Federal pandemic funds slowly starting to flow in South Jersey

Oct 12, 2021

Water tower upgrades, flood-reduction projects, utility upgrades, wellness and health programs, budget relief and paying for public texting alert networks are among the ways South Jersey governments have begun spending millions in federal COVID-19 relief funds.

New Jersey’s 565 cities and municipalities, as well at its 21 counties, are all sharing in $3.5 billion in funding through the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The money is part of a massive COVID relief effort by the federal government to ease the strain of lost jobs, revenue and services in local communities and governments. That money is separate from the $923 million in relief funds due to New Jersey’s K-12 schools.

The first installments of the funds flowed into towns in May, with a second installment set for next May. A recent Associated Press review of the spending found fewer than 2.5% of states had spent any of the funds, while a higher percentage, 8.5% of cities, were using the money.
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