American Rescue Plan grants require almost twice as much funding as available from Burks

Berks County authorities continue to work to determine how the county will spend one of the biggest financial plunges it has ever seen.

At a steering meeting on Tuesday, the county commissioner learned that there was a great deal of interest in the grant program that the county is offering to fund the Federal American Rescue Program. The county grant coordinator, Karra Mayo, reported receiving a total of 160 applications requesting a total of $ 42 million by the March 31 deadline.

The county has begun reviewing these applications and has already reduced the number to 113, Mayo said. The 47 rejected applications were rejected because they did not meet the criteria of the grant program.

The commissioner unanimously approved the rejection and voted to move the remaining 113 (requesting a total of $ 35 million) to the second round of review.

Mayo said three meetings are scheduled for the review committee in the coming weeks. She said she hopes the Commission will be able to present its final recommendations by the end of June.

About the grant program

The federal government has provided counties and other government agencies with large amounts of cash to help fight and recover from the COVID pandemic. The American Rescue Plan has sent nearly $ 82 million to the county.

The Commissioner wants to ensure that cash is used in a way that provides the greatest possible return on the investment. And that means leveraging resources and working with community partners to ensure that these funds have a positive impact on the community.

The commissioner unanimously voted in February, securing $ 18 million to be distributed to organizations and groups through a grant program in 2022 and $ 12 million in 2023. The maximum amount of funding an organization can apply for is $ 1 million, or 25% of the total cost. Project — whichever is less.

The county focuses on five major categories:

• public health.

• Infrastructure investment.

• Negative economic impact.

• Management and data costs.

• Services for the most hit communities.

The Commissioner plans to maintain $ 37 million out of $ 82 million for use in the county, based on the advice of budget department representatives. As a result, $ 14 million wasn’t specified and they said they would decide how to spend it at a later date.

The county has already deposited $ 41 million in the bank and is the first installment of the two rescue plans that the county will receive. The second installment payment is scheduled for May next year. The county must allocate these funds by the end of 2024 and use these funds by the end of 2026.

County created Website To provide residents with everything they need to know about the American Rescue Plan funds they receive. This site explains why the county received money as part of its plan, how much it received, how community members can apply for grants, and how to allow the community to track how funds are distributed.

So far, the Commissioner has allocated only $ 7.5 million.

Last summer, the board resolved to donate $ 3 million each to Reading Fightin Phils and the Santander Arena and Performing Arts Center to offset the financial losses the team and venue suffered as a result of the pandemic. .. They also spent $ 1.1 million to operate support for the Burke’s Care Vaccine Center and mobile test sites, about $ 200,000 for contact tracing contracted through Co-County Wellness Services, and $ 95,000 to cover administrative costs.

American Rescue Plan grants require almost twice as much funding as available from Burks

Source link American Rescue Plan grants require almost twice as much funding as available from Burks

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