Webster Township has hopes for stimulus funding and county broadband

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Webster Township is moving forward with seeking additional funding help through the American Rescue Plan, and it also has hopes as to how the county will use some of its own share of the emergency stimulus funding.

In a decision at its July 20 meeting, the Webster Township Board agreed the township should move forward and apply with the America Rescue Plan.

Webster Township Supervisor John Kingsley said this is the federal money that everyone has been hearing so much about.

“We don’t know all that the money can be used for at this time, but we had to apply by July 27th to qualify for the money,” Kingsley told The Sun Times News (STN) in follow up to the meeting. “It can be used for PPE and broadband, but not things like roads. Once the final rules are in place, we will consider the allowed uses.”

Also called the COVID-19 Stimulus Package, the American Rescue Plan is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill passed by the federal government to help speed up the recovery from the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Municipalities, such as Webster and Washtenaw County, are expected to receive stimulus funding.

Webster Township Treasurer John Scharf said the township has applied for the American Rescue Plan money and the application has since been submitted.

He said they anticipate receiving one half of about $712,000 sometime in August with the balance coming sometime in 2022.

“We must have a plan for the money by the end of 2024 and we must spend the money by the end of 2026,” Scharf told STN.

The Webster Township Board also unanimously passed a resolution encouraging the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners to use some of their American Rescue Plan money to build out high speed broadband through the county.

Scharf said the county commission is scheduled to make a decision on this at their meeting on Aug. 4.

In the township resolution, it states the township encourages the county board of commissioners to allocate ARP funding to a high-speed broadband public/private partnership that serves to connect every home and business in Washtenaw County.

It’s projected the county will get around $71 million through the American Rescue Plan.

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