County votes to use ARPA funding to pay the cost of a roofing system for new library

The library issue came to a head during the Accomack County Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday. The board of directors was asked to allocate funding from the American Rescue Plan to fund an overhang of the roof of the new library in Parksley. Promoter Paul Muhly made the motion. Passing the motion would allow funding for the project rather than taxpayers’ money.

ARPA rules allow rescue plan money to be used for revenue replacement. US Treasury guidelines specifically state that “pay-go” spending on building new infrastructure is an allowed use of income-substitute funds.

The amount requested is $215,493.

An unusually controversial debate began when Chairman Wolfe said we are between a rock and a hard place. We have started construction and are stuck with a building with additional costs. Where does it end?

Supervisor Muhly said this is a provincial project. The county owns the building, and the library council hasn’t owned it for at least 20 years. Muhly said it’s time to take the bull by the horns, realize where we are and finish the roof and move on with this project.

Wolfe said the last three items at a recent Town Hall Meeting did not include the library. How can we ignore the wishes of the public?

Supervisor Major said, “What do you suggest, let’s just leave the building there? I’ve always been a supporter of the library. Since we have these ARPA funds, because we have a road, but I suggest we use it.” “We can’t put all this money in a building and let it sit and do nothing. I’ve heard why we shouldn’t, but what’s your solution?”

Supervisor Crockett then made a motion to spend the emergency fund and have the library come back if necessary.

Supervisor Hart replied that it’s time to stop procrastinating and get the job done.

Chairman Wolfe said now is the time to fish or cut bait.

Muhly said generations after generations will benefit from the Eastern Shore Library and Heritage Center.

Crockett’s motion was rejected. The council then voted to approve Muhle’s motion to use ARPA funds to finish the roof.

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