Jones County Board of Supervisors discuss ARPA money allocations

Allocation of funds discussed in Jones County
Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 11:37 PM CST
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LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - The American Rescue Plan Act gave Jones County $13.2 million dollars.

The Board of Supervisors were able to count $10 million as loss revenue.

That left the supervisors with $3.2 million dollars to allocate.

Chief Administrative Officer Danielle Ashley, said specific guidelines on how to spend ARPA money.

“We have to be so careful to stay in compliance with the federal regulations,” Ashley said. “Obviously, this money is going to allow us to do projects that we otherwise probably could not do.”

Several projects have been parked in the county’s wheelhouse for a bit now, including future economic opportunities and helping out local law enforcement,” Ashley said.

”(We’ve) “committed $200,000 to the Laurel-Jones County Welcome Center, which is right off of Leontyne Price Boulevard,” she said. “We have allocated $800,000 to police cars because there’s a part of the act that says if you have an increase in violence through the time period of COVID that you can use it on public safety.”

One project will help take the burden off taxpayers by renovating the Pine Belt Regional Airport.

“They’re not having to pay for HVAC replacement or those courthouses,” she said. “Same with some of these other projects, like the sheriff’s vehicles or water-and-sewer improvements at the regional airport.

However, the money has to be allocated by 2024 and spent by the end of 2026, all while making the most of the financial opportunity.

“It’s a benefit to the county, there’s no doubt,” Ashley said. “It’s just, we want to make sure that we stay in compliance with all those federal regulations because if we don’t, we could end up returning the money because we will be audited eventually on it.”

Right now the Jones County Board of Supervisors has not made any decisions.

However, the board is discussing bids for the ventilation system in the Ellisville courthouse.

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