Adair County officials say they expect to receive the first direct aid from the American Rescue Plan, signed into law by President Joe Biden in March, later this month.
The board of supervisors officially entered into an agreement for the grant funds at their Wednesday, June 9 meeting. According to Auditor Mandy Berg, the funds total over $1.34 million. The money will received in two parts, half this year and half next year.
Berg said that while a plan doesn’t need to be developed by the county prior to receiving the grant, officials will have to report back on how the funds are used in relation to guidelines of the grant.
“We’ll receive the first half, and I think we’re going to have a committee with department heads, the supervisors or maybe public health, to decide how to spend the money, but there’s no concrete plan right now,” Berg said. “They do have some guidelines out there for what it can be spent for, however it’s not set in stone yet.”
Berg said that possible ways the money could be used includes, but isn’t limited to: mitigation for any future COVID-19 events, water and sewer projects or broadband enhancements, recovery of revenue lost because of the pandemic or premium pay for essential workers.
“Of course, the big one is probably public health and anything they would need to do to either help control revenue losses due to COVID or to put things in place to reduce anything in the future if there were to be a relapse,” Berg said.
The county has received aid before during the pandemic, however these grant funds will be the biggest single amount to date received. In the past, a grant for $13,000 was received for elections, a $51,200 award and an additional $19,273 were received through the CARES Act, and a grant for public health was received in the amount of approximately $5,800.
At their June 16 meeting, the supervisors:
• Approved township clerk wages and claims
• Heard COVID-19 updates and discussion
• Approved a two-year wage increase for Auditor Clerk Timber Woosley.
• Signed a right-of-way contract for a culvert project in Section 20 of Jackson Township.