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American Rescue Plan Act dollars reach local communities

The Michigan Department of Treasury has distributed over 300-million dollars in American Rescue Plan funds.
Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 4:04 PM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced Tuesday that the Michigan Department of Treasury distributed more than $319 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars to more than 1,650 Michigan communities – including every county in the U.P.

The money can be used to relieve effects of the pandemic and improve economies and infrastructure.

Marquette County Board Member Gerry Corkin explains the process for determining the use of the almost 13 million dollars the county has received.

“We’ve been taking input from the departments in the county and non-profits around the county. The board has met already,” said Corkin.

Corkin says they do have some projects in mind already.

“Some of the projects that we have discussed so far are the courthouse itself, to remodel the bathroom and do a lot of building improvements,” said Corkin. “For law enforcement, we’re going to build a larger 1-3-1 building in Negaunee Township and we need to buy a new 1-3-1 vehicle which is over 30 years old.”

They also plan to remodel the health department, address affordable housing issues and invest in homelessness projects and local economic development projects.

Houghton City Manager Eric Waara says they haven’t fully determined what their almost $800,000 will be used for yet but have allotted about half of it to a water and sewage project.

“We’re gonna take about $400,000 and turn it into about $1.3 million dollars worth of work through a grant program we’ve received,” said Waara.

Waara suggests all small local governments will be working to evaluate the best use for these funds.

“I think every one of the communities is gonna be looking at getting the most bang for these bucks that they’re getting,” said Waara. “That includes leveraging it with other programs.”

Local units of government have until 2024 to identify projects and obligate funds.

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