With the first half of $3 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding in hand, the county commission held a special meeting Wednesday to talk about the distribution process.

But talks remain stalled on process.

Commissioner Leon Brathwaite presented a list of guidelines for the grant approval process, with comments from legal counsel. Included in the guidelines are structures for compliance with the law, audits and other bookkeeping procedures.

“Building what we are now is so critical to being able to give out grants,” commissioner Peter Wharton said.

Much of the discussion revolved around the county’s ability to keep track of the funds and trace them back to what is allowed by ARPA, and ensuring grant applications are eligible for ARPA funding.

“If it’s beyond the scope of this grant, why are we looking at it in the first place?” commission chairman Christine Todd said.

One mechanism suggested to ensure proper bookkeeping is making all grants reimbursement only.

Commissioner Tristan Israel suggested a subcommittee to review grant applications and vet them for their relevance to ARPA.

In the end commissioners settled on creating a dummy application and mock approval process in order to pick apart flaws.

“I think it’s as simple as coming up with a sample dummy application and running it through,” Mr. Israel said.


— Aidan Pollard