Council discusses how to spend ARPA

The City of Yuma has nearly $875,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds to spend by early in 2024.
Proposed expenditures were a topic of discussion during the Yuma City Council’s regular meeting, last week at City Hall in downtown Yuma.

City Manager Scott Moore said it had been discussed to do most of the spending in 2024, but the council could amend the 2023 budget to get more done this year.
He went over proposed expenditures for the one-time funds.
Approximately $160,000 could be used as matching funds for a new ambulance, with the rest coming from a grant. The Yuma Ambulance service also could get two powered stair chairs ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 each.
Funds could be used to match grants for the Yuma Municipal Swimming Pool, with the hope of getting it back into operation in 2024. Moore said the discussion has been to put $300,000 toward the pool project.
Another $6,500 to $7,500 could go toward a new floor at the animal shelter.
The Yuma Police Department could use a partition wall for the courtroom, though Chief Jerry Thompson said he was not sure of the cost yet. It also is proposed to get a new patrol vehicle in 2024. Thompson said it is too early to get solid costs for a 2024 purchase, but the guess is it would be around $45,000, plus more for the outfitting.
That leaves about $316,000. Moore suggested it go to the Street Department for patching the streets and the pans.
Councilman Tim McClung asked if it was a good use of money on the animal shelter floor if a new one is going to be built later. Mayor Ron Swehla said such a project would be several years down the road, and the shelter needs to stay in operation. Moore said the shelter is in solid shape except for the floor.
The council’s consensus was to get as much done in 2023, and it would amend the budget.
Moore said the expenditures of ARPA funds would be on the agenda as an action item at the next meeting.

More meeting
• The council held an executive session to discuss potential litigation. Councilman Dan Baucke abstained from participating. Look for more on this situation in a future edition of the Pioneer.
• The council unanimously approved appointing Mark Triplett from the Street Department to the Yuma County Landfill Board.
• Consideration of a POST Grant application to the Yuma Police Department for more than $12,000, to be used for training equipment, was approved, as was consideration of a POST Capital Improvement Grant for $20,000.
• Moore asked the council to approve the expenditure of not more than $17,000 for 3,000 gallons of fuel for the airport’s fuel farm, at a cost of about $5.34 per gallon. He explained that the barometric pressure in the tank would dictate exactly how much would be put, so it could be a little less or a little more than 3,000 gallons. The council approved the expenditure.
• Moore asked the council to ratify the spending of $7,920 for the boring of a primary electric line to a cell tower that is finally going to be constructed behind Eagle. The city will be reimbursed. South Platte Underground LLC is doing the work for Verizon. The council approved unanimously.
• The purchase of fireworks for $11,267.82 was approved for the Yuma Volunteer Fire Department.
• The council approved Chief Thompson’s request for $2,236 for tuition at the police academy. The department eventually will be reimbursed.
• Moore asked for input on whether or not to conduct spring clean-up this year as the General Fund is tight on funds. Baucke said he thinks it is important in helping trying to keep the town clean, adding its worth the costs. The council concurred, and spring cleaning will proceed April 17-21.