Commissioners look at spending ARPA funds

YORK – This budget-formulation season for the York County Commissioners will include deciding how to spend the county’s $2 million in ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds.

During a recent meeting of the county board, York County Commissioner Chairman Randy Obermier included the topic on the agenda so they could start the conversation.

He said the county is currently sitting on an ARPA balance of $2,000,078, “with some of it going toward gravel purchases” which had already been voted upon.

“The money must be dedicated by the end of 2024 and it has to be spent by the end of 2026,” Obermier reminded the other commissioners. “With road projects, we need to be identifying those priorities so we can start the design work. If we want to do some projects, we will need to identify those soon so the progress can start and be done in that timeframe.”

He also brought up other needs in the county – some carpet replacement in the courthouse, possibly a drone for the sheriff’s department, work to secure the entrances to the courthouse, maybe some technology projects, some more modern security systems. “The money is essentially for whatever we want to spend it on, but we will need to talk about all of those and make some decisions.”

The budget process has started for the county, as the department heads/elected officials have been tasked with outlining their financial needs and requirements for the next fiscal year.

The county’s fiscal year starts in July each year – but the budget formulation process runs throughout the summer with final decisions made in early September.

The board will work with department heads during several work sessions, as well as have conversations during their regular meetings. The end result will be a final draft and a public hearing, before the new budget is formally set for 2023-24.

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