Canadian County commissioners agree on ARPA shares

Dave Anderson

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

EL RENO – Canadian County commissioners have agreed on percentage shares in three categories for more than $12 million in federal stimulus funds they plan to distribute.

In 2021, Canadian County was awarded $28,806,702 from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). This was a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill designed to speed up the United States’ recovery from the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and an ongoing recession.

Commissioners already have obligated $16,632,100, and will allocate the other $12,174,602 to municipalities, rural water districts and community service/mental health organizations.

“What we’re trying to do is touch as many needs as we can in the most constructive way,” Canadian County Commissioner Dave Anderson said at the commissioners’ April 10 meeting.

All three commissioners decided on this split by category:

  • 85% – Municipal water
  • 7.5% – Rural water
  • 7.5% – Community services/mental health

“We’re not talking about disbursing any funds to any individual applicant this morning,” Anderson emphasized. “We’re just talking about dividing the available dollars we have left in different categories.

“All three categories have more applications than we can fund.”

Anderson, the District 2 commissioner, first suggested 85% for municipal water, 6% for rural water and 9% for community services/mental health.

Tracey Rider

District 3 Commissioner Tracey Rider then suggested 80% for municipal water, 10% for rural water and 10% for community services/mental health.

“Giving weight to the populations of the larger cities is very important,” Rider said.

District 1 Commissioner Tom Manske made the motion with 85% for municipal water, 7.5% for rural water and 7.5% for community services/mental health. That motion passed 3-0.

“Water in the county is definitely a big issue, especially as fast as we’re growing,” Manske said. “We need to keep focus on that.”



Twelve eligible entities in Canadian County submitted formal requests in the three primary categories for portions of the county’s $28.8 million ARPA award:

Municipal water – City of Mustang ($3,560,000), City of El Reno ($3,500,000), City of Yukon ($4,350,000), and City of Piedmont ($1,406,499).

Rural water – Canadian County Water Authority ($723,179), Okarche Water District ($1 million), Maple Water District ($53,296.88).

Community services/mental health – Red Rock Behavioral Health ($1,699,775), Cardinal Point Family Justice Center ($454,265), Second Chance and Re-entry Services ($336,000), Intervention and Crisis Advocacy Network ($33,468), and Boy Scouts Last Frontier Council ($500,000).

One other application was received from the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office ($336,431).

All 13 Canadian County ARPA requests total $17,952,913.88.

That is $5,778,311.88 more than county commissioners have left to disburse.


Federal ARPA stimulus funds may be used to:

  • Restore lost revenues for any negative tax impact due to lower economic activity.
  • Upgrade and improve Internet broadband, water and sewer infrastructure.
  • Respond to the negative economic impacts and public health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and to be prepared for any future pandemics.
  • Provide premium pay for essential employees who undertook required public health-related work during the pandemic.

County commissioners have obligated ARPA funds in these three areas:

  • $10 million for estimated “lost” Canadian County revenue, which may be used toward construction of a new county courthouse complex. This amount must be moved to the county’s general fund before any is spent.
  • $6.2 million to the Canadian County Health Department. Some $6,005,867.92 has been spent to acquire property near SH-66 and Evans Road for a new CCHD site.
  • $432,100 to the Canadian County District Attorney’s Office to administer the county’s ARPA funds over five years. $86,420 has been spent.