Merced

Merced Co. approves $34.7 million in American Rescue spending. Here’s where it’s headed.

Merced County authorized the blueprint for how to spend its latest round of COVID-19 stimulus funds. 

On Tuesday, the Merced County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the use of the $53.9 million received from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) for revenue replacement. 

The county held a final public hearing before allocating the funds, reviewing around 10,000 survey responses for public input as well as giving the public an opportunity to address the board in person before taking a vote. 

The board previously allocated $9.5 million of its total to the following three categories: 

  • COVID-19 support: $300,000
  • Community facilities: $6.7 million
  • Flood control/water: $2.5 million

With $44.5 million left to distribute, the board approved the staff recommendation for allocating $34.7 million of it, leaving nearly $10 million free for future projects. 

The board approved the following allocation, totaling $34.7 million: 

Homeless Service 

The board approved $1 million in the fiscal year 2022-2023 budget for Homeless Navigation Center operations and existing county funded emergency shelter projects, as well as an additional $1 million for the same projects in the next fiscal year. 

COVID-19 Support 

ARPA funds directed for COVID-19 support include a $100,000 reimbursement for COVID-19 and ARPA outreach expenditures in the 2021-2022 budget. 

The remaining $350,000 will be used for COVID-19 testing and vaccination activities in the 2022-2023 budget. 

Flood Control/Water 

The $4.7 million in this category will all be allocated in the 2022-2023 budget for the Black Rascal Flood Control Project. 

Roads – $10 million

The board approved $10 million for road reconstruction and resurfacing projects, which will be distributed based on the mileage of roads driven per district in order to ensure that the money is being used on the roads that people use the most. 

Public Safety 

The county’s public safety functions received a $6.5 million allocation for the 2022-2023 budget. 

Community Facilities Projects – $11 million

The projects to upgrade public facilities include the following projects for HVAC systems, libraries, parks and roofs: 

  • HVAC: Atwater Veterans Hall – $166,250
  • HVAC: Delhi Senior Citizens – $50,000
  • HVAC: Gustine Veterans Hall – $141,250
  • HVAC: Hilmar Community Hall – $140,000 
  • HVAC: Livingston Veterans Hall – $100,000
  • HVAC: Los Banos Veterans Hall – $100,000
  • HVAC: County Administration Building – $7 million
  • HVAC: Merced Library – $1.8 million
  • Library: Atwater Public Service Counter – $25,000
  • Library: Gustine Public Service Counter – $25,000
  • Library: Hoffman Teen Center Construction – $100,000
  • Parks: Delhi Shattack Park Upgrades – $150,000
  • Parks: Delhi Parkland Purchase – $400,000
  • Roof: Atwater Library – $291,000
  • Roof: Le Grand Veterans Hall – $235,000
  • Roof: Old Courthouse Museum – $336,000
Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.