Clark County officials are using the county’s $26.1 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds to complete or start 41 projects within the county.
Ethan Harris, the economic development director for Clark County, said the county’s specially-designed ARPA committee decided that spreading funds to more projects would bring “the largest impact” to Clark County and its communities.
Of its planned ARPA expenditures, 10 of them come with a price tag of $1 million or more. Harris said the projects were selected based on the needs of Clark County, including issues that were highlighted by the pandemic’s impact.
“The pandemic created many challenges throughout our community — including homelessness, mental health, housing, hiring, retention, reentry and broadband access among others,” said Clark County spokesman Michael Cooper.
Cooper said Clark County aims to use ARPA funds to address as many of those issues as it can.
On housing, the county has invested in its homelessness taskforce, emergency housing assistance programs, and a $1 million allocation toward the county’s land bank for affordable housing.
Also, $2.4 million was allocated for mental health services, along with a new mental health professional position at the county jail, which was accompanied by investments into reentry services.
Credit: Bill Lackey
Credit: Bill Lackey
The county’s largest single-item expenditure was a $3 million investment into Phase II of the county’s attempt to increase broadband access in partnership with Spectrum.
Cooper told the Springfield News-Sun that Phase I connected over 400 homes to broadband. Phase II of the project will require additional outside funding, but eventually Clark County plans to bring better internet access to 1,000 county addresses. Meanwhile, the county put up another $2.2 million to connect its administrative buildings to fiber networks.
The county directed up to $2.5 million to reimburse the county for 911 dispatching costs incurred between March of 2021 through the end of this year, according to the official resolution. Clark County’s new $7 million 911 communications center is expected to be up and running this year.
Other notable investments include $1 million into new offices at Clark County Fairgrounds, $2 million into the stormwater system along Enon-Xenia Road, $1 million toward street improvements on Spangler Road, and administrative costs, including a $2.2 million allocation toward retention bonuses.
The county also directed $1.4 million in ARPA funds to stay in the county’s general fund, citing revenue loss over the course of the pandemic.
Clark County’s website has an updated list with all ARPA spending resolutions available to the public. Per federal rules, all funds need to be allocated by the end of 2024 and fully spent by the end of 2026.
Editor’s Note: This story is part of a newspaper series tracking how dozens of our area’s largest governments are spending hundreds of millions of dollars combined from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Visit our “Billions in COVID aid: Where it’s going” special section on our partner newspaper’s website at daytondailynews.com/investigations/billions-in-covid-aid to see summaries from other communities.
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