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Beshear details 2nd round of ARPA funding, totalling $162 Million in COVID relief for Kentucky cities

Ryland Barton

Gov. Andy Beshear announced an additional $162 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds is going to Kentucky cities Thursday.

Beshear’s announcement listed 360 non-entitlement Kentucky cities – cities with populations under 50,000 that didn’t file for a different distinction with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – set to receive funds offsetting expenses related to COVID-19, including personal protective equipment, vaccination clinics, loss of revenue, payroll and more. Each city’s allocation is based on population, per the U.S. Treasury Department.

These funds represent the second round, or tranche, of ARPA funding for local governments, with these cities having received their first round of funding last year. In total, $162,101,603 is set to go to Kentucky cities in this tranche.

“COVID has proven that Kentucky can rise to meet challenges when we work together,” Beshear said in a release. “This funding will set eligible city governments up for success as we remain committed to building a better Kentucky.”

The tornado-impacted community of Dawson Springs will be getting just over $350,000 in this tranche. Mayor Chris Smiley hopes to find a way to use this funding, along with the more than $340,000 the city was allocated in the first round last summer, to aid in the city’s disaster recovery.

“You know the tornado kind of messed us up on a lot of things that we had planned to get done but we’ve still got that money, we haven’t used it for anything,” Smiley said.

Mayfield is set to receive a little more than $1.31 million dollars. Mayor Kathy O’Nan said this is around $40,000 more than expected and she hopes to use those funds to the city’s advantage.

“It’s a great boon to our revenues coming because we just are not sure what this next year holds for us,” O’Nan said. “So to be able to buy or do some capital expenditures out of this money is really beneficial to Mayfield.”

O’Nan aims to use the funds to make capital expenditures in Mayfield, including buying radio equipment for first responders and acquiring needed equipment for the Graves County community’s public works department.

Several other western Kentucky cities also received a second round of ARPA funding, including Paducah ($3,322,422.97); Murray ($2,582,443.94); Benton ($596,339.18); Marion ($379,610.04); Calvert City ($334,714.24); Eddyville ($340,058.98); Clinton ($167,156.69); La Center ($128,140.10); Pembroke ($118,786.81); Kuttawa ($89,524.37) Wickliffe ($86,718.38); Kevil ($78,033.18); Wingo ($75,282.00); and Grand Rivers ($49,037.97), among others.