Both Barton County and the City of Great Bend are in line for shares of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which provides funding for state and local governments still coping with residual impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Barton County last Thursday received the first of two $2,503,634.50 disbursement, County Public Information Officer Donna Zimmerman said.
However, Great Bend is still unsure how much it will get, City Administrator Kendal Francis said. They anticipate somewhere in the $2 million range for its first installment.
The second county payment is anticipated to be received in May 2022, and will bring the total to $5,007,269. The money comes from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds,
The city’s second payment should come next June.
According to Zimmerman, funding may be used to respond to needs caused by the COVID-19 for costs incurred between March 3 and Dec. 31, 2024, and reporting will go through Dec. 31, 2026.
These time lines apply to the city as well.
According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, on March 11, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 into law. The $1.9 trillion package is intended to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, including the public health and economic impacts.
The legislation includes $350 billion for most every state and local government. Of that, $130 billion is for local governments split evenly between municipalities and counties.
“Barton County recognizes the great financial due diligence associated with these funds,” Zimmerman said, adding she received preliminary guidance on the use of the funds on May 10. “We will engage the community in developing a plan to use these payments to catalyze economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Counties are divvying up $65 million with the amounts based on their percentage of the national population. This funding is coming directly from the federal Treasury Department.
As for cities, they are divided into two divisions. Those with fewer than 50,000 residents share $19.53 million which will come through the states and those over 50,000 share $47.57 million which will come from the feds.
Great Bend falls in the smaller category.
“They have not said what that amount will be for sure,” Francis said. He has seen preliminary guidelines and a funding formula, but no finalized totals.
He is expecting an amount anytime. The State of Kansas has 30 days from the day the funds were released, which was last week, to make an announcement.
The State of Kansas will receive $1,583,680,553.30, part of the $195.3 billion going to states.