FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Washington County justices of the peace discussed 11 nonprofits that were deemed eligible for American Rescue Plan funds on Monday.
The Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District evaluated all of the county’s nonprofit ARPA requests and found 11 were eligible. Those were the ones that were heard at Monday’s County Services committee meeting.
However, other nonprofits that applied for the funding, that were deemed ineligible, wanted to be reconsidered. WelcomeHealth, a clinic that provides healthcare to people without insurance, is one of the organizations that was deemed ineligible. Executive Director Monika Fischer-Massie said she was told WelcomeHealth wasn’t eligible because it doesn’t provide services county-wide, but she said that’s not the case.
“We serve patients from the Fayetteville area and from all over the county and surrounding areas,” Fischer-Massie said.
Justice of the Peace Beth Coger wanted to add WelcomeHealth along with others that were deemed ineligible to Monday’s agenda. Justice of the Peace Shawndra Washington said she wanted the other applications to be heard so the county could move forward with the APRA distribution.
“I believe that the members of the public and the residents of Washington County deserve to hear what these agencies have to say and also to hear what the counters to those are, so that we can finish this application process out,” Washington said.
While other justices of the peace, like Kyle Lyons, said the quorum court needed to stick with the process already set forth to determine the nonprofits that were eligible for ARPA funds.
“Now we’ve added a change to that process so they can come in and change what they told us in the application and get different results,” Lyons said.
The committee voted against adding a discussion on additional nonprofits like WelcomeHealth.
The public comment at the meeting centered around concerns about only a select few nonprofits being deemed eligible for the ARPA funds.