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Hamilton County Board Transfers ARPA Funds to New Ambulance Service

MCLEANSBORO – The Hamilton County Board Tuesday night approved an ordinance authorizing the transfer of $347,457 of State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to the Hamilton County Ambulance Service for the purpose of expanding vehicle and equipment capacity.

County Board Chairman John Chapman says the new ambulance service has had some issues getting everything through the state on a not-for-profit basis so they could basically get ambulances inspected, get their business plan in place and open up which was supposed to start April 1.

Chapman says part of the funds the county received from the American Rescue Plan Act qualified to be given to a not-for-profit corporation and it just happened to be the county’s choice to donate some of these federal funds to help stabilize the ambulance service as a new business and get them set to where they could have a least two brand new emergency ambulances and a new transport vehicle. The county also passed a 1 percent safety sales tax about a year ago and funds have been transferred to the ambulance service as they come into the county just for this purpose as well according to Chapman.

Chapman says the county doesn’t own or will have any control over the ambulance service but is basically responsible for it, and in turn, will be the primary ambulance service once it becomes operational hopefully sometime in September. Harre Ambulance Service is currently providing ambulance service in Hamilton County and will step aside once the county’s ambulance service begins.

Two other ordinances involving the use of American Rescue Plan Act, State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds were also approved at Tuesday night’s meeting.

The County Board authorized using $378,843 for salaries and benefits for personnel involved in activities related to COVID-19 mitigation and committing $40,000 for the purpose of helping Hamilton County small business owners recover lost revenues related to the cancellation of last year’s Hamilton County Fall Festival.