U.S. Treasury officials decided earlier this month that funds from the American Rescue Plan act could be used for government services giving counties more flexibility in how they use the funds.

Recipients would be eligible if they received up to $10 million in American Rescue Act Funds. The act provides federal funds to support efforts to decrease the spread of COVID-19 and to replace revenue lost by state and local governments.

Adair County Auditor Mandy Berg told the board of supervisors this week that a bill to do so had been passed in the U.S. Senate and was going to the U.S. House for consideration, but instead treasury officials opted to put it into a final rule about how the funds can be used.

“(It can be) any services traditionally provided by government,” Berg said, giving examples like construction of infrastructure, health services, government administrative services, and police, fire or other public safety services.

She said it can’t be used to pay down debt service, to replace tax revenue or for any “rainy day’ funding. The rule is set to go into effect on April 1.

Adair County is expected to received $1.38 million, and in December approved several requests for it, including $295,000 for rock for roads and 10 other areas in parks or wildlife areas, $125,000 to replace restrooms in the parks, $45,000 to improve the Adair County Historical Society’s geothermal system at the museum, $24,000 for equipment, supplies, salaries and benefits for public health, $52,000 for the fairboard and $144,245 to digitize records in the auditor’s, recorder’s and engineer’s offices.

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