PORT RICHEY – Port Richey City Council members voted to approve the American Rescue Plan Act Corona Virus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund Agreement during the Sept. 14 regular meeting.

City Manager John Dudte stated that the agreement between the city and federal government has been reviewed after receiving it in August. Half of the funds will be sent first, approximately $734,502, and the other half will be sent at a later date next year. The city will have certain deadlines to spend ARPA funds up to three or four years in future.

The total sum of ARPA funds is $1,469,004. Finance Director Rachel Gosselin said before the city puts forward a spending plan to council, she and Dudte are looking to get legal guidance as to how it can be used.

“It’ll help a lot, especially for our water and sewer projects,” Gosselin said. “We have a lot of capital projects we’re looking to do, so it will definitely help with that.”

Mayor Scott Tremblay added, “We like to hear citizens’ comments, they’ll give us their opinion on what they’d like to see. With the COVID pandemic, we’ve had to spend our taxpayers’ money with additional firefighters, overtime for police, additional equipment, so there’s been a lot of different expenditures that we’ve had to use citywide that weren’t budgeted. I think this will help defray some of those costs.”

The city also approved the renewal of its Proposal for Property & Casualty Insurance Coverage. Dudte said there will not be any significant change in coverage but there were discussions with representatives of PRM of possible upcoming changes in the future, specifically dealing with the liability of IT systems.

When Dudte was asked if the city shopped around for other insurance options, he said no, but he feels comfortable with the rates provided by the coverage.