Rescue plan

Santa Rosa allocates funds to the American Rescue Plan Act for drainage projects

Santa Rosa County is about to certify its first round of major projects using funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, which came about last year in response to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Santa Rosa County commissioners must approve six drainage-related projects totaling more than $3 million.

Projects include:

  • $475,000 for pipe repairs at five different locations in District 1, which is centered in the Pace area.
  • $200,000 to improve a drainage ditch near North Airport Road. The analysis has already been completed and advertising for the project should be released this summer.
  • $125,000 for the replacement of a pipe on Broad Street between Route 191 and Berryhill Road.
  • $400,000 for measures to prevent further erosion in Coldwater Creek, a tributary of the Blackwater River watershed. Already, eroded areas have brought more than 170,000 tonnes of sediment into the watershed.
  • $1.5 million for drainage improvements near East Bay Boulevard. This project is also expected to shorten the duration of any flooding on the road and increase the capacity of pipelines along the road.
  • $350,000 for the replacement of a drain on East Bay Boulevard east of Bergren Road. The pipe failed previously due to excessive overflow and runoff.

ARPA Funding Discussions in 2021:Santa Rosa could use a $36 million check from the American Rescue Plan Act to fix flooding and road issues

CBC donates ARPA money to firefighters:Santa Rosa commissioners agree to give 51 county volunteer firefighters a $1,000 stipend

County Administrator DeVann Cook told the News Journal that the projects were organized by different county departments before being passed on to commissioners.

“Engineering, public works and GIS staff mostly looked at areas where there were problems and then put together a group of projects that they recommended,” Cook said.

Severe thunderstorms:Severe storms are forecast for Escambia and Santa Rosa counties until approximately 12:30 p.m.

Internet Infrastructure:Synchronizing Internet Access Is Biggest Takeaway As Santa Rosa Leaders Talk Infrastructure

Cook explained that the county has access to more ARPA funding, but is choosing to phase it in through multiple rounds of projects.

The county received approximately $36 million in ARPA funding, and under federal guidelines, the funds must be encumbered by the end of 2024 and expended by the end of 2026.

“We didn’t want to rush it. You think about it a lot because it’s a big stash of money,” Cook said.

District 1 Commissioner Sam Parker expressed enthusiasm for the ability of county staff to handle these projects, adding an additional point to mention that all five county districts are benefiting from the proposals.

Parker also said these projects would likely help address issues such as erosion and stormwater control.

In January, the commissioners also agreed to use $51,000 of ARPA funds to provide each active volunteer firefighter in the county with a $1,000 relief allowance.

The 51 volunteer firefighters were from the all-volunteer departments of Berrydale, Munson, Jay, Allentown and Harold.

The ARPA funding is similar to the $32 million of CARES Act money the county received in 2020, but the county had to spend or submit plans to spend that money by the end of this year. year.

Commissioners will vote to approve the list of drainage projects on Thursday.