WASHINGTON — Two Charlotte-area mayors will join a group of fellow civic leaders from across North Carolina next week as they visit the White House to discuss how federal funds have helped local governments and initiatives.
In a news release Thursday, Winston-Salem mayor Allen Joines said he and 11 other leaders would travel to Washington on Sept. 22 to discuss funding provided by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and pending federal dollars as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
"Without these programs, it might take years longer for the city to address some significant needs, especially in underserved communities,” Joines said. “ARPA, for example, is allowing us to expand our efforts to provide affordable housing and to bridge the digital divide.”
Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles will also be part of the discussion along with Concord mayor William Dusch. The mayors of Chapel Hill, Durham, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Kinston, Raleigh, and Wilmington are also making the journey. Additionally, the chairs of Wake and Guilford county boards of commissioners will round out the group.
"I appreciate this opportunity to meet with the administration to discuss some of the key issues facing Charlotte including transportation, affordable housing and promoting racial equity," Lyles said in a statement to WCNC Charlotte.
ARPA funds have been distributed across the Charlotte area -- Gaston County received millions of federal dollars in 2021. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster included suggestions for ARPA fund use in his 2022-23 state budget as well.
But getting those funds wasn't easy for every community; Huntersville, for example, was slighted about $12 million in funding. After WCNC Charlotte investigative reporter Nate Morabito reported on the dilemma, it got attention from Rep. Alma Adams in the U.S. House and state Sen. Natasha Marcus. Both pushed for answers from the North Carolina General Assembly and cited Morabito's reporting in their letter to the leaders of both chambers of the General Assembly.