MADISON COUNTY, Ill. – Madison County officials have finally decided how to spend the $51 million provided by the federal government.

In March, FOX 2 reported that the county was struggling to spend the funds. Madison County Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler said it is not easy to spend that much money in the face of all the rules.

“Well, first of all, it came very quickly,” he said. “I think the law was passed in spring of 2021. All of a sudden, in May of 2021, we received an electronic transfer of $25.5 million, which is half of what we were allowed, and then another $25.5 million, so we’ve had the money.”

Madison County has had huge flooding problems over the years. The majority of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds will go toward stormwater and sanitary sewer projects.

“That was the original intent of the American Rescue Plan, which I feel was necessary spending,” Prenzler said.

The county will spend $16.3 million on storm sewers and $9.8 million on sanitary projects throughout the area. It is also spending $2 million on broadband.

Each fire protection district in the area will receive $1.5 million. About $4.7 million is going towards public health-related activities.

Prenzler calls it a good deal for taxpayers.

“Well, the way we’re spending the money, we’re making it very hard to see that it’s spent responsibly,” he said.