Residents surveyed by the Greene County government say mental health services should be the top priority for tens of millions of dollars in federal stimulus funding.

The survey garnered 1,719 responses and 645 written comments, according to a press release. The debate centers on half of the county’s $ 56.8 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds; the other half is for the county.

Mental Health Services received 834 votes. Respondents could choose five of the 22 eligible categories.

The first 10 are:
• mental health services, 834 votes;
• affordable housing, 531;
• service to homeless people, 528;
• vaccination, 526;
• economic assistance to small businesses, 485;
• aid to associations, 418;
• household feeding programs, 390;
• broadband, 370;
• childcare, 364; and
• youth reception service, 339.

The Greene County Commission plans to use the survey data as part of the process for selecting recipients for ARPA funds. Commissioners also meet with local leaders and organizations, and organize non-profit listening sessions.

A county team led by community leader Lyle Foster will use the various data to brief the commission on prioritization, the statement said. ARPA funds are to be allocated by the end of 2024.