By: Tara Blue
As the Jan. 26th application deadline approaches, Boone County Commissioners Kip Kendrick and Justin Aldred met with Southern Boone residents on Wednesday, Jan. 10th at the school district’s central office to discuss the final round of ARPA funds.

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) 2021 was signed into law on March 11, 2021 to establish the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program, which provides funding for pandemic rescue and recovery efforts.

The Boone County Commission allocated $12 million of funding in the first round and will allot $6.5 million in final second round.

Throughout the county, the commission has heard requests for funding for common themes, including education, child abuse, mental health and disability resources, and environmental sustainability. (Columbia Missourian).

City of Ashland Treasurer Shelley Martin spoke twice during Wednesday’s meeting, asking if infrastructure is a priority and stating that the commission only approved minimal infrastructure projects in the first round. Martin emphasized Ashland’s need for funding the wastewater treatment facilities.

Kendrick responded that both projects that were approved in Ashland during the first round, while not conventionally considered infrastructure, technically fall under the category.

Kendrick told the Journal that the ARPA applications would still be under review when the February 6th bond election occurs, so the commission would consider the need for funding if the bond were to pass. Kendrick says they plan to make final decisions on awards sometime in the spring.