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Houghton County Board Mulls Use of ARPA Funds

Houghton County continues to discuss the best ways to use federal money coming in from the American Rescue Plan.

The county is expecting $6.8 million in ARPA funds. Some has already been earmarked for five new sheriff’s department patrol cars.

At their monthly meeting yesterday, county commissioners discussed other options. Jeff Ratcliffe from the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance suggested using some of the cash to tear down blighted buildings that the county and other local governments have inherited after tax defaults…

The Land Bank seems to be the repository of last resort of any and all properties that don’t clear the auction. They have an inventory of buildings that need to come down, as well as there are other buildings in our community.

Ratcliffe said the state has made very little money available in recent years to allow such properties to be cleared. 

Department heads have also submitted recommendations, and suggestions from the public continue to be welcomed. The county must allocate ARPA funds by 2025, and spend the money by 2027.

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