County eyes options on $10.5 million stimulus funds

Columbus County could see several major projects funded by the $10.5 million expected from  the latest round of federal stimulus money.

The money is part of the largest omnibus federal spending bill in history. The Biden administration pushed the funding as a way to help communities recover from the pandemic. Unlike the so-called “shovel-ready” stimulus handed down during the Obama administration, funding is being distributed based on population, and local governments do not have to have specific plans in place to obtain the funds.

County Manager Eddie Madden said county officials will meet next week to prioritize use of the money. Among the permitted uses are water and sewer, high speed internet, and infrastructure improvements. 

“We have a lot of needs that fall under the guidelines,” Madden said. “By next week, we’ll have a better idea of where we want to go, and we’ll present that to the county commissioners at a future meeting.”

Madden started work with the county last month, replacing Mike Stephens, who resigned in November. Madden was with the town of Elizabethtown as manager for 13 years, where he led several infrastructure improvement efforts, including the downtown revitalization. He said one of his goals is increased economic development for Columbus.“You need water, sewer and high speed connectivity to attract business and good jobs,” Madden said. “Those are three things the money can be used for. With good infrastructure, you can attract good business and industry.”

About Jefferson Weaver 1973 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and he can be reached at (910) 914-6056, (910) 632-4965, or by email at [email protected].