County Commissioners discuss ARPA funds

3 mins read

FARMINGTON — Of the $5.9 million American Rescue Plan Act funds allocated for Franklin County, $1.1 million has been committed for a variety of projects.

There are several requests for funding that have been reviewed and put on a list for consideration at a later date, including LEAP, the Farmington Grange, the Salem Fire Department, the Healthy Community Coalition, and Seniors Plus. Improvements to the County Courthouse were also tabled for the time being.

In addition, proposals are being developed for improvements to the county wide communications system and a design for a multi-function County Government office space.

The sewer system at the county jail is still in progress, as is the World War One memorial project.

A design project for a medical space addition to the county jail is out for bid. The bids for the security system at the jail came back, but the commissioners requested that other county jails be surveyed to get a feel for the pros and cons of the companies that bid on the project. Both bids were somewhat higher than the already approved price.

Projects already approved totaled $1,119,638.96.

Projects related to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and the county jail include a septic system design and construction for FCSO for a total of $11,643.75; engineering of the drainage system at the jail for $9,550; engineering of the septic tank design at the jail for $1,087.50; hybrid vehicles and equipment for FCSO for $242,765; body armor plates for FCSO for $5,410.67; engineering and design for medical space at the jail for $38,000; fueling system security upgrades for $16,250; and up to $290,600 initially for the jail security system.

There were a variety of technology related projects approved, such as a time clock system for $13,494.44; a portable cart and computer screen with a camera for $6,954.37; a back up tape system for $8,401.49; four laptops for the county offices for $3,160.84; a server upgrade for $41,198.52; and an IT upgrade for software for $70,870.

COVID-19 hazard pay stipends for Franklin County employees, including payroll taxes, totaled $194,846.50. Legal fees in September and October 2021 eligible for ARPA funds came up to $4,434.50, and miscellaneous expenses including wages for the ARPA coordinator, office supplies, postage, and the ARPA webpage added to $9,892.38.

Ortho-imaging for both the UT and the county, with a matching grant from the state, was $40,382. The Safe Voices project requested $75,000 and the commissioners granted $50,000. Broadband for Washington Township and Perkins Plantation was covered with $200,000 from the TIF and $40,292 from ARPA. The WW1 Teague Memorial Arch Project was approved for $20,000 initially with up to $20,000 additional funds available with commissioners’ approval.

As of May 3, the county has approximately $4.7 million in ARPA funds remaining.

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