Fiscal court holds work session to consider ARPA requests

Published 11:08 am Thursday, October 5, 2023

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The Jessamine County Fiscal Court recently held a work session to discuss the remaining American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) requests from different county entities and private individuals.

The county received a one-time ARPA payment of $10,511,204

In December 2022, the Journal reported that the magistrates of the court allocated $468,787 of the ARPA funds for the following purposes:

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$55,000 was allocated to purchase a new boat for water rescue operations.

$33,352 was earmarked for a gravel lot at the City/County Park to expand parking for the baseball field.

$275,323.06 was allocated for COVID premium pay for eligible government employees. Two hundred twenty-nine workers received premium pay. This allocation has been completely spent.

The fiscal court invested $8 million of the ARPA funds in treasury bills, investments sold by the federal government.

To access this $8 million, the fiscal court worked with its financial advisor, Ross Sinclaire Associates (RSA), to receive scheduled payouts in three, six, nine, and 12 months. Since it has been nearly a year, the court has already taken out and reinvested the remaining funds multiple times. The total amount of ARPA funds left is about $8.5 million.

According to ARPA guidelines, government entities must obligate the received ARPA funds by Dec. 31, 2024, and the funds must be entirely spent by those who received them by Dec. 31, 2026.

Current ARPA requests

At the beginning of the workshop meeting, Jessamine County Judge-Executive David West told magistrates to rate all the requests on a scale of one to five- one being the least desirable and five being the most desirable.

From this, West wants to compile a list of the ones with the most support and the least support from the magistrates. The requests are to be further discussed by the magistrates and West in the future, but decisions have yet to be made in this meeting.

Some requests for projects, such as the ones from the Jessamine County Clerk and the Sheriff’s office, have undetermined amounts for their requests.

“It would be nice, as far as I’m concerned, to keep a reserve still till we can get some firmer numbers like for the John Preece Park project,” West said.

The following lists are the requests being considered by the Fiscal Court:

• Jessamine County EMS requests $40,000 for a safe haven baby box, although the price is thought to be much lower now.

• Jessamine County Sheriff is requesting $250,000 for a firearm training complex.

• Jessamine County EMS requests an undetermined amount for a new EMS station in north Jessamine County.

• Jessamine County Sheriff is requesting $78,500 for FLOCK license plate readers.

• Jessamine County Sheriff/EMS requests $296,683 for a heavily armored rescue vehicle. Right now, the department only has lightly armored vehicles.

• Jessamine County Sheriff is requesting $34,000 for VR training.

• Jessamine County Animal Care & Control requests $40,000 for new kennel doors.

• Jessamine County Animal Care & Control is requesting $39,302.50 for floors.

• Jessamine County Animal Care & Control requests $20,000 for a county barn and paddock fence for any barn animals they find.

• Jessamine Youth Baseball requests $500,000 for a covered batting cage and concessions overhaul.

• Jessamine County Emergency Management Agency requests $250,000 for a command and communications emergency trailer.

• Jessamine County Occupational Tax Department requests $270,000 to overhaul the department’s filing system to an electronic one.

• Jessamine County Occupational Tax Department is requesting $50,000-100,000 to hire a qualified professional to assist the department in reviewing and developing occupational tax administrative regulations.

• Jessamine Youth Football is requesting $20,000 for repairs to its facility.

• Jessamine County Attorney is requesting $23,841.11 for an office security upgrade.

• Jessamine County/Wilmore Joint Planning is requesting $1.3 million to prevent residential construction in the floodway by buying the property in the floodway.

• Jessamine County Sheriff is requesting $322,724.20 for a radio communications infrastructure upgrade.

• Jessamine County Fleet requests $1,011,000 for six sheriff’s cruisers, three EMS ambulances, one EMS remount, and 3 EMS chase vehicles to avoid a possible vehicle shortage due to the United Auto Workers strike.

• Jessamine County Road Department is requesting $950,500 for road department equipment.

• Jessamine County Senior Center is requesting $12,250 for senior center upgrades.

• Magistrate Terry Meckstroth requests an undetermined amount for road improvements in his district.

• Magistrate Kent Slusher is requesting an undetermined amount for road improvements.

• Anna Roberts-Smith is requesting $7,700 for a baby box.

• John Gill is requesting $500,000 for Jessamine County Internet Improvements.

• The Jessamine County Detention Center requests $155,000 for facility-wide improvements, many in the kitchen.