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Here’s how Bannock County will use its remaining COVID-19 recovery funds

Bannock County Commissioners at a recent meeting | file photo, Feb. 2023
POCATELLO — Bannock County Commissioners have set aside $17 million in American Rescue Plan Act Funds for 29 new projects.
ARPA was passed by Congress in 2021 to help local communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The commissioners finished committing these funds on April 15 when they voted against putting funding towards the proposed forensic pathology center. The $4.5 million that would’ve gone towards the center was redistributed throughout the rest of the ARPA projects.
RELATED | Bannock County commissioners vote down East Idaho Forensic Pathology Center
“We wanted to have something that would be lasting and not just throw it into something that you’re going to forget about next year,” Commissioner Ernie Moser says.
Here are the projects that have been approved but have yet to be completed:

The Event Center will receive a new flag pole for $10,000.
Installing doors for the elections office that are ADA compliant for $25,000.
Purchasing a water truck for the race track and arena at the event center for $44,000.
A seating upgrade for the grandstands at the event center for $50,000.
?The Ag Extension building will receive a remodel for $50,000.
Upgrades and a remodel of the Bannock County Historical Museum for $165,000.
Paying off enterprise leases for county vehicles for $279,000.
Two boiler replacements for the courthouse for $350,000.
The Bannock County Veterans Memorial Building will receive upgrades and repairs for $388,175.
New security cameras will be installed at county facilities and the Event Center and existing ones will be upgraded for $400,000.
The Road & Bridge building will be replaced for $500,000.
The county will get two dump trucks and blades for snow plowing for $710,000.
The 6th Street entrances to the courthouse and elections office are being reconstructed for $750,000.
Building repairs for the Assessor’s Office which include expanding the DMV counter for $750,000.
The 911 microwave towers will be upgraded for $900.000.
A building will be constructed for the Youth Development Center and Event Center office for $1,544,519.
Old building will be torn down at the Bannock County Fairgrounds and two barns, an office, a meeting room and an exhibit building will be constructed for $1,600,000.
The detention center and Sheriff’s Office will receive building maintenance, security, landscaping and other upgrades, including a remodel for the house Search and Rescue and SWAT team building for $2,362,825.

Here are the projects that have been completed so far:

ADA compliant doors were installed at the Detention Center for $21,920.
The county purchased a tractor for grooming at the Event Center for $25,000.
The IT department received a router upgrade for $52,592.
A truck was purchased for Public Works for $54,060.
ePoll books were purchased for elections for $58,650.
The building cost estimates for the forensic pathology center for $110,696.
“The Village” Safe Teen Assessment Center was constructed for $110,696.
The roof was replaced on the Detention Center for $949,750.
The McCammon Fire Station received a roof replacement for $949,750.
The Portneuf Wellness Complex received a sewer upgrade for $1,502,000.
The first event season received cash flow at the Bannock County Event Center for $2,000,000.

Moser said all of these projects offer a variety of benefits.
One example he pointed to was The Village, a safety and recovery center for juveniles. In seven months of operation, it’s already served 500 people.

The Village was opened in August with the assistance of ARPA funds. | file photo
RELATED | The Village: Instead of criminalizing kids — help them
He also pointed to projects that will benefit south Bannock County, one of which is the new ambulance bay in McCammon.
“We felt like it would have great longevity, it would bring safety and it provides a lot of services for the south end of the county, and so that became a priority,” Moser said.
The county received about $200 million worth of requests for ARPA funds. Due to the finite amount of funds, many people who put in requests were disappointed not to receive any.
Moser wishes they were able to provide funding for everyone who gave them a request. He felt everyone who came before them treated the process seriously, but they had to evaluate projects by the impact they would have for the county.
“When it comes down to it, we had to look at county funds being spent to benefit all the people of the county,” Moser said.
The post Here’s how Bannock County will use its remaining COVID-19 recovery funds appeared first on East Idaho News.

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