MOUNT STERLING, Ill. (WGEM) - Money from the American Rescue Plan Act continues to be spent in the Tri-States. In Brown County $1.2 million are funding everything from sheriff’s office equipment to upgrading the clerk’s record system.
Among those were $8,400 for 6 new bulletproof vests and a $40,000 new squad car at the sheriff’s department; $60,000 to repair the soffit and facia at the courthouse; $10,000 for a new LED messaging sign outside of the EMS department; $30,000 for a new mobile light tower and generator; and $75,000 for a new system that will digitalize the clerk’s records. Portable Work Light
Sheriff Justin Oliver said the county is required to set aside money each year to invest in new bulletproof vests. He said with ARPA money taking care of that this year, it leaves more financial freedom for other department investments.
“It allows us to use that money and buy better equipment for our officers or deputies and make sure they have the best equipment to do their jobs,” Oliver said.
Oliver said the money will also help them get a new squad car that will be a pickup truck. He said they don’t have any pickup trucks yet and they are needed.
“This year we were able to buy two,” Oliver said, “so we have pretty good fleet in our office.”
All together, Oliver said ARPA money helped save the department $50,000. He hopes to put future investments toward body cameras and an updated monitoring system to help run operations more efficiently.
County chairman David Ferrill said although the approval for the clerk’s new record system is pricey, it will cost less over time with more efficient operations.
“Everything’s on paper. It’s difficult to retrieve,” Ferrill said. “With the digitized records, some of that will be able to be retrieved online in time.”
Ferrill said the mobile light tower and generator helps keep the area safe.
“It would be used for emergency lighting situations,” Ferrill said. “Whether it be a catastrophe such as a tornado, flood or crash.”
David Gallaher who is overseeing the ARPA overhead said they have until 2024 to spend the remaining money.
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