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Benton County American Rescue Plan meetings reset

by Mike Jones | January 13, 2022 at 7:02 a.m.
The Benton County Courthouse.

BENTONVILLE -- Meetings for organizations to make pitches for a piece of Benton County's American Rescue Plan money have been reset.

The Finance Committee on Tuesday agreed to move the meetings to February and March. Tentative meeting dates are: Feb. 3, 8, 10, 15, 17 and 24 and March 3.

Groups will make their presentations before the county American Rescue Plan Committee, which is made up of all 15 justices of the peace.

County officials had scheduled six in-person meetings this month to hear applicant proposals about the county's American Rescue Plan money, but those meetings were called off when County Judge Barry Moehring on Jan. 5 declared an emergency regarding January committee meetings because of the covid-19 omicron variant.

"Because these meetings would have included dozens of people from many different organizations, we will reschedule them in February when -- hopefully -- the current surge has receded and they can be conducted safely," Moehring wrote in a letter to justices of the peace and other county officials.

The Finance Committee meeting was held online, but the Committee of the Whole meeting set for Jan. 18 was canceled. An online rescue plan meeting will take place that night instead.

Congress passed a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill to speed up the country's recovery from the economic and health effects of the covid-19 pandemic. President Joe Biden signed the bill in March. The plan provides $350 billion in federal money for eligible state, local, territorial and tribal governments nationwide.

Benton County will receive $54 million in American Rescue Plan money -- $27 million last year and this year.

The county received more than 60 applications for rescue plan money. Organizations were asked to apply if they could demonstrate their activities support the public health response, or if they have experienced economic harm from the pandemic and the money would respond to that harm.

The emergency doesn't apply to the Quorum Court meeting scheduled for Jan. 27, which by statute will remain in-person only, Moehring said.

Print Headline: County American Rescue Plan meetings reset


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