New EMS building on hold to give African-American contractors a chance to get involved in the $12M deal

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- Plans to construct a potentially lifesaving resource in Guilford County are halted.

The county wants to build a new emergency management building on Pepperstone Drive off Business 85, but it also wants to make sure everyone has a chance to get involved in the project.

County commissioners put a contract with New Atlantic Contracting Inc. on hold Thursday night.

Commissioner Melvin “Skip” Alston said the company didn’t make a good faith effort in trying to get African-American contractors involved in the deal that would create a new EMS center to process ambulances and have a maintenance shop.

“I don't think that's acceptable and I as an African-American politician and business person myself, I can't tolerate that,” Alston said.

Alston said the company did have other minority groups represented, but not enough from the African-American community.

“Minority contractors came to the meeting last night and said, ‘We are here, let us know who we need to contact,’” Alston said.

Commissioners are expected to talk about the project again next month.

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