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How do you think Scott County should spend $33.6 million in federal funds?

Scott County will host two public comment sessions this month on the proposed spending of nearly $34 million in federal ARPA funds.
Credit: WQAD

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Scott County asked the public to share opinions on how the county should utilize the $33.6 million in federal funding it received through the American Rescue Plan Act.

Two "community conversations" will be held in October to provide county residents the opportunity to comment on proposed spending plans, according a news release from Scott County Supervisor Ken Croken.

The first comment session will be held 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13 at the Fairmount Street Branch of the Davenport Public Library, located at 3000 N. Fairmount St. The second session will be 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20 at the main Scott County Library System building, located at 200 N. 6th Avenue in Eldridge.

ARPA, according to the U.S. Department of Treasury, was launched to deliver $350 billion to eligible state, local, territorial and tribal governments nationwide to address economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and start the recovery process.

The department stated allocated funds may be used to:

  • Support public health expenditures.
  • Address negative economic impacts caused by the pandemic.
  • Replace lost public sector revenue.
  • Provide premium pay for essential workers.
  • Invest in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.

Within these guidelines, Scott County has flexibility to decide how best benefit its community through the funds.

Prior to public input, Scott County staff propose the following projects:

  • $11.6 million for Parkview storm water drainage.
  • $5 million for Mount Joy storm sewers.
  • $4.5 million to help expand the Juvenile Detention Center.
  • $3 million for air handling systems at the county's Administrative Center.
  • $3 million for Salvation Army services to the homeless.
  • $2 million for Scott County Park improvements.
  • $1.6 million for sewer line extension on Locust Street.
  • $1 million to the county for administrative costs of distributing the federal funds.

Citing the intention of the ARPA funding was to benefit the community, Croken, in the release, said he would host the public input sessions because he didn't believe the county's proposed plans accomplished that goal.

"The American Rescue Plan Act funds provide our community with a unique, one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make smart decisions that benefit the entire county and especially those most adversely affected by the pandemic," Croken said in the release. "This is 'public' money and a 'public' decision. The County board needs to listen."

How do you think the county should use the funds? Comment below.

The nearly $34 million in federal ARPA funds was intended to address economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and start the recovery process in Scott County.

Posted by WQAD on Friday, October 8, 2021

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