FROSTBURG — The mayor and city council of Frostburg met recently to discuss the use of funds received through the American Rescue Plan Act.
As part of the decision-making process, the city conducted a community feedback survey, with most responses from the population over 65. Responses were split between 89% and 10% in favor of supporting infrastructure improvements over direct money to projects and groups affected by the pandemic. Three common responses were a desire to see funds used for infrastructure, child care and small businesses.
“The final rule has changed that up to $10 million of the city’s ARPA funding, which is Frostburg’s entire ARPA funding, can be used for the provision of general government services,” said Elizabeth Stahlman, l city administrator. “More or less, that means anything the city normally does, the city can use ARPA funding – community priorities don’t necessarily align with what ARPA’s survey results show. , because things like paving weren’t taken into account.”
The city provided a tiered list of needs.
So far, three projects have been completed: $2,925 for labor to wire the Washington Ridge Apartments wireless access points; $19,500 for the vaccination incentive program for municipal employees; and $15,350 for the transition to online authorization and application of the code.
The city has 17 projects listed as immediate needs projects, 13 of which have been approved. They include an allocation of $290,000 in ARPA funds for administration; $22,640 for sick leave related to COVID-19 for employees; $822,813 for the Centennial Hill pumping station and penstock replacement; $150,000 for general sewer work; $150,000 for general water supply works; $150,000 for general work on the water treatment plan; $59,435 for the daycare and day camp building design project; $400,000 for the replacement of manual readings of radio-readable meters; $52,275 for the HVAC of the water treatment plant; $116,800 for the repair of the disinfectant tank at the water treatment plant; $25,000 for the rehabilitation of the Savage well; $520,974 for the purchase of a vacuum truck; and $160,000 for the rental housing assistance program.
The four projects that city officials have yet to approve are ARPA allocations of $300,000 for water treatment system upgrades, $400,000 for street paving, $150,000 for the plan overall from the city and $25,000 for a VAC truck dry bed.
The total amount of ARPA funds expected to be used for immediate needs projects is $3.8 million.
The complete list of projects is available on the city’s website under the heading meetings portal.
Brandon Glass is an editor for the Cumberland Times-News. Follow him on Twitter @Bglass13