County Commissioners transfer ARPA monies after receiving funding requests

3 weeks ago

CARIBOU, Maine – Aroostook County Commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday to transfer $300,000 in county ARPA monies toward grant categories that received the most funding requests this year.

In December, commissioners approved a $2.4 million budget for Aroostook’s ARPA grant program, with $600,000 for public health, $334,916 for negative economic impact, $1.3 million for infrastructure and broadband and $100,000 each for natural disaster relief and Title I.

But the county received no letters of intent for Title 1, a new housing project category, and emergency and natural disaster relief. The county received only one letter for a broadband project. 

The commissioners opted to transfer $100,000 from both Title 1 and disaster relief to the infrastructure project fund and $100,000 from broadband to public health.

That gives $1,034,916 for public health projects, $1,340,000 for infrastructure and $100,000 for broadband. 

To qualify for potential funding, municipalities and nonprofits needed to submit letters of intent for their projects by Feb. 16. They must submit applications by April 1, said County ARPA Administrator Steve Pelletier.

The county received 28 letters of intent for proposed projects that total $3.3 million. Commissioners will award funds based on the county’s $2.4 million ARPA 2024 budget once they have reviewed all applications, Pelletier noted. 

Last year, Aroostook commissioners awarded $1.7 million to 16 projects, and $2.1 million to 15 projects in 2022

Aroostook received $13 million in federal COVID relief funds and allocated $6.5 million toward a grant program that municipalities and nonprofits must apply for. This year marks the final round of that grant program.

The next County Commissioners meeting will be held Wednesday, April 17 at 1 p.m. at the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office administrative building at 25 School St. in Houlton.