116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Linn supervisors to decide on ARPA funding next week instead of Wednesday
The board wants to give staff more time to receive supervisors’ funding lists
The Linn County Board of Supervisors will now vote next week on where to spend $13 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding.
The supervisors met during a work session Monday morning to briefly discuss where funding priorities lie. They were originally going to make final decisions this Wednesday. However, the board wanted to give county staff more than a full day to receive each supervisor’s individually proposed funding budgets and come back with suggestions that combine those lists.
The final ARPA funding decisions will be made during next Monday’s meeting at 11 a.m. in the Jean Oxley Public Services Building.
I know we have an extraordinary staff spending time on this while navigating many other big issues,” Supervisor Stacey Walker said. “I am happy we are nearing the end because I want to see the organizations actually receive the funds. Hopefully, we get this done on Monday.”
The applicants — among them not-for-profits and other local governments — have requested around $77 million.
Supervisor Louie Zumbach was the first to suggest moving the decision to next week to try to take some pressure off of county staff. Supervisors Stacey Walker and Ben Rogers agreed.
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“There are some organizations who might have better leverage to go out and raise money they don’t get (from ARPA) to make up for not getting the full amount,” Walker said. “I’d like to spend some time looking and finding that out.”
Some 53 eligible applications, totaling more than $34 million, remain unfunded from the first round of awards made in April. Since then, 72 more applications, totaling almost $43 million, have been submitted.
Some of the new applicants in round two include His Hands Free Clinic, Coe College, Indian Creek Nature Center, Marion Public Library Foundation and Mercy Medical Center.
The largest remaining request from round one — from the Cedar Rapids Public Library — is for $6 million. The money would help fund a new west-side library and opportunity center to replace the Ladd Library, which is leased and situated in a strip mall at 3750 Williams Blvd SW.
Some of the applicants that didn’t get funding in the first round include the Cedar Valley Humane Society, Affordable Housing Network, Kirkwood Community College, Prospect Meadows and the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, and cities including Ely, which is asking for a couple of million for sewer and water infrastructure projects.
“We appreciate the consideration in round two,” Ely Mayor Eldy Miller said Monday. “I do want to stress that both of our drinking and sewer projects are critical for our community. Any gap in funding does fall on our residents.”
Zumbach and Rogers said they did have some money distributed to Ely in their personal budget plans, but it’s unlikely the city will receive its total ask.
In the first round, earlier this year, the board distributed money in two categories:
- $5.5 million toward requests relating to social services, public health, affordable housing and capital investment.
- $5.5 million toward sewer and water infrastructure.
County Policy Director Darrin Gage said his staff would work under the assumption that the first category will receive the majority of the funding this time around, about $9 million to $10 million of the $13 million total.
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