Warren County and McMinnville governments will share in nearly $12 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act.
The bulk of the $12 million is destined for Warren County government.
“We are supposed to be getting $8 million from the American relief act,” said Finance Department director Justin Cotten during Thursday’s meeting of the county Financial Management Committee. “We have not received word on what we can spend that money on at this point. In light of that, I think it would be beneficial for the county to establish a line item for that money within the budget.”
Local governments should begin receiving funds this year.
“We should get the first half of it between now and the end of the year,” said Cotten. “If we go ahead, and similar to how we are doing a bond issue, set up a capital projects fund to put that money into when it arrives. Since we don’t know when it’s coming, we could go ahead and decide where to place it for when it arrives.”
Exactly how the money can be used is unknown.
“The money will come with guidance and all the strings attached,” said Cotten. “We’ve got to cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s. At least that way, this money will not get co-mingled with any other funds, general or others. It will be in its own interest-bearing account all by itself for ease of the county and tracking as we go forward, because it will be heavily audited. Anything we do not spend will have to be returned.”
County Executive Jimmy Haley added, “If we spend it on something we shouldn’t, we will be penalized with interest. The money could come as early as June so it’s better that we go ahead and set this up.”
McMinnville government will receive $3.69 million.
Monies not used by the end of 2024 must be returned.