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Cities and organizations submit applications as Boone County ARPA funds deadline nears


The deadline to submit applications to Boone County for the first round of American Rescue Plan funding is fast approaching and more than 20 organizations and local governments have so far asked for a chunk of the $15 million available.

The deadline to apply for that money is 5 p.m. Friday, March 31.

Some notable applications so far include:

  • The Boone County Regional Sewer District is requesting more than $7 million to improve the Midway area wastewater treatment plant.
  • The Southern Boone County Fire Protection District is requesting nearly $400,000 to replace breathing apparatuses.
  • The City of Hallsville is requesting more than $300,000 to test water for lead and copper and for public safety.
  • The Boone County Nature School is requesting $200,000 for infrastructure.
  • In2Action is requesting $1.5 million for a community enrichment project.

The money comes from the American Rescue Plan Act, passed in 2021 as a stimulus package during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Boone County Regional Sewer District intends to use the money to build a new sewage treatment plant west of Columbia, in order to comply with the Department of Natural Resources standards. The DNR has made it mandatory that wastewater be disinfected and cannot contain ammonia.

Sewer District General Manager Tom Raterman said in receiving this money, the district will be able to keep customer utility bills from increasing. This is because if it is not granted the money, it'll need to borrow a loan. In order to pay back that loan, it would hike up utility bill prices.

"When you talk about affordable housing, it’s not just the cost of the mortgage or the rent that makes housing affordable," Raterman said. "It’s also utility bills, and so anything that the ARPA funding can do to help hold down utility bills and this will help hold down utility bills... benefits a large segment of the county population.”

The City of Hallsville also submitted four requests to the county for money. In those requests, the City hopes to receive money to fix sidewalks in its parks, to buy a new dump truck and for a vacuum trailer.

The DNR also made it mandatory that all water be tested for lead across the entire state of Missouri by October of next year. Hallsville administrator Kenyetta Ridgway said the vacuum would help them to test the water more efficiently.

"Instead of hand digging, you would use that vacuum trailer to dig down and look at the pipe that goes into the meter"

Boone County Presiding Commissioner Kip Kendrick said the process for reviewing, and deciding who receives funds will take months. After the deadline, an ARPA application review team will meet the following Monday to review the applications.

The entire month of April will consist of continuing to review the applications, as well as reaching out to any organizations for clarifying questions. A final decision is expected to be made in early June.

Although the county has $15 million to divide among the organizations, Kendrick said all of it doesn't have to be used. The money from the remaining $18.5 million the county has remaining in unused ARPA funds, and the 15 is the amount that was agreed upon.

The county does not have any specific ideas in mind regarding who will receive the funds and for what projects. Kendrick said this is because it did not want to put anymore stipulations on the applications, as the federal government already has numerous.

"As we're now, you know getting ready to turn that page over to the review process, you know we're starting to have those conversations," Kendrick said. "What does it look like, when we you know, would we do partial funding? you know those are questions we're asking ourselves now"

A second round of applications is expected to end on Sept. 30, according to Kendrick.

Organizations who are awarded the money will likely have to wait until the early months of fall to receive the funds.

Article Topic Follows: Boone

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Nia Hinson


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