Chipley to receive $1.8 million in ARPA funds

CHIPLEY – The City of Chipley is set to receive more than $1.8 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

City Council members voted to approve a resolution to accept the funds when the board met in called session Thursday, September 2.

City Administrator Dan Miner told the council he will seek clarification on how the funds may be used.

“We will then set up a meeting to further discuss ideas with the council and see if we have any eligible projects in mind,” said Miner.

Eligible purposes for use of the funds  include infrastructure projects such as water, sewer, and broadband expansion, as well as certain administrative costs, and recovery of lost revenue.

Councilman Kevin Russell suggested using a portion of the funds to offset days lost by employees who had to use leave time due to COVID related issues. 

The money can also be potentially used to reimburse the city for the $22,000 approved last month to be paid out of the general fund to members of the Chipley Fire Department.

The action was taken following Governor Ron DeSantis announcing the stateÂ’s paid first responders would each receive a $1,000 bonus. 

Because the funds were not offered to volunteers, the council wanted to ensure Chipley Fire DepartmentÂ’s 22 volunteers were not left out.

Anticipated ARPA funds total $1,807,080 with the first half projected to be paid out within the next 30-45 days.

The federal government requires the money to be expended by the end of December 2024.

“That seems like a long time, but itÂ’s really a short time, especially if you have planning and designing to get done and then getting it out to construction,” said Miner. 

Chipley City Council will meet again in regular session at 5 p.m. Tuesday, September 14. A tentative millage and budget hearing will immediately follow the regular session.