Shenandoah earmarks $60,000 in ARPA funds to support food programs and local restaurants

Money

~ PVN staff report

SHENANDOAH, Aug. 23 — During its regular meeting on Tuesday night, the Shenandoah Council approved more than $60,000 in federal funding to support two local food programs for the elderly and needy in the community.

The Council voted to appropriate $50,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for the Food For Friends program. The local all-volunteer organization provides meals for about 60 home-bound citizens each week. Volunteers and donations are needed. Those interested in helping may contact Sue Kite at (540) 652-6165 for more information.

In addition, $11,700 in ARPA funds was appropriated to Page One to support its supplemental food program for needy families. Under the program, Page One will purchase gift cards from one of the Town’s five restaurants, thus also supporting the local economy.

During its Aug. 9 meeting, Councilman Richard Pierce raised the idea of directing some of the federal money toward the food programs, to help both the needy and local eateries, according to minutes of the meeting. While fellow council members were in general support of the programs, there was some concern about how to best use the influx of federal funds that will eventually end.

Two weeks ago, Councilman Charles Jenkins noted upcoming costly projects like replacing the Maryland Avenue sewer line and paying for police radios. Last week, Racey Engineering provided the Town with an estimated cost of between $1.5 million and $2 million to replace the sewer line along Maryland Avenue from Long Avenue to Sixth Street. The estimated expense excludes street repair costs. The Town and Racey Engineering are researching grant opportunities for this project.

Councilman Jenkins also noted that ARPA funds could not be used for the Enhanced Hazardous Duty Retirement Plan, but stated the Town would need to decide if they want to move forward and determine where the funds would be found.

With around $1 million in ARPA funds expected for this year, the Town’s infrastructure has more needs than ARPA can meet, but the majority of the federal money remains unallocated and council members still have some decisions to make on its use.

The Town received a letter from one resident requesting that Shenandoah’s ARPA allotment be used towards replacing the Pennsylvania Avenue and Denver Avenue sidewalks.

All ARPA funds must be spent or obligated by contracts by Dec. 31, 2024. All projects that utilized ARPA funds must be completed by Dec. 31, 2026.

In other business at its Aug. 23 meeting, the Shenandoah Council took the following actions:

• Appointed Storm Hammer to fill a vacant seat on the Shenandoah Planning Commission with a term ending Nov. 15, 2025. During Tuesday’s meeting, Hammer questioned the Council about updating the Town Code and thanked the Town for patching Ninth Street. Town Manager Juanita Roudabush stated that while the Town Code had been amended, it had not been thoroughly reviewed since the 1990s. She stated the Town would need the help of outside agencies, as well as legal advice, and an estimate she received in 2017 to review the Town Code came in at $9,000. The discussion evolved after Hammer’s claim that the Town is operating under an outdated Town Code.

• Heard from town resident Seth Maynard who has concerns over a neighbor’s yard and other items as it relates to what he feels is a lack of responsible enforcement of the Town Code. Once the Comprehensive Plan Review is complete, the Shenandoah Planning Commission will begin review of the Town Code for needed amendments and a review of potentially adopting the State Property Maintenance Code.

• Heard the Page County Sheriff’s Office and Page County Public Schools secured grant funding to hire two additional school resource officers in Page County. There is now a School Resource Officer in Shenandoah Elementary School. The grant will fund the position for four years.

• Reviewed bids for painting the exterior of the Town of Shenandoah Museum and Welcome Center and accepted a bid from low bidder Hepler Painting of $5,200. Payment will come from the ARPA funds already budgeted for The Museum/Welcome Center. The Town Manager stated on Aug. 9 that the Museum Committee picked the following colors — white for the dormers, black for the trim, and gray for the exterior walls. The color scheme is similar to the current paint on the old Clapper’s building on Maryland
Avenue. A rendering of the building with the chosen paint scheme was passed around. The Council had
no objection.

• Approved new stop sign requests at the intersection of Hockman Avenue and Junior Avenue, and J Street and Junior Avenue, due to excessive speed and number of accidents.

• Authorized the purchase of a combo air vac valve in the amount of $1,200 for the Tenth Street well, to be paid from the Water/Sewer Line Replacement budgeted line item.

• Authorized the purchase of a valve for the Junior Avenue pressure reducing station in the amount of $2,999, to be paid from the Water/Sewer Line Replacement budgeted line item.

• Approved the rewiring of internet cables in Town Hall by Jenkins Computer Services in the amount of $1,500. Half will be paid from the General Fund Computer Equipment and Support Fees budgeted line item and the other half will be paid from the Utility Fund Computer Equipment and Support fees budgeted line item.

Shenandoah news briefs taken from notes provided by the Town Clerk.

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