Payne County Commissioners have posted surveys seeking public input on how to spend American Rescue Plan Act funds.
Payne County has already received $7.9 million in ARPA funds intended to bridge government shortfalls and mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The total amount will be $15.9 million. In November, commissioners approved hiring lawyers to help determine the legality of funding requests. There are 66 categories of authorized expenditures. They have created three survey sites.
“The Payne County Commissioners are asking for public input to identify needs and to suggest solutions for addressing the impacts of the ongoing pandemic,” a County release reads. “This information will be utilized by the County to develop a response and recovery strategy consistent with federal guidelines. You can give your feedback by going to the County’s website and social media pages and looking for the survey links: one for nonprofits and other organizations in the County; one for water, sewer, and broadband service providers, and one for general comment about water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.
According to the County release, nonprofits can go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZDHXSJJ to make requests.
“This survey's purpose is to learn about COVID-19's impact to our community and possible solutions to that impact ultimately resulting in a strong recovery for the County,” the release reads. “Data from the survey will be used in determining the priorities and needs of the community that the County is allowed to address under federal guidelines.”
The funds are limited, one-time use monies that must comply with guidance from the U.S. Treasury, according to the release, which stated that not all proposals will be advances, and for those awarded projects, payment will be made upon the completion of project only.
Organizations that provide services related to wasters water, stormwater infrastructure or broadband services can fill out the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VCFTZZ7.
For the general public, who might have comments or concerns, they can fill out the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DB6HGVX.
Responses will be accepted until Jan. 31. Prospective funds have to be encumbered by 2024, but wouldn’t have to be spent by 2026.