During the regular Ridgecrest City Council meeting held Wednesday evening at the Kerr McGee Center, council members discussed how to use the remaining funds made available through the American Rescue Act Plan (ARPA).
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the ARPA Act which provides one-time tax relief funds to state and local governments and other program areas aimed at mitigating the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As we await the release of the final guidance from the US Treasury, city staff have met weekly to develop recommendations for the one-time funds of the American Rescue Act plan to help recover from COVID-19 and those who were the hardest hit, ”said Cheri Freese, Chief Financial Officer.
According to Freese, the Town of Ridgecrest’s Direct Local Stimulus Allowance is $ 6,930,958, with the first 50% going to the town in July 2021 and the remaining balance in July 2022.
According to Freese, the funds should be used in the following ways:
* Support public health spending;
* Address the negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency;
* Replace lost public sector revenues; and
* Invest in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.
According to Freese, the Town of Ridgecrest’s lost revenue calculation is $ 2,463,564.
Previously, council members had passed resolutions to use a portion of ARPA funds to help with the final construction of the Ridgecrest Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (RACVB) Visitor Center.
In addition, the funds were used to purchase eight additional police vehicles equipped with “Packing Heat” software for the Ridgecrest Police Department (RPD).
On November 3, council members approved a broadband installation and city building deal with Race Communications for $ 250,000.
Freese said: “The staff also met with various groups and organizations to get their input. Staff present this workshop to allow the board and the community to discuss potential projects that best match local needs and priorities. At this workshop, staff will present their ideas for projects that they believe make the most of this one-time funding. “
The following projects were proposed during the workshop to use the remaining PARA funds on:
1) A single essential risk premium for existing municipal employees: $ 425,000;
2) A washroom / concession building at the Leroy Jackson Sports Complex: $ 325,000;
3) Lighting pole and repair of existing lights on the Leroy Jackson university softball field: $ 110,000;
4) Renovation of the Leroy Jackson infield: $ 500,000;
5) Replacement of two lighting poles on Matt Armstrong soccer fields: $ 210,000;
6) Repair and redo the surfacing of tennis courts in Leroy Jackson: $ 480,000;
7) Replacement of the old water tank at Leroy Jackson Sports: $ 27,050;
8) Install a smart water system in all parks: $ 17,000;
9) Replace the banquet hall floor at the Kerr McGee Community Center: $ 75,000;
10) Replacement of partitions in the banquet hall and gymnasium of the Kerr McGee community center: $ 845,000;
11) Addition of solar lighting around the Pearson Park playground: $ 28,000;
12) Install a new Pinto field on the Kerr McGee baseball fields: $ 1,050,000 (approximately, depending on the choice of ground cover);
13) Sun shades for spectator seats at Kerr McGee baseball fields: $ 183,000 and $ 50,000;
14) Chain link fences at Kerr McGee baseball fields: $ 46,000;
15) Repair of the roof of the bathroom and gazebo at Upjohn Park: $ 21,000;
16) Repair of the roof of the bathroom and of the concession building in Leroy Jackson: $ 16,200;
17) Upgrade of virtual office infrastructure for city computers: $ 275,000;
18) Update of the server infrastructure: $ 160,000;
19) Update of the campus Wi-Fi network: $ 50,000;
20) Conference terminals: $ 25,000;
21) Sound system for outdoor areas: $ 15,000;
22) Document scanning and data management: $ 285,000;
23) Americans With Disabilities Act Improvements at Town Hall: $ 260,000; and
24) Digital signage for the Town of Ridgecrest: $ 175,000.
Prior to institution, official projects will be brought back to the board for formal approval by resolution.
All funds must be committed by December 31, 2024 and spent by December 31, 2026. Unspent funds must be returned to the US Treasury.