County Leaders Convene to Discuss How to Best Utilize ARPA, Opioid Settlement Funds

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. – On March 28-29, 2022, the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) hosted the ARPA & Opioid Funding Strategy Summit for North Carolina’s county and state leaders to help strategize on the upcoming opportunities and demands associated with the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and national opioid settlement funds. Brunswick County Commissioner Frank Williams, who serves as NCACC President, presided over much of the summit, and Keith Holden, CEO of Brunswick County-based FOCUS Broadband, participated in a panel discussion on expanding broadband access through ARPA funding.

Commissioner Frank Williams with FOCUS Broadband CEO Keith Holden at the Summit

NCACC President Frank Williams, a Brunswick County Commissioner, commented on the success of the Funding Strategy Summit, stating, “The ARPA and national opioid settlement funds present counties with incredible opportunities to positively impact the lives of North Carolina’s citizens. Our association is committed to helping counties be good stewards of these resources. During the Funding Strategy Summit, we discussed the importance of adopting a strategic approach to maximize the impact of these funds, as well as provide technical guidance and assistance needed for county commissioners to effectively utilize these funds while complying with all the pertinent rules and regulations.”

NCACC President and Brunswick County Commissioner Frank Williams speaking at the ARPA & Opioid Funding Strategy Summit

The summit provided attendees an opportunity to hear educational presentations and guest speakers such as State Representative Jason Saine, U.S. Representative Kathy Manning, N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kody Kinsley, and award-winning author of Dreamland, Sam Quinones.

NCACC President and Brunswick County Commissioner Frank Williams with State Representative Jason Saine at the ARPA & Opioid Funding Strategy Summit

U.S. Representative Manning spoke on the historic passage of ARPA funding legislation, remarking that “I’m pleased to see North Carolina counties making a concerted effort to recover from the pandemic and continue battling the opioid crisis, making sure North Carolina builds back stronger and more equitably than before.”

State Representative Saine shared about the passage of the state budget and the opportunities for counties to leverage state funds for long term investments, noting that “having expertise and technical assistance is incredibly important, thank you to counties and the NCACC for your service and keeping legislators informed.”

The NCACC recently announced the launch of Strategic Member Services, a new initiative to support NC counties’ heightened load of administrative duties due to ARPA and national opioid settlement funds. NCACC Strategic Member Services assists counties in the areas of:

  • Strategic planning and collaborative conversations
  • Federal compliance standards and eligible projects
  • Project and grant management 
  • Subrecipient monitoring and oversight
  • Community outreach and communications

For ARPA and opioid settlement-related resources, go to NCACC’s website. Counties can access important opioid settlement details here