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Kanawha Co. Commission launches application for American Rescue Plan funds

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 11:45 PM EDT
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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The Kanawha County Commission has launched an application process for any group or organization wishing to receive funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP).

So far, the commission has received the first half of the $34,598,499 million they are getting from the ARP but have not yet decided exactly how to spend the money and want to hear from the public or anyone that feels they deserve a share.

“If you’re in Kanawha County and you’ve been hurt by COVID-19 financially, if you have project ideas, you can go to kanawha.us, complete the application,” said Commissioner Ben Salango.

The commission announced the application in July but have now launched it so the public can start applying right away.

“We’re the first local government (in the state) to do the process, we’re the first one to launch the site and we’re excited to have people on it,” Salango said.

The ARP funds have limitations on what they can be spent on, therefore the commission will either approve or deny each application that comes their way.

“The United States Treasury set guidelines on how we can spend the money,” Salango said. “We can use it for infrastructure, we can use it for economic development (or things like) water projects.”

State Auditor John “JB” McCuskey attended the meeting to discuss the application process, as he helped develop the application and applauded the commission for the tool.

“It will make the money that’s being spent more transparent and closer to those who actually needs it,” he said, “and they will feel like they have ownership over how it’s being done.”

McCuskey said he hopes other counties and municipalities follow suit so that the entire state can ensure transparency and track where every dollar goes.

“We will have tracked it and we will have placed it in a way that everyone can see how it was spent,” McCuskey said. “(Then) we can say ‘look the next time you guys want to spend another couple billion dollars, the local governments, especially here in West Virginia, are the way to go.’”

If you’re in Kanawha County and would like to apply for ARP funds you can click here for the online application.

There is also a paper application that can be found online and printed out.

Every application will be made public and be discussed at the public Kanawha County Commission meetings. Commissioners said this will allow for transparency and allow the public to review and comment on each application. Click here to access the applications already submitted to the site.

The commission office or state auditor’s office encourages anyone who needs help with the application to give them a call.

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