CORUNNA — The Shiawassee County Finance and Administration Committee has scheduled a special meeting to discuss American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.

The meeting will take place at 4 p.m. Sept. 22 inside the Surbeck Building, 201 N. Shiawassee St., and comes after county commissioners came under fire in July for unevenly disbursing a portion of the ARPA funds among themselves, other county elected officials and county employees.

Commissioners voted July 15 — following a legally questionable closed session — to give themselves and other county elected officials COVID-19 hazard pay bonuses using federal relief funds under the American Rescue Plan Act.

Of the $557,000 that was disbursed, a large portion of the funds went to commissioners and other elected officials. Commissioner Jeremy Root, then the board chairman, received $25,000; commissioners John Plowman and Brandon Marks received $10,000 each, and the remaining commissioners — Cindy Garber, Marlene Webster, Greg Brodeur and Gary Holzhausen — each received $5,000.

A Genesee County judge subsequently ordered county officials to repay the bonuses in August. All county elected officials have returned the funds, and the remaining employees who received a bonus of $5,000 or more were instructed to do the same following the receipt of the Aug. 12 order, County Coordinator Brian Boggs said.

The county received approximately $6.5 million in ARPA funding earlier this year, and is expected to receive another $6.5 million next year, officials said previously.

The Sept. 22 special meeting joins commissioners’ regular slate of meetings next week. The Economic and Physical Development and Finance and Administration Committees will meet Monday at 5 p.m.; Public Safety and Courts and Health and Human Services committees will convene at 5 p.m. Sept. 21; the Committee of the Whole will meet at 5 p.m. Sept. 22; and the full county board meeting will be held at 5 p.m. Sept. 23. All meetings will be held inside the Surbeck Building.

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