St. Lawrence County weighs relief funds

Seal of St. Lawrence County. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

CANTON — Through a survey, St. Lawrence County officials want feedback from the public on how they should use funds from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

Signed by President Joseph R. Biden in March, the $1.9 trillion relief package includes $65.1 billion in direct aid to counties. St. Lawrence County is now developing a plan for how to use its $20.9 million allocation of ARPA funds.

Some eligible uses for the money include assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits; providing premium pay to essential workers; and investments in water, sewer or broadband infrastructure, among other things.

Prohibited uses include pension funds, a reduction in the net tax revenue or deposits into rainy-day reserves, and more.

The survey is open to the public through Nov. 30. Some of the questions ask respondents to indicate precisely how they have been impacted by COVID-19, be it financial, behavioral, educational, or other. The survey also asks what the biggest challenges have been in recovering from the pandemic.

Respondents can rank their top three choices for how the county should use the ARPA funds. Some of the options include direct relief to businesses, community investment, arts and culture, broadband expansion and public safety.

Space is also provided for suggestions about more specific uses.

Respondents must have an email account to complete the survey.

For a full list of eligible and ineligible uses for the money, as well as more information on the American Rescue Plan, visit wdt.me/INFO_ARPA.

To take the St. Lawrence County survey, visit wdt.me/SLC_ARPA.

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