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Over the past year, the Wayne County Commission has used the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) the county received through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to make improvements in many areas of the county. Funding guidelines emphasized using funds for COVID-19 related expenses as well as to water, sewer and broadband infrastructure. While staying within guidelines, the commissioners’ primary consideration has been funding projects that will have the biggest impact on the largest number of county residents.
The Commission spent almost $300,000 on improvements to local water systems. Wayne County funded new water meters for the City of Greenville and Public Water District #2, which serves the Patterson area. These meters will allow better tracking of water usage and quick location of leaks. The Commission is currently working with Public Water District #4 in Wappapello on a meter project and discussing a future partnership with the City of Williamsville.
The Village of Mill Spring and Public Water Supply District #3 received county funding for engineering services which allowed them to apply for state ARPA funding to improve their water systems. As a direct result of this local investment, Mill Spring received $4,217,690.74 and Public Water District #3 received $4,877,049.00 from the State of Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
The Commission also spent approximately $130,000 in equipment purchases for the Road and Bridge Department. Additional ARPA funds covered the cost to pave approximately 2.25 miles of county roads during the past year.
In the Wappapello area, Wayne County’s ARPA funds will provide local match money which, combined with more than $900,000 in state funding, will cover the cost of up to 25 miles of fiber optic cable. Once completed, this project will bring high-speed broadband to more than 700 locations in southeast Wayne County. The Commission continues to work with internet service providers and other broadband stakeholders to expand high-speed broadband service to the entire county.
Wayne County’s ARPA funds have also provided equipment for the City of Piedmont Fire Department, equipment for the County Coroner’s office, and a new computer network and vehicles for the Sheriff’s Department.
Although Wayne County has not spent its entire SLFRF award, the Commission has allocated the remaining funds for future projects. In addition to the water projects in Wappapello and Williamsville, mentioned above, the County ARPA funds will replace equipment at a lift station that services the county jail and provide matching funds for two bridge construction projects.