Northampton County Administrator Charlie Kolakowski began the conversation of how Northampton County should spend its $2.2 million of ‘money from heaven’ in the American Rescue Plan Act(ARPA) funding and presented a preliminary budget at Tuesday night’s work session of the Board of Supervisors.

Currently, Northampton has approximately $1.1 million of funding in the bank with the other half expected to be received at some point in 2022.

The initial hand out showing potential spending, which Kolakowski said was only for discussion purposes, included $819,133 for covering revenue losses in the general fund, $500,000 for the expansion of broadband and $300,000 for affordable housing. These expenditures are spread out over three years.

Other categories covered in this initial plan include food insecurity, mental health support, increasing pay for county employees and building enhancements.

Small business assistance was not allocated any of the ARPA funds in the preliminary budget.

Kolakowski also informed the Board during his presentation he was considering hiring a new County employee whose sole responsibility would be focusing on addressing workforce and affordable housing needs.