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Public opinion received on how best to use $8M
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The county was required to seek public input on how to use over $8 million in ARP funding and less than 100 people provided feedback.

“One of the things that we were required to do is have community input which we did a survey. Lauren did a pie-shaped graph and with some of the results from that,” said County Executive Jimmy Haley at the County ARP Committee meeting. “We don’t have to take any consideration on this. It was just what was given as input on that.”

The survey allowed people to select among four different categories to spend the money including: Public Health and Economic Impacts of COVID-19, Premium Pay, Water and Sewer Infrastructure, and Broadband Infrastructure. Only 78 people provided feedback. 

Out of the 78 people, 22 selected Public Health and Economic Impacts of COVID-19, 39 selected Premium Pay, 26 selected Water and Sewer Infrastructure, and 18 selected Broadband Infrastructure. Participants also had the choice to write in specific responses on what to do with the money. Some of those anonymous responses include:

• “COVID has affected small businesses and they have lost money. Several have closed. They deserve the money. Also use it to clean up the trash. Warren County looks like a pig sty.”

• “We don’t need more federal strings. Give it back and stop more government wasteful spending!”

• “Lower property tax, city and county cut in half.”

• “New animal shelter with full staff, cleaning/ disinfecting, supplies, adequate room for outside runs. Pave side roads instead of filling in potholes. Replace all road signs that have been knocked down or stolen.”

• “Fairgrounds fencing.”

• “Build new animal shelter, fully staffed. New roads.” 

• “As the self-proclaimed Nursery Capitol of the World we need an Ag Center like so many other counties have. In order to showcase what we do, have trade shows, have exhibitions, rodeos, judging, and other events and create commerce in our community.”

• “The homeless issue.”

Haley says a lot of the input falls out of the categories the money can be used for. This survey was just a requirement in order to receive the ARP money and start projects.