Township decides on federal ARPA funds spending
By Dana Casadei
Bloomfield Township Director of Cable and Community Relations Carrie LeZotte presented the board of trustees on Monday, April 24, with the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) survey results, which mirrored the board’s own thoughts on the priority for township spending of the federal funds.
The survey link was sent through the township’s eNewsletter to roughly 4,800 residents, and the survey ran from March 2-17. Participants were given seven spending options, then asked to rank the options from highest priority to lowest.
Results from the survey found that 27 percent of residents ranked disaster recovery as the number one priority; followed by updates to Fire Station #3, which would allow for longer fire trucks to fit and update the changing rooms to include women; and 17 percent ranked a police station remodel as the highest priority for spending. Updates to the Town Hall Auditorium were lowest on rankings of importance with only two percent rating it as the highest priority.
Over the course of the survey, the department received 409 submissions, giving them a good starting point for future surveys. The survey also received over 100 written comments on township spending.
This was the first survey of its kind that the department had done, so while they learned about the community’s wants, officials said they also found it to be quite educational regarding running a survey.
After LeZotte presented the results, Bloomfield Township Supervisor Dani Walsh opened up the discussion with the other trustees, who agreed that the survey results' rank of importance mirrored many of their own thoughts.
Overall, the board was quite pleased with the results and thought they should be able to complete all seven projects. As far as an order of priority goes, they agreed primarily with going in the order of the survey results and then re-prioritizing if something changes, or if costs estimates are too high.
The only item not on the survey, which brought some concern to the board, was the absence of a drain study. Ultimately it was decided to put a drain study into the budget for next year instead. This would also allow for companies to be notified the township is considering it.
Bloomfield Township Treasurer Brian Kepes made a motion to move forward with requests for proposals (RFPs) for all seven of those items ranked in the ARPA survey.
His motion also included that they receive the assistance of IT to help decide between the two options available to replace the existing on-site phone system, also mentioned in the survey.
Kepes’ motion passed with unanimous support.