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Chaffee County will be receiving $1.6 million in disbursements from the federal Local Assistance and Tribal Consistency Fund (LATCF). These funds are a portion of the $2 billion in appropriations made to LATCF through the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to provide general support for eligible counties and Tribal governments.

“We are grateful to have these funds coming into Chaffee. As a county with over 80 percent non-taxable public lands in our jurisdiction, our local revenue generation is limited here,” said Commissioner Keith Baker. “Programs like the LATCF funding bolster our ability to make substantial investments back into our community.”

A total of $71 million was allocated to 57 Colorado counties. Chaffee County is one of 2,086 local government entities considered eligible for funding through this program.

The amount of funding allocated to Chaffee County was determined by Treasury methodology that takes into account the extent of federal lands within a county’s boundaries, local economic conditions, poverty rates, household income, land values, and unemployment rates over the past 20 years.

Chaffee County will receive funds in two installations, each $804,325: one in late 2022 and one in early 2023.

The LATCF support is intended to provide counties with flexible funds to help address financial burdens and budget disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The county is permitted to use LATCF funds to cover any cost incurred on or after March 15, 2021, for any governmental purpose other than a lobbying activity, including general operations and essential services, capital projects, and infrastructure needs.

Chaffee County Administration and the Board of County Commissioners have not yet made a final determination on planned use of the LATCF funding.

Early discussions have evaluated leveraging the funds to support construction costs for the county’s major capital projects planned for 2023, which including the new North-End Public Safety Complex outside of Buena Vista and County Fairgrounds upgrades.