PERRY TWP. – Department heads explained Tuesday how they would like to spend American Rescue Plan Act dollars, with a focus on large purchases of equipment and vehicles.
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Perry’s directors held a nearly 90-minute work session to get an idea of how to spend the roughly $1.6 million in incoming federal funds. No formal decision was made on Tuesday evening and further talks are likely.
A new fire truck purchase was pitched by Fire Chief Larry Sedlock, who said replacing the 34-year-old rescue model was high on his list. The cost of a new engine would be around $800,000.
Currently, the fire department has four engines in its fleet, Sedlock said. A new ambulance costing around $265,000 was also discussed by the chief.
“We would like a new ambulance to bring our fleet to five,” Sedlock said, adding that the agency is approaching 4,000 medical calls per year.
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The American Rescue Plan Act — the $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill signed into law in March 2021 — included $350 billion for state and local governments nationwide. The funding is intended to help municipalities, townships and villages recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than $421 million in federal funds for local governments flowed to the Ohio Treasury last year. The money must be earmarked for specific uses by 2024 and spent no later than 2026.
Police chief searches for critical response vehicle
Perry Police Chief Mike Pomesky told administrators that a critical response or emergency operations vehicle would be beneficial to the police department. Currently, the agency uses an outdated ambulance provided by the fire department.
A new vehicle is expected to cost more than $200,000, according to Pomesky, who said it was a necessary upgrade to help detectives and officers with homicide investigations. Forensic materials and a generator are stored in the vehicle.
Funds to help the Perry Road Department with a $615,000 stormwater project in the Plymouth Knolls Subdivision have been discussed by Roads Supervisor John Masalko.
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A new snowplow truck and several utility trucks for the road service are also on Masalko’s wish list. The agency’s fleet includes trucks purchased in 1992, 1995 and 1997.
Township Administrator Joyce Martin came up with an idea to improve the Fasnacht Farm driveway and parking lot. The cost is estimated at around $76,000, she said.