The Brown County Commissioners will go before the Brown County Council later this month to ask for a $1.4 million appropriation from the American Rescue Plan Act fund.
Brown County is set to receive nearly $3 million in relief funding from ARPA to help with the local response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The amount the county received through the ARPA is almost six times more than the $494,248 the county received in CARES Act funding in 2020. The county received its first ARPA payment last summer, totaling around $1.4 million. The second round of funding is expected to arrive in June or July this year, according to Auditor Julia Reeves.
The $1,440,000 appropriation will be split among the following projects:
- $300,000 to the Brown County Regional Sewer District for a preliminary engineering report on expanded the project area to both the Bean Blossom and Lake Lemon areas with the goal of sending wastewater to the Helmsburg Regional Sewer District plant.
- $25,000 to Helmsburg Regional Sewer District for purchase of property to expand the plant; $40,000 to expand sewer service to new customers just outside of the plant’s service area; $275,000 for a PER regarding plant expansion to take on additional wastewater from Bean Blossom and Lake Lemon.
- $350,000 for the Helmsburg stormwater project.
- $100,000 for designing of a flood control project at State Road 45 and Helmsburg School Road.
- $350,000 for premium pay to jailers and office administrators at the Brown County Law Enforcement Center, Brown County Health Department and Brown County Emergency Management Association employees, the county human resource coordinator and two employees in the Brown County Auditor’s office.
In total the commissioners have received $2,905,000 in requests for ARPA funding.
The remaining requests and projects on the commissioners’ list that are not included in the first appropriation request are:
- $50,000 to make upgrades to the Brown County Health Department’s building on Hawthorne Drive to accommodate pandemic needs. Those upgrades include paving the parking lot and new sidewalks there that will allow nurses to exit the back door and test people for COVID outside in their cars without having to go through the front entrance. This has not been assigned to the second round of funding yet.
- $500,000 to purchase the former Brown County Career Resource Center building. This has not been assigned to the second round of funding yet.
- $350,000 for premium pay. This is planned to be paid out of the second round of ARPA funding expected to come in this summer.
- Unspecified amount from Susie’s Place in Bloomington.
- $195,000 from the Brown County Community Foundation and Brown County Schools to fully fund the preschool and childcare program at the school district’s Early Education Center, which is set to open this fall. This is planned to be paid out of the second round of ARPA funding expected to come in this summer.
- $5,000 to Brown County COAD — Community Organizations Active in a Disaster. This is planned to be paid out of the second round of ARPA funding expected to come in this summer.
- $150,000 for a “quality of life” project. This is planned to be paid out of the second round of ARPA funding expected to come in this summer.
Last November, the commissioners finalized the objectives for how the first round of funding would be spent: to provide funding for projects that develop and advance essential infrastructure improvements.
“Council really does not have the option (to allocate ARPA funds). They just have to approve it,” Commissioner Diana Biddle said.
The county council will meet on April 18.