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Comptroller Comes To Cookeville Giving Local Leaders ARP Advice

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Comptroller Comes To Cookeville Giving Local Leaders ARP Advice

Upper Cumberland leaders gathered at the UCDD office Thursday to learn more about the American Rescue Plan.

State Senator Paul Bailey invited Comptroller Jason Mumpower to lead the discussion. Mumpower said the state wants to make sure communities understand how the federal funding can be spent.

“What I am encouraging communities to do more than anything is use this money to make a transformational difference,” Mumpower said. “This is not a once in a life time thing. This is a once in history thing.”

Mumpower said his favorite avenue for spending is rehabbing or expanding sewer, water and storm water infrastructure. Mumpower said the money is non-recurring so investing in a project that creates reoccurring expenses should not happen.

“For example, you can use this money to buy a building, but before you buy that building, you better be sure you have enough money in your regular budget to fund the ongoing operation of that building,” Mumpower said.

With millions of dollars being distributed, Mumpower said handling the accounting portion can be a challenge for smaller communities. Mumpower said his local audit staff stays prepared to assist.

“We’re going to give them a place to deposit this money if they need it,” Mumpower said. “Our finance staff can help them through the accounting necessary on this money. We are here to be a helping hand.”

Mumpower said the state also has hired an consultant to review spending plans. Mumpower said each local government can get a pre-audit review.

“We want communities to be sure that they strategical think about how they want to spend this money,” Mumpower said. “That they do so within the rules the federal government has handed down, because the penalty of breaking the rules is having to send the money back.”

Mumpower said the federal government has given communities until December of 2024 to spend the money.

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