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ARPA funds increase budget by nearly a third

The Town of Windsor Fiscal Year 2022 budget increased by 31.4% on Oct. 12 after the Town Council voted to amend it due to receipt of a grant associated with the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

William Saunders

ARPA is President Joe Biden’s plan to provide direct relief to Americans amid the COVID-19 pandemic, rescue the economy and contain the virus, according to WhiteHouse.gov.

At the Oct. 12 Windsor Town Council meeting, Town Manager William Saunders explained that Section §15.2-2507 of the Code of Virginia allows a local government to amend its annual

budget during the course of the fiscal year.

“However, if the proposed amendment exceeds 1% of the total of the adopted budget, the local government is required to hold a public hearing,” he said.

He noted that the council adopted the town’s FY22 budget on June 13, and the total for that budget, entering Oct. 12, was nearly $3.3 million.

Following the budget’s adoption, a grant from the commonwealth of Virginia associated with ARPA allocated $1,033,658.63 to the town, Saunders said.

This proposed amendment exceeds 31% of the total of the existing budget and is what necessitated the Oct. 12 public hearing that immediately followed Saunders’ summary.

Saunders said adding the ARPA funds to the town budget would amend the revenue portion of the general fund by the addition of an ARPA line item in the amount of $1.033 million, as well as the expenditure portion of the general fund by the addition of an ARPA line item in the same amount.

No one spoke during the public hearing. Moments after the hearing was closed, the council voted 4-0 to adopt the resolution amending the town budget by the addition of the $1.033 million amount. The new funds represent 23.9% of the increased FY 22 budget, which now totals more than $4.3 million.

Not voting were council members J. Randy Carr and George Stubbs, who were absent from the meeting.

In a previous Town Council meeting, Saunders noted that Windsor would be receiving ARPA funds in two portions, that would have a combined total of approximately $2.066 million. He said the first part — $1.033 million — was received June 30, and the second portion, of an equal amount, should come June 30, 2022.

Near the end of his comments on the first $1.033 million during the Oct. 12 meeting, Saunders said, “Allocations, appropriations and/or budget transfers that reflect the expenditures related to this revenue will be brought forward for council’s approval once they are determined.”