Supervisors OK vetting process for ARPA fund requests
By Jalen Maki
Tomahawk Leader Editor
MERRILL – The Lincoln County Board of Supervisors during its meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 17 passed a resolution approving a process to assess requests for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.
According to the resolution, Lincoln County is the recipient of $5.36 million dollars in ARPA funds from the federal government and is directed by the Federal Treasury to utilize allocated funds within specific context and provisions. The county must account for all expenditures made with ARPA funds, and any funds that are not spent under federal parameters must be repaid and “could include sanctions for misuse,” the resolution said.
The expenditures will likely be subject to a future federal audit.
In order to ensure the county follows federal guidelines, the board established a three-step vetting process for ARPA spending requests.
First, requests will be reviewed by the ARPA Project Team, comprised of Administrative Coordinator/HR Director Cate Wylie, Corporation Counsel Karry Johnson, Finance Director Dan Leydet, and County Board Chair Kevin Koth. The team will “ensure requests fit the provisions set out by the Federal Treasury as appropriate usage for ARPA funds,” according to the resolution.
If a request is approved by the ARPA Project Team, it will move to ARPA Joint Committee, made of the county’s Administrative & Legislative and Finance & Insurance committees. The ARPA Joint Committee will meet on a quarterly basis.
Finally, if the request clears the ARPA Joint Committee, it will go before the county board for final approval.
According to University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension, states and localities can use ARPA funds for “Revenue replacement for the provision of government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, relative to revenues collected in the most recent fiscal year prior to the emergency; COVID-19 expenditures or negative economic impacts of COVID-19, including assistance to small businesses, households, hard-hit industries, and economic recovery; premium pay for essential workers; and investments in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.”