, commissioners approved allocating about  $800,000 in federal opioid settlement funds to three agencies: ATS of North Carolina, Myrover-Reese Fellowship Homes and North Carolina Harm Reduction. The plan passed with a 6-1 vote, with Commissioner Jimmy Keefe voting against it. Keefe said he wanted more early intervention and education programs for teenagers. 

A 2021 federal settlement with companies that manufactured opioids gave Cumberland County about $30 million to be used over an 18-year period to combat the opioid epidemic. 

County homeless support center

Commissioners unanimously approved LS3P as the architect for the proposed Cumberland County Homeless Support Center. The center will include family and individual housing as well as community spaces.

A location has not been chosen for the center, but the county recently received  two parcels of excess land at 225 B St. from Cumberland County Schools as a potential site.

Contract with HDR engineering for Gray’s Creek water

Commissioners approved a contract with HDR engineering to conduct a study on viable locations for the construction of wells in the Gray’s Creek area to provide water to Gray’s Creek Elementary School and Alderman Road Elementary and develop a long-term water solution for residents of Gray’s Creek. The motion passed 6-1, with Chairwoman Toni Stewart voting against the measure. 

Stewart said she is not “against water” for Gray’s Creek, but is not certain the proposed solution is the best choice. 

Consent agenda, nominations

Commissioners unanimously approved its consent agenda, including American Rescue Plan funds for small businesses, a partnership with Cumberland Animal Services and Fort Liberty, and modernization of the elevator at the Crown Coliseum. 

The board also unanimously appointed Dakota Wright to an at-large position with  the Cumberland Board of Health.

Commissioners will meet again at 9 a.m Oct. 2 at the Cumberland County Courthouse.

Contact Char Morrison at cmorrison@cityviewnc.com.

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See the board’s full agenda.

Cumberland County, commissioners, Gray's Creek, water, opioids