How does Hanover County plan to spend $29M in American Rescue Plan Act funding?

Hanover County
Kamala Harris, Janet Yellen

Vice President Kamala Harris, right, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, at left, attend a virtual roundtable with participants from Black Chambers of Commerce across the country to discuss the American Rescue Plan, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, from the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Hanover County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a budget supplement of $29,274,115 with funds received through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

The vote happened at its July 28 meeting, during which Director of Finance and Management Services Jacob Sumner detailed the proposed uses for the funding.

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provided additional relief to address the continued impact of COVID-19 on the economy, public health, state and local governments, individuals and businesses. Hanover County and Hanover County Public Schools received independent allocations of $20,932,282 and $8,341,833, respectively.

Sumner said that at the county level, $2 million will be used for pandemic response and mitigation efforts.

“With the COVID-19 variants that are out there in the community, we don’t quite know what’s going to happen, particularly in the fall — what type of public health, type of public safety response we’ll need,” he said.

Another $2 million was proposed for small business and community support, while the remaining $16.9 million would be used for the expansion of broadband.

Sumner said that the deadline to spend the county funds is Dec. 31, 2024.

On July 13, the Hanover County School Board met to provide its recommendations for the allocation of its American Rescue Plan Act funding. According to Sumner, eligible uses include the safe reopening of schools, sustaining safe operations in schools and addressing students’ social, emotional and mental health and academic needs. Additionally, at least 20% of the provided funding must be spent to address learning loss.

As such, the School Board approved the use of $3.7 million for instructional staff for learning loss and class size targets, $4.5 million for technology and equipment and $90,000 for human resources to create a touchless onboarding process through an existing application platform.

Sumner said that the deadline to spend the school division funds is Sept. 30, 2024.

“The Finance Committee has reviewed the County Administrator’s recommendation that is before us tonight and unanimously approved passing it on and recommending it to this Board,” Hanover County Finance Committee member W. Canova Peterson said.

Hanover County Board of Supervisors Chairman and Henry District Rep. Sean Davis called for a vote, which was approved unanimously.

“When we’re spending your money, we have to make sure that it’s through a process that is open, that is transparent and that we are getting the highest return on investment that we can get,” Davis said.

The funding will be added as a supplement to the FY2022 budget.

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