‘ARPA money is making a difference’

Published 6:08 pm Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Funds given to the county in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have made an impact.

That was the message relayed by County Administrator Trish Harren during a Mower County Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday morning.

According to Harren’s report to the board, Mower County has spent $3.1 million and committed even more of the total $7.8 million awarded to the county in American Rescue Plan dollars.

In a detailed rundown, Harren went through how the money has been spread around in six primary areas: COVID-19 response, economic supports, mental health, broadband, housing and infrastructure.

“ARPA money is making a difference,” Harren told the board. “I think we’re continuing to make good ethical decisions with our funding.”

However, the county still has $1,690,000 remaining to be used and while the Department of Treasury initially put specific rules on how and when the money can be spent, Harren said Tuesday that many of those have been lifted and now counties and governmental agencies can simply bank funds if under $10 million.

But Harren said that rather than bank the money, the county has chosen to continue spending the money in areas of need.

“We needed to do these things,” Harren said. “We will fully spend this by the end of the year.”