Relief package – Mount Angel allocates $800K in ARPA funds

April 2022 Posted in Community, News, Other

By Stephen Floyd

Mount Angel is moving forward with several upgrades to city departments after allocating more than $800,000 in COVID-19 pandemic relief funds.

The city spent months seeking public input and recommendations from staff and committees before the City Council gave final approval March 7.

A total of $803,382 was divided between the Parks, Public Works, Library and Police departments for upgrades ranging from a 3D printer at the library to wireless water meter readers. City Manager Mark Daniel said it was “awesome” being able to approve department proposals that would otherwise not have been funded.

“It’s huge because we just weren’t going to be able to fund those any other way,” he said. “For us to make that kind of difference for the community, it’s wonderful is what it is.”

The city received the funds through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which was passed last year to help local governments respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible uses included public health programs, the expansion of public infrastructure, and replacement of lost revenue. A survey of Mount Angel residents in January showed overwhelming support for infrastructure expansion.

The majority of funds were dedicated to public works, including $300,000 to upgrade water meters to be read remotely. Daniel said this will save public works employees a significant amount of time by not having to walk directly to a meter to get a reading.

“By doing that modernization project, it really frees up our public works folks a crazy amount of time they could use on other projects,” he said.

Also allocated were $200,000 for replacement of a water line along South Main Street; $55,000 for the Mt. Angel Public Library to purchase a new electric generator, 3D printer and carpeting; $50,000 to the Parks Department to install a full basketball court; and $125,000 to the Police Department for an additional vehicle and to replace handguns and other equipment. An additional $16,840 was applied to previous purchases such as an air conditioner for the police department, street speed signs and the cost of the community survey, while the remaining $56,542 was retained for contingency costs or to be allocated at a later date.

The city has until the end of 2024 to dedicate the funds, and until 2026 to spend them.

In addition to the $803,382 awarded directly to the city, Mount Angel received $500,000 in ARPA funds through the state and $450,000 through the county. These grants have been dedicated to a sewer line expansion along Marquam Street, which is expected to double line capacity.

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