Aroostook hires Fort Kent CEO to handle $ 13 million in US bailout funds

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Aroostook County has hired Fort Kent’s code enforcement officer Steve Pelletier to handle the more than $ 13 million US bailout funds.

FORT KENT, Maine – Aroostook County has hired Fort Kent’s code enforcement officer Steve Pelletier to handle the more than $ 13 million US bailout funds.

Pelletier will design the plan for distributing the money – much of which will go to cities – and will be responsible for the stringent compliance and reporting requirements associated with the funds.

The county has budgeted $ 450,000 for the position, which will be spent over five years on salary and benefits. It will be funded about 60% by the county and 40% by the towns of Aroostook who wish to use the services of Steve Pelletier, said county administrator Ryan Pelletier.

A total of 32 cities have pledged to share 2% of their municipal ARP allocation – separate money from the county and different amounts depending on the size of each city. Ryan Pelletier undertook to recruit only 20 cities to participate, a goal he has largely exceeded, but now expects many more to join him before Steve Pelletier leaves on September 13.

Aroostook isn’t the only county in Maine to hire an ARP fund manager: Penobscot brought in recently retired county administrator Bill Collins and York County also hired David Nalchajian, who began in early August.

Other counties are considering hiring, promoting someone in government, or expanding the duties of the county administrator to include managing ARPA money, said Lauren Haven, administrator of the county. Maine County Commissioners Association. The counties will likely announce their plans at the next county administrators meeting on September 8, she added.

County ARP money is heavily regulated by the federal government, and very few projects are eligible for funding – this is one of the main reasons many counties are considering getting people to focus. on compliance, Haven said. If a project doesn’t comply, the county could end up with the bill.

“No one has extra money like that to do these projects without it being funded,” she said. “We will make sure that all projects are [compliant]. “

After almost nine years as a Fort Kent Code Enforcement Officer, Steve Pelletier feels well prepared for his new role. He spent most of that time working on an addition to the Fort Kent Sampling Wall, which required coordination with several state and federal agencies, including the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the Maine Department of Transportation.

Steve Pelletier will stay on as a Code Enforcement Officer until October 29, when he will make a full transition to his new county role.

“It’s bittersweet to me,” said Pelletier. “I was planning to retire probably here, but this new position in the county really piqued my interest. “

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