Valley getting millions in federal dollars for COVID relief

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The COVID-19 relief money is coming from the federal legislation passed Wednesday

(WKBN) – Valley Congressman Tim Ryan announced how much money will be given to the Valley as a result of the new American rescue package.

An estimated $5.9 billion will go directly to the state government of Ohio and $5.32 billion that will go directly to local governments across the state.

“It may fluctuate a little bit, but Mahoning County is in line for $44 million,” Ryan said.

Mahoning County is getting $44 million, while Trumbull County will receive $38 million. Youngstown will get $88 million and Warren will get $29 million.

Ryan joined Mahoning County Commissioners virtually Thursday to announced the news.

“This is a huge shot in the arm for local governments,” Ryan said.

Over the last year, the region has received tens of millions through the federal CARES Act. That money helped pay for food distribution programs, gift cards for local families, and even $5 million to help local small businesses hurt by the pandemic, but it didn’t cover tax revenues that were lost.

“Where we did have some dip in revenues in various areas, we were able to look at those and project out and be able to pull that money into the county,” said Mahoning County Budget Director Audrey Tillis.

“We’re a middle-class city, and our people need help, and government needs a little assistance right now because of the pandemic,” said Mahoning County Commissioner Carol Righetti.

While many of the details about how the money can be used need to be spelled out, Ryan told commissioners the funding offers new opportunities.

“We should think about how we are going to plug the region into the global economy. Maybe it’s broadband, maybe it’s infrastructure, maybe it’s something else,” Ryan said.

The breakdown is as follows:

NOTE: Funding for county governments is in addition to funding for city and other town governments. Additional funds for townships will be determined at a later date by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

Breakdown of estimated funding for city governments in OH-13 Congressional District:

Akron: $153,370,000
Alliance: $15,560,000
Barberton: $16,390,000
Cuyahoga Falls: $16,740,000
Kent: $7,570,000
Warren: $29,750,000
Youngstown: $88,630,000

Breakdown of estimated funding for other town governments in OH-13 Congressional District:

Peninsula village: $110,000
Tallmadge city: $3,430,000
Streetsboro city: $3,230,000
Ravenna city: $2,230,000
Windham village: $430,000
Newton Falls village: $880,000
Craig Beach village: $220,000
Limaville village: $30,000
Lordstown village: $640,000
Niles city: $3,560,000
McDonald village: $600,000
Girard city: $1,810,000
Hubbard city: $1,450,000
Yankee Lake village: $10,000
Campbell city: $1,530,000
Struthers city: $1,980,000
Lowellville village: $210,000
Poland village: $470,000
Cortland city: $1,300,000

Breakdown of estimated funding for county governments:

Mahoning County: $44,350,000
Portage County: $31,510,000
Stark County: $71, 880,000
Summit County: $104,930,000
Trumbull County: $38,400,000

Acceptable use of these monies by state and local governments is more flexible under this legislation than under previous packages. These funds will be allowed to make up for revenue loss and cover expenses including premium pay for eligible workers performing essential work (as determined by each state or Tribal government) during the pandemic, providing up to $13 per hour above regular wages.

The funds can also be used for infrastructure improvements, including water, sewer and broadband infrastructure. Funding cannot be used for directly or indirectly offsetting a tax cut or for pension funds.

Funds now must be spent by the end of calendar year 2024.

The COVID-19 relief funds are coming from the federal legislation passed Wednesday, which is expected to be signed by President Joe Biden.

The House gave final congressional approval to the $1.9 trillion relief package by a near party-line 220-211 vote seven weeks after Biden entered the White House and four days after the Senate passed the bill without a single Republican vote.

The bill would provide extended emergency unemployment benefits, direct payments of up to $1,400 for most Americans and vast piles of spending for COVID-19 vaccines and testing, states and cities, schools and ailing industries, along with tax breaks to help lower-earning people, families with children and consumers buying health insurance.

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