Miami County pivoting from small biz, nonprofit grants to county facilities and services with federal COVID funds

TROY — Miami County spent approximately $5 million of its anticipated $20.8 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds last year focusing on pandemic impacts on small business and non-profits along with water and sewer extension projects.

In 2022, the county commission approved $741,774 for 39 small business grants and another $149,995 for 20 nonprofit grants. Also authorized was $250,000 for volunteer fire/EMS departments for equipment; about $700,000 for county building HVAC and ionization projects; and $1.46 million for salaries and benefits and reimbursement for detention facilities at the sheriff’s office.

The county also is funding water and sewer line extension projects to underserved or unserved areas of the county. Funding is being used for several internal county government projects intended to improve processes, aid in retaining employees and promote transparency and access for the public.

Among other projects is $340,000 for a childcare services study,

The process of determining how to spend the funding has taken time. The county early on formed an ARPA committee to review requests and make recommendations to the commissioners.

“The commissioners have received multiple requests for ARPA funding. They must weigh these requests against the federal guidelines/requirements but also recognize that some COVID-19 pandemic impacts haven’t been fully realized yet,” said Commission President Wade Westfall.

“By setting aside funds for future needs it provides flexibility to the commissioners to assist with unknown items that could be of great benefit to Miami County. At this time, the federal government has required that all ARPA funds must be encumbered by Dec. 31, 2024, and Miami County will ensure that this is done,” Westfall said.

Some projects from 2022 have carried over into this year including infrastructure projects such as a Casstown waterline extension.

Projects listed for this year could still change but for now include (with estimated costs) $1 million for the county One Stop Shop/Commerce Center building now under construction on Ohio 55 in in Troy; the county fairgrounds grandstand renovations, $200,000; sheriff’s department armored vehicle, $285,000; computer software for all county courts hearing rooms, $750,000; and the second year of a mental health program for employees, $114,000.

Another small business and nonprofit organizations grant program is being considered for this year.

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Editor’s Note: This story is part of a Dayton Daily News series tracking how dozens of our area’s largest governments are spending hundreds of millions of dollars combined from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Visit our “Billions in COVID aid: Where it’s going” special section on our website to see summaries from other communities.

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