Douglas County leaders to receive update on ARPA funding given out so far

photo by: Rochelle Valverde

The west side of the Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Massachusetts St., is pictured on Sept. 23, 2021.

This week, Douglas County leaders will learn more about how much aid has gone to the recipients of the county’s American Rescue Plan Act funding so far, and how those agencies can revise the scope of their proposed projects moving forward.

In July, the commission decided on 14 county agencies that would receive about $15 million of the county’s ARPA funds. So far, county staff has executed nine funding agreements and given out a total of $5.5 million in funding. That information is outlined in a presentation the Douglas County Commission is set to receive at its meeting Wednesday.

According to that presentation, which is included with this week’s agenda materials, that money has in part gone toward three projects.

The largest chunk, $3.25 million, was made available to the Children’s Community Center to acquire the commercial building at 346 Maine St., which the agency plans to turn into an Early Childhood Community Center.

Disbursements have also gone to the county’s Housing Stabilization Collaborative’s rent and utility assistance program — about $186,000 for utility assistance and about $192,000 for housing assistance — and to the Douglas County Historical Society, about $220,000 of the agency’s total award of $723,539 for improving accessibility at historic sites around the county.

According to the presentation, county staff expects to disburse another $1.5 million in ARPA aid before the end of September.

The presentation also highlights two web forms that county staff has developed to allow awardees to revise their originally submitted project scope and budget.

In other business, the commission will:

• Meet in an executive session to consult with the Douglas County counselor regarding “matters that would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship.” This will be the fourth time commissioners have met in executive session since their Aug. 17 meeting. Each time, the county’s director of behavioral health projects, Bob Tryanski, has been included.

Wednesday’s business meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Massachusetts St. The meeting will also be available by Zoom. For meeting information, visit the county’s website: dgcoks.org/commissionmeetings.

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