County commission discusses allocation of portion of Rescue Plan funds

St. Joseph County officials appear to have some momentum regarding an allocation of their American Rescue Plan Act funds.

During their monthly board meeting Tuesday, county commissioners discussed various options regarding a $1 million allocation of an $11.8 million windfall received through the American Rescue Plan Act.

It seems commissioners are going to make funds available to local entities, not-for-profit agencies and organizations on a case-by-case basis. Though they did not vote on a plan Tuesday, commissioners directed administrator Teresa Doehring to further review options with Tim Dempsey, of Lansing-based Public Sector Consultants, in hopes of developing a plan. The county hired PSC last year to help navigate it through the process of how to effectively use ARPA funds.

Doehring said she will inquire with Dempsey about the feasibility of a competitive-bid process, wherein prospective recipients would submit to commissioners a funding request and explanation of how the funds would be used.

Essentially, commissioners have indicated they would like to see projects that provide the greatest benefit for the most people.

Doehring indicated it could be fall before commissioners ultimately decide how they will allocate the $1 million.

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