The village of Poynette is slated to receive a large amount of funds resulting from the American Rescue Plan Act, recently signed into law by President Joe Biden. It will award roughly $65.1 billion to the nation’s municipalities. Poynette will receive about $248,000, according to Village Administrator Martin Shanks.
“This is an unprecedented and historic allocation of money from the federal government directly to local governments,” Shanks said.
Also according to Shanks, there are five eligible uses for the funds:
— Revenue replacement for any lost due to COVID-19 (lost utility fees or permit fees);
— Premium pay for essential workers (likely not relevant to Poynette);
— To respond to the public health emergency and its negative economic impacts (a broadly defined use and could also involve assistance to the public and businesses);
— Investments in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure; and
— Transfer funds to other jurisdictions or nonprofits for the above uses
Based on that, Shanks said that Poynette’s share of funds could be used to offset some of the revenue lost last year due to COVID-19, but most likely the highest and best use would be for water and sewer infrastructure. The Village has a major treatment plant project and a water/sewer main replacement project along Thomas Street coming up in 2022. Using these funds for those projects would greatly help the financial health of the utilities.
Shanks also noted that the village should use these funds wisely as it is be a one-time grant of funds. As village staff learns more about the funds and their eligible uses, information will be shared with the Board.
Shanks said that payments will come to local governments in two phases. The first phase may come within the next 60 days, with the second coming by the end of the year or early 2022. All funds must be spent by 2024.
In other news, the Department of Public Works’ 2006 dump truck was put on the Wisconsin Surplus Auction website, which rated the truck in “poor/fair” condition. It still sold for $13,000. Poynette’s 2021 budget was not anticipating any revenue as a result, so the additional funds will be in the capital projects fund.