Committee To Be Formed On How To Spend Wayne County ARPA Funding

WAYNE – Majority of Tuesday morning’s Wayne County Board of Commissioners meeting was taken up with putting a plan together to spend just over $900,000 of federal funds in Wayne County in less than four years.

From the Wayne County Courthouse courtroom, Sandra Hanson spoke to the board about the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) economic impact funds due to COVID.

Wayne County Commissioners voted to hire Hanson on to lead the grant funding effort who has assisted Wayne County in the past when it comes to grants.

Hanson stated the amount of $911,463 can be utilized in seven different categories of spending as information was passed along to the commissioners. The funds will need to be obligated by December 31, 2024 and completed by December 31, 2026 but Hanson would like these funds to be issued in the next couple of years.

Of the seven main guidelines, Wayne County will be looking to focus on the support of health expenditures, addressing negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency as well as replacing lost public sector revenue. An annual report is due in April of each year on how the funds are being used as the initial report has already been completed by Wayne County.

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A goal was set to form a committee made up of individuals from each community representing Wayne County to review the applications by this summer.

Another round of over $900,000 is supposed to be issued sometime around March as well.

Mark Casey, Highway Superintendent also passed along good news that for the sixth consecutive year Wayne County will benefit from the County Bridge Match Program (CBMP). The group submitted a total of five projects that either were led by Wayne County or involved the county and the one that was selected will turn two bridges in Wayne County to box culverts. According to Casey, these will be the 11th and 12th bridges changed over the six rounds of the program. The 2905 project in District 3 (Jim Rabe) and the 4330 project in District 1 (Terry Sievers) were selected along with two bridges in Cedar County who will be the lead county.

Cost share of this program is 55% with the estimated total cost being less than $200,000.

Wayne County Board of Commissioners also acted on the Wayne County Convention Visitors & Bureau Committee recommendations on Lodging Tax Grant Applications. The board approved the seven events that were already approved and also agreed with the recommendation on the two which were denied.

Representatives with Haystack Wind energy also provided general updates towards the end of the meeting.

The next regularly scheduled Wayne County Board of Commissioners meeting will be on Tuesday, February 1. A public hearing on the Wayne County One & Six Year Plan will also take place during the next meeting at 10:30 a.m.