Crossett Mayor Crystal Marshall announced Monday that Crossett could be in a position to receive up to $200,000 in COVID-19 relief funds from federal and state sources.
Last week, the Arkansas Legislative Council granted the state Department of Finance and Administration up to $150 million in spending authority to use federal relief funds to reimburse cities and counties for their COVID-related expenses.
The $150 million is part of $1.25 billion that the state received under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.
A news release from Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s office said the 15-member steering committee, who Hutchinson appointed to recommend the best uses of the money, endorsed the plan for the funds cities and counties had presented.
The news release said the state’s 499 cities and towns will be eligible to be reimbursed up to a total $75 million, and the 75 counties will be eligible to be reimbursed the same amount.
Marshall said that Crossett had been notified that they were eligible for approximately $218, 174.93.
This is not an amount the city will receive, Marshall said, but is instead the cap of what the city can receive.
Now, Marshall and Deputy Clerk Lisa Gulledge will begin going through training to see what city expenses, both past and present, qualify for the funding.
Marshall said the qualified funds could be anything from money the city paid a worker who was on required leave because to the virus or it could be the simple purchase of masks.
Once Marshall and Gulledge complete the training, they will begin working with department heads and looking over the budget to see just how much money Crossett can receive.
Marshall’s announcement about the funds was made during the city council’s regular budget meeting. The council also discussed during the budget meeting:
-The Crossett Fire Department had an income of triple what was budgeted.
Councilman Dale Martinie pointed out the overage during the council meeting and commended the fire department.
“We don’t just want to talk about the bad, but we want to talk about the good things too,” Martinie said.
-Martinie asked what was being done at the sports complex to bring in revenue and asked for a report. Marshall said that she had been working with the groups and volunteers to get together some tournaments.
“They are volunteers and most of them have full time jobs so it’s just a matter of getting together,” Marshall said. “But we do want to host tournaments out there.”
Martinie said that Marshall had so much on her plate that he hoped that she would delegate out the complex events. Marshall said that her plan now was to meet with people and get some form of organization or system in place so that tournaments could be organized without her having to micromanage.
-Some of the council members asked for an update on the status of the new garbage truck, the purchase of which the council recently approved.
Public Works Director Jeff Harrison said the trucks are being built. He also said the city was told it would be 45 to 60 days before they were built and that the company is still in that time frame.
-Marshall announced that two new American flags had been purchased for the city. One has already been hung on Main Street and the other is for backup so that in the future the city didn’t have to fly a tattered one while waiting on a new one to be shipped.