Commissioners designate county budget fund to house, disperse the $890,000 first payment of ARPA funds
Editor’s note: A story in last week’s Times incorrectly stated that the budget amendment hearing detailed below was scheduled for Sept. 30 instead of Aug. 30. We apologize for the error.
At their Monday meeting, the Ozark County Commissioners amended the county’s budget to include a new fund where American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding money will be deposited and dispersed. No money has been spent yet.
The commissioners set the revenue and expenditures of that fund for the 2021 year at $890,971, the amount of money the county received as its first disbursement of ARPA funds. The county’s second disbursement, $890,972, is expected to be received next year.
The two payments will total $1,781,942 for Ozark County. Funds have to be obligated by Dec. 31, 2024, and unexpended funds are not subjected to recapture or return until Dec. 31, 2026.
ARPA was signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11. The $1.9 trillion package is aimed at combating the covid-19 pandemic, including the public heath and economic impacts the country has felt.
As part of the ARPA funding, every county in the United States will receive “direct, flexible aid,” which cumulatively amounts to $65.1 billion.
This is the second round of covid-19 relief funding the county has received. In 2020, the county received $1,076,293 as part of the first covid-19 relief funding bill, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
County officials say that ARPA funds are much different in how they will be designated than CARES Act funding. They anticipate this funding will be aimed more at government infrastructure impacted by covid rather than direct funding for schools, municipalities and businesses that suffered due to the pandemic.