Duluth, Minnesota, is looking for a social worker to assist individuals who are struggling with substance use and mental health issues.

Pueblo, Colorado, has begun compensating homeless people for cleaning the city’s streets. Currently, a new golf course is being built in Palm Beach County of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, which is home to 160 golf courses.

Cities Are Seeing Green Thanks To new Government Covid Aid Money,

These are just a few of the tens of thousands of ways cities and counties have begun spending the first batch of COVID-19 relief funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, which was approved by Congress earlier this year.

There are minimal limitations on how the money may be used under the terms of the economic bailout plan, which gives $130 billion for cities and counties.

Cities Are Seeing Green Thanks To new Government Covid Aid Money,

For many, it was the first time they had received direct financial assistance from the federal government. ARPA provided $195 billion in funding to the states.

Other stimulus funds have been provided to them in previous assistance packages, notably the CARES Act of last year. Cities and counties will get a cash injection to help people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 epidemic, invest in long-term initiatives, and replenish budgets that a decrease in tax income has impacted as a result of shutdown limitations and slow economic growth.

Half of the funds were made available in May, with the remaining funds being accessible the following year. The money will be available to the municipalities until 2026. There are no uses for the money, including tax reduction, adding to rainy day reserves, paying for legal settlements, or bolstering pension funds. Aside from that, local governments are free to spend the funds as they see fit. Large portions of the allotment are being classified as “revenue replacement” by several cities, including Buffalo, New York, and Houston, which will utilize the money to make up for deficits in revenues above what would be anticipated had the epidemic not happened. As per a Brookings Institution study, this provides them with the greatest amount of freedom. Many cities, like Livonia, Minnesota, and West Palm Beach, Florida, have set aside certain American Rescue Plan funds to award bonuses to their employees.

Handguns and bulletproof vests for the sheriff’s office were authorized for purchase by Chautauqua County, New York, at a total cost of almost $95,000. Snowplows and dump trucks were authorized for $480,000 and a snowblower for $810,000, respectively, by the county, which receives an average of 120 inches of snow each year.

Dubois County, Indiana, proposes spending $350,000 of its $8 million budget to enhance a county park by adding campsites, a restroom, and other improvements. When President Joe Biden and democrats In Congress took control of Washington earlier this year, they made ARPA a top priority. The $1.9 trillion packages, which included financing for COVID-19 test results, unemployment benefits, child tax credits, and a host of other programs in addition to the reprieve money for localities, was a top priority of the new administration.