County, cities, and libraries receive share of ARPA money
Updated: Feb 2
Linn County government, cities in Linn County, and some libraries applied for and received American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) funds. The county and cities have received half of their amount in 2021 and will receive the other half in 2022. The libraries have already received their total amount. The approximate total amounts will be listed for the county, cities and libraries below.
As cities and other governments start deciding on what they will spend their ARPA funds on, here is a summary of what the county, cities and libraries have in mind for their funds.
The ARPA funds for counties and cities can be used for:
Revenue replacement for the provision of government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, relative to revenues collected in the most recent fiscal year prior to the emergency,
COVID-19 expenditures or negative economic impacts of COVID-19, including assistance to small businesses, households, and hard-hit industries, and economic recovery,
Premium pay for essential workers,
Investments in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.
Most of the discussion by the Linn County commission for the county’s total amount of approximately $1.88 million has been on broadband expansion, especially for the west side of the county. Some water districts have asked about the funds, but according to the Southeast Kansas Regional Planning Commission (SEKRPC), the funds for water districts are only available for feasibility studies not for the actual installation of water lines.
Linn County is also looking at a walking floor trailer for the transfer station. This trailer would allow the employees to sort out the trash that is dumped by haulers on the floor with less chance of exposure to dangerous materials.
Cities look to pay for a variety of projects
The city of La Cygne will receive approximately $171,000. City Clerk Jodi Wade said that the city council has decided to use the money toward revitalizing the community building or building a public safety building.
The city has committed nearly $170,000 of the money as a match for another grant that will allow the revitalizing of the community building into a larger meeting room and smaller spaces that could be used by home-based businesses for client meetings, entrepreneurs selling products and even larger indoor markets.
The city also wants to continue using the building as a heating and cooling center for residents during times of weather extremes, said Wade. If they do not receive that grant, they will be looking at adding that money to other grants to build a public safety building.
Linn Valley’s approximate amount of funding will be $132,000. City Clerk Karen Siffring reported that the city has a couple of projects in mind, including utility infrastructure and some COVID- 19 related projects.
Mound City will be receiving an approximate total of $103,000 and the council is still working on what projects they will use it for.
Parker will receive an approximate total of $42,000. City Clerk Cherry Buckley said that the city council is still deciding on projects they will use their funds on.
Pleasanton will receive approximately $177,000. City Manager Teresa Whitaker said that they have spent part of the money on a large sewer repair project. Other projects may include improving water service and purchasing generators for the four sewer lift stations so that they can operate when the power goes out.
Prescott City Clerk Kathy Wood said that the city had received approximately $41,000. She said the city had not made a final decision on spending the funds but were looking at digital water meters.
Many libraries applied for ARPA money
ARPA funds for libraries can be used for the following projects:
Support digital inclusion efforts to enable libraries to reach residents such as through internet hotspots, accessible Wi-Fi, and digital content and related resources, particularly in support of education, health, and workforce development needs;
Provide rapid emergency relief to libraries, allowing them to safely respond to the pandemic and implement public health protocols;
And support library services that meet the needs of their communities.
La Cygne Library will received $25,000. Part of the money has been used on the Percussion Play in front of the library and the StoryWalk project at the park. Librarian Janet Reynolds said that the library also purchased three AWE computers for children.
The AWE computers are safe, stand alone computers that are not connected to the Internet. They are age appropriate, engaging and academically relevant. They are designed to support school readiness and technology access. The library also purchased user licenses so that these computers could be checked out of the library.
Mound City Library received approximately $14,000. Library Director Regi Casner said that the grant funds have allowed the library to purchase a solar powered bench with a recharging station that will allow patrons to recharge their electronic devices outside, 24/7, as well as extend the library’s wifi reach throughout the library’s entire parking lot.
With the grant the library has also purchased a children’s outdoor picnic table, a mobile bookcase for picture books, along with new books and additional technology that will allow the library to offer more virtual programming.
Prescott Library received $1,175. Library Director Ginny Clarke said the library used the money to buy books on starting home businesses like eBay, Etsy, and others.
The Blue Mound, Parker and Pleasanton libraries opted not to apply for ARPA funds However, Parker Library did receive a redesigned website and ongoing website assistance with ARPA funds from the Southeast Kansas Library System .
Pleasanton Library Director Wendy Morlan said that they had received several other grants in 2021.