Columbus’s plans to spend its share of American Rescue Plan Act money

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – The City of Columbus’s plans to spend its share of American Rescue Plan Act money continue to take shape.

At a press conference Wednesday morning, Mayor Keith Gaskin discussed how the ARPA Funds have been earmarked so far.

Originally, $1.3 million was set aside for incentive pay for city workers. Only about 700,000 of that will be needed.

About half a million will be spent on cleaning up blighted properties.

55,000 has been spent on the city’s contract with Wagner Consulting to have them develop and prioritize a list of projects.

The biggest chunk, about $3 million is being set aside for drainage and flooding remediation projects.

That is because the city can potentially double its money with the help of matching grants from the state. Making the best use of one-time money to fix long-term issues

“It’s the obvious one of the reasons we have these problems within the city is because it’s difficult for the city to find funding, and the county for that matter, to deal with infrastructure issues. When you don’t deal with infrastructure issues for years and years and years, which we have a report dating back to the ’70s telling us what we needed to do from a flooding standpoint in this town, this is what continues to happen,” said Mayor Keith Gaskin.

The guidelines for the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality Grant program are expected to be published in July 1st, and they should begin accepting projects in August or September.

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