Township eyes county ARPA funded projects

By David Fleet
Atlas Township-On Jan. 18, the township board of trustees voted 4-0 to move forward with two area projects funded by the American Rescue Plan Act. Signed into in March 2021, the fund provides $350 billion in relief to states and local governments to fight the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The township currently has an additional $629,000 in ARPA funds that could be used on other local projects.
While many of the dollars have now become available, local governments are in the process of selecting projects that qualify for the funding.
Genesee County Metropolitan Planning Commission has allocated about $10 million for communities. Of those funds, the township has selected two projects to be in the mix for funding.
“These projects would benefit the whole community,” said Shirley Kautman-Jones. “The county put out a call for grant applications and we provided two projects. The county commission is going to select projects that will be funded.”
At a cost of $250,000 the Atlas Township Fire Department is seeking the Installation of high pressure water wells located in four different sections of the township for access to water by fire departments. The wells can be accessed under mutual aid by neighboring township fire departments when a high pressure water source is needed.
In 2019 the township board of trustees along with Township Fire Chief Steve Bullen discussed the project, which was budgeted over the next six years.

The cost of each well is about $30,000.
“Our goal is that every resident be within two miles of the water supply,” said Bullen. “We are moving toward water supplies for fires with electric pumps, rather than the dry hydrant which requires a fire truck with a pump to load.”
Currently the township has three water sources with electric pumps. The new five-inch wells will pump about 300-400 gallons per minute and be just like a big garden hose, said Bullen.
“This should lower our ISO too,” he added.
The area ISO fire score is a rating that determines how well your local fire department can protect your community and home. Insurance companies use the score to help set home insurance rates.The fire department is seeking $200,000, with $50,000 from other sources. COVID has impacted the number of firefighters available to respond to emergencies and rather than sending firefighters and trucks back to the fire station on Clarence Street they would now have strategic water access points throughout Atlas Township.
At a cost of $800,000, the township is seeking to fund a sidewalk project in the Village of Atlas.
Starting at Gale and Perry roads in the Village of Atlas, the project will include about 1,900 linear feet of five feet wide sidewalk ending in the 8300 block of Perry Road to connect to a “new” trail.
“The current sidewalks through Atlas were installed many years ago,” said Kautman-Jones. “Sections of the sidewalk are missing or have been moved by tree roots—it’s just not safe. The sidewalks will end up across from the Atlas Valley Country Club and then connect with a trail to Grand Blanc.”
The project will require scoping, design, engineering and construction. The project will improve public safety and accessibility for the community. In addition, walkability connections to the Goodrich Schools campus, Village of Goodrich, Atlas Atlas Township Park and the Iron Belle Trail. A total of $700,000 is requested with $100,000 from other sources.

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