Council Set to Consider Scattering ARPA Funds – The Laurens County Advertiser
Two weeks after Laurens County Council members met to hear proposals for American Relief Plan Act (ARPA) funding from entities across the county, the council is due to meet again to decide how to distribute $5 million in ARPA funds.
Thirty-nine organizations, municipalities and not-for-profit organizations submitted their proposals, requesting as little as $14,600 and up to $2.3 million. ARPA funds were divided into pools of $2.5 million for nonprofits and $2.5 million for infrastructure projects, the County Administrator Laurens said, Thomas Higgs.
Thirty-four of the grant proposals were from nonprofits or tax-exempt organizations, while the other five were for infrastructure projects proposed by three organizations.
“Laurens County is not only a great place to live and work, it’s also a great place to serve,” Higgs said. “Everyone has been very thoughtful with their submissions for ARPA funding, and the board has a tough task ahead of them to whittle down that list.”
After last week’s presentations, County Council Chairman Brown Patterson said he was looking forward to moving forward with the next phase of the county’s ARPA plan.
“I am delighted to see the recommendations from all board members and look forward to the deliberation and allocation of funds next week,” Patterson said.
The county spent $750,000 of ARPA funds to purchase three ambulances last year. In addition to the $5 million the council plans to distribute as grants to local entities, it has an additional $7 million to $7.5 million it plans to spend on county needs at its discretion.
The Laurens Commission of Public Works requested just over $2.3 million for the rehabilitation of its Little River sewer system, the highest amount requested in the infrastructure or nonprofit categories. The Laurens County Water and Sewer Commission requested approximately $1.6 million to cover three infrastructure projects. Presbyterian College requested $601,000 for broadband Internet upgrades.
Proposals from the 34 nonprofit and tax-exempt entities ranged from $14,600 for the Straight Street Youth Center in Laurens to more than $1.9 million for the Laurens YMCA and $1 million for the Clinton YMCA.
The City of Fountain Inn requested $1.5 million and the City of Laurens requested $700,000.
Others, like United Way of Laurens County, have sent in applications at or near six figures. United Way requested $250,000.
“If approved, it will be great for Laurens County because United Way supports other nonprofits throughout the county, so if we get the funds from ARPA, we would be able to bring them more support,” United Way said. Executive Director Alesia Carter.
Carter said she hopes the board approves the full $250,000 request to help other nonprofits as well as help fund current United Way programs that need additional funding.
“Of course we would like to get the full amount we requested, but any part we receive will be very helpful,” she said.
Higgs said nonprofits can channel ARPA funds directly to the communities they serve.
“I think just about any organization we provide funding from (ARPA) can turn the tide and impact communities in Laurens County,” he said.
Here is a list of all requests for ARPA funds received by the county council:
• Laurens Commission of Public Works – Little River Sewer System Rehabilitation Project ($2,331,266.40)
• Laurens County Water Sewer Commission – Highway 418 Waterline Improvement ($552,379)
• Laurens County Water Sewer Commission – Highway 14 Metric Route Water Supply Upgrade ($759,000)
• Laurens County Water and Sewer Board – ISO Parkway/Fibertex Pump Station Upgrade ($346,250)
• Presbyterian College – Broadband ($601,654)
• Right Street Youth Center ($14,600)
• Laurens County Trail Association ($16,000)
• Free Good Shepherd Medical Clinic in Laurens ($16,000)
• Beyond Abuse ($40,000)
• Fountain Inn Children’s Enrichment Center ($42,000)
• Laurens County Family Pledge ($45,000)
• Community Service Center ($50,000)
• Laurens County Chamber of Commerce ($50,000)
• PAIA Lower Eastern Cherokee Nation SC ($50,000)
• Laurens County Dental Sharing Network ($60,000)
• Laurens County Trail Association ($70,000)
• Rotary Club of Laurens County ($75,000)
• University of South Carolina Union-Laurens ($75,000)
• Bell Federation Center for the Blind ($90,000)
• Advocacy to Bridge the Gap ($98,000)
• Camping Ministries of the Carolinas, Inc. ($100,000)
• Point of Tranquility ($135,000)
• Main Street Laurens USA ($135,000)
• Laurens United Ministries ($150,000)
• Presbyterian College ($161,500)
• Cultural Arts Foundation Fountain Inn ($200,000)
• Laurens County Safe House ($200,000)
• Thornwell ($240,232)
• American Legion Post 25 ($250,000)
• Laurens Memorial Home for the Aged, Inc. ($250,000)
• Laurens County Museum ($250,000)
• United Way of Laurens County ($250,000)
• Eighth Circuit Attorney’s Office ($300,000)
• Laurens County School District 55 ($300,000)
• South Carolina Empowerment Center ($350,000)
• The town of Laurens ($700,000)
• Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) of Greater Clinton ($1,000,000)
• Fountain Town Inn ($1,517,000)
• Lakelands YMCA-Laurens ($1,971,000)