Ottawa County wants to hear from residents about how to spend $57M

Ottawa County is asking for community feedback on how to spend $57 million in federal funding.

There's less than a week left to take a short survey that asks respondents to rank the categories of affordable housing, social and human services, countywide broadband and business stabilization. The survey also welcomes additional ideas. The questionnaire, available in English and Spanish, takes five to 10 minutes to complete and closes Aug. 1.

ARPA, short for American Rescue Plan Act, is federal aid intended to address the economic impacts of the pandemic and ensure a strong recovery. It was signed into law in March and includes billions in federal funding for state and local governments. 

Determined to use these one-time federal resources wisely, Ottawa County formed the American Rescue Plan Act Committee. Appointed by the Board of Commissioners, the committee is made up of 19 community members representing a cross-section of local public and private organizations. Its purpose is to guide the Board of Commissioners on how to spend the $57 million that the County will receive from ARPA. 

To further inform the funding process, Ottawa County is asking for community feedback through the survey. ARPA committee members have identified needs within their area of expertise and are helping county officials draft funding options and priorities. 

A dedicated website – miOttawa.org/arpa – outlines Ottawa County’s ARPA plan. It will be updated regularly. The county will begin accepting project applications for a first round of ARPA funding through the summer of 2022 based on the priority areas.

 

Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.