Lee County Sets Work Session on ARPA

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BY. HANNAH LESTER

HLESTER@OPELIKAOBSERVER.COM

LEE COUNTY —

The Lee County Commission discussed two items relating to the American Rescue Plan Act funding during Monday night’s commission meeting.

Firstly, District 1 Commissioner Doug Cannon led a discussion on the categories for the ARPA funds.

“Commissioner Ham mentioned here a while back about having several work sessions on these ARPA funds,” Cannon said. “I’d like to see each commissioner comes up with five different categories, or six or whatever it is, and then let us sit down and have a work session and discuss each one of them. Because, I’m sure, between the five of us, two or three of the items we pick are going to be the same.”

Lee County has $32 million in ARPA funds to spend in ways that will benefit COVID-19 recovery.

Ways the money can be used include grant programs, infrastructure (water, sewer, broadband), vaccine programs, PPE, mortgage assistance, rehiring employees that were let go due to COVID-19 and more.

The commission voted to set a work session to discuss these funds on May 23 at 5 p.m.

“Commissioner Cannon, I think that’s a great idea,” said District 5 Commissioner Richard LaGrand. “The other thing I like about it is the opportunity to distribute and disperse the funds evenly.”

The commission also approved a resolution and agreement to participate in the IAC Joint Bidding Program.

The Investing in Alabama Counties program is part of the Association of County Commissions of Alabama.

The commission first voted to approve the county’s participation in the IAC program in December 2021.

“This can also help us save money with the ARPA funds when we get to a point where we’re allocating,” said County Administrator Holly Leverette.

This program will help make sure that the county is providing and allocating the money legally since there are so many regulations in place on how the money can be spent.

OTHER BUSINESS:

– The commission approved two representatives for District 1 on the Lee County Planning Commission.

– The commission approved a resolution and agreement for the county to participate in the IAC Joint Bidding Program.

– The commission approved the final plat approval for the Oliver Trails Phase V-B Subdivision

– The commission approved an agreement with Soft-Pak Software Solutions for the Environmental Services Department for routing, customer management, productivity and billing for the new solid waste plan.

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