Thousands in funds go to municipalities through plan
Several rural Lycoming County municipalities are slated to receive federal funding to help offset the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, per the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
The $350 billion dollars included in the funding package will be allocated by state governments to local municipal governments by population.
However, local municipalities are still in the process of putting their heads together to determine how to apply the funding in their respective areas.
Muncy Borough has been allocated $238,470, however, according to Ed Feigles, Muncy Borough Council president, the borough has not received any official notice of the grant.
“Small municipalities face financial stressors from many sectors,” Feigles said. “Ultimately we must wait for the terms of the grant to be revealed before speculating on where to apply the funds.”
Meanwhile, Jersey Shore Borough has been allocated $409,215, but the borough council has not yet met to decide how to make use of that money, according to borough manager Cody Hoover.
“We have a brief understanding of what it can be used for, but nothing in stone,” Hoover said. “The council will decide what to use it for when we have the money and have a better understanding of what we can use it for.”
Judith Carpenter, secretary for Woodward Township, said the supervisors met last week to open brief discussions on the grant money but have not yet settled on anything specific. Woodward Township is receiving $210,094.
“They don’t really have anything in mind yet. We’ll probably have some questions, and a short summary of a couple things,” Carpenter said.
According to Penn Strategies President Jason Fitzgerald, the money can be used to support public health and economic responses to the pandemic, provide premium pay to essential workers, replace lost government revenue to prevent harmful cuts to government services and make necessary investments in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.
“The Treasury Department will be releasing detailed guidance in the coming weeks,” Fitzgerald said in a news release. “These dollars may not be used to offset a reduction in taxes.”
The United States Treasury will allocate and pay the funds to state governments, which will then distribute the funds to local government proportional to populace.