Louisa County to use bailout funds for government services | Muscat

JIM RUDISIL

WAPELLO — Louisa County’s $2.14 million allocation from the U.S. federal bailout will be used for general government services, but no specific projects have been selected, the County Board of Supervisors agreed Tuesday. Louisa.

Under this category, the county could allocate the funds to a wide variety of projects that are not related to a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic effects.

County Auditor Sandi Sturgell told the board he had that option because the county’s allocation from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program was less than $10 million.

The SLFRF was created to provide state, local and tribal governments with financial assistance to replace lost revenue. An Interim Final Rule implementing the SLFRF was issued by the United States Department of Treasury in 2021. It provided authorization for counties to allocate up to $10 million of their total SLFRF allocation as as lost revenue to spend on government services.

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Supervisors and Sturgell quickly began compiling a list of projects they thought might be candidates for funding, including sidewalks and other surfacing repairs to the courthouse, annex, and county complex; the courthouse windows, the air conditioners during the digitization of the complex public records, the renovation of the sheriff’s office and other works.

Supervisor Brad Quigley said after the meeting that the funds could help supervisors decide the fate of the old Louisa County Jail. He pointed out that the roof had started to leak and that mold had become a problem in the century-old building, which had been vacant for several years.

Although the supervisors passed a resolution approving the use of the funds as lost revenue to be spent on government services, the actual decision on what those funds will be spent on will have to wait.

Sturgell said any spending still made in fiscal year 2022 would need to be part of a budget amendment to cover additional spending she’s compiled from various county departments.

Funds must be allocated by 2025, officials said.

In another action, Louisa County Emergency Management Agency (LCEMA) Coordinator Brian Hall updated the board on activities related to emergency management, E911 and security.

He said a meeting was held on April 14 with stakeholders involved in the proposed rail merger of Canadian Pacific (CP) and Kansas City Southern (KCS) railways.

According to previous reports, the merger will cause the number of trains passing through Louisa County to increase from about five to about 19 per day. He said representatives from Columbus Junction, Fredonia, Letts and LCEMA attended the meeting, as well as a community relations and hazmat officer from CP and a crossing officer from the Iowa Department of Transportation. (DOWRY).

This meeting was followed on April 19 by the second meeting of the Louisa Emergency Preparedness Committee (LEPC). Hall said the meeting focused on the current open window for public comment on the merger and grant funding.

He also reported that a tank car incident training exercise would be held May 14 at the Louisa County Fairgrounds.

In his E911 report, he said a grant was submitted to help fund new 911 radio consoles at the county dispatch department, but if the grant fails, other funding options may be needed for aging units. current.

Ashley C. Reynolds