Home Water fund Mayor rejects creation of plan for ARP funds

Mayor rejects creation of plan for ARP funds

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Thanks to the US bailout package promulgated in March by President Joe Biden, Seymour is expected to receive funding of $ 4.16 million to be used for coronavirus relief.

At Monday’s city council, two councilors asked Mayor Matt Nicholson what his intentions are for the incoming funds and if he intends to create a strategic plan for how the money will be used.

Nicholson rejected creating a plan until later this year.

“The big thing for me right now and the reason I don’t want to sit down and spend a ton of time drafting a finalized version is a lot like last year’s funding,” he said. “This week they will tell us that it is available for this. Then next week they will modify it again. Then we have to modify.”

Nicholson said it was possible for Seymour’s Clerk-Treasurer Darrin Boas to submit invoices towards the end of the plan creation process when some invoices could be submitted for “something at the very beginning” for the purpose. to complete the plan.

“We try to let it unfold for about six months to make sure (there’s) not a huge chance of chasing our tail as we go,” Nicholson said.

Councilor Bret Cunningham opened the conversation by asking what the mayor has in mind for a strategic plan for using ARP funds.

Based on the current uses of ARP funds, Nicholson said they could be used for the city’s sewer infrastructure.

However, they could not be used to expand broadband or to finance roads.

Due to the requirement for public nonprofits to provide data from 2019 to verify losses from the global pandemic, Nicholson said an agency had contacted him in the past two weeks to get ARP funding and then hadn’t heard from them.

Nicholson thought the ARP money could be used to try and raise funds to match grants such as the Indiana State Water Infrastructure Fund grant, a project in Mutton Creek, and another project to add a lifting station in the Pebblebrook Drive area.

Doug Gregory, deputy director of Seymour Water Pollution Control, said the Mutton Creek project is about replacing a sewer main that had problems with breaking strength. It runs along the south side of US 50 in state easement.

“There have been about seven breaks in that line in the last five or six years, and that’s a very large amount in such a short period of time,” he said.

When asked by City Councilor Drew Storey if Nicholson didn’t think there was a need to develop a strategy for ARP funds at this point, he said: “I think if we do, we throw darts at the wall. until they give us more advice. “

Storey then asked if Nicholson felt the communities that developed strategic plans for ARP were wasting their time.

“I really mean it,” Nicholson said. “I think they have a head start. I think if that happens and they’ve created some extra work, it might or might not be worth something in six months.”

As to when he expects a plan to be created regarding the use of ARP funds, Nicholson said he would guess it would be late fall.

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