After issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) to assist with and prepare for American Rescue Plan Act funds, the Washington County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to accept the proposal of Andrew Smith, Local Government Solutions & Strategies (LGSS) owner.
The RFP stated, “This project will take place over the next 36 months. Contingent upon receipt of funds, the county is soliciting proposals to assist in the administration and management in compliance with all applicable requirements under the U.S. Department of Treasury and other applicable federal, state and local government rules.”
Smith’s proposal, which includes a fee of 2% of the American Rescue Plan Act funds awarded to the county — roughly $8.4 million — was one of three submitted to the Office of the Chancery Clerk and considered by the BOS during Monday’s regular meeting.
Ervin Consulting Company proposed a fee of schedule $5,000 per month, $60,000 per year.
South Delta Planning & Development District proposed to offer services at no charge.
District 1 Supervisor Lee Gordon made a motion to accept SDPDD’s proposal, but the motion died due to lack of a second.
District 4 Supervisor Mala Brooks then made a motion to accept Smith’s proposal and it was seconded by District 2 Supervisor Tommy Benson.
District 5 Supervisor Jerry Redmond, Brooks and Benson voted in favor of Brook’s motion while Gordon and BOS president Carl McGee were the dissenting votes.
The BOS was asked if the deadline for ARPA reporting was near and if the proposals could have possibly been reviewed and voted upon at the next regular meeting on Dec. 6.
“I was just looking at the number, what was the lowest and that’s what I was basing my vote on — the lowest bid that would save the maximum amount of taxpayer dollars to be put into projects,” McGee said.
Brooks said one of her concerns about the ARPA reporting and compliance process was the BOS being knowledgeable about Notices of Funds Available (NOFAs).
“The concern is when those NOFAs come out, I want to make sure that we know about the NOFAs and if there’s something we can apply for, we can. And that’s going to be real apparent for us because we’ve already applied for one and for whatever reason, it didn’t go through,” she added. “So my concern is when any federal dollars come out, we need to know and we need to make sure that Washington County is priority for whatever entity we go with.”
According to mssupervisors.org, the U.S. Department of the Treasury is requiring project and expenditure reports are due Jan. 31, 2022 and will cover the period between the award date and Dec. 31, 2021.