Floyd County commissioners and administrative officials are still waiting on some final guidelines before they begin discussing uses for American Rescue Plan Act funds.
The county should be receiving around $19.1 million from the federal COVID relief act. County Manager Jamie McCord said they have already received some of the money, but they don’t want to begin making plans until they receive further guidance on how they’re allowed to spend it.
“The final guidance is supposed to come out within the next two weeks,” McCord said. “At least to this point, we’ve mostly talked about infrastructure: water, sewer and broadband projects. Those are very clearly defined as uses.”
Previously, McCord talked about the need for broadband internet expansion in the more rural areas of the county, especially in northern Floyd County. That need became apparent when the pandemic hit.
If the county chooses to put the money toward internet access for rural areas, it would be a combination of broadband investment and the infrastructure to support it.
The county could look at other potential uses, such as revenue replacement, negative economic impact and public health.
However, the county manager said he wants to “be patient” and not jump the gun on spending the COVID relief funds.
Once they have the final guidance, McCord and his staff plan on creating several proposals for the commissioners to review and take a vote on.
“We have until 2024 to spend all the funds and that’ll be here before we know it,” he said.
While the county had some revenue losses in parks and recreation, the Forum and tourism, the government as a whole didn’t have a great loss, according to the county manager.
“I want to take our time, get our plan together and do what’s right for the community and taxpayers,” McCord said.