Mooresville’s decided-upon investments will be made solely with the town’s first tranche of ARP funds, totaling approximately $6.2 million. Considered projects, if approved, will be funded using the town’s second tranche. These ideas include cybersecurity, transportation and additional support to organizations serving those most affected by COVID-19.
Mooresville is a rapidly growing town that has seen its population balloon more than 53 percent over the last 10 years. With that level of growth comes both challenges and opportunity. There is the need for significant infrastructural investments to meet the demands of the growing population, and through those needed investments, there is the unique occasion to set the town up for success through well-planned and transformational improvements.
Local leaders are proving up to the task. Mooresville’s ARP plan hits the mark on both long- and short-term issues.
“We have tremendous capital needs for the next five years as a growing community, so we look for opportunities where the ARP funds could fill in the gaps,” said Assistant Town Manager Beau Falgout. “How can these funds be leveraged to do those capital projects to have a long-lasting impact?”
Towards the long-term vision, the majority of first tranche funds is going towards a capital project – Liberty Park. That project has been a long-held goal of the town, and will include trail improvements, playground improvements, water features, multi-use facilities and overall site improvements. The rapidly growing community necessitated increased and improved public space, and that goal took on added significance with the need for outdoor places due to the pandemic.
In the short-term, Mooresville focused on COVID-specific actions: vaccine incentives, employee premium pay, and outside funding to areas of the community most impacted by the pandemic. Both these initiatives and the Liberty Park project are funded by Mooresville’s first tranche. The town’s second tranche has not yet been allocated.
“We’ve developed a plan, then left some flexibility for the second tranche,” said Falgout. “The first tranche addresses immediate needs and closes some funding gaps to have long-term impact.”
Website. Mooresville’s plan has been transparently communicated to its citizens through the town’s ARP webpage. This site contains both information on the federal legislation, exact funding amounts towards each project, and contact information for public input.
Citizen engagement. Funds in both tranches are dedicated towards funding outside agencies addressing those most impacted by the pandemic, and the town has created a website to receive feedback on that topic. The town has accepted public input throughout the process, and that contact information has been made readily available.
Decision-making process. “We did not create projects out of the blue,” Falgout said. The Liberty Park project was already a decided-upon investment prior to receiving ARP funds. Additionally, the town put together an internal committee to vet each proposal, and each idea was thoroughly discussed by the Town Board of Commissioners.
Justification. To meet the requirements of eligible expenditures under U.S. Treasury guidance, Mooresville has provided justification for each approved expense in its Grant Project Ordinances, which are linked below.
Accounting, Reporting, Oversight. Mooresville tentatively plans to either hire or contract out assistance to oversee the reporting requirements associated with ARP.