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Douglas County Board of Commissioners Approve $2.55 Million ARPA Distribution

(Tyeisha Kosmicki – NSN News)
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Douglas County Board of Commissioners discuss the allocation of APRA funds. (Tyeisha Kosmicki – NSN News)

April 6, 2022
(Tyeisha Kosmicki – NSN News)

Douglas County Board of Commissioners approved the allocation of $2,550,000 in ARPA funds on Tuesday.

Programs committed to providing access to mental health services received $500,000 in ARPA funds.

The Intercultural Senior Center will receive $400,000 to fund the Mental Health Care Coordination for Older Adults Initiative. The initiative’s focus is coordinating the mental health care, language services and transportation for immigrants over the age of 50. Languages services will include Korean, Spanish, and Nepali.

Banister's Leadership Academy will receive ARPA funding for two programs. The academy will utilize the awarded $50,000 to address their students’ mental and behavioral challenges and youth violence. The Education Rights Counsel will receive $50,000 to provide mental health consulting services for the families of students with an individualized education program or neurological diversity.

Recognizing that county food pantries predominantly provide access to boxed and canned food, Commissioner Garcia explained that the $50,000 awarded to Food Bank for the Heartland is for its program designed to purchase fresh produce.

The bulk of the APRA funds awarded, $2,000,000, was issued to Douglas County Visitor Promotion Council programs which support tourism, travel and the hospitality industry. The funding is available to current recipients of the Douglas County Visitor Improvement Fund. This criterion narrows the group receiving funds to establishments in the county which are recognized as tourist attractions.

Commissioner Mike Friend, who has spoken in previous meetings of the need for the success or failure of the programs receiving ARPA funds be measurable, said, “I think the citizens of Douglas County need to understand that the reporting related to the appropriation when it comes to APRA funding is crucial.” -30-

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