During the October 13 meeting, the board voted 14-12 to reject the request.
Board member Doug Trager (D-Ottawa), who opposed the request, said he disagrees with approving requests from city governments that have already received money from the US bailout bill, noting that the city of Mendota has already received $1.9 million from Federal funds.
The county has received requests to distribute ARPA funds from both nonprofits and other municipal governments, having already approved requests to other municipalities.
Trager said he’s OK with reprocessing Mendota’s request, if there’s money left at the end of approval for other projects.
Board member Gary Small (R-Utica), who voted for the project, said building a new shelter in the lake would be consistent with how the county uses the money, because it will be used by families across the county, not just the residents of Mendota.
While the county rejected the Mendota project, it agreed to give $420,000 to the village of Tunica. Board member Randy Freeman (R-Lostant) said the village received $117,000 in ARPA money from the federal government.
Trager again voted no, but the action passed 20-6. Doug Stockley (R-Earlville), Kendra Pottinger (R-Sheridan), Allen Erbederes (R-Somonuk) and Kathy Owens (R-Sandwich) voted “no” to every measure.
Board Members Chuck Burchsenius (R-Norway), Gil Bernal (D-Peru Democrat), Joe Osipinski (D-Peru), Mike Kassap (D-La Salle), Craig Emmett (R-Wedron), Luanne Carrito (Dim-Ottawa) Tom Walsh (D-D) Ottawa), Ronald Bleu (R Streeter) and Elmer Walter (R Grand Ridge) said “no” to Mendota’s request, but yes to Tunica’s request.
Board members JoAnn McNally (R-Mendota) and Curt Faber (R-Mendota) said that each community received federal relief money based on its population and that Mendota received more relief because it had a larger population. Mendota has a population of 6,927, compared to 777 in Tunica. Faber said that given the projects proportionately, Mendota’s request is smaller.
Besides approving $420,000 for Tunica, La Salle County Council also voted to award $361,029 to the Salvation Army in Streetitor.