With more than $3 million in federal recovery act funds to distribute, the Dukes County commission has received close to $8 million in requests from Island organizations.

A steering committee, made up of county commissioners Don Leopold, John Cahill and Peter Wharton, Jeff Kristal of the Tisbury select board and West Tisbury select board member Skipper Manter, reviewed 22 applications for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding before making their recommendations during the commission’s regular online meeting Wednesday afternoon.

“Water and wastewater came up as a dominant issue,” said Mr. Leopold, who chaired the group.

The committee is recommending a $750,000 bid from the Martha’s Vineyard Commission for nitrogen-reducing septic technology and a $500,000 application from the town of Edgartown for its wastewater plant.

Other applications that saw majority support from the committee include $500,000 for broadband in Tisbury; $105,000 to Island Health Care/TestMV for Covid-19 testing, with another $245,000 in reserve if needed; $100,000 for the Martha’s Vineyard Substance Use Disorder Coalition and $30,000 for the Martha’s Vineyard Law Enforcement Council.

After learning last May that the county would receive $3.3 million in ARPA funds; the county commission eventually decided to create a processs for Island towns and groups to apply for funds, and set up the committee to review the requests. Under its own policy, the county will retain five per cent of the total for grant-related administrative costs not covered by regular county office business.

Before making a final determinations, commissioners will read all 22 applications and hold a dedicated meeting to review them, chairman Christine Todd said.

Among other business Wednesday, county manager Martina Thornton said the commission needs to develop a long-term capital improvement plan for county-owned facilities.

“We need to hire someone who knows what goes into [such a plan] and makes professional recommendations,” she said. “With that also goes the property management plan . . . We owe it to our staff and also the county as an organization.” she said.

County services are outgrowing the space available, Ms. Thornton told commissioners, noting a lack of privacy at the health care office and the expectation that more residents will require services in the future.

“The assumption is that the staff needs will be higher, and we don’t have space to accommodate any more people in that building,” Ms. Thornton said.

Mr. Wharton and commissioner Leon Brathwaite agreed to co-chair a subcommittee on the capital improvement plan.

Also Wednesday, the commission heard a report from Chilmark health department head Marina Lent on grant funding for a county-wide program of Covid-19 contact tracing, and received a presentation from MVC planner Dan Doyle on community wildfire protection.

At the request of the Edgartown affordable housing committee, commissioners appointed Jason Mazar-Kelly to the regional housing committee. A vacancy for Aquinnah remains on the regional committee, Ms. Thornton said.