Supervisors pass resolution on use of American Rescue Plan funds
By Bob Steenson, [email protected]
The Floyd County Board of Supervisors this week identified how it is spending part of more than $3 million in COVID-19 pandemic relief funds and how it will qualify to receive the entire amount available to the county.
Floyd County has been allocated $3,038,275 through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), a federal program approved to help reimburse public bodies for losses because of the COVID-19 pandemic and to provide infrastructure and economic development funding to help boost the economy.
Originally it had been thought that counties and cities would have to specifically identify areas where they had lost revenue or had extra expenses because of COVID, or identify specific projects within certain categories such as improving health and health care in order to qualify for the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF), which is part of ARPA.
Some public bodies had expressed concern they wouldn’t be able to qualify for the entire amount available to them if they had to follow those initial interim guidelines.
The latest rule says cities and counties can authorize their allocation up to $10 million in ARPA funds as generic lost revenue without having to itemize specific losses, and the money can be spent on any lawful government purpose.
The Board of Supervisors passed a resolution at its meeting this week “allocating its total SLFRF allocation in the expected amount of $3,038,275 as lost revenue to spend on government services.
Although the ways the county can spend the money are pretty open now, the county still has to list the specifics of how it is spent.
So far, according to the resolution, Floyd County has obligated spending $190,051.98 on:
- Courthouse asbestos abatement, original contract – $118,800.
- Asbestos abatement, electrical wire testing – $35.
- Asbestos abatement, additional 4th floor tile – $2,474.
- Hand dryers in the 10 new restrooms in the atrium – $21,610.
- Lead content testing – $1,100.
- Panic alarms relocation – $1,947.05.
- Small courtroom expansion – $17,600.
- Door access card reader for dispatch – $4,886.34.
- Security camera upgrade for courthouse – $8,099.72.
- Door access card reader for courthouse and atrium – $5,936.87.
- Handicapped-accessible jury ramp for district courtroom – $7,563.
As of March 31, $28,442.05 has been spent on those items, the resolution reports.
County Auditor Gloria Carr said a large amount of the $3 million will be used on items to complete the law enforcement center and courthouse update project.
Supervisor Linda Tjaden said they also want to keep enough available to do some significant projects with county departments, other groups or both. County department heads have been given until June to come up with suggestions for projects, then the board may decide how or if to open it up to proposals from outside groups.
Some groups, such as the Charles City Area Development Board, the Fair Board and TLC: The Learning Center, have already approached the supervisors about the potential for grants through the ARPA funds.
“They keep saying don’t nickel and dime this,” Tjaden said, referring to advice on how to spend the ARPA funds. Instead look for meaningful expenditures that will make a difference 10 years from now, she said.
The funds must be obligated by Dec. 31, 2024, and spent by Dec. 31, 2026.
This is how much area counties are getting in ARPA funds:
- Bremer County – $4,868,000.
- Butler County – $2,804,606
- Cerro Gordo County – $8,245,415
- Chickasaw County – $2,317,845
- Floyd County – $3,038,275
- Franklin County – $1,955,979
- Howard County – $1,778,834
- Mitchell County – $2,056,206
- Worth County – $1,433,673