There is more than $ 260 million en route to southwest Florida counties and cities as part of the funds to be divided through the American Recovery Plan.
State, municipal and municipal governments are expected to receive their first direct aid injection of the $ 350 billion in emergency funds approved by the Plan by mid-May.
An analysis of these funds by the U.S. Department of the Treasury shows Lee County getting the most out of the five counties area, which includes Collier, Charlotte Glades and Hendry.
According to a list of allocations in the US Department of the Treasury website, Lee County will receive $ 149,675,549, Cape Coral will receive $ 25,439,699, Fort Myers will receive $ 15,759,486 and Bonita Springs will receive $ 7,241,423.
Collier is next with a total of $ 74,762,701. Cities within Collier that are receiving funds include Naples with $ 2,563,890 and Marco Island receiving $ 1,746,191.
The total of Charlotte County recovery funds was listed as $ 36,693,553, with Punta Gorda listed as receiving $ 2,445,907.
Hendry County will receive $ 8,162,281. Glades County is receiving $ 2,682,625.
The Treasury will distribute funds to eligible state, territorial, municipal, metropolitan, county and tribal governments.
Cape Coral Mayor John Gunter said the funds will help the city with infrastructure.
“As a piece of advice, we haven’t made a final decision,” said Gunter on Sunday. “But I know that the recommendation of the city manager is to use it for the expansion of the dealership that we are going to do in the CRA area.”
Gunter acknowledged that funds can only be used for certain things. Treasury Department guidelines prohibit the use of funds to offset tax cuts. In addition, beneficiaries cannot use funds to make a deposit in a pension fund or cushion reserves.
Gunter said the council is expected to make a final decision on use before entering the summer hiatus.
Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson said that nothing specific has yet been discussed.
“We are in transition now with the city administrator,” said Anderson. “We are not going to sit around waiting … and he will board on June 7th.”
Anderson said, like Cape Coral, the infrastructure is likely to be a target for the $ 15.7 million Fort Myers will receive.
There is an online portal that allows local and state governments to access their share of resources from the Ministry of Finance. The amount allocated to each state and municipality was determined by the unemployment data.
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Most will receive money in two installments – one this year and the second in 12 months – but states that have seen their unemployment rates rise by 2% or more since February will receive funds in a single payment. Payments will begin in a few days and funds must be spent by the end of 2024.
Gunter said the soon-to-spend aspect of the funds will make Cape Coral likely to exchange funds previously earmarked for the infrastructure project so that they can be used quickly.
The $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid package included $ 350 billion in direct aid to states and cities aimed at replacing governments that experienced tax revenue shortfalls as companies closed during the coronavirus pandemic. Many state and local governments have been forced to cut or halt capital spending.
The law mandated the Treasury Department to deliver the aid within 60 days after Biden’s signature on March 11, Tuesday.
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This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: Infrastructure, an area targeted as funds from the American Recovery Plan head for SWFL governments