LIMA — Allen County commissioners met Monday to discuss how they might spend $19.8 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to address needs across the county.
Several agencies have requested a portion of the funds to assist in their individual projects.
Commissioners met with Homeland Security Director Tom Berger and Allen County Auditor Rachael Gilroy to discuss potential funding. In order to use funds, each program must meet the criteria for approval.
The Ohio Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is an organization that serves as an agency to oversee the planning, recovery, response and mitigation of major disasters/emergencies that occur within Allen County. Berger requested an upgraded communications bus and WebEOC to assist in emergency response.
“The WebEOC is a mobile platform that will allow us to connect with emergency personnel in Allen County,” Berger said. “This will allow us to track resources, status updates and capacity at shelters. We requested $50,000 in funds from the county. WebEOC is a new product locally, but the state of Ohio has a system we are going off of.”
Gilroy requested funds from Lima and Allen County ARPA funds for the Land Bank program. Gilroy requested $500,000 from the county and $500,000 from the city to aid in grant funding. This new program within the land bank would allow owner-occupied properties to receive renovations for roof repair, window replacement and plumbing issues.
“The land bank is known for demolition, but this funding would expand opportunities to revitalize the county,” Gilroy said. “I’m so excited about what it could do. Gives me chills just thinking about it.”
Gilroy is set to meet with Mayor Sharetta Smith on July 21 to present the plan.
In addition to potential ARPA funds, Speaker Bob Cupp announced the Land Bank will receive $500,00 in funding through the Ohio Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program.
The programs presented have not yet been approved by the Allen County commissioners for funding. They will continue to discuss potential programs to fund and decide at a later date.
According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, ARPA was approved federally as a $350 billion dollar plan to aid in response to COVID. Allen County was granted more than $19.8 million to address needs across the county.