American Rescue Plan Act paying off in Lewisville

Published 12:05 am Thursday, July 21, 2022

Like all the municipalities across the state, Lewisville continues to reap the benefits of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 established to facilitate the recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 impact.
And in last Thursday night’s meeting, the Town Council voted to amend the Grant Project Ordinance and approve a budget amendment for a transfer of up to $1,300,805 — covering salaries and benefits for the period from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023 — from the ARPA Special
Revenue Fund to the General Fund.
With a total allocation of just over $4 million from the American Rescue Plan Act, the town now has spent just over $2.5 million of the designated funds — including $1,208,168 for salaries and benefits from April 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022 — with an unassigned balance of $1,515,498
Mayor Mike Horn commented in the meeting that “we’ve said before this is a lifetime opportunity for us. We’re excited about these particular items because the American Rescue Plan has allowed to have an influx of money that will allow us to do a number of things with the town projects that are long-term projects for infrastructure, long-term improvements to the amenities of the town and make us a better community.”
According to the specified guidelines, funds can be used for several categories of expenditures, and spending the relief funding for salaries and benefits essentially frees up money for infrastructure as well as other improvements and projects.
Speaking of projects, interim town manager Stacy Tolbert gave an update on the Great Wagon Road in her report in the meeting.
“You may have noticed survey stakes where new the Great Wagon Road will be built,” she said.
“We’re doing right-of-way acquisition and staking out where it will be.”
Tolbert said that any of those affected people owning property along the route should have been contacted but, if not, residents can call Town Hall with any questions.
Another project, The Gateway Project, has been delayed for quite some time due to the pandemic and then no bidders to take it on — despite multiple advertisements — with the overall state of the economy and contractors being overwhelmed with work.
“We still haven’t gotten any bids, but we’re still trying,” said Tolbert, who added the town will again advertise for bids in August. “It’s a good project. Hopefully, we’ll get a bid sooner than later.”
The long-awaited project is highlighted by the widening of Williams Road and implementing a complete street design from the roundabout at Concord Church Road south of the bridge over U.S. 421 to the roundabout at Shallowford Road.
Tolbert also gave an update on events at Shallowford Square, which includes the Starlight Movie Night, “Tom and Jerry,” at 8 p.m. Friday night. The month of August will feature a couple of concerts — the British Invaders Band on Saturday, Aug. 6, and Shot Thru The Heart — The Bon
Jovi Experience — on Saturday, Aug. 27.
Both concerts will start at 7 p.m.
Horn talked about the quality of the concerts to date at the Square, including the 2022 Lewisville Street Party and Food Festival.
“I think Band of Oz had about 3,000 people,” he said of the June 25 event. “Everybody had a great time.”