County contracts for help to manage virus relief funds

·2 min read

Sep. 16—With more than $12 million in aid from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), Pulaski County Fiscal Court has contracted with an outside firm to ensure the funding is managed properly.

At Tuesday's meeting, magistrates unanimously approved a resolution and agreement to hire Compass Municipal Advisors LLC as well as Stites and Harbison LLC to administrate the federal funds, which can be used in four separate categories related to COVID-19 costs incurred to the county to be reimbursed.

"They're well versed in how to expend these funds, how to account for these funds and how to basically just make sure that we're doing things according to the guidelines and not gent into any trouble as a court with taxpayer dollars," Pulaski County Judge-Executive Steve Kelley said.

According to the resolution, the county will pay both companies a fee equal to three-quarters of 1% of ARPA funds expended or disbursed by the county in accordance with the policy. Compass will provide financial, administrative and fund management services, while Stites will provide legal and compliance advising services.

Both firms work through the Kentucky Association of Counties, and were first brought to Fiscal Court's attention during their August 24 meeting when Deputy Judge-Executive Dan Price and County Treasurer Joan Isaacs reported on the service. She noted then that the county has dealt with Compass before when bonding certain projects and the administration costs could be paid through the ARPA fund.

On Tuesday, District 4 Magistrate Mark Ranshaw offered that he had spoken with Compass Senior Vice President Keith Brock as suggested by Isaacs. "It sounds like a good company that's willing to help us out and keep everything straight for us," he said.

Judge Kelley agreed, noting the companies have "a great reputation" and have been retained by several counties across the commonwealth. "I think it's a very wise decision to let professionals handle the money and keep everybody from doing anything wrong," he added.

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