Chelan County awards $4.6 million in ARPA funds to community groups, small ag producers

WENATCHEE—Chelan County commissioners have allocated $4.6 million of federal COVID relief dollars to a variety of local agencies, nonprofits and small agricultural producers.

The allocation of funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA, comes after a two-month public application period held earlier this year.

“The board went through every application – all 50 of them – and discussed each one,” Commissioner Kevin Overbay said. “Those applicants receiving ARPA dollars serve a variety of missions, from food distribution and housing projects to childcare and health programs. The money also will be used on projects and programs across Chelan County. I am really looking forward to seeing how these relief dollars impact our community.”

ARPA provides local governments across the country COVID-relief money to meet pandemic response needs and rebuild a stronger, more equitable economy as communities across the country continue to recover from the pandemic.

The Board of County Commissioners previously decided to invest a portion of its overall $14.9 million in ARPA funding into the community, allocating $3 million in grants to local nonprofits and community agencies and up to $1 million to small agricultural operations in Chelan County that could demonstrate a hardship created by COVID.

Chelan County received 50 community applications totaling more than $17 million. Of the $1 million originally set aside for small ag businesses, $525,000 was allocated because only 11 eligible applicants applied. Ten applicants were awarded $50,000 and another was awarded $25,000.

The $475,000 balance was put toward additional funding for the community groups and programs. In addition, $653,679 of ARPA monies also were allocated to the Chelan-Douglas Health District, to be spent on a variety of health district improvements, from infrastructure to programming. The remaining funds will be used for county programs and departments.

“It has taken us a year to decide how we would allocate the ARPA dollars, but we wanted to develop and follow a thoughtful process,” Overbay said. “We always wish we could do more, but I am confident these monies will go a long way in our community.”

Those community agencies and programs that received ARPA funding are:

• Chelan Douglas Community Action Council: $162,500 was awarded to support the council’s expansion of its food distribution center in Malaga.

• Chelan Valley Hope: $277,900 was awarded to expand operations, including the food bank.

• Common Ground Community Housing Trust: $350,000 was awarded to fund acquisition of land for single-family homes, duplexes and townhomes.

• Malaga-Colockum Community Council: $160,000 was awarded to support infrastructure improvements to the Malaga Community Park.

• Our Valley Our Future: $109,250 was awarded to support the coordination and completion of three large-scale community initiatives related to regional housing; health, literacy and outcomes; and early care and education programs.

• Seven Acres Foundation: $699,300 was awarded for the construction of the new Community Center at Lake Chelan.

• Small Miracles Community Outreach: $33,750 was awarded to provide meals to children in the free or reduced school lunch program for meals during summer, spring and winter breaks.

• Community for the Advancement of Family Education: $297,500 was awarded to support CAFÉ’s expanded community center.

• Lake Chelan Lions Club Foundation: $22,800 was awarded to purchase audiometers that will be used to detect hearing and vision problems in school-age children and to provide community screenings for low-income and disadvantaged populations.

• Upper Valley MEND: $350,000 was awarded to acquire workforce rental housing units in Leavenworth.

• Wenatchee Valley YMCA: $462,000 was awarded to the organization’s capital campaign for a new facility.

• Youth Dynamics: $75,000 was awarded, to be split between renovations at the group’s Stonewater Chalet in Plain and outreach efforts.

• Center for Alcohol and Drug Treatment: $480,000 was awarded for land acquisition and construction on a new substance use disorder treatment facility in Chelan County.

• Chelan-Douglas Health District: $653,679 was awarded for a variety of improvements, from infrastructure to programming.


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