The De Queen City Council approved a resolution to accept Federal Relief Act money at their Sept. 7 meeting.
According to the resolution, on March 11, the American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law to provide relief from the covid pandemic. The funds may be used to abate negative economic effects on households, businesses and non-profits. It can also be used to aid impacted industries such as tourism, travel and hospitality. Another benefit is to provide premium pay to eligible workers of the city that are performing essential work or by providing grants to eligible employers that perform essential work.
The resolution states that the city will receive $1,350,208 in funding of which the city had already received $675,101 on July 26.
Mayor Jeff Brown told the council that it was “free money” and that the city would have to spend every dime of it and it would all have to be tracked. He said that money would be spent on a big project at the wastewater treatment plant that would take about $400,000, and at the water plant, which was built in 1968, and had some structural issues that needed to be resolved.
“It’s a good deal,” he told the council.
City Clerk Donna Jones said that the council vote was acknowledging the receipt of the money and how the city had acquired it.
Brown said there was a lot of red tape between now and the start of the projects but that with the funding the city had half the money toward them.
The council voted 6-0 to accept the funds.