by Michael Howell
The Ravalli County Commissioners have already received about half the $8,495,904 due the county under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The second half will arrive in May or June, according to Ravalli County Chief Financial Officer Klarryse Murphy. At a meeting on March 28, Murphy presented a summary of how the money could be allocated.
A portion of the funding could be used to cover past expenditures on allowable costs, $34,359.87 worth of expenditures through 2021 and $196,846.33 through March 8, 2022. Murphy also identified capital purchases that were made in 2021 and 2022 that the commissioners could reclassify as ARPA expenditures totaling $932,264.96. Some additional “capital-type” items totaling $728,770 were also identified, as well as some “committed budgetary items” that would extend into future budgets, totaling $445,294.51 over the next four fiscal years. It also contained $1,834,000 to spend on a Wish List of other allowable expenditures.
Expenses paid thru 2021 $34,359.87
Expenses paid thru 3/8/2022. $196,846.33
Reclassify 2021 capital purchases $330,344.78
Reclassify 2022 capital purchases $601,920.18
Committed capital-type items $728,770.00
Committed budgetary items FY 22 $49,705.18
Committed budgetary items FY 23 $150,814.22
Committed budgetary items FY 24 $161,556.73
Committed budgetary items FY 25 $83,218.38
WISH LIST $1,834,000.00
A rough break down into specifics of where the funds would go looks like this:
Road Department $1,513,186.51
Sheriff’s Office $646,778.69
Env Health/Planning $121,546.50
INFO TECH $66,157.19
Justice Court #1 $3,044.00
Justice Court #2 $3,739.00
Board of Commissioners $9,750.00
TEDD (revolving loan fund) $1,753,282.00
Human Resources $24,681.21
Weed Control $36,700.00
Public Health Nurse $1,066,983.53
District Court $50,000.00
According to Murphy, if all the suggested allocations were made, there would be $2,571,086.34 remaining in the fund.
The commissioners looked at a Wish List of proposals for the remaining funds, rejecting some and accepting some. They decided that a new generator for the Administration Building was not a priority. They agreed that a scissor lift for the Fairgrounds was a good idea, but rejected the idea of a boom lift. They nixed the idea of a new Road Office but agreed that a wash barn at the road department was a priority. A remodel of the District Court that Judge Jennifer Lint has lobbied strongly for was discussed. They questioned the $50,000 price tag, suggesting that it may be underestimated. They thought it was worth possibly getting some sort of bid. Commissioner Greg Chilcot stated that the proposed new building to house the Public Health Nurse office as well as additional offices was a high priority.
Murphy told the commissioners that they would need to commit to the ARPA spending by June 24th and make the expenditures by the 26th.