NEA Communities use ARPA funds for community projects

Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 8:59 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 8, 2023 at 12:09 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BATESVILLE, Ark. (KAIT) - Cities around northeast Arkansas are funding community projects with American Rescue Plan Act funds.

The state and local governments received the fund to provide economic assistance to get back on their feet after the effects of COVID-19.

The city of Batesville received funds from ARPA.

“We got a little over 2 million and they have given us pretty much the authority to do whatever we want to with the funds as long as it’s going to benefit our community,” Batesville Mayor Rick Elumbaugh said.

With the change in rules, northeast Arkansas community projects used ARPA funds differently.

Independence County is using ARPA funds for its new senior center.

In Clay County, the renovations to the jail came from ARPA funds too.

With approval from the city council, the city of Batesville purchased equipment for its sanitation department.

They purchased a grapple truck. Jason Jones, sanitation supervisor, says it would have been difficult without those funds.

“We would have had to pull funds from other projects, other projects would have suffered, it’s more than likely the city council would have not approved it,” Jones said.

The grapple truck is the city’s second one, giving the department help in picking up brush in the streets to larger items, like washers and dryers, known as class four items.

“With this additional truck, we’re able to work it solely on residential for a week on brush while the other one runs class four,” he said.

The city has also purchased a machine called the beast, allowing the sanitation department to turn brush into mulch.

The department currently has no other plans to get more equipment, but Jones said the city is better off with the new equipment.

“We pride ourselves on trying to keep Batesville pretty. We’re along the white river. We want people to come here and say, that’s a nice town,” he said.

The city still has ARPA funds it may use to fund other projects in the city.