MOSCOW, ID— More than a dozen local projects have been funded by the Latah County Commissioners to address the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In May of 2021, Latah County received an allocation of $7,790,509.00 in State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Since then, the Commissioners have been reviewing projects and requests for funding that meet the eligibility criteria, which include those that respond to the public health emergency and its negative impacts.
Over the last year, the Latah County Commissioners surveyed communities and heard project proposals or funding requests from many organizations. As of August 2022, the Commissioners have allocated all funds. Below is a list of items approved for funding:
- Hoodoo Water Emergency Response
- Emergency public drinking and clean water shortage response, including immediate potable water hauling services and supply.
- Moscow Affordable Housing Trust
Support to complete a permanently affordable housing project using the Community Land Trust Model executed in partnership with the University of Idaho College of Art and Architecture.
- Palouse Basin Aquifer Committee
Support for launching a water savings device and education program for rural residents of Latah County.
- Sojourners Alliance
Funding to renovate the existing Sojourners Alliance building to accommodate an additional 6 unhoused individuals.
- Latah Recovery Center
Support for establishing a safe and sober living residence under the Oxford House model.
- Rural Fire-EMS Communications Upgrades
Purchase of handheld radio upgrades to comply with modern communications standards and improve first responders’ ability to react to health and safety emergencies.
- Clearwater Basin Youth Conservation Corps
Gap funding to address sudden, pandemic-related cost increases, ensuring the continuation of the Potlatch crew.
- Moscow Food Bank
Support for renovating the food distribution facility by increasing storage and services for disproportionately impacted community members.
- Latah County Government Services
Reimbursement for essential County functions including general government administration, staff, and facilities as well as the provision of police and other public safety services. Latah County
“Ultimately, we decided to contribute to a handful of large projects that demonstrated broad community benefits,” said Commissioner Lamar. “We feel we made some good decisions that will have a big impact.”
The above projects represent those funded directly with the County’s SLFRF allocation. Other projects have also been made possible because of reimbursing County coffers for roughly $6.9 million in costs associated with government
services. With the reimbursement freeing up existing budget dollars, the Commissioners can fund additional projects from the County budget, such as:
- Moscow-Pullman Airport Terminal Renovation
Contribution to meet local match requirements for the $61 million economic development project.
- District 2 Digital Interoperability Governance Board Middle-Mile Fiber project
Support for a regional public safety communications project to build redundancy across five Counties.
- Purchase of New DMV and Drivers Licensing building
Strategic investment in Latah County services and facilities, most notably to improve public access to DMV and Licensing and address space constraints associated with a growing population and expanding services.
- Improvements to County Services and Facilities
Upgrades to County buildings and services, including HVAC, remote meeting capabilities, IT infrastructure and servers, security and safety measures, law enforcement communications, public parks access, among others.
“These improvements are long-overdue County upgrades,” said Commissioner Lamar. “We’re excited to be able to make a dent in our long list of needs, as well as contribute to some projects that will ratchet up economic growth in our region.”