St. Louis County plans to give residents additional time and opportunity for feedback on how it spends $54.5 million in federal COVID-19 rescue dollars.
The St. Louis County Board had originally planned to vote on its spending of American Rescue Plan Act monies Tuesday at its meeting in Duluth. But Commissioner Ashley Grimm had raised concern last month about a lack of public input on the use of such a large amount of money.
"Almost no constituent has seen this proposal, and we don't have a plan collectively as a board to get input," said Grimm, the western Duluth commissioner, during a workshop in Eveleth on Sept. 22.
Officially, through its spokesperson, the county said administration has been working to refine details of the county's spending plan based on comments made and questions asked at the workshop.
The timeline for approval was pushed back as commissioners spent Tuesday's meeting in Duluth touring the Essentia hospital construction site.
The spending plan will now go before the committee of the whole on Oct. 12 at the County Board meeting in Ault, Minnesota, and will presumably reach the County Board agenda for final approval Oct. 26 at the Brevator Town Hall outside Cloquet.
In the meantime, the county expects to publish details of the spending plan on its website this week, inviting the public to review and offer feedback.
The county's proposal offers a mixture of spending on COVID-19 resilience, covering for lost revenue, local broadband projects, homelessness solutions, and lots of project-based spending, including $10 million aimed at extending the life of the county landfill and improving the leachate treatment system outside Virginia.