Thursday, November 24, 2022

County to disburse federal funds for area projects

Federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding will be distributed to several local communities for local projects following approval by members of the Wayne County Commission earlier this month.

The commission is charged with distributing the federal funding and approved 14 local projects during the Nov. 3 meeting. The commissioners approved the report of the Committee of the Whole members recommending the use of the federal funds.

The agreements will continue through Oct. 31, 2025 and each community awarded funds is required to spend no less that 70 percent of the project award money provided through ARPA before Oct. 31, 2024. 

If the funding has not been spent, Wayne County has an option to terminate the agreement and repurpose any remaining project funding, according to a prepared statement from the office of Wayne County Executive Warren Evans. 

Each municipality will be required to present project expenses and vendor information to Wayne County officials for approval, the statement continued. Each of the municipalities is also required to have insurance coverage in place.

Among the local communities receiving funds for local projects is City of Belleville which will receive an amount not to exceed $176,800 for rehabilitation of Victory Station at Victory Park.

The City of Northville is scheduled to receive up to $2,500,000 for daylighting of the 12-acre Rouge River Park, to convert the Middle Rouge River into public parkland and create a continuous riverway along the Rouge River and Johnson Creek ultimately to the Detroit Rouge River Greenway as part of the development of the Northville Downs property.

Van Buren Township will receive funding not to exceed $4,500,000 for the Community Center project and Senior Center improvements.

The City of Wayne will receive up to $250,000 for the rehabilitation and upgrade of Goudy Park Amphitheater Pavilion.

Others receiving ARPA funding include: Southeast Michigan Community Alliance (SEMCA of Taylor) not to exceed $50,000,000 to implement Workforce Development Initiatives (Commissioner Al Haidous abstained from the vote since he is active with SEMCA); City of Taylor not to exceed $2,326,230 for the rehabilitation and upgrade of Lange Park Action-Adventure Park; City of Trenton not to exceed $1,500,000 for the demolition of Riverside Hospital to support redevelopment of the property and improve quality of life for local residents and to the Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Michigan not to exceed $500,000 for Industry Clubs in the cities of Detroit and Highland Park to enable youth to receive workforce training and entrepreneurial development in a variety of industries.

Wayne County has $320 million in ARPA funding to distribute to projects throughout the area. According to Alisha R. Bell, chairperson of the commission, the county has agreed to fund about $100 million of that total. 

Bell said in a prepared statement that county commissioners intend to distribute the funding as soon as possible. She added that more federal ARPA funding for local projects is expected early in 2023.