Mayor addressed use of ARP funds at council meeting


BUCKHANNON — Mayor Robbie Skinner opted to discuss use of ARP funds during discussion of a bid tabulation for the Tennerton Tank Painting at city council meeting on Thursday April 21.

One of the items on the agenda under correspondence and information was titled “Bid Tabulation-Tennerton Tank Painting- Bid Opening April 7, 2022.” Mayor Skinner explained, “I want to touch on this just for a second. I, Jerry Arnold, Jay Hollen, and Randy Sanders met with County Commission today. County Commission held some public hearing meetings regarding their share of ARP funds. The City of Buckhannon and County Commission each received ARP funds. City of Buckhannon receiving just shy of $2.5 million and Upshur County Commission received just a little south of $4.6 or $4.7 million… The City of Buckhannon has dedicated projects that we would like to see our ARP funds used for, such as upgrades for the water and sewer. One of those upgrades was for the rehabilitation of the Tennerton water storage tank. This provides fire flow to Buckhannon-Upshur High School,” said Mayor Skinner.

Mayor Skinner continued that in June of 2021, City Council had approached County Commission regarding this project and had requested $300,000 in funds for the project, which is estimated to total $700,000. Following another estimate for what was needed for the project, the total was then estimated to be a total of $300,000. City Council then revised their requested to County Commission and asked for a $150,000 contribution. Mayor Skinner reported that the Upshur County Commission received nearly $7 million in requests for the $4.6 million that they have to allocate.

“They do not wish to assist at this time with this particular project which means that the City of Buckhannon will take care of it,” Mayor Skinner noted. Mayor Skinner continued to report that very soon the City of Buckhannon will be required to fix this tank. He reported that every tank has to be reviewed every three to five years and that it is nearing a point to which the tank will require a complete overhaul. Mayor Skinner further elaborated that the Buckhannon City Council and Upshur County Commission have worked on communication and will be tackling some projects together.

For those unaware of ARP funding, it is known as the American Rescue Plan. The ARP is a COVID-19 relief package that will help rebuild the economy following the pandemic. “$678 million in funding will go directly to West Virginia’s cities and counties, to be administered by local governments. In addition to coronavirus-related expenses, Senator Manchin worked to ensure that this direct funding can be used for infrastructure projects - including water, sewer, and broadband internet projects. This is the first time that cities and counties will get direct relief funding from the federal government. This historic investment will allow our communities to reinvest in critical services like police, fire and EMS, which have been so critical during the pandemic and take on critical infrastructure projects that will create jobs and improve West Virginians’ quality of life,” as noted by information from manchin.senate.gov.

Further information obtained from manchin.senate.gov reveals timing, rules and a funding formula. The website also disclosed the amounts of funding received by metro cities, counties and municipalities.

Log on to manchin.senate.gov for more details and information regarding ARP funding and allocation.

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