Government

City OKs spending plan for pandemic-relief funds

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A plan for how the city will invest its portion of funds from the American Rescue Plan Act received unanimous approval Monday by the full Crawfordsville Common Council.

The seven-member board approved a resolution that outlines how the city’s allotment of pandemic relief money will be spent. The $3.6 million investment plan focuses on assisting families and youth, small businesses and nonprofits and offers aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel and hospitality.

The ARPA was signed into law in March 2021. It established the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund to provide resources to local governments to assist with recovery efforts related to COVID-19 public health emergency. The city’s first allocation totaling $1.8 million was received in July 2021. The remainder of the federal funds are expected to be distributed this year.

The local investment plan specifically focuses on four main areas — sewer infrastructure, children and youth, tourism support and business assistance.

As outlined in the resolution, the plan provides funds for the following areas and projects:

Sewer Infrastructure

• Big Four Arch Road Sewer Extension, $33,942

• U.S. 231S Sewer Extension, $277,800

Total: $610,742

Children and Youth

• Montgomery County Childcare Coalition, $100,000

• Boys & Girls Club After School Program, $75,000

• Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau, $75,000

• Fusion 54 Studio Equipment for High School Program, $50,00

Total: $300,000

Tourism Support

• Wayfinding Project, $306,000

• Canine Plaza Fountain Replacement, $200,000

• Cornerstone Event Center, $75,000

• Montgomery County 4-H Grounds Improvements, $75,000

Total: $656,000

Business Assistance

• Main Street Technical Assistance/Business, $100,000

Total: $100,000

Grand Total: $1,666,742

An ordinance to appropriate the pandemic relief funds also was unanimously approved on first reading. Two additional readings are necessary before it can be adopted.

In other business, the council:

• Re-lected Andy Biddle as council president for 2022.

• Tabled an ordinance vacating a portion of Old Oak Hill Road directly in front of 907 Lafayette Ave.

• Re-appointed Dan Rogers and Conrad Harvey to the Redevelopment Commission for a one-year term.

Appointments for fire commissioner, Board of Zoning Appeals and Animal Welfare League have yet to be filled.

• Heard from councilman Mike Reidy regarding the state of COVID-19 infections in the community.

“Things are getting worse not better, and I look around and see that most public servants in the room, whether they are elected or appointed do not have masks on, and I want to state that I don’t think it’s a political statement to wear or not wear a mask, but is a public health statement. And I think people in the public eye should be wearing a mask.”

Mayor Todd Barton responded that the mask decision is being handled by the individual city departments because each department and situation is different. Barton also noted that the city receives regular updates from health department regarding the virus.

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