Red River to Share Coronavirus Recovery Funds

The U.S. Treasury released the breakdown of how more than $350 billion in Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds will be distributed. Red River Parish is getting over $1.6 million.

Editorial note:  If you are interested in how the money will be spent locally, contact your elected representatives.

Under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments can spend the money to: 

  • Support urgent COVID-19 response efforts to continue to decrease spread of the virus and bring the pandemic under control. 
  • Replace lost public sector revenue to strengthen support for vital public services and help retain jobs. 
  • Support immediate economic stabilization for households and businesses; and, 
  • Address systemic public health and economic challenges that have contributed to the inequal impact of the pandemic on certain populations. 

The money can be distributed to provide support for households, small businesses, impacted industries, essential workers, and the communities hardest-hit by the crisis. These funds also deliver resources that recipients can invest in building, maintaining, or upgrading their water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure, officials say. 

“Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds provide eligible state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments with a substantial infusion of resources to meet pandemic response needs and rebuild a stronger, more equitable economy as the country recovers. Within the categories of eligible uses, recipients have broad flexibility to decide how best to use this funding to meet the needs of their communities,” the treasury document states. 

According to the document, recipients may use Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to: 

  • Support public health expenditures, by funding COVID-19 mitigation efforts, medical expenses, behavioral healthcare, and certain public health and safety staff. 
  • Address negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency, including economic harms to workers, households, small businesses, impacted industries, and the public sector. 
  • Replace lost public sector revenue, using this funding to provide government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue experienced due to the pandemic. 
  • Provide premium pay for essential workers, offering additional support to those who have borne and will bear the greatest health risks because of their service in critical infrastructure sectors; and, 
  • Invest in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure, making necessary investments to improve access to clean drinking water, support vital wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, and to expand access to broadband internet. 

“Within these overall categories, Treasury’s Interim Final Rule provides guidelines and principles for determining the types of programs and services that this funding can support, together with examples of allowable uses that recipients may consider. As described below, Treasury has also designed these provisions to take into consideration the disproportionate impacts of the COVID-19 public health emergency on those hardest-hit by the pandemic,” the document states.

Louisiana is slated to receive $3,011,136,886.60. Louisiana’s “non-entitlement units or local government” programs are slated to receive $315,493,318.00.

And here’s the total amount allocated to Red River Parish $1,639,760.00.

This report from KATC, Lafayette.

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