Tracking Porter County's ARPA Spending
This page details the expenditures of Porter County government's Coronavirus Fiscal Recovery Funds awarded through the American Rescue Plan Act. This page is updated frequently.
Our State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund Internal Control Policies and Procedures document (updated November, 2022) outlines our SLFRF internal controls, including our processes for claims processing, monitoring, and reporting to U.S. Treasury.
The following section provides details about Porter County government's SLFRF expenditures by individual project or project groups, along with a brief description and audit analysis of how each project complies with U.S. Treasury's Final Rule. In general, the projects are listed in chronological order as they received final approval, meaning plan approval by the County Commissioners and appropriation approval by the Council. Unless the projects are marked as completed, the amounts listed are the budgeted, maximum amounts only and not necessarily the final amounts to be expended.
Projects receiving final approval in February, 2022:
Premium Pay -- County Government Employees
|Amount Expended to Date:||$879,406|
|Status:||Paid with March 4 pay date|
Discussion: State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds may be used to provide premium pay of up to $13 per hour for eligible workers performing essential work during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the 2022 budget hearings and in the 2022 Salary Ordinance, the Porter County Council approved premium pay of $4,000 for certain eligible full-time employees in the county government's public health and safety sectors. For more details, see our Premium Pay Audit Analysis. The plan updated in August included up to $1,970 for preparing the meeting minutes of the ARPA committee meetings; that cost is included in the expense total above.
Behavioral Health Study
|Amount Expended to date:||$17,327|
Discussion: The Porter County Commissioners retained PYRCE Healthcare Group of River Forest, Ill. to prepare a "Porter County Suicide Awareness and Prevention Assessment." The report was presented to the Porter County Commissioners on May 17 and to the Porter County Council on June 28. To view the report, click here. Behavioral health care is an enumerated use in the SLFRF final rule, which allows recipients to use SLFRF dollars for prevention, treatment, recovery, and harm reduction for mental health, substance use, and other behavioral health challenges caused or exacerbated by the public health emergency.
Township Assistance Program
|Amount Expended to date:||$94,184 -- Portage Township premium pay|
$13,895 -- Boone Township Food Pantry parking lot improvements
Discussion: Porter County's 12 townships will share in an allocation totaling $500,000, with the amounts based on population. The Commissioners' ordinance, amended in May, allows the townships to use their SLFRF allocation for any allowable purpose in the categories of Public Health and Negative Economic Impacts, Premium Pay, and Investments in Water, Sewer, and Broadband Infrastructure. To see the township funding breakdown, click here.
The following are the approved, written agreements detailing the terms and conditions of the township awards. The agreements are posted here after they are finalized by the county and the townships. The dates shown reflect the date that the Porter County Commissioners approved the agreements.
Boone Township (10-4-2022)
Marquette Greenway Trail
|Amount Expended to date:||$430,332|
Discussion: The Marquette Greenway Trail is an ambitious regional effort that, when completed, will provide a walking and bicycle trail extending approximately 58 miles from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Chicago along the "south shore" of Lake Michigan. Porter County's portion of the trail will extend in part through the Indiana Dunes National Park, providing visitors with a unique experience in the dunes ecosystem. The new trail will replace and update the current Calumet Bicycle Trail, which now runs on a utility easement and which has fallen into disrepair. Porter County will use a portion of its ARPA funding for three different segments of the trail under the expenditure categories of "Aid to Impacted Industries -- Tourism" and "Revenue Replacement." More information about Porter County's portion of the Marquette Greenway Trail can be found at the following link: Marquette Trail
Projects receiving final approval on Sept. 20, 2022:
|Storm Water: County Projects|
Discussion: The Porter County Storm Water and Development department's seven storm water projects consist of flood reduction systems (Salt Creek Commons, Willowcreek, and 700N totaling $1,340,000), failed storm water systems (Carriage Hills, New South Haven, Salt Creek Commons, and Stimson Drain totaling $3,430,000), and the Shorewood Forest storm water project totaling $685,000. One of the main expenditure categories of the SLFRF includes investments in water projects, including management and treatment of storm water and subsurface drainage water.
|Storm Water/Wetlands: Non Profits|
|Shirley Heinze Land Trust||$717,000|
|Porter County Conservation Trust||$75,000|
|Porter County Ag Society-- Expo Improvements|
|Pleasant Township Pool Project|
Discussion: Pleasant Township, Porter County's most southeastern township, has owned and operated a community pool since 1972. According to the township trustee, the pool has been called the county's "best kept secret." Open to the general public, the pool attracts visitors from throughout the county and beyond. During the height of the pandemic in 2020, pool attendance increased 40%, with another increase the following year. To enhance the safety of pool users and to promote long-term maintenance, this project includes the replacement of drainage tiles and the concrete surrounding the pool.
Pleasant Township Pool Agreement (approved 10-4-2022)
County COVID-19 Response: County Projects
|Budgeted||Expended to Date|
|Health Department remodeling||$1,000,000|
|Porter County EMA trailer||$12,150||$12,150|
|EMA Operations Center laptops||$27,846||$16,134|
|County Health Insurance Fund||$500,000|
|Meeting Room AV upgrades(4 projects)||$236,250||$105,675|
|Auditor Transfer Book Digitization||$450,000|
Discussion: The projects above were among those evaluated by the county's COVID Public Health Response subcommittee, which was formed to evaluate programs and services to prevent and mitigate COVID. All of the projects fall under the Final Rule's public health expenditure category, which includes prevention efforts in the spread of disease and enhancements in public facilities that respond to the public health emergencies.
|Porter County Public Library Outdoor Learning|
Projects receiving final approval on Oct. 18, 2022:
Assistance to Nonprofits
|Budgeted||Expended to Date|
|Porter Starke Services||$900,000|
|The MAAC Foundation||$850,500|
|Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater NWI||$850,500|
|Neighbors Educational Opportunities (NEO)||$850,500||Agreement|
|Shirley Heinze Land Trust||$555,750|
|VNA Hospice of NWI||$450,000|
|Hilltop Neighborhood House||$360,000|
|The Caring Place||$225,000|
|Coffee Creek Watershed Conservancy||$121,500|
|Valparaiso Woman's Association||$72,000|
|Community Theater Guild/CST||$55,913|
The projects above were forwarded to the Commissioners and Council after an extensive public process conducted by the Porter County ARPA Steering Committee and its four subcommittees. The organizations were evaluated by the "Non-profits and Employers" or the "Behavioral Health and Social Services" subcommittees. (Three other non-profit projects were reviewed by the "Infrastructure" subcommittee and are listed above under the Sept. 20th approved projects). Treasury's Final Rule allows recipients to award SLFRF funds to non-profit organizations generally in one of two ways: As a subrecipient for carrying out an allowable program or service on behalf of the recipient government or as a beneficiary that experienced financial harm from the COVID-19 pandemic.
|Additional "General Government Services" Projects|
|Memorial Opera House renovation||$5,000,000|
|County Health Insurance Fund||$1,600,000|
|Employee 2023 Wage Supplements||$1,076,555|
|Sheriff's SWAT vehicle||$300,000|
|Veteran Service Officer Outreach Program||$50,000|
|County Parks capital projects||$50,000|
The projects above received Porter County Council appropriation approval on Oct. 18 and first-reading ordinance approval by the Commissioners on Nov. 1. Second reading and final adoption is pending. It is anticipated that all of the projects will be categorized in full or in part in the Revenue Replacement category. U.S. Treasury's Final Rule allows SLFRF recipients to designate up to $10 million of their ARPA awards in this category, which can be applied to any government service or program with some limited exceptions. The Memorial Opera House renovation project will also be categorized in the "Negative Economic Impacts--Assistance to Tourism" category.