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Lancaster County Board Seeking Feedback On American Rescue Plan Act Funding

(KFOR NEWS  June 24, 2021)   Lancaster County will receive approximately $62 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).  The American Rescue Plan will deliver $350 billion for eligible state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments to respond to the COVID-19 emergency and bring back jobs.  The Lancaster County Board is seeking feedback from constituents about where to spend Lancaster County’s allocation of the money.

The ARPA funds must be spent in the following categories:

  1. Support Public Health Response: (Includes the following)
  • Services to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 including vaccinations, testing, medical expenses, contact tracing, quarantine costs, etc.
  • Behavioral healthcare services including mental health or substance abuse treatment, crisis intervention services.
  • Payroll and covered benefits for public health, healthcare, human services, and public safety staff in relation to the COVID-19 work they do.
  1. Addressing Negative Economic Impacts:
  • Deliver assistance to workers and families including support for unemployed workers, aid to households, survivor benefits for families of COVID-19 victims.
  • Support for small businesses including loans, grants, in-kind or counseling programs.
  • Speed the recovery of impacted industries including tourism, travel, and hospitality.
  • Rebuild the public sector capacity by rehiring staff and implementing economic relief programs.
  1. Replace Public Sector Revenue Loss:
  • Ensure continuity of vital government services by filling budget shortfalls
  1. Broadband Infrastructure:
  • Focus on households and businesses without access to broadband and those with connections that do not provide minimally acceptable speeds.
  • Funding projects that deliver reliable service with minimum 100Mbps download/100MBPS upload speeds.
  • Complement broadband investments.
  1. Equity-Focused Services:
  • Provide additional services to address health disparities, invest in housing, address educational disparities, and promote early childhood environments.

The Lancaster County Board is seeking feedback from Lancaster County constituents on where they would like to see the ARPA funding spent and have created a survey for residents to complete. The survey which allows residents the ability to rank the funding categories by order of importance to them is available on the homepage of the Lancaster County website which is www.lancaster.ne.gov.

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