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Northampton approves ROAP budget amendment

JACKSON – Each year, the Northampton County Commissioners approve receiving grant funding from the Department of Transportation for the Rural Operating Assistance Program (ROAP) which helps provide transportation services to citizens of the county.

This year, however, the commissioners were only able to approve a budget amendment carrying leftover ROAP funding into the current fiscal year.

“This program was not approved for funding [by the state] for Fiscal Year 2021, but we were allowed by the state to remove the remainder of the unspent funds from 2020 into 2021,” explained Northampton County Finance Officer Tameka Green as she presented the budget amendment to the commissioners at their regular meeting on Jan. 20.

Those funds total $47,759, which are left over from the almost $145,000 allocated to the county in the previous year.

Department of Social Services Interim Director Rhonda Taylor, also in attendance, explained that they only had enough funds to continue the transportation programs until the end of January. The fund transfer would help them provide service until the new fiscal year.

“It will cover the transportation costs for our sick, elderly, and disabled clients from February 1 to June 30,” she stated.

County Manager Charles Jackson added that they anticipated the ROAP program would return to being funded by the state as usual this year. The lack of FY2020 funding was because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commissioner Joyce Buffaloe motioned to approve the budget amendment, and Commissioner Geneva Faulkner provided the second. The vote was approved unanimously.