The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the $1.9 trillion federal coronavirus relief package signed into law on March 11th, includes $13.722 billion for Pennsylvania. Within Pennsylvania’s allocation is $936 million that is to be directed to municipal governments. Locally, a total of $6,305,899 will make its way to the Borough of Ambler ($641,752), Lower Gwynedd Township ($1,136,685), Whitpain Township ($1,902,220), and Upper Dublin Township ($2,625,242). The amount received is based on population.
According to analysis from the National Association of Counties, the money has to be utilized as follows:
- Respond to or mitigate the public health emergency with respect to the COVID-19 emergency or its negative economic impacts, including assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits, or aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel, and hospitality. These examples are intended to clarify congressional intent that these activities are eligible. However, state and local activities are NOT limited only to these activities
- Provide government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue (i.e. online, property or income tax) due to the public health emergency
- Make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure
- State and local governments can transfer the funds to a private nonprofit organization, a public benefit corporation involved in the transportation of passengers or cargo or a special-purpose unit of State or local government
- Respond to workers performing essential work during the COVID-19 public health emergency by providing premium pay to eligible workers of the county that are performing such essential work, or by providing grants to eligible employers that have eligible workers who perform essential work.
- “Premium pay” means an additional amount up to $13 per hour that is paid to an eligible worker for work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The law imposes a cap of $25,000 for any single eligible worker.