By Barry Dalton
Vandalia City Administrator Darren Berry announced that the city will receive $742,276.26 through the American Rescue Plan signed into law on March 11, 2021. The announcement was made during the Vandalia Board of Aldermen meeting on Tuesday, April 13.
American Rescue Plan
Unlike the CARES Act, the American Rescue Plan funds will be paid directly to cities rather than going through the county. Nearly every city will receive some funding. The approximate amounts to be received by some nearby towns, for example, are:
Bowling Green (1.0m);
Monroe City ($449k);
Montgomery City ($493k);
Rush Hill ($26k);
Vandiver Village ($13k); and
The first half of the rescue plan payment is scheduled to be received by Vandalia within 60 to 90 days followed by a second payment in 12 months. The city has until December 2024 to spend the funds or it must return whatever is left over, Berry said.
Cities will have a wide latitude to use the funds with some limitations. For example, the money can not be used for pension plans. However, it can be used for infrastructure, such as sewer, water or broadband, and doesn’t need to be tied to COVID-19.
Berry is still working through the details of how the money could possibly be utilized.
“We’ve started meetings with the National League of Cities,” Berry said. “I discussed it with department heads today. We need to start brainstorming and figuring out what direction we want to go with it. Do we want to do sewer lines? Do we want to get automatic read water meters? Do we want to fix water lines? We need aeration at the lagoon. Everybody’s going to have to come with an idea, then we’ll go from there and figure it out.”