FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Allen County will receive a hefty amount of COVID-19 relief funding, $73 million around mid May.
This is part of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which distributed $65.1 billion to every county in America. As a whole, our area will receive $200 million to all taxing units. This includes schools, townships, the city of Fort Wayne and Allen County.
The planning for the funding is still in its early stages, but Allen County Commissioner Nelson Peters gave WANE 15 the best insight he could.
“I got to underscore that we don’t know a lot at this particular point because the Department of Treasury, who will be the overseers, have yet to come out with the regulations,” Peters explained. “Broadly speaking they said we should gear up to four generalize uses.”
One of the uses will be providing assistance to households, businesses and nonprofits. The funding will also aid businesses that were rocked by the pandemic such as the travel, tourism and hospitality industries.
The second use will provide premium pay for essential workers.
“While we think we know who those individuals might be, [the department of health personnel, police, fire, that type of thing], again without the benefit of rules and regulations from the department of treasury, it’s hard for us to really understand what that means,” Peters said.
For the third use, local governments will receive funding for loss revenue.
“What’s happened over the past 12 months is that local governments have lost income taxes to their bottom-line, they loss property taxes to their bottom line,” Peters said. “So it appears that there will be some allowance for the replacement of those revenues.”
The fourth and final use is investing in infrastructure, such as broadband, water and sewer.
Peters mentioned that there has been preliminary discussions with the City of Fort Wayne and one of the school districts in the county. He said this is to ensure that there is not any duplications in the expenditures of funds.
When asked if there will be a public hearing to get input from the community, Peters said he believes public input is always important, but if the rules and regulations from the Department of Treasury are specific then a public hearing might not be allowed.
Here is a list of all of the funding for counties in WANE 15 areas:
- Allen County : $73,562,705
- Blackford County: $2,280,392
- DeKalb County: $8,431,709
- Grant County: $12,755,493
- Huntington County: $7,082,829
- Jay County: $3,963,436
- LaGrange County : $7,682,891
- Noble County: $9,259,655
- Steuben County: $6,709,293
- Wabash County: $6,011,483
- Whitley County: $6,587,109
- Defiance County : $7,386,739
- Mercer County: $7,985,056
- Paulding County: $3,621,319
- Van Wert County: $5,483,762
- Williams County: $7,116,187
For the full list click here.