County OKs Spending Plan For $45M In Relief Funds

By Johanna Cano, posted Apr 6, 2021
The county’s plan for how it will spend $45.4 million as part of the American Rescue Plan has been rubber-stamped.

New Hanover County Commissioners on Monday afternoon approved a framework on how the federal funds will be spent, which includes $3.85 million for business, nonprofit and employment assistance.

“New Hanover County has an important responsibility to care for our most vulnerable residents and assist our community as we recover from the impacts of the pandemic, to be even more resilient and healthier than before,” Board Chair Julia Olson Boseman said in a news release. “This funding will allow us to do that by assisting and investing in our residents, businesses and nonprofits who have been struggling, providing internet access to children and families, funding critical infrastructure like water and sewer to help create more affordable housing, establishing mental health assistance for children and seniors, and much more.”

Last week, the county announced that it expected to receive about $45.4 million from the American Rescue Plan, which was signed into law by President Joe Biden in March. The plan aims to provide relief to communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through New Hanover’s plan, business and nonprofit grants will be available focused on those in retail, service, leisure, hospitality and childcare facilities as well as nonprofits that were not able to continue operations at some point during the pandemic. It will also fund two job programs administered by Step Up Wilmington, which will provide a six-week paid job training and placement program for 100 people and a six-month paid internship and job placement for up to 20 people to develop long-term skills and employment.

In addition to $3.85 million for business and employment, the plan includes:
  • $5.76 million for broadband connectivity including connecting about 8,000 homes to broadband
  • $3 million for housing including mortgage assistance
  • $4.13 million for physical and mental health for schools, seniors, school nurses and senior resource center
  • $12.32 million for infrastructure and emergency management, including for Blue Clay Business Park
  • $3.2 million for revenue replacement (lost sales tax revenue during the pandemic)
  • $6.19 million for essential county employees including bonuses
  • $6.93 million for reserve and administration
More details on the county spending plan can be found here.

The county’s plan will continue to be updated based on the needs of the community, guidance from commissioners, and requirements from the federal government, the release stated.

“Additional priorities may be identified in the coming months and years, based on community needs,” the release said.

Now, according to the release, the county is working on developing the administration and management for each of the funding initiatives to ensure they are successful and incorporate community partners.
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