County devises list of how to spend ARP funds

Published 5:30 pm Friday, March 10, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

GATESVILLE – Gates County local government officials have complied a list of projects that are projected to be funded through the county’s share of the American Rescue Plan (ARP).

Those federal funds total $2,193,000 for the county. Certain guidelines are in place that control how the funds can be expended.

The list is topped by remote-read water meters ($1.2 million) followed by the county’s match for Broadband expansion ($500,000), technology upgrades ($200,000), purchase an Emergency Management vehicle ($90,000), repair or replace 15 fire hydrants throughout the county ($75,000), purchase 25 AEDs – Automated External Defibrillators ($62,500), hire a Grant Writer ($40,000), purchase new software for water billing ($15,000), and purchase two new computers and printers ($10,500).

At the March 1 special called meeting of the Gates County Commissioners, Scott Sauer, the interim County Manager, told the board that the federal government and the State of North Carolina are requiring every local government adopt a number of administrative policies regarding the ARP funds.

“Those policies are now in draft form. I hope to have them in your hands within 30 days, maybe sooner,” Sauer said.

The policies include records retention, eligible costs, allowable costs, civil rights compliance, and conflict of interest.

Those records are required to be retained for a period of at least five years after all funds have been expended.

He added that the board would need to take action in the next 30 to 60 days to adopt the policies.

“The board does have the flexibility to adjust that list,” Sauer said.

Commission Chair Dr. Althea Riddick noted that the person engaged to be the Records and Retention officer of these funds must keep accurate documentation of the ARP funds as they will be audited separately from the county’s normal annual auditing process.

“This list will probably be amended because these costs will be affected by inflation,” Riddick said. “We’re trying to make these non-reoccuring costs. We have to have all these funds obligated by December 2024 and expended by December 2026.”


About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

email author More by Cal