The Guadalupe County Commissioner’s Court on April 5, approved an order to advertise and the request for proposals for grant administration professional services.

This approval allows the county to have a professional third-party service assist in the allocation of American Rescue Plan Act funds.

Prior to the meeting, the Commissioners Court held a workshop to discuss ARPA allocations and possibilities for fund use when the next half of the money arrives in the Fall.

County Judge Kyle Kutscher said the county will receive a total amount of just over $32.5 million.

About $1.9 million in funding was spent on premium pay for essential employees and paying off duty paramedics to work at the Monoclonal Antibody Infusion Center at the Guadalupe Regional Medical Center, which assisted in treating COVID-19 patients and provided an increase in bed capacity.

Kutscher said the county has already allocated an additional $2 million for a CAD Records Management System, $585,000 for ruggedized laptops for law enforcement and $650,000 for an additional radio tower used to improve radio and communications systems.

“Out of that first portion of funding, the first half, minus what we have already expended, we have right over $14 million of funding,” Kutscher said.

With the remaining funds to allocate before the Dec. 31, 2024 deadline, county commissioners voted to have the request for proposals for the grant administration services as a way to get the ball rolling on funding projects while remaining within the federal guidelines for ARPA spending.

“In any grant, a body that makes the decisions on funding projects needs guidance,” Kutscher said. “We typically get that guidance from our auditor’s office. The challenge with this type of grant is just the scale, the amount at $32.5 million, but also it is the federal guidelines and restrictions that are tied to that and make it much more cumbersome than say a local grant.”