Bee County will receive $6,315,781 through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

The Bee County Commissioner’s Court created a committee for the American Rescue Plan at a special meeting on April 30.

The $1.9 trillion plan was introduced in January by President Biden to help communities like Bee County who are struggling in the wake of COVID-19.

The plan provides $350 billion dollars in emergency funding for state, local, territorial and Tribal governments to help with falling revenues. 

This includes $195 billion for states and $130 billion for local governments.

“We should be receiving the first half, which is $3.4 million on May 10,” said Grace Yturria, Grant Administrator. “Then next year, we get the other half. We’re excited to see how we can help our county.”

The funds will enable them to support the public health response and lay the foundation for a stable economic recovery. 

Bee County government will address the revenue losses experienced as a result of the crisis, especially costs incurred due to responding to the public health emergency through household assistance, as well as to small businesses and nonprofits and impacted industries, and support for essential workers. 

The plan provides resources for state, local and tribal governments to invest in infrastructure, including water, sewer and broadband services.

“Our two areas of focus are broadband and infrastructure,” said Yturria. “It was important to create this committee and meet all the deadlines this month in order to receive this grant money and start working on projects.”

The committee will discuss and identify projects most worthy of the federal grant funds.

“It’s extremely important that committee members are confident about meeting the requirements before any projects are vetted,” said Bee County Judge, George Morrill, III. “It doesn’t cost anything for these members to meet and discuss potential projects and services and what resources we have available. I’m certain the members we chose for the committee will serve the county best.”

The court appointed Grace Yturria, County Grant Administrator; Michael Willow Sr., COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Coordinator; Precinct One Commissioner Kristofer Linney; Precinct Two Commissioner Dennis DeWitt and April Cantu, County Auditor.

The U.S. Treasury Department listed initial steps for counties to take and “Pre-award” award instructions throughout April and will release guidelines on eligible expenditures soon.

Counties can use the federal funds for pandemic-related expenses only and cannot deposit funds into any pension program.

The Local Coronavirus Fiscal Recovery Funds legislation was officially signed into law on March 11 and includes $65.1 billion in direct and flexible aid to every county in America.

•arivera@mysoutex.com•

Recommended for you