Per action taken by the Jonesboro Board of Aldermen at the Certification of Emergency special called meeting held this past Monday, April 17th, the Town of Jonesboro is no longer under a State of Emergency.
Jonesboro Mayor James “Spike” Harris had issued the declaration of State of Emergency due to the town’s fleet of vehicles being in such a dilapidated state that they were unsafe to operate.
The special session was required so that American Recovery Plans Act (ARPA) funds received in 2022 could be allocated for use to enter into a lease agreement with Enterprise Fleet Management for new vehicles.
“Our fleet of vehicles were in such a state that we could no longer tolerate any delays in getting this done,” reflected Harris. “We took the measures that were necessary to move forward with this and now the Town of Jonesboro in a better place,” said Harris.
The emergency session which introduced amendments to Ordinance’s 2022-004 and 2022-005 and adopted Ordinance 2023-001, was called pursuant to LA R.S. 33:405.
The new Ordinance transferred $47,095.38 from line item Water Revenues being federal grants “ARPA” to transfer into 2022-004 under Public Safety, creating line item Enterprise Fleet in the amount of $31,180.50 and creating line item under Public Works, Enterprise Fleet Management in the amount of $15,914.88, for the Town of Jonesboro for the fiscal year 2022-2023.
In response to the debate as to whether ARPA funds could be used in this manner, Mayor Harris issued the following clarification notice received by the US Treasury.
US Treasury Final Rule
The Treasury Department released the final rule for the Coronavirus State and Local Recovery Fund program on January 6, 2022. The ruling effective April 1, 2022, provided additional clarity and flexibility on uses including:
Expanding public sector hiring and capacity
Premium pay for essential works
Broadening eligible broadband, water and sewer infrastructure.
The allocation of the funds falls under the area of Capital Expenditures.
Already several of the vehicles have been received and is in the process of being implemented with additional vehicles expected to be received soon.
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