Morgantown officlas include ARPA discussion in strategic planning session tonight

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Morgantown leaders will hold strategic planning session Wednesday night to discuss options for the use of American Rescue Plan spending.

The city will receive the first installment of $5,621.754.50 in American Rescue Plan funds this year. Next spring, a like amount will be received bringing the total in American Rescue Plan money received by the city to $11,243,509. Under provisions of the act, the money must be allocated by the end of 2024 and spent by the end of 2026.

Members of the public voiced preferences from August 1 to August 21, during that time 540 responses generated more than 4,000 ideas for projects. Additionally, city leaders and department heads were available to answer questions during two additional public meetings.

“I’m really impressed with the response that staff and agencies have put into making sure that we hit the ground running by the first of the year, if not sooner,” City Manager Kim Haws said.

The purpose of the meeting is to identify projects from those surveys that have a great impact and can be completed quickly.

“I believe that if we have shovel-ready projects ready to propose when those become available through the state we’ll be in a good position to draw those dollars down,” Haws said.

Committees are now working to build the system to manage the funds and track the projects.

“Come with guidelines and procedures as to how we go about creating that accountability as well as the process for the expenditure of those funds that meet the criteria,” Haws said.

According to Haws, the committees will be involved in in the complete process. Members of city council have also been encouraged to serve on a committee of their choice.

“Some of the committees will actually review applications,” Haws said. “The committee will determine whether an applicant meets the criteria established.”

The meeting will held tonight at 6 p.m. at Main Street Morgantown office.