Purcellville, Loudoun get millions in American Rescue Plan Funds
By Valerie Cury
The American Rescue Plan Act, also known as the COVID-19 Stimulus Package, will net Purcellville $9,250,037 as it stands today, but could be as low as $2.2 million. Loudoun County will be receiving $80,203,148. However, there might be a recalculation in the numbers.
At the March 23 Purcellville Town Council Meeting, Council Member Stan Milan wanted to make sure to hear from the citizens of the Town, on how they would like to see the funds allocated.
This can be done several ways including social media, the Town website, and knocking on doors. One way is through an online survey. Said Milan, “I mentioned two to three weeks ago about doing a Polco survey, and I didn’t get any response back on what to do …The questions I want to propose are … hard questions we would give the citizens. The ten priorities that affect the majority of the people in Town, broadband, traffic, water, helping the needy … The top ten. There are a lot of issues, and we can’t reach out to the Town as a whole, as we would like to.”
Council Member Joel Grewe said his “only fear with this is that there is a consistent attempt to essentially move from the form of government that we have right now – it is an elected representative – to a more direct democracy approach. And the risk in that is not that we have more community engagement …The risk, however, is the fact that we are going to try to take the synthesis of knowledge that we have weeded through the last year or two or three or more … in understanding the technical and financial aspect in running the city, then turning it over to the citizens …” He emphasized that there are many ways to reach out to the citizens.
Council Member Chris Bertaut said that he agreed that “we need to reach out in various ways to poll” the citizens. “The people in Purcellville are relying on us to listen and take into consideration of all our knowledge of the Town’s needs, wants, and desires, and try to serve them as best as possible through whatever funding comes our way.”
Mayor Kwasi Fraser said, “Getting questions close to our citizens and reaching out is a point of validation; we still need to keep the community engaged.”
The following are general allowable uses, to date, of funds:
- To respond to the pandemic or its negative economic impacts, including assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits, or aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel, and hospitality;
- For premium pay to eligible workers performing essential work (as determined by each recipient government) during the pandemic, providing up to $13 an hour above regular wages;
- For the provision of government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue due to the pandemic (relative to revenues collected in the most recent full fiscal year prior to the emergency);
- To make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure
One of the most important allowable possible use of funds would be investments in infrastructure. This could allow the Town to make capital improvements or capital asset replacement in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure.
The Town has over an estimated $15 million in needed Capital Improvement Program improvement projects.