Millions of dollars in Federal COVID Relief money remains in many communities and counties Nationwide. But could that be changing soon, due to the Federal Budget situation? Federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding was approved and allocated to address the negative financial impact of the Pandemic, totaling billions of dollars Nationwide.
In Centre County, the County’s allotment was close to $31.5 Million. As of early December, 62% of that amount has been spent on everything from helping businesses to various repair projects at county owned buildings, with nearly $12 Million remaining. Centre Co. Commissioner Mark Higgins saying: “We’re still mostly taking requests. Obviously, we have internal needs for the Courthouse, the retaining walls, Centre Crest. Yeah, we’re still taking requests.”
In Congress, the Nation’s Debt Limit and proposed cuts in Federal spending taking center stage. Cong. Glenn Thompson(R) saying: We, I understand, I supported a lot of spending when COVID first hit. We were told, advised by supposedly Experts, we could lose maybe a a quarter to a third of the population of the United States. We lost a lot of Americans, but nowhere close to that.”
One of the big questions: could some of that unspent and uncommitted Federal ARPA funding be ordered to be returned as part of budget deal in Congress? For those receiving the funding, they have until the end of next year to decide on how to allocate ARPA money and the end of 2026 to have it spent.