Fiscal Court approves ARPA funds for East Clark County Water District

Published 4:00 pm Thursday, March 7, 2024

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While Feb. 29 might come once every four years, Thursday’s meeting of the Clark County Fiscal Court operated as would any other. 

On Leap Day, the Clark County Fiscal Court met, deciding, among other actions, to approve ARPA Funds for a project with the East Clark County Water District and authorizing a resolution for the Clark County Clerk (HB1) Election Equipment Grant. 

Following the public comment session of the meeting, a discussion of what to do regarding the Muddy Creek Pump Station rehabilitation arose. 

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Magistrate Ernest Pasley motioned to assist the East Clark County Water District in charge of the project by providing $258,000 in remaining ARPA funds, which was seconded by Magistrate Chris Davis. 

After raising some concerns, which included assuring that federal procurement guidelines were being followed, Magistrate Robert Blanton asked that William Ballard – general manager of East Clark County Water District – speak about the project.  

Ballard acknowledged that it has been 20 years since the previous rehabilitation. 

“We work on the assumption that at 20 years old, electrical [equipment]…is starting to wear out. It’ll start causing you problems,” he said. “We’re trying to be proactive and replace this pump station. We’ve got two more pump stations that are in line not in the next couple of years but in about ten years.” 

Though acknowledging that the project had been budgeted for prior to COVID-19, Ballard stated that the aftermath of the pandemic and other economic factors had a negative impact, requiring more support. 

Ultimately, following discussion, the motion was approved 6-1 to allocate $258,000 in ARPA funds for the Muddy Creek Pump Station rehabilitation pending approval from Compass Municipal Advisors, who consult with the Clark County Fiscal Court. 

Magistrate Blanton was the lone “no” vote. 

“I’m just [going to] say no because of the process [how] we’re going through ARPA money. I’ve thought all along we need to do a better job,” he said. “I’m not against the project at all, but just the process we’re going through.” 

Additionally, as mentioned, a resolution was authorized for the Clark County election equipment grant. 

The Clark County Fiscal Court previously had bought equipment, including voting machines. 

“We [can] go back and maybe get some of this money back [retroactively],” said Clark County Clerk Michelle Turner. “This grant is for [up to] $185,000. We spent [approximately] $169,000…I’m hoping that we can at least get that money back.” 

The motion to go forth with the resolution passed unanimously.