Jackson County, whose courthouse in Sylva is seen here, has had no domestic violence shelter since the previous one closed 11 years ago. A combination of ARPA funds and nonprofit dollars is being put toward creating a new shelter in the county that is also home to Western Carolina University. Colby Rabon / Carolina Public Press

Every town or county has four buckets to place their ARPA funding into, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury: premium pay, public health/economic recovery initiatives, infrastructure improvements and revenue loss. 

The “revenue loss” category makes it difficult to fully understand where ARPA funds are being spent in Western North Carolina, so Carolina Public Press compiled Treasury data and categorized all projects — even those technically funded through claiming revenue loss — according to Treasury’s main buckets.

Is this where ARPA relief should be spent?

Here’s a breakdown of all projects — both those funded directly through ARPA and through claiming revenue loss — reported to the federal Treasury Department as of July 2022:

  • Public Health/Economic Recovery: $14,227,702
    • Includes vaccination clinics, nonprofit funding, hospital enhancements, public education and financial assistance programs in Buncombe, Burke, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, McDowell, Polk and Transylvania counties.
  • Premium pay, staff salaries and administrative costs: $36,839,882
    • Includes county worker salaries, bonuses for essential workers and vaccine incentive payments in Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain and Yancey counties. 
  • Infrastructure and broadband: $6,965,068
    • Includes water/sewer improvements, road enhancements and matches for state broadband expansion grants in Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Haywood, Madison, McDowell, Transylvania and Yancey counties. 
  • Unspecified: $22,517,963
    • Includes amounts claimed as revenue loss by Jackson, Rutherford and Transylvania counties. No specific projects were listed in Treasury data.
  • Total allocated as of July 2022: $80,550,615
  • Funds remaining: $96,983,169

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Shelby Harris a former Carolina Public Press reporter. To reach the Carolina Public Press newsroom, email news@carolinapublicpress.org.

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  1. Let’s see the actual breakdown from each county. Because some of the earmarked money never went for what it supposed to be. Funneled into greedy local government pockets.