On June 16, Gov. Andy Beshear announced the second round of funds to be distributed from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), totaling over $162 million to more than 360 non-entitlement cities — those with populations under 50,000 people.
The funds are to be used to help offset expenses related to COVID-19, which includes the cost of personal protective equipment (PPE), vaccination clinics, loss of revenue, payroll and more.
“COVID has proven that Kentucky can rise to meet challenges when we work together,” Beshear said. “This funding will set eligible city governments up for success as we remain committed to building a better Kentucky.”
The funds distributed totaled $162,101,603.
Cities in Hancock, McLean, Muhlenberg and Ohio counties received the funds, with many of them planning to use the money to improve issues surrounding water infrastructure.
The city of Calhoun received $98,075.95, which mayor Ron Coleman was “really thankful” for.
Coleman said the money will help combat the continuous challenges with the city’s water and sewage systems, which Coleman estimates were installed in the 1920s and 1930s.
“When I took office, we were losing about 65% of our water through either leaks or population; we weren’t selling as much as we were using,” he said. “We’re somewhere down near 30%, and our target is to get it under 15%, which is kind of considered (the) standard loss.”
The city of Island plans to use its $60,261.92 for water projects such as installing generators to help keep its wastewater plant running during inclement weather and power issues, while taking care of water wells that have not been decommissioned and replacing water meters.
“We have several projects that we would love to be able to get on the books and get completed,” Island mayor Vicki Hughes said. “(This) is going to help us tremendously.”
The cities of Livermore and Sacramento also received $172,234.19 and $58,792.12 respectively in funds.
In total, the county received $389,364.18.
For Hartford mayor George Chinn, the $364,243.92 his city received will continue to help in a number of ways — with much of the emphasis being on remodeling the city’s water storage tank.
“It’s been a real boom to the city of Hartford, because it’s allowed us to do some (needed) projects that otherwise we wouldn’t be able to do,” Chinn said.
Hughes and Chinn also plan to use the funds on other needs.
Hughes is eyeing maintenance repairs, such as repaving city hall’s parking lot and installing new equipment at both the city park and ball field. Chinn hopes to use some of the city’s funds to work on the city park that “has been neglected for years.”
The city of Greenville plans to use the funding for other means.
Leslie Cornette, Greenville’s city administrator, said the allotment of $561,732 will be used in the “most responsible way,” with road infrastructure, such as paving and bridge repair and replacement, high on its to-do list.
“Our water area is a little separate from the city, and they have their own ways to receive money in that way,” she said, “so they’ve got their own plan for grant dollars for that purpose.”
Cornette said some of the city’s first round of funding helped build its Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant playground at Morgan Memorial Park — the first of its kind in Muhlenberg County.
Paul Sandefur, mayor of Beaver Dam, said that while his city plans to alleviate septic issues in a subdivision outside the city limits, it hasn’t been entirely decided how the city will distribute its $477,151.51, other than using it effectively and for long-term good.
“These are one-time funds, and I don’t want to spend it on something that we normally do anyway,” he said. “I want it to be (on) some projects to where in 5 to 10 years from now, we can look back and see where it’s making a difference in the community.”