Village begins planning how to use federal rescue funds

Officials explore options in allocating $1.16 million Grafton expects to receive
Ozaukee Press Staff

The Village of Grafton is expecting to receive $1.16 million in funding through the American Rescue Plan Act.

During Tuesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, Director of Administrative Services Paul Styduhar said municipalities will be allocated funds based on population from the act that was signed into law March 11.

Officials said the funds will be received in two phases, with the first half by July 11 and the second by July 11, 2022. Fund spending must occur by Dec.31, 2024.

The funds can be used in four categories, including:

• Replacing revenue based on the loss income resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic and public health services;

•  Responding to a public health emergency or its negative economic impacts, including assistance to households, small businesses and nonprofits or aid to impacted businesses such as tourism, travel and hospitality;

•  Investing in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure;

• Responding to workers performing essential duties during the public health emergency by providing premium pay to eligible workers or by providing grants to eligible employers that eligible workers who perform essential work.

Styduhar said U.S. Treasury Department will issue further guidance on how the funds can allocated in May.

During the discussion, Styduhar asked the committee to determine how the village should prioritize its funds based on  available criteria.

Officials discussed giving the funds to the essential village workers, including those in police, fire and emergency medical services, but realized that would cost more than the $1.16 million. 

“If you take the broad brush and simply say fire, police and EMS and we maximize that premium-pay benefit under the guidelines of the law, that would basically wipe out the $1.16 million,” Village Administrator Jesse Thyes said. 

No action was taken, but the committee directed staff to research all of its options to prioritize where the funds should go.



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