Perryville officials discuss uses for ARPA funds

Published 1:51 pm Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Jared Darwish

Perryville has finally received its full $162,000 from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), and officials are exploring how best to use the funds, including for a new fire station and extra police presence on weekends.

Email newsletter signup

Perryville’s plans for a new fire station adjacent to the city building hit a potential snag.

During the Aug. 4 Perryville council meeting, Mayor Carlos Miller brought up the topic of a new fire station near the city building.

All council members were in favor of the idea; however, the plan might not come to fruition because the facilities are on privately owned land that the city leases.

“Using taxpayers money to fund a privately owned property goes against the Kentucky Constitution,” Miller said. “So if we were to build on our existing property and use tax revenue, we would have to have the person leasing use this property to deed it to us.”

If the city deeded the property, Councilman Tim Simpson brought up the possibility of using the recent surplus received from ARPA funds to pay for the new fire station. The idea was favored by the other members; however, Miller said they will just have to wait and see if they get the land first.

The other big topic of discussion was the funding of a fourth police officer shift on Fridays and Saturdays. Council members talked about using some of the ARPA fund for this as well.

“If a spot was created, I wouldn’t dispute it,” said Police Chief Parker Hatter. “We could definitely use the help.”

Hatter went on to explain to the council how there are lapses in coverage due to the station only being able to cover about 88 hours of each week. Miller said they would table this discussion for next month’s meeting when they have a better idea of if the ARPA funds can be used for this as well.

In other news, the council voted unanimously in favor of raising net property tax and occupational tax from 1 percent to 1.5 percent.

All members thought the move was needed to match the county rate and to help generate more revenue to support ideas like a fourth police spot and fire station construction.

In other business, the council discussed:

• Leaving property tax rate at 2.8%.

• Preparation for Perryville Battlefield 160th commemoration.

• Success of the Turtle Derby that created $15,000 in Main Street fund revenue.

• Bourbon Chase on September 30, when officials expect 2,000 people or more to come through town.

• Looking at more properties for the new fire station at next month’s meeting.