City reallocates COVID funds

May 17—VALDOSTA — To fully fund the purchase of the land and building for the new Inner Perimeter fire station, Valdosta City Council has reallocated its COVID recovery funds.

The American Rescue Plan's Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds gave $350 billion to state, local and tribal governments as a means of economic assistance in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Valdosta received $16,254,682 and spent $3,214,584.73 on premium/retainage compensation for select hourly employees in 2021.

The city set the following distribution plan at its March 21 retreat:

Griffin Avenue Housing Project: $3,300,000.

City of Valdosta (facilities, technology, etc.): 1,300,000.

AARPA Project Manager: $250,000.

Land Bank Funding (four years for executive director): $120,000.

Land Bank Authority Seed Funding: $250,000.

Purchase of properties on South Patterson and surrounding parcels: $1,300,000.

Small Business Development: $1,000,000.

Valdosta On-Demand: $500,000.

Neighborhood rehabs — housing rehab (paint, weatherization, etc.): $300,000

Mildred Hunter Center (lighting and court replacement): $245,000.

Nonprofit Allocation: $955,000.

Premium Pay to Employees: $3,214,584.

Savannah Avenue Train Project: $3,500,000.

Unallocated: $20,108.

According to Chuck Dinkins, city finance director, since the original allocation, priorities have shifted and amendments have been made to the plan. Based on recent developments, additional changes to the allocation were recommended.

To fund the purchase of the land and building for the new fire station, the city would have to increase the facilities line item by $609,857.52.

The funds are to be reallocated from the Land Bank seed funds ($100,000), the Savannah Avenue Train Project ($186,665.89), the ambulance subsidy for SGMC ($250,000) and the Second Harvest subsidy ($73,191.63).

This will be the city's fourth reallocation of COVID funding, as the city more than doubled funding for small business development, nearly tripled funding for housing rehab and added a library subsidy and Second Harvest assistance to the list.

With the adoption of the latest adjustments, the new allocation is:

Griffin Avenue Housing Project: $3,300,000.

City of Valdosta (facilities, technology, etc.): $1,909,858.

AARPA Project Manager: $250,000.

Land Bank Funding (four years for executive director): $120,000.

Land Bank Authority Seed Funding: $150,000.

Purchase of properties on South Patterson and surrounding parcels: $1,300,000.

Small Business Development: $2,008,442.

Valdosta On-Demand: $500,000.

Neighborhood Rehabs — Housing Rehab (paint, weatherization, etc.): $850,000.

Mildred Hunter Center (lighting and court replacement): $245,000.

Nonprofit Allocation: $955,000.

Premium Pay to Employees: $3,214,584.

Savannah Avenue Train Project: $475,000.

Second Harvest assistance: $926,808.

Library Subsidy: $50,000.