Lyon County Council hears requests for federal stimulus funding | News, Sports, Jobs
MARSHALL — Rebuilding streets and sewers, equipping ambulances and upgrading fire stations were all on the list of projects Lyon County communities are seeking federal stimulus funds for. On Tuesday, county commissioners heard requests for funding from the towns of Russell and Garvin, the Garvin Fire Department, Tracy Ambulance and the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office.
But while the commissioners weren’t opposed to the plans, they chose not to act on most funding requests until later this month. Lyon County first needed to have a more detailed plan for how it would use its American Rescue Plan Act funds, the commissioners said.
“We just have to make sure it’s fair for everyone,” said commissioner Steve Ritter.
Lyon County received a total of $4.9 million in ARPA funding, Lyon County Administrator Loren Stomberg said.
Of the funding requests commissioners heard on Tuesday, the only one granted immediately was $65,000 for the Tracy Ambulance service. The money would be used to buy vital signs monitors and a chest compression machine to perform CPR.
“I really wish this one got funded today,” said commissioner Rick Anderson.
The ambulance purchases would help meet an emergency medical need, and the county had previously approved $62,000 for Cottonwood Ambulance for similar purchases.
Commissioners heard several different funding requests on Tuesday. They included a request for $200,000 from the Town of Russell to help offset some street construction costs for part of a major infrastructure project. Brian Bollig, of Bollig Engineering and Environmental, said Russell plans to replace deteriorated sewer, water and stormwater pipes, among other improvements. The estimated cost of the first phase of the project was approximately $9.7 million.
Other requests included funding for upgrades to the county’s emergency paging system. The upgrades would allow Lyon County dispatch to contact multiple emergency responder groups at the same time instead of having to send separate pages to different county towers, Sheriff Eric Wallen said. The listed cost of the upgrades was approximately $263,000.
The town of Garvin was asking for financial assistance to update its water system and to seal cracks in residential streets. The total cost of these projects was approximately $123,000.
The Garvin Fire Department submitted three different funding requests, with items that would update the Garvin Fire Hall or help recruit new firefighters. A request for $13,700 would help paint the interior of the fire station and add floor strips as a guide for backing trucks. Another request for $43,000 would update the fire station bathroom and add a shower that firefighters could use after a fire call.
“A decent bathroom would be huge,” said Garvin Fire Captain Jason Algyer.
The third request from the fire department was “an original reflection” said Algiers.
For $180,000, Garvin Fire and First Responders could add crew quarters and potentially use free housing as a way to recruit new firefighters. Algyer said quarters could be an attractive option for young recruits and students alike.
“These projects are good projects” Anderson said advanced proposals. However, county commissioners said they also wanted to make sure there was a game plan for distributing ARPA funding fairly.
“For me, I would like to take all of those considerations, sit down with a committee this week and come up with some metrics,” said commissioner Charlie Sanow.
Commissioners passed a motion to return on May 17 with certain parameters for processing ARPA requests. They also asked county staff to notify cities to submit applications within a certain timeframe.