Tuesday, November 30, 2021

From sewers to golf courses, cities look green with new federal Covid relief dollars

Duluth, Minnesota, is hiring a social worker to help people with addictions and mental health problems.

Pueblo, Colorado began paying homeless residents to clean city streets.

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida – in Palm Beach County, home to 160 golf courses – is building a new golf course.

These are among thousands of ways in which cities and counties have started spending the first tranche of Covid relief money from the American Rescue Planning Act passed by Congress in March.

That economic rescue package provides cities and counties with $130 billion — with some restrictions on how the money can be spent. For many, it was the first economic relief they received directly from the federal government.

States received $195 billion from ARPA. He had received other incentives in earlier relief packages including the CARES Act last year.

The dollar’s infusion to cities and counties is aimed at helping residents and businesses hurt by the Covid-19 pandemic, investing in longer-term projects or supplementing budgets because of declining tax revenues due to shutdown restrictions and the economic downturn.

Half the money was made available in May and the rest will be available next year. The regions have until 2026 to spend it.

The money cannot be used to reduce taxes, add to the Rainy Day Fund, pay for a legal settlement, or increase the pension fund.

In addition, local governments can spend the money virtually as they wish. Many cities, such as Buffalo, New York and Houston, are initially classifying large portions of the allocations as “revenue replacement”, meaning they will use the funds to cover shortfalls that would not have occurred due to the pandemic. But it was expected. This gives them the most flexibility, as the Brookings Institution reports.

Nation World News Deskhttps://nationworldnews.com
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