ELKINS — As the state’s top brass announced on Monday that West Virginia had received the second half of $1.35 billion in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to fight COVID-19, officials locals will now start planning the distribution of the money.
While no timeline has been announced for when the funding will be available to municipalities and counties, Elkins Mayor Jerry Marco expects it to come in the coming months.
“We should see this funding in June or July,” Marco told The Inter-Mountain on Tuesday. “The committee will then look to see what needs to be addressed in the city and we will go from there.
“The big thing now is to push to see how the state allocated its share that it got, because we still have a lot of needs in the city that can help better serve our constituents,” Marco said.
In 2021, it was announced that the City of Elkins had received $3.08 million in ARPA funding. In April, Elkins City Council approved the allocation of more than $150,000 in ARPA funding for 11 projects proposed by community organizations.
Funds received were the Elkins Babe Ruth League (Bluegrass Park bleachers; $50,000); Davis & Elkins College (new amphitheater; $43,746); Randolph County Humane Society (trap/neuter/release program; $17,000); YouthBuild (operating funds; $15,000); Old Brick Playhouse (sound system; $8,000); Meals on Wheels (meal delivery program; $7,000); The YMCA of Elkins-Randolph County (youth center bathroom; $5,000); Elkins Farmers Market (equipment, supplies and marketing; $5,000); Randolph County Community Arts Center (enhanced fine art exhibit capacity; $5,000); Randolph County Homeless Shelter (security upgrades; $3,000); and Our Town (free public activities and events; $3,000).
“A lot of the first half of the funding went to community requests, which was huge,” Marco said. “From a city perspective, a lot of it was just providing certain departments with the equipment they needed to be able to do their jobs.
“For example, we had a backhoe that broke down and a vehicle that had a gas tank that fell off, so we had to replace them. And between the sewer department and the water department, we were actually able to replace a lot of the equipment that they needed to be able to do their job more efficiently and faster.
“There are still issues with the water and sewer service that need to be resolved and that we have not yet been able to resolve,” Marco said. “I don’t know if they will dedicate more to community requests at this time because we haven’t had those discussions yet. We have another meeting in the next few weeks. But we do our due diligence to spend it the right way.