OLIVE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A survey conducted in Ottawa County found where the public wants to utilize the county’s funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, choosing affordable housing and social programs as the most important needs.

The survey, which collected feedback from residents and business owners from July 1 to Aug. 1, received more than 2,200 responses. The survey provided four subcategories and asked participants to rank them based on most to least important.

Affordable housing was voted most important by 39% of respondents and ranked second by 30%. Social/human services were voted most important by 29% of responses and ranked second by 38%. Countywide broadband received top support from 17% of responses, while business stabilization received 14%.

Ottawa County has received $57 million in ARPA funding. The Board of Commissioners has put together a special committee to work through spending proposals and present its findings to the full board.

The committee developed five points of criteria for projects to qualify for consideration: it must address a known and demonstrated need, address disparities or gaps in underserved populations, sustain itself long after ARPA funds, have a verified return on investment and be not likely to materialize without ARPA funding.

Commissioners Roger Bergman and Joseph Baumann are on the committee, along with Holland City Manager Keith Van Beek, Allendale Township Supervisor Adam Elenbaas, Holland Township Supervisor Terry Nienhuis and several local business and community leaders.

No timetable for when a final decision will be announced. You can sign up for updates on the ARPA funding committee through the Ottawa County website.