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Investigation Check #2: How did Newton County spend the American Rescue Plan Act Funds?

When considering the information from Investigation Check #1 and seeing the depleted General Funds to a little over $200,000, the question arises.. How did Newton County spend the ARPA Funds?

  1. According to the documents provided below, Newton County spent over 1.4 million dollars on payroll from September 2022 to December 2022.

  2. I placed a phone call to one of the state's governoring departments concerning the ARPA funds. Although they would not go "on record" with an actual quote it was stated that counties had a lot of flexibility in how they spent these funds up to 10 million dollars.

  3. Taylor & Associates were the consulting firm for how the county spent the ARPA funds and yet have NO Liability (which is not uncommon) if these monies are ever recouped through state or federal audits.

  4. To date there has been no threat of audit or recouping of the ARPA funds distributed to Newton County.

  5. See below for exactly how the ARPA Funds were spent by Newton County Commissioners Court

> American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) or the COVID-19 Stimulus Package - Some of the 1.9 trillion dollars was sent out to the citizens by way of stimulus checks and some was sent to States, Territories and Counties for COVID-19 recovery efforts.

> The Department of the Treasury had to determine what was Eligible & Ineligible for uses of those funds given to the States, Territories and Counties. This rule implements the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund and the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (CSLRFs or SLRFs) established under the American Rescue Plan Act. (See the Final Ruling)

The ARPA Initiative

> The Department of the Treasury's Final Ruling maintains a certain verbiage referencing the "effects of COVID-19, due to COVID-19, negative economic impacts of the pandemic."

"Recognizing these imperatives, the SLFRF program provides vital resources for state, local, and Tribal governments to respond to the pandemic and its economic effects and to replace revenue lost due to the public health emergency, preventing cuts to government services. Specifically, the ARPA provides that SLFRF funds 11 may be used:

(a) To respond to the public health emergency or its negative economic impacts, including assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits, or aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel, and hospitality.

(b) To respond to workers performing essential work during the COVID–19 public health emergency by providing premium pay to eligible workers.

(c) For the provision of government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue due to the COVID–19 public health emergency relative to revenues collected in the most recent full fiscal year prior to the emergency; and

(d) To make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure."

1 Comment

Joe Miller
Joe Miller
Sep 21, 2023

I concede that I do not understand the spreadsheet. The headings across the top are what? Reobligate? CC? RFF?

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