Liverpool Twp. talks ARP funds
LACROFT — This round of COVID money is going to have its own challenges, Liverpool Township officials explained Monday night during their meeting.
Fiscal Officer Shirley Flati said that the township filed and approved their first installment of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds, which was $197,000.
However, trustees learned last week that spending it isn’t necessarily going to be a walk in the park.
This time they have until Dec. 31, 2024 to obligate the money and Dec. 31, 2026 to have it spent or else they have to return the unspent moneys.
According to the Ohio Township Association website, eligible uses include public health expenditures; premium pay for essential workers; investment in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure; and pretty much anything else police or fire-related.
Trustees, like many officials in the East Liverpool area, had hoped that streets and drainage along with the road department would be allowed uses, but that wasn’t the case. According to Keith Burke, who chaired the meeting in the absence of Dennis Giambroni, “We hope that the next money will focus on that.”
Fellow trustee Mike Bahen agreed, as there are many needs within the road department, where those moneys could assist. For example, the township is in need of new trucks and a place to store salt, but cannot spend the ARP on that under the guidelines.
However, they did agree Monday night to purchase two new pickup trucks for the fire department, brand new Dodge 2500, from Columbiana Chrysler Jeep Dodge for $91,909 total. This included everything but the lettering, according to Bahen. He said they will take the department’s older 2003 pickup and give it to the road department.
In addition, as a result of the pandemic, trustees were made aware of an area without broadband on Stagecoach Road. They are currently talking to Comcast to extend service out to the dead spot to allow residents to either work from home or attend school remotely. Although the township and internet provider are still talking about the cost, Bahen said in the past, trustees learned it would cost $9,000 to extend the service just to the first house in the area; however, they are hoping that they can get a better price by adding more houses.
In other action, Marion Perkins, who is heading up the township’s litter program, reported that since June, when the township initiated the program, workers have collected 156 large black garbage bags of trash from township roads. Most recently 30 bags from Kountz Avenue hill and Irish Ridge Road, which had a plethora of discarded fast food containers and beer bottles.
Trustees talked about firming up penalties on litterbugs who are caught in the act to help and stop the problem.
The next trustee meeting will be 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 9 at the township administration building.