County consider options for American Rescue Plan funds

The final stipulations regarding American Rescue Plan funds have been issued, and the result is good news for St. Joseph County.

County administrator Teresa Doehring told commissioners Tuesday that the county’s $11 million awarded last year comes with fewer strings attached than what originally was stated.

Doehring said a steering committee, formed last spring to plan the best use of the funds, will reconvene next week and develop a strategy, knowing more clearly the parameters it has to work with.

Commissioners last year indicated a need for stronger broadband countywide ranks high on their list of priorities. Doehring, meanwhile, said she is aware other government entities are considering using the funds to make up for budget shortfalls created as a result of COVID-caused lost revenue. She further noted the funds can be put toward matching grants, offering some potentially attractive parlays.

Doehring said the county has three years to spend the funds.

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