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Alpena County to receive $5.5 million from rescue plan

ALPENA, Mich. — Alpena County Commissioners are discussing how to spend $5,517,338 given to them from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan of 2021.

The Board of Commissioners met for a special meeting on Thursday to start to brainstorm how to spend the stimulus money. However, the United States Department of Treasury has set restrictions as to how the funds may be used.

Monies cannot be spent to pay off debt, or bonds- but it can be used to address the impacts of the pandemic on the local economy. Chairman of the Board Robert Adrian says the county wants to find out for sure what they can spend prior to beginning projects.

“We’re not going to spend any money on anything that would be up to interpretation,” Adrian said. “Not until we have a final say-so that this is approved.”

Money needs to be spent by 2024 in order for it to be used. The funding will come by tranche, or in two separate payments. The board expects the first soon, and the second 12 months after the first. Since the deadline is a few years away, the board wants to get started on some projects this year, but it won’t all happen at once.

“We would like to be able to get going on this by fall,” Adrian said. “With multiple years of this funding, it’s not going to all happen this year.”

The Board of Commissioners will meet for their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, May 25 at 1 p.m.