Clark County’s initial American Rescue Plan Act dollars to cover $1.38 million of pandemic revenue loss

Spending will also fund technology for the county’s dispatch center

The Board of Commissioners of Clark County authorized nearly $1.6 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to cover reimbursements for lost revenue and paid administrative leave, as well as to fund emergency medical dispatch cards.

This authorization is Clark County’s first round of relief spending through the $1.9 trillion ARP, which President Joe Biden signed into law in March, with $350 billion to be allocated to help local governments across the country reeling from pandemic impact.

Clark County government is allocated to receive $26 million, half of which came to the county in March. The county’s government will receive the rest of that money in June 2022, and it will have until the end of 2024 to allocate money for projects and expenditures. The deadline to spend that money is December 2026.

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A portion of ARPA funds can be used for fiscal recovery, and commissioners approved spending of ARP funds to reimburse the county for an estimated $1.38 million worth of lost revenue that resulted from the pandemic through Dec. 31, 2020. The amount of revenue lost by a county to the pandemic is determined by a formula created for ARPA that compares revenues from pre-pandemic years to revenue earned during the pandemic.

Clark County Public Information Office Michael Cooper told the News-Sun that the drop in sales tax revenue greatly contributed to the overall revenue lost during the pandemic, as much of Clark County was staying home. Overall, the sales tax generates roughly $9 million annually, and money collected from tax makes up roughly 60% of the county’s general fund.

The commissioners also authorized the use of ARPA funds for the reimbursement of employee paid administrative leave resulting from anytime between March 3 and June 2 of this year, totaling nearly $54,000. The county’s paid administrative leave included employees who tested positive for COVID-19, as well as employees who were ordered to quarantine by the Clark County Combined Health District.

ARPA funds were also authorized for the purchase of electronic Emergency Medical Dispatch cards for the County Computer Assisted Dispatch system at the county’s new dispatch center, expected to open in 2022 on Home Road in the former Clark County Department of Job and Family Services Children’s Home.

The EMD cards, which in total will cost $125,000, will “allow the County dispatchers to provide pre-EMS medical direction to the caller, including COVID-19 response plans and explication,” the commissioner meeting agenda said.

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By the numbers

$26M: Amount of money in American Rescue Plan Act funds allocated to Clark County

$1.6M: Initial Clark County disbursements form ARPA funds

$125,000: Amount allocated for emergency medical cards