Commissioners forecast $ 15 million in ARP spending, up from $ 27 million

MUNCIE, Ind. – Delaware County commissioners this week approved a new, lighter plan to spend US federal bailout money.

The new plan would spend $ 15.25 million over the next two years, up from $ 27 million in the first proposal. The county is expected to receive $ 22 million from the federal government, $ 11 million this year and an additional $ 11 million in 2022. However, the new plan includes an unspecified amount that will be available until 2024 for the replacement of related revenue. the pandemic.

Some now-phased-out projects had previously pushed total spending to $ 5 million more than the amount of ARP revenue expected, a difference originally slated to be made up – potentially – with grants.

According to figures released Tuesday by Commissioners’ attorney John Brooke, $ 1.5 million remains available for mental health and rehabilitation in response to stress caused by the pandemic. Money in this category could be used for rehabilitation at the Delaware County Justice Center and also used in partnership with the City of Muncie.

The commissioners also kept $ 1.5 million from the first draft of the plan for the water and sewer systems on the north side of the Ind. 332 in the ParkOne Industrial Park area in Yorktown.

Commissioners have earmarked $ 1 million in the first year of ARP funding for construction and equipment issues to keep county services functioning properly during the current pandemic and any possible future pandemic.

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The new plan maintains $ 1 million for accommodation and tourism in the county to help innkeepers and restaurant owners, who suffered brutal financial losses during the pandemic.

There is no longer in the plan an interception sewer and a Daleville lift station that would have ensured that the sewage flows quickly to the new Chesterfield sewage treatment plant. This project was previously expected to receive $ 3.7 million in funding from the county.

The extension of the Daleville sewer network to the Overlook Drive area of ​​Daleville, which is not connected to a sewer network, was also removed from the ARP plan. It is estimated that $ 500,000 of ARP funds would have been spent on this project.

Previous coverage:Delaware County officials decide how to spend millions to fund US bailout

A water supply project in Eaton that reportedly got $ 3.8 million to help replace the community’s main and laterals has also been pulled from the ARP plan. The ARP fund would have been only part of this $ 17 million project.

Brooke said Eaton officials feared the ARP funding could jeopardize the expected money from the U.S. Department of Agriculture used to fund the project.

Hilltop Motel project shutdown for homeless vets

An expansion of public services to help Project Hope, which had been an effort to meet the needs of homeless veterans by incorporating the old Hilltop Motel, just south of Muncie on Walnut Street, has also been removed from the county plan .

Brad Bookout, Delaware County’s director of economic and municipal affairs, told commissioners on Monday that the project would not go ahead.

The county worked with the Indiana Veterans Foundation and a third party to help fund the project. That funding will not be available, according to Bookout, who spoke with The Star Press on Tuesday.

Bookout said he would take publicity for new requests for proposals related to motel ownership. Proposals can be for profit or not for profit.

Although not currently in the ARP plan, another local agency applied to commissioners for ARP funding on Monday.

Jayne Meranda, director of community corrections for Delaware County, said her agency is self-funded by court fees and state grants, but has seen a significant increase in work related to the pandemic, including cases domestic violence and alcohol-related crimes.

During the months of COVID lockdown, she said, community corrections were handling at least one case of domestic violence per day.

His organization is asking for just over $ 300,000 in COVID relief funding, which the commissioners have taken under advisement.

County commissioner Sherry Riggin said she was delighted that the ARP’s spending plan is now lower than expected. She had expressed concern about the amount of spending from the previous plan.

David Penticuff is the local government reporter for the Star Press. Contact him at [email protected]

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