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Hochul $387 million in COVID-19 relief being delivered to local governments


Fri, Jul 22nd 2022 01:50 pm

American Rescue Plan Act funding will support 1,452 local governments across New York

√ Including identical distribution in 2021, payments to local governments will total $774 million

√ Part of state's ongoing preparation efforts to address potential surges this fall & protect public health

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced $387 million is being delivered to 1,452 local governments across the New York to help boost their pandemic response infrastructure. Her team said the announcement is part of the state's ongoing preparation efforts to tackle any potential pandemic-related surges this fall and winter. 

This financial backing is made possible by the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, part of the American Rescue Plan Act, which provides relief for smaller local governments that have shared in the public health response.

"We have been able to move safely forward through this pandemic because of our close coordination with partners at every level of local government," Hochul said. "I want to thank Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand and our congressional delegation for their help in securing this critical funding, which will help cities, towns and villages across New York state respond to pandemic-related needs and deliver essential services. As we respond to new variants and plan for any potential surges this fall, this is yet another step we are taking to boost our preparation efforts, and we will continue to work with local partners to keep New Yorkers safe."

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provided $350 billion for eligible state, local, territorial and tribal governments to respond to the COVID-19 emergency, including $10.7 billion in relief for New York state's local governments.

While larger municipalities received their funding directly from the U.S. Treasury Department, the state is responsible for distributing allocations on a per-capita basis to non-entitled units of government (NEUs) – cities, towns and villages that did not receive a direct payment.

Hochul’s team said, “In July and August 2021, $387.1 million was distributed to over 1,450 local governments. Municipalities have received or can expect an identical amount in a second payment, which will conclude the state's responsibility for distribution.”

Congressman Brian Higgins said, "We fought to include local funding in the American Rescue Plan to ensure relief reaches our neighborhoods where people need it most. This latest payment will deliver over $24.4 million in federal resources to smaller cities, towns and villages in Erie and Niagara counties."

The federal guidelines allow New York's cities, towns and villages receiving ARPA funds to use this aid for purposes including, but not limited to:

√ Support public health expenditures. For example, funds may be used for COVID-19 mitigation efforts, medical expenses, behavioral health care, and certain public health and safety staff;

√ Address negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency; This includes economic harms to workers, households, small businesses, impacted industries and the public sector;

√ Replace lost revenue. Funds may be used to provide government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue experienced due to the pandemic;

√ Provide premium pay for essential workers. Additional support may be offered to those who have and will bear the greatest health risks because of their service in critical sectors; and

√ Invest in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure. Funds may be used to make necessary investments to improve access to clean drinking water, support vital wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, and to expand access to broadband internet.

The amount being sent to each non-entitlement local government, as well as their total allocation which includes the summer 2021 payment, is available on the Division of the Budget website.

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