Guilford County Commissioners are expected to vote on the annual budget at their meeting on Thursday evening. They'll also discuss putting a measure on the November ballot for school construction.

The board is considering a $300 million bond referendum. That money would be used for infrastructure upgrades and improvements for the school system. A facilities study identified $2 billion in capital needs.

Commissioner Melvin "Skip" Alston says like many counties, they're dealing with a tight budget as they address the pandemic and look for solutions. He says more local investment will be needed.  

“It's not enough to address the needs of the schools, so I'm going to vote for the $300 million, but I'm doing it reluctantly because $300 million is better than no million.”

Last month, Guilford County Commissioners approved putting a one-quarter-cent sales tax measure on the November ballot. Alston says if approved by voters, that money would also go towards future school construction.

Meanwhile, the county is setting aside $10 million in federal CARES Act funds to help schools with the reopening process.

Guilford school leaders estimate it would take at least $98 million to implement extra safety measures to reopen buildings for in-person classes. That includes protective equipment, additional staff, and other changes.

You can follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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