Pitt County commissioners are gathering citizen input on how they should use $35 million in federal funds to help the community recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The American Rescue Plan Act fund provides $350 billion to state, local, territorial and tribal governments nationwide for COVID-19 pandemic recovery assistance.

Pitt County received $17.5 million in funding in May and will receive another $17.5 million in 2022, for a total of $35 million.

The ARP dollars are supposed to be spent to cover COVID-19 public health expenditures, address the pandemic’s negative economic effects, replace lost public sector revenues, provide premium pay for essential workers and invest in improvements to water, sewer, stormwater and broadband infrastructure.

The commissioners in August approved a plan that designated seven areas where ARP dollars would be spent: broadband connectivity, community health, employee health and safety, housing and homelessness, business and employment assistance, water/sewer/stormwater infrastructure and ARP administration and contingency.

After voting to use ARP funds to make improvements to the Pitt County Detention Center’s heating and air conditioning system and fund premium pay and bonuses for those receiving COVID vaccinations, the commissioners put a hold on future spending to get community input.

Two input session were held last week.

The next five sessions will be held on the following days beginning at 6 p.m.

  • Nov. 29: Community Schools & Recreation, Alice Keene District Park, 4561 County Home Road.
  • Dec. 1: Grimesland Town Hall, 7592 Pitt St., Grimesland
  • Dec. 7: Farmville Town Hall, 3672 N. Main St., Farmville.
  • The other virtual sessions will be 10 a.m. until noon Dec. 1 and Dec. 7.

An online survey soliciting community input is available at www.pittcountync.gov/ARPASurvey. The survey will be open through Dec. 31.

Public input from the sessions and online web portal will be presented to the board for review by Jan. 31.

Contact Ginger Livingston at glivingston@reflector.com or 252-329-9570.