City accepts American Rescue Plan grant

Port Orchard will receive more than $2 million for municipal needs

PORT ORCHARD — The Port Orchard City Council voted unanimously to accept a grant of $2,821,078 from the federal American Rescue Plan at its regular meeting on Aug. 17.

The grant money will be dispersed evenly over two years. After the city’s application was accepted for the grant, officials were notified on June 30 they would receive $1,410,000, said Noah Crocker, finance director for the city.

Mayor Pro-Tem Bek Ashby expressed her support of accepting the funds and acknowledged that also meant accepting the rules and regulations that go with the grant.

“I’m supportive because I believe we can accomplish those things and use this for the betterment of our citizens,” Ashby said.

Mayor Rob Putaansuu agreed and said the city takes these regulations seriously. He said otherwise, what was delivered to the city as a grant will become a short-term loan the city must reimburse.

The money will later be appropriated by the council for eligible expenses in compliance with the American Rescue Plan Act.

According to the Association of Washington Cities, cities can use the funds to “Support public health expenditures; Address the negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency; Replace lost public sector revenue; Provide premium pay for essential workers; and, Invest in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.”

Cities accepting the grant funds have until Dec. 31, 2026, to spend funds. Crocker said Port Orchard will first focus on infrastructure needs as it determines how to disburse the grant money.