As part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), Oregon stands to receive more than $4 billion in aid for state and local governments courtesy of the stimulus bill signed in March. The funding is split between the state, counties and cities, with the state receiving about $240 million which is separate from the revenue being used to balance Oregon’s budget of about $25.6 billion.
The Oregon House and Senate Leadership, (Senate President Peter Courtney and House Speaker Tina Kotek) have allotted each Senate and House district the authority to spend the money throughout the district via the State Senator and two House Representatives. Senate Districts each received $4 million and House Districts received $2 million to disperse, which means I have been given the opportunity to find projects throughout House District 25 that desperately need additional funding. Two million dollars might sound like a lot, but when it comes to infrastructure, restoration, and investments—$2 million can only go so far. For example, the Newberg-Dundee Bypass we’ve been working so hard to complete…just Phase 2 is $160 million.
Additionally, there are some rules regarding the use of funds. Only four projects may be proposed by each legislator, which means the $2 million must fall within four projects. At one point, there was about 10 different projects I would have liked to see the money be dispersed to in HD 25, but that is not within the rules. Lastly, under ARPA guidance, the projects must fall within certain criteria of either a Capital Project, Grant Program, Support Services, or Technical Assistance.
All funding requests were to be submitted by May 10 and now go to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means to approve. They and the Legislative Fiscal Office will then craft a budget bill with all of the items from the legislators in it, that we will vote on in both chambers and hopefully pass and thegovernor will sign, then the funds will be dispersed later this year. After meeting with constituents and community partners, I have asked funding for HD 25 to be dispersed accordingly:
1. St. Paul Water System (connecting the Rodeo well to the city water system and more;
2. Butteville Landing Restoration Project;
3. City of Newberg (ADA ramps along with sidewalk and bike lane improvements);
4. City of Keizer (Marion County CASA which is located in Keizer, ADA ramps and police vehicle storage building).
(Bill Post represents House District 25. He can be reached at 503-986-1425 or via email at [email protected].).