As Greene and Columbia counties set records we’d rather not set in the COVID-19 pandemic, the Twin Counties could see about $40 million in federal aid if the American Rescue Plan is approved.
The important word here is “if.”
Passed by the House Budget Committee on Monday, the $1.9 trillion aid package is expected to be voted on by the House of Representatives later this week. The relief package calls for $9 million in direct federal funding for Greene County, $8.7 million for Greene County towns and villages, $12 million for Columbia County and $9.9 million for Columbia County towns and villages.
Needless to say, we strongly urge the House, represented here by Rep. Antonio Delgado of the 19th Congressional District, to pass this legislation without delay.
Delgado has worked hard on this legislation and, more important, tried his best to light a fire in the bellies of his colleagues to help them see the light. He received a boatload of feedback from the small business community all across the 19th District. U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., completed a formidable tandem. They delivered on what the business community asked for.
The relief package calls for $483 million in direct federal funding for the 19th Congressional District, which includes all of Columbia, Greene, Delaware, Otsego, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster counties, and parts of Broome, Dutchess, Montgomery and Rensselaer counties.
An estimated $438 million for the 19th District relief would ensure local governments can continue to provide essential services, get the COVID vaccine to the public, keep first responders, firefighters, police officers and frontline workers employed and a great deal more.
As for the Twin Counties, “if” is a tiny word that carries big significance. A $40 million aid package would help two small rural counties like these get through the hard days that lie ahead. It’s a matter of saving lives, protecting your health and keeping the local economy ticking. All three are vital reasons for the House to vote yes on the American Rescue Plan.