TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - Tippecanoe County must decide how to spend $6.2 million in federal CARES Act money.
About $1.4 million has already been spent or has been earmarked for other major projects.
More than $120,000 will cover costs for a COVID-19 vaccine clinic.
"We know it's coming, so we might as well get prepared for it," says Amanda Balser, an executive assistant with the Tippecanoe County Health Department.
Balser says the clinic will need to administer vaccines at a massive scale.
"A mass clinic where we see hundreds, if not thousands, of people through in a day," she says. "We've prepared for this, we will continue to prepare for it, and once the vaccine comes, we will hopefully be ready."
The county's IT department will spend $600,000 to increase data storage. Commissioner Tom Murtaugh says archiving virtual court hearings has depleted the department's storage capacity.
"We're rapidly approaching our limits on our storage, so we're going to have to invest a significant amount of money in additional storage space," he says.
Sheriff Bob Goldsmith is spending $47,000 to enclose the jail's receptionist desk.
"It's something we've thought about for years," he says. "We're one of the only departments that doesn't have a receptionist that's enclosed. The pandemic, unfortunately, for us to keep it open, we need to have some protection."
The Tippecanoe County Council will need to decide how to spend the remaining $4.7 million dollars. The money can be used to reimburse the salaries of public safety and health department employees.
Auditor Bob Plantenga says it can also be set aside for the 2022 budget when officials are expecting another shortfall in income tax revenue.
"We need to set some money aside," he says. "If we spend all this money, all this money here, we spend it all, we're going to have some real problems in 2022, so we need to plan for that."
Money will also be spent to add to the county's supply of personal protection equipment and to purchase a body scanner and portable x-ray system for Tippecanoe County Community Corrections.
The equipment will help community corrections staff avoid close contact when clients are being scanned into the building.