Ward County waits to disburse ARPA funds

Local News

Ward County is delaying disbursing money from the American Rescue Plan funds to any outside entities.

The task force created to produce a spending plan of ARPA dollars says this delay will help the commissioners.

With holding off from making recommendations for now, information on how much revenue was lost in 2021 will be available.

Ward County will receive a little more than $13M in two installments for economic recovery programs and projects.

Of that amount, $6M has been allotted for while the rest of the money is awaiting review.

“It will be in the best interest of the county to hold off starting the application process for disbursing funds to outside entities until the auditor’s office is able to calculate 2021 revenue loss total and the US Treasury has released the final rule,” said county auditor, Marisa Haman at the commissioner’s meeting on Tuesday.

“The task force requests that commissioners and heads of departments supply proposals for internal needs that could be met,” she added.

Commissioner Shelly Weppler explained that the use of the money for internal needs will be for the “betterment” of the county.

“If we spend everything and we have some needs that we could be using these dollars for so that we don’t increase taxes, then we’re not doing the county a favor,” Weppler said.

The task force estimates its project plans will not be available until next February.

The ARPA is federal funds to states and local governments to turn around the economies affected by COVID-19

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