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Schuylkill County News

Commissioners to Hear ARPA Spending, CHIRP Grant Updates

We expect to hear how the ARPA money got shuffled around in 2022.

schuylkill commissioners meeting agenda january 25 2023

Schuylkill County Commissioners are expected to hear updates on two COVID-related funds at their regular meeting on Jan. 25.

According to the public Agenda for that meeting, the Commissioners will hear a 4th Quarter 2022 update on the American Rescue Plan Act spending and accounting from Mark Morgan.

Morgan represents Susquehanna Accounting & Consulting Solutions, the firm hired by the Commissioners to advise on how Schuylkill County can spend the more than $27 million it received from ARPA.

Schuylkill County Commissioners Meeting Agenda for Jan. 25, 2023

Typically, taxpayers in Schuylkill County only hear of ARPA fund spending after the Commissioners have already decided to spend it. They’ve made very little public about their intentions with the money.

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The Commissioners used $5.6 million of that fund recently to offset part of a $10.2 million deficit with the 2023 budget.

Morgan’s firm also helped the Commissioners with some crafty post-game accounting with the CARES Act funds from 2020.

Schuylkill Commissioners will also hear from Stephen Ursich, of NEPA Alliance. That’s the group that helped the County administer the COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program (CHIRP) grants.

Those were grants designed specifically for businesses in the hospitality industry, like restaurants and hotels.

Last year, the Commissioners approved $460,000 from its ARPA money to fund a second round of the CHIRP grants for local businesses that missed out on the first round.

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In 2021, a total of 65 recipients were awarded CHIRP grants up to $25,000 each but 16 businesses missed out.

Here’s a look at the full agenda before the Schuylkill County Commissioners on Jan. 25:

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