The Greene County Commission has released the results of a community survey on how the county should spend nearly $57 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds awarded by the U.S. Treasury Department for COVID-19 pandemic relief.
The following press release outlines the results of that survey.
The Greene County Commission is sharing the results of a recent community survey. It asked residents what issues should be considered high priority for the $56.8 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. The money was awarded to the county by the U.S. Treasury Department for COVID-19 pandemic relief. After tabulating both digital and physical copy results, there was a total of 1,719 responses and 645 written comments.
Respondents could choose 5 out of 22 eligible categories. Here’s a breakdown of the top 10 choices:
#1: Mental Health Services (834 responses)
#2: Affordable Housing (531 responses)
#3: Service to Unhoused Persons (528 responses)
#4: Vaccination (485 responses)
#5: Small business economic assistance (485 responses)
#6: Assistance to Nonprofit Organizations (418 responses)
#7: Household Food Programs (390 responses)
#8: Broadband (370 responses)
#9: Child Care (364 responses)
#10: Service to Foster Youth (339 responses)
Respondents were also asked to provide what part of Greene County they live in. There were responses from all 10 municipalities and unincorporated sections of the county.
Respondents could also leave a written comment. They were grouped into different sections that referenced the seven expenditure categories for ARPA funds. Other comments were a wide variety of broad public or social issues including, but not limited to: Aid to tourism and travel industries, child education, rental assistance, job training, pay for essential workers, community violence interventions, substance abuse services, infrastructure and transportation, law enforcement services, parks and nature, animal shelter services, services to the elderly, and stimulus checks.
The Greene County Commissioners are using this survey to capture a snapshot of important issues. To gather further input, the Commissioners are meeting with local leaders and organizations to discuss solutions to problems they face. The first half of the $56.8 million has already been awarded to the county. Per federal guidelines, all ARPA funds must be allocated by December 31, 2024.
Non-profit listening sessions are also currently being conducted. A county team, lead by Dr. Lyle Foster, will use the ARPA community survey results, listening sessions, CFO community focus report, Forward SGF report, and Greene County census data to inform the Commission in the prioritization process. This will later guide the Commissioners to select their final priorities and allocate funds to assist Greene County in responding and recovering from the pandemic.