Municipalities eye $6.3M in aid

President Joe Biden signs the American Rescue Plan on March 11, 2021, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images/TNS

Municipalities in Columbia County are projected to receive more than $6.3 million from the American Rescue Plan Act.

President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 on March 11. Local municipalities and counties across the nation are allocated $130.2 billion. Fifty percent, or $65.1 billion, goes to counties and the other half goes to cities and localities, with $45.6 billion earmarked for metropolitan areas. Small cities and municipal government payments cannot exceed 75% of their annual budget, as of Jan. 27, 2020.

The stimulus package will bring more than $400 million directly to local governments in New York’s 19th Congressional District, according to a March 26 announcement from U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-19.

Towns and villages in the district are projected to receive more than $160 million in relief. Columbia County is projected to receive $11,530,000, according to Delgado, and local municipalities in the county are projected to receive $6,383,922, according to the National League of Cities.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury is finalizing allocations, but estimates have been released from the House Committee on Oversight, according to the National League of Cities.

The town of Ancram is projected to receive $163,552; the town of Austerlitz is projected to receive $173,424; the town of Canaan $175,947; the town of Chatham $418,918; the town of Claverack $617,572; the town of Clermont $204,468; the town of Copake $372,298; the town of Gallatin $173,534; the town of Germantown $200,409; the town of Ghent $556,253; the town of Greenport $464,660; the town of Hillsdale $197,667; the city of Hudson $666,056; the town of Kinderhook $893,889; the town of Livingston $378,221; the town of New Lebanon $236,059; the town of Stockport $285,970; and the town of Stuyvesant $205,016, according to estimates.

They are not the final, official allocations from the House Committee on Oversight, according to the National League of Cities. The villages of Philmont, Chatham, Kinderhook and Valatie are not listed.

The funds are designated to mitigate fiscal effects stemming from the COVID-19 public health emergency, according to the law.

Local governments can only use the funds to cover costs incurred by Dec. 31, 2024, according to the law. Municipalities can use the funds to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic or its negative economic impacts, including assistance to households, small businesses and non-profits, or aid to impacted industries, such as tourism, travel and hospitality, to provide premium pay not exceeding $13 per hour in addition to regular wages for workers essential to government services; to make up for reduction in governmental revenue due to the COVID-19 public health emergency; or to make necessary investments in water, sewer or broadband infrastructure.

The funds cannot be used for pension fund deposits. Funds can be transferred to a private non-profit organization, a public benefit corporation that provides passenger or cargo transportation or a special purpose unit of government. Municipalities can also transfer funds to the state in which they are located.

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