Landis stashes ARPA funds, annexes parking lot

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, May 10, 2023

LANDIS — Landis town officials decided to put the remainder of its American Rescue Plan Act funds away for a rainy day during a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday at town hall.

The town has $549,081 remaining of the funds that the federal government issued to municipalities around the U.S. in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Newly appointed Landis Interim Town Manager Michael Ambrose explained that the funds would be moved to Landis’ general fund in a restricted account line item, which removes federal mandates, granting the town more time to spend the funds. 

Ambrose noted that the money would enter a restricted fund, so “not a penny can be spent unless it is board approved.”

The move will ease the federal reporting for the town staff and relieve the mayor and Landis Board of Alderman of the federal deadlines of Dec. 31, 2024, for the allocation of funds and Dec. 31, 2026, for the expenditure of the funds. 

Parking lot donation

In other town news, the Landis Board of Aldermen approved a donation from Parkdale Mills to receive the parking lot next to the town hall. 

“There is a small portion near the church that is a very slender piece and the bigger part that is fenced in,” Landis Mayor Meredith Smith said. “We made a few phone calls. We really just wanted the small part. I told them that I would be interested in the larger one later. They called back and said they would donate both.”

Smith and Ambrose contacted Parkdale Mills about possibly annexing the adjacent property to town hall. 

According to a town memo, “Parkdale Mills graciously advised (Landis) they would donate the parking lot to the town with a $300,000 valuation.”

Landis will be responsible for surveying the land and any necessary appraisals. The town attorney advised the staff the valuation of the property could be lifted to $300,000 if approved by the mayor and board of aldermen.

The contract stated, “Due to the donor’s lack of familiarity with the property, (they were) unwilling to make any representations or warranties whatsoever regarding the property, and the donor is only willing to grant the property on an ‘as is, where is’ and ‘with all faults’ basis.”