Relief funds arrive early
July 15, 2021
A budget amendment was a necessary element of housekeeping for the Sundance City Council last week after the first installment of the city’s American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds arrived a little earlier than expected.
The city had been expecting to receive approximately $200,000 in direct distribution from the most recent round of federal stimulus money, split into two parts over two years. However, though the first sum was anticipated in July, the first month of the new fiscal year, the $112,000 installment actually arrived in June.
As for how it will be spent, the city has yet to decide.
“You can’t spend it on just anything,” commented Clerk Treasurer Kathy Lenz.
One area it can go towards, for example, is to replace lost revenue. However, said Lenz, sales tax from Amazon was so high that revenue may not have actually dropped.
A formula has been provided to calculate lost revenue, she said, and this possibility is still being investigated.
A more likely possibility, she said, is sewer and water infrastructure. Unlike counties, pointed out Mayor Paul Brooks, cities have plenty of infrastructure needs at which it can look to spend the money.
Said Lenz, it would be possible to immediately direct the funds towards the city’s match for the grant for the Sundance Kid water tank, for example, “or any other water thing we would happen to need.”
The direct distribution is not the only ARP funding coming to this area. The State of Wyoming has also received a sizeable chunk, but decisions have yet to be made on how it can be spent.
“They won’t decide on the big money – the billion dollars that we’re looking at – until legislation,” said Lenz. For this reason, the council will wait until next year to identify projects for which it might want to apply for ARP funding.