Haakon county commissioners decide how to use $136,825 federal stimulus dollars

The Haakon County Commissioners were informed Tuesday, March 17, of the amount of federal stimulus dollars they would receive.

Haakon County Highway Superintendent Kenny Neville told the board at a special commissioner's meeting that he had received word from the state that the county would receive $136,825.10 in federal stimulus dollars. He said the money would be distributed through the South Dakota Department of Transportation.

A letter from SDDOT outlined the stimulus dollars that the county would receive. The county has two options for receiving the funds. If they take the money directly, they would need to have it obligated to a specific project by January 2010. The final project plans would have to be submitted to the office of Local Transportation Programs by November 2, 2009. In addition there would be certain restrictions and the money would have to follow certain tracking requirements.

The second option is for the county to replace the stimulus money with Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds. This option would allow the county to not follow the spending deadline, which then could open the money up to a wider array of projects. The hitch was that SDDOT needed to know which option the county wished to choose by this Friday, March 20.

The board opted to go with the STP funds. Neville noted that no funds had been transferred as of Tuesday and he did not know when money would be transferred.

South Dakota is to receive more than $183 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. President Obama signed the act on February 17.

The commissioners approved a bill for a four-wheeler for the weed board and two raffle requests by Midland groups.

The commissioners will meet Tuesday, April 7, 2009, for their regular monthly meeting.