Putnam County Sheriff puts ARC money to use

American Recovery Act funds are ‘use it or lose it’

HENNEPIN — Improvements are in progress at Putnam County Sheriff’s Department and Courthouse.

Strict budget cuts in recent years have left the department little money for improvements, but federal funds have boosted the sheriff’s coffers, allowing for progress on his project list.

The American Rescue Plan provides $350 billion in emergency funding for state and local governments to remedy this mismatch between rising costs and falling revenues. States receive $500 million each for use on economic recovery caused by the ongoing pandemic as well as funding for capital improvement projects.

Sheriff Kevin Doyle last week updated the county board as to how he’s been putting to use ARC funds over the last few months.

Putnam County has received $1.14 million in ARC funds, $221,937 of which has been spent to date, Doyle said.

Doyle emphasized to the board that the remaining $892,795 must be spent, saying the money is “not a rainy day fund, it needs to be spent now.”

Doyle broke down project costs thus far as follows:

• May 7, purchase of a tankless water heater at $4,655.

• July 21, HVAC for circuit clerk’s office at $4,495.

• Aug. 13, sheriff’s office/courthouse personnel premium pay/employee share at $177,609.

• Aug. 30, down payment on five HVAC units at $11,475.

• Aug. 30, evidence management system at $2,782.

• Aug. 30, down payment on phone system at $12,480.

• Sept. 9, evidence management at $8,440.