SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – The Smith County Commissioner’s Court approved several local projects to be funded by it’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds on Monday.

ARPA was passed during the pandemic to help revitalize the economy. Smith County received $45 million from the plan, according to Smith County.

The biggest project approved is for the City of Winona’s wastewater system. Winona has struggled for years to bring its wastewater system up to state environmental standards but the $3,677,516 plan could change that, said officials. The plan approved Monday will allow wastewater from Winona to be transported to and treated at the East Texas Municipal Utility District’s wastewater treatment plant, said Smith County.

“I was convinced that this was the last water/sewer project that we absolutely needed to get done,” County Judge Nathaniel Moran said. “It will have the biggest impact on a rural community in Smith County.”

The other projects approved Monday are:

  • $1.263 million for Star Mountain Water Supply in Starrville to build a water well and water plant in order to provide water for new developments
  • $897,325 for the City of Lindale for a water lift station and force main for the buisness park on interstate 20
  • $820,000 to upgrade 39 vehicles from Smith County Sheriff’s Office, Fire Marshal’s Office and Constables Offices with gear such as lights, bumpers, radios and IT equipment
  • $600,000 to bring Wright City Water Supply Company up to state water quality standards by securing two water filtration systems
  • $500,000 to renovate a 9,800-square-foot children’s mental health care wing at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Smith County
  • $130,000 for the creation and renovation of a space for the Smith County Veteran Services Office at Camp V, a nonprofit that helps veterans.
  • $90,000 for the Smith County IT Department to purchase additional security software licenses to increase the digital security of the county.

According to Smith County’s American Rescue Plan Act webpage, the $45 million must be committed by the end of 2024 and spent by the end of 2026.