The County Commission met yesterday for a work session.
Mayor Gary Davis discussed several topics with the Commissioners regarding future plans and the use of ARP Funds. The proposals made by the Mayor are a part of the quarterly reporting process required by the federal government. The government requires a proposal of how the County plans to spend the funds. Although the Mayor is proposing updates to the plan that was created last year, all expenditures will need approval from the full Commission before implementation.
The plan includes what are commonly referred to as “buckets” of funds that are designated for specific uses and projects.
The first “bucket” of funds discussed was an updated proposal for the use of money designated for broadband projects. The County currently has roughly $4 million in the broadband bucket. To date, only around $800,000 has been allocated as the county’s match to a grant it received from the state. With another grant cycle coming up, the Mayor feels the county is in good condition to be awarded another grant. The estimated match to the grant, if awarded, will be approximately $1 million. This leaves $2.1 million in the broadband bucket the Commission will need to designate to projects at a later date. Currently, the County and the Mayor are negotiating with Volunteer Energy for broadband improvement projects, but nothing has been finalized.
The Mayor also asked the Commission to vote at the next meeting to approve a resolution that would move $2 million from the Sewer bucket to what is called a standard allowance. Designating the funds as standard allowance will allow the Commission to spend the funds on needs without meeting all the qualifications set forth by the federal government for ARP funds. The Mayor has made suggestions for how this money could be spent, but ultimately the Commission will have to vote to approve those projects. Tentative projects the $2 million could cover include:
– The two recently approved ambulances
– HVAC unit replacements, a roof replacement, and patrol cars requested by the Sheriff
– Lights for Elrod Park
The next County Commission meeting is next Monday, December, 19th.